Vettel rules Indian GP, Sutil earns 2 pts for Force India
Greater Noida: World Champion Sebastian Vettel won the action-packed inaugural Indian Grand Prix with ease for his 11th triumph this season while home team Sahara Force India earned two points through Adrian Sutil`s ninth-place finish here today. The race began on a thrilling note as cars spun at the first corner itself with Lotus` Jarno Trulli skidding on to the grass just after Williams Rubens Barrichello and Suaber`s K Kobayashi clashed.
In the first lap itself, Timo Glock and Barrichello were in the pit lane and Kobayashi was out of the race. While Barrichello managed to resume after the pit-stop, Glock`s race ended soon after. Taking advantage of the initial chaos, Schumacher zoomed to eighth from 11th, joining teammate Nico Rosberg in top-10.
Then Webber and Button were locked in a heart-stopping fight for the second place in lap five but the McLaren driver kept his place. Sutil was in the ninth position after starting at eighth and Karthikeyan, who had started from the last, had moved to an impressive 16th after 11 laps but soon dropped to 19th.
Di Resta and Sergio Perez battled for the 16th place and the Force India driver showed that the pace of his car has improved by overtaking the Sauber driver. The race grew in intensity and Sutil found himself in a spot of bother as he slipped from ninth to 13th with Sauber`s Jamie Alguersuari and Toro Rosso`s Sebastian Buemi overtaking him.
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 has 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, including Ferrari`s Felipe Massa. 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. Vettel continued to increase his lead over Button and won quite easily in the end.