2012 Indian Grand Prix: As it happened...
AND SEBASTIAN VETTEL HAS SEALED HIS SECOND SUCCESSIVE INDIAN GRAND PRIX TITLE AND FOURTH CONSECUTIVE WIN OF THE SEASON. HE HAS NOW FIVE WINS UNDER HIS BELT IN THE CURRENT SEASON. FERNANDO ALONSO WAS SECOND WHILE MARK WEBBER DROVE FANTASTICALLY WELL LEAVING BEHIND KERS PROBLEM TO DEFEND HIS P3 AHEAD OF CHARGING MCLAREN’S LEWIS HAMILTON. NICO HULKENBERG OF FORCE INDIA FINISHED EIGHT WHILE DI RESTA RETURNED POINTLESS AT 12TH.
This is for the first time since 2009 (when Jenson Button became world champion) that a driver has notched up four consecutive wins in a single season. Vettel (240) has now a lead of 13 points over Alonso (227). It was a dominant show from the German in a race that saw Michael Schumacher retiring after a disappointing race that saw him going to the pits thrice. He finished 22nd in his final stint at the Buddh International Circuit.
Indian GP Results: 1) Vettel 2) Alonso 3) Webber 4) Hamilton 5) Button 6) Massa 7) Raikkonen 8) Hulkenberg 9) Grosjean 10) Senna
THE RACE: AS IT HAPPENED...
Button has set the fastest lap of the race. Narain Karthikeyan is on P23. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg is on P8 while his Briton team-mate Paul di Resta is at P12. Sparks can be seen under the car of leader Vettel. Alonso is encouraged to launch an attack. He is now 9.8 seconds off the German.
As soon as the DRS was enabled, Alonso who was closing in on Webber charged ahead of the Red Bull on lap 48 to move to P2. The KERS issue has made him pay dearly. More problem seems to be in the offing for Webber as Hamilton is told that the Aussie is struggling with his tyres.
Raikkonen has been instructed to attack Ferrari’s Massa on account of the expected fuel problem that the Brazilian may have to suffer. Webber complains of no KERS. Pedro de la Rosa spins out on lap 45 and says his HRT has suffered a brake failure. DRS has been disabled on the back straight to clear off HRT.
Michael Schumacher is under investigation for ignoring blue flags! Vettel is way ahead with a lead of 12 seconds in his ‘Abbey’ ahead of Mark Webber who is defending a charge from Alonso. Hamilton at P3 tells his team he isn’t sure of his tyres. Kobayashi pits out of P12 to swap to the soft tyre on lap 38.
Pastor Maldonado suffers puncture on Lap 31 after running over derbies. There was some contact with Kaobayashi though. The stewards will investigate the incident.
Lewis Hamilton has dropped to fourth after taking a pit stop. A change of steering wheel and tyres for Hamilton. The top four have now taken a pit stop apiece.
Lap 34: Vettel is in the pits now. Rejoins the pack and maintains his lead. Vergne pits out on lap 35. There seems to be some ‘critical’ fuel problem with Massa as his team informs him on the radio.
Jenson Button has dropped to P9. Sebastian Vettel is 10 seconds ahead of Mark Webber with Alonso right behind Webber’s tail at third. Hulkenberg is seventh.
Massa had a pit stop on Lap 29 and opted for Hard tyres. Alonso follows him to the pits in the next lap and switches to Hard compound.
Webber is now having some problems with the tyres as confirmed by a Red Bull’s radio message to Vettel. Alonso is fast catching up with Webber and is now just 2.3 seconds off. There is a tussle between Grosjean and Rosebrg for P9. Perez has retired.
Sergio Perez suffers a puncture after coming into contact with Riccardio’s front wing. He is now in pits. Meanhwile, Alonso is constantly shaving time off Webber but the Australian is still ahead of the Spaniard.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg is now eight ahead of compatriot Nico Rosberg. McLaren’s are looking in a bit of trouble as both their drivers seemed to have lost some pace. Webber has set the fastest lap but Vettel is still leading.
Replays show that Schumacher and Jean Eric Vergne made contact on the turn one that caused the former’s puncture. Vettel is leading Webber by 3.0s while Alonso has dropped to 4.2s off Webber.
Sebastian Vettel is currently leading the pack with teammate Mark Webber behind by 2.3 seconds. Fernando Alonso has overtaken Hamilton and is now third. Michael Schumacher had an early pit stop after puncturing his right rear. Fantastic start by Alonso!
Update 1: The Indian Grand Prix is Go!
Welcome to our live coverage of the 2012 Indian Grand Prix. Unlike last edition, this race forms a crucial pit stop as far as deciding this year’s driver’s championship is concerned. The top two drivers are separated by just six points.
Reigning world champions Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has won the last three races and looks set to consolidate his position at the top after securing his fifth pole of the season ahead of teammate Mark Webber and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso will start fifth behind Jenson Button while his teammate starts sixth.
Michael Schumacher of Mercedes, who is racing in his last ever Indian GP, starts a disappointing 14th while Nico Rosberg 10th.
Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus, who is third in the championship, starts seven.