Indian GP 2012: Alonso keeps the spice in title despite Vettel win
Vettel is closing in on 2012, but Alonso is still holding on to hope
Sebastian Vettel has won the Indian GP ahead of Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber. It was another impressive victory from the Red Bull driver, who has won the last four, leading every lap, putting him thirteen points clear of Alonso in the championship battle. Webber held on despite a KERS problem to hold off Lewis Hamilton, allowing Red Bull to pull 91 points ahead of Ferrari and 101 clear of McLaren. With just 129 points left for the teams it looks like Red Bull will have it wrapped up sooner rather than later. It was a fairly processional race, with few overtaking moves.
There were a number of key moments in the race which had an effect on the overall outcome. At the start both Red Bulls got away cleanly, allowing them to pull away and build up a large enough gap to ensure they were not going to be caught in the DRS zone due to their lack of straight line speed. Alonso also got a good start and battled with both McLaren drivers closely, eventually slotting into fourth place behind Jenson Button, before overtaking him on the long straight a couple of laps later. This was crucial to Alonso in terms of the championship as he was able to chase down Webber and pass him for second; ensuring that Vettel’s increasing championship lead grew only by the minimum seven points. Ferrari’s impressive straight line speed helped Felipe Massa stay ahead of Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen, who spent the entire race looking at the back of a Ferrari. Hamilton had a problem with his steering wheel during the race which the team impressively changed during a just over three second pit-stop, ensuring he did not lose any ground to those he was racing. There were three punctures during the race – one each for Michael Schumacher, Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado. Schumacher was clipped by Jean-Eric Vergne at the start of the race, Perez picked up his after contact with Daniel Ricciardo, and Kamui Kobayashi attempted an overtake on Maldonado, but as he pulled back in he tagged the Williams’ driver’s rear tyre, puncturing it instantly. It was investigated but the stewards deemed it a simple racing incident. Pedro de la Rosa suffered a brake failure – a continuing problem for HRT while Schumacher and Perez also retired.
With just three races left, the momentum is most definitely with Vettel who has won the last four races and overhauled the deficit to Alonso, meaning he now leads by 13 points. Red Bull seems to have found the sweet spot with their car while Ferrari is still not quite up there. At Abu Dhabi in 2011 Vettel suffered a puncture and was out without completing a lap, and Alonso has shown this year how a race can be ended just like that, so it is certainly not over.
Both men would certainly be deserving of the championship but who do you want to see come out on top? Do you think Vettel will win his third in a row or can Alonso come back and win his third?
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