He has done it again. After beginning the year on a low note facing lots of ups and downs, 25-year-old Sebastian Vettel has silenced his critics with four successive GP titles after winning the Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) for the second time in a row. This is the first time in his glittering career that Vettel has claimed four consecutive wins. No driver since Button in 2009 had managed to do so. Vettel has now extended his lead to 13 points ahead of Ferrari’s Alonso and has also tightened his grip on securing a third successive world title.
It was chaos all around post the inaugural Airtel Indian Grand Prix last year. Most of the drivers were back in their pits and were too tired to appear before the media after a tiring day. Not Sebastian Vettel, though. He looked as fresh as he did before the race, and happily answered the barrage of questions thrown at him after winning the race. Moreover, he was quite used to facing the media in 2011 when he had cruised to back-to-back victories, taking his tally to 11 with the Indian GP.
The defending champion didn’t have a great start to 2012 and he deserves full credit for the stellar comeback. He was lagging 40 points behind Alonso at one point in the beginning of the year. But the champion that he is, Vettel, prior to the Indian GP was leading by 6 points ahead of Alonso which has now been extended to 13. The world title hasn’t been sealed yet, thanks to Alonso, who raced his heart out as he finished second after beginning from the fifth place.
German dominated in both the practice sessions on Friday. On Saturday, Vettel once again led the proceedings as he bagged the pole position. The two-time world champion has once again shown that he is an expert when it comes to leading from that position.
Analysts believed that the Indian track at the Buddh International Circuit is quite similar to that of the Korean one. It has long straights in the early part of the lap followed by more twisted, technical sections. After winning his second Indian Grand Prix, Vettel has now moved a step closer towards his third successive world crown. As predicted, the track at the Buddh International Circuit once again suited the Red Bull drivers as Mark Webber came third giving Red Bull two podium finishes.
On Friday, while Vettel clocked the fastest time with 1 minute 25.283 seconds to grab pole, his teammate Webber finished second with a timing of 1:25.327; and thus Red Bull started as clear favourites on Sunday with two of its drivers in the top three.
It’s the end of another successful Indian Grand Prix. India has been lauded for the improvement it has shown as compared to last year. There have been a lot of changes since the inaugural race. But the result has been the same. While all the drivers once again tried to win their maiden title here, we saw Vettel, the champion, drenched in Champagne at the top of the podium on Sunday this year too.
(The views expressed by the author are personal)