Zeenews Sports Bureau
Greater Noida: Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel started from the pole and ended as the winner of inaugural Formula One Indian Grand Prix 2011. McLaren’s Jenson Button was second and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third.
The race had started off with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel in the lead and he remained there for most of the time.
Sachin Tendulkar waved the chequered flag, signaling the successful completion of the world’s biggest televised sport into the country.
The collision brothers, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa were back doing the bang act at the Indian GP as well. Hamilton came up the inside of Massa, had the line and then crashed, sending debris off the chassis of the two cars in the 24-25th lap. Massa would surely have a few choice words for the McLaren driver at the end of this race.
Massa was also given a penalty for the collision and was required to drive through. He immediately served the penalty but had to end his race prematurely in the 34th lap as his car's suspension was broken.
Starting from pole, Vettel faced no challenge whatsoever as he cruised to a comfortable 8.4 seconds win over McLaren's Jenson Button.
Button did push hard towards the end but the Red Bull driver was way too ahead to beat. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third, followed by Red Bull's Mark Webber, who had started second on the grid.
Sutil had dropped to 13th after starting from eighth but the Force India driver pulled his way back and pipped Sergio Perez of Sauber in the dying minutes of the race to secure the ninth position.
The result strengthened Force India's sixth position in the constructor's championship as it is now leading nearest rival Sauber by 10 points. Force India now have 51 points.
Paul di Resta, the other home team driver, finished outside the points bracket at the 13th place.
Narain Karthikeyan, the only Indian driver on the grid, had a tremendous result as he finished 17th after starting last in the race, in which five drivers crashed out.
Mercedes' Michael Schumacher, followed keenly in India, also had a marvelous result as he recorded his third best result of the season by taking the fifth position after starting 11th on the grid.
Pastor Maldonado then became the third driver to go out when he lost control over his car and ran onto the grass.
But way ahead of the chasing pack, Vettel had no problem at all and he led comfortably, followed by Button, teammate Mark Webber, Alonso and Massa.
Intense drama unfolded in lap 24 when Massa and his old foe Lewis Hamilton collided when the Brazilian moved a bit to his left and the chasing MacLaren driver smashed into his sidepod.
Massa was soon handed a driver-through penalty for causing collision but his misery was far from over as he hit a kerb at turn eight which broke his front left suspension finishing his race.
Toro Rosso's Sebastian Buemi also pulled out of the race a few moments earlier after smoke started emitting from his engine.