NEW DELHI, India, October 28 – Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel rattled off his fourth successive win of the season in the Indian Grand Prix here Sunday to tighten his grip on the title showdown with three races remaining.
The 25-year-old German produced another flawless display to pull 13 points clear of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who came in second, 10 seconds behind.
Vettel, who led from piller to post to add this to his wins in South Korea, Japan and Singapore and his seasonal debut success in Bahrain, is seeking to become the youngest triple champion in Formula One history.
Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber took third with McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in fifth and sixth.
The only danger to Vettel in an otherwise seamless success came in the closing laps when sparks sprayed out from underneath his car’s front spoiler, but despite Alonso being alerted to the incident by his team over the car radio it proved a false alarm.
Felipe Massa came home sixth in the second Ferrari ahead of his old friend Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus, Nico Hulkenberg of Force India, Romain Grosjean in the second Lotus and 10th placed Bruno Senna of Williams.
It was Vettel’s 26th win and he revelled in his familiar trick of adding the fastest lap of the race in the final lap and then standing atop of his car to milk the applause from the crowd.
Vettel, aiming to become Formula One’s youngest triple champion, said: “Two years and two wins here, it’s a very special Grand Prix, I don’t know what it is about this circuit.
“A big thanks to my team, we’re all pushing very hard.
“This is another good step (to the title) for us but there is still a long way to go.”
Alonso commented: “It’s not easy at the moment to fight with Red Bull but we will never give up….”
1. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull) 1hr 31min 10.744sec
2. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari) at 9.437
3. Mark Webber (AUS/Red Bull) 13.217
4. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/McLaren) 13.909
5. Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren) 26.266
6. Felipe Massa (BRA/Ferrari) 44.674
7. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Lotus) 45.227
8. Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Force India) 54.998
9. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus) 56.103
10. Bruno Senna (BRA/Williams) 1:14.975
11. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes) 1:21.694
12. Paul di Resta (GBR/Force India) 1:22.815
13. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Toro Rosso) 1:26.064
14. Kamui Kobayashi (JPN/Sauber) 1:26.495
15. Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA/Toro Rosso) 1 lap
16. Pastor Maldonado (VEN/Williams) 1 lap
17. Vitaly Petrov (RUS/Caterham) 1 lap
18. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN/Caterham) 1 lap
19. Charles Pic (FRA/Marussia) 1 lap
20. Timo Glock (GER/Marussia) 2 laps
21. Narain Karthikeyan (IND/HRT) 2 laps
22. Michael Schumacher (GER/Mercedes) 5 laps