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PHOTOS: Vettel reigns at inaugural Indian GP

Last updated on: October 30, 2011 21:01 IST

Vettel reigns at inaugural Indian GP

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World Champion Sebastian Vettel asserted his supremacy by comfortably winning the action-packed inaugural Indian F1 Grand Prix while home team Sahara Force India earned two points through Adrian Sutil'sninth place finish, in Greater Noida, on Sunday.

Starting from pole, Vettel faced no challenge whatsoever as he cruised to his 11th win of the season with an easy 8.4 seconds ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button in a race watched by a galaxy of dignitaries, fimstars and cricketers at the spanky Buddh International circuit.

Button did push hard towards the end but the Red Bull driver was too strong to beat. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third, followed by Red Bull's Mark Webber, who had started second from grid.With this win Vettel (334), who had already secured the championship title for the second consecutive time, has now 134 more points than second placed Button while Alonso (240) is now third with six more points than Webber.

Red Bull have already sealed the constructors' championship and today's second place result from Button has sealed the second place for McLaren. Red Bull have 595 points, followed by McLaren (442) and Ferrai (325).


Image: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium after winning the Indian Formula One Grand Prix
Photographs: Getty Images
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Sutil earns two points

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Sutil had dropped as back as 13th after starting from eighth but the Force India driver pulled his way back and pipped Sergio Perez of Sauber in the dying minutes to secure ninth position.

The result means that Force India has strengthened its sixth position in the constructor's championship as it is now leading both Sauber and Toro Rosso by 10 points.

Force India now have 51 points. Paul di Resta, the other home team driver, finished outside the points bracket with a 13th place in the event which saw iconic Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar wave the chequered flag.

Paul di Resta and Sergio Perez battled for 16th place and the Force Idnia driver showed that the pace of his car has improved by overtaking the Sauber driver.


Image: Adrian Sutil

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Best results for Karthikeyan, Schumacher

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Narain Karthikeyan, the only Indian driver on the grid, had a tremendous result as he finished 17th after starting from the last in the race, in which five drivers crashed out, including Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

Mercedes Michael Schumacher, followed keenly in India, had a marvelous result as he recorded his third best result of the season by taking fifth position after starting 11th on the grid.

Lewis Hamilton, who started fifth due to a grid-penalty, was seventh, just behind Mercedes Nico Rosberg.


Image: Narain Karthikeyan

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Mixed emotions for drivers; Wheldon, Simoncelli remembered

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The 24-year-old Vettel said he is proud to win the first ever GP in the country.

"It's fantastic performance. Last two weekends we lost two mates (Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli). Dan was a big name. We are ready to take risks but this is the last thing we want. So mixed emotions," Vettel said.

Carrying on with Vettel's emotions, Button dedicated the win to the two racers, who lost their lives in separate motorsport events this month.

"I wanted to redeem myself here. Overall, a perfect job today. Last weekends were very difficult. We dedicate this race to Dan and Marco," the British driver said.

Alonso was delighted with the performance as he pushed Webber to fourth."We made a perfect start on a new circuit. To be on podium in very first race is always nice. The second pit stop (by Webber) was surprising. We did two extra laps. But mixed feelings with sad weekends for motorsport. We'll always remember them," the Spaniard said.


Image: Dan Wheldon's car crashes

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Indian Grand Prix and its thrilling moments

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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 itslef, Timo Glock, Barrichello were in the pit lane and Kobayashi was out of the race.

Glock's race also finished.

Taking advantage of the initial traffic chaos, Michael Schumacher zoomed to No. 8 from 11th, joining team-mate Nico Rosberg in top-10.

Then Webber and Button were locked in a heart-stopping over-taking move in a fight for second place in lap five but the McLaren driver kept his place.

The race grew in intensity and certainly Sutil was 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.

Pastor Maldonado then became third driver to go out when he lost control over his car and ran onto the grass.


Image: Rubens Barrichello (left) of Brazil and Williams loses his front wing in a collision with Kamui Kobayashi (right) of Japan and Sauber F1
Photographs: Getty Images
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Massa-Hamilton on collision mode again

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Vettel had no problem at all as he was leading comfortably, followed by Button, team-mate Mark Webber, Ferrari's Alonso and Massa.

Intense drama followed in lap 24 when Massa and his old foe Lewis Hamilton collided with the Brazilian moved a bit to his left and the closely 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 and his race was finished.

Toro Rosso's Sebastian Buemi had also pulled out of race a few moments back after smoke started emitting from his engine.


Image: Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari rides over the kerbs during the Indian Formula One Grand Prix
Photographs: Getty Images
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Great to win first Indian GP: Vettel

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Vettel continued to increase his lead over Button and won quite easily in the end.Vettel, understandably, was delighted to have won the country's maiden GP.

"It is great to be winning the first ever Grand Prix of India. To put this arena so well is fantastic. Whole in one, it is fantastic. The country is impressive and inspiring, if you keep your eyes and your ears open. It looks very different and in the end it is a great country. I want to thank everyone for our win. Thanks a lot, India," Vettel said.

Button was pleased to have made an impact after a bumpy outing in the qualifiers.

"I am fantastically happy. I got a good start and then I was trying to match Sebastian's pace. Yesterday I had a disaster in qualifying but it was a good race. I had Mark behind me. I was able to pull away. It was a fun race. We did a good job. The pace is not quite there. But we will make up," he said.


Image: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium after winning the Indian Formula One Grand Prix
Photographs: Getty Images
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