Vettel takes dominant win in India

Sebastian Vettel achieved his eleventh victory of the season with a dominant lights-to-flag drive in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

After setting records in qualifying matching Ayrton Senna and Juan Manuel Fangio’s record in pole positions, the youngest back-to-back champion took his twenty-first career win, setting a new record for most laps led during a season.

The Red Bull driver’s latest triumph was one of his most straightforward in his championship-winning year. As front-row starter and team-mate Mark Webber was attacked by Jenson Button’s McLaren and Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari on the opening lap, allowed Vettel free to pull clear.

The world champion had a margin around four to five seconds for most of the race, as he led every lap and completed a perfect performance with the fastest lap at the Buddh International Circuit.

Button got through to second at Turn 1, as Alonso twitched under braking and ran wide, letting Webber keep third. The Australian then applied some pressure on Button over the opening laps, before the McLaren managed to escape and head off for an ultimately uncontested second.

Webber then lost third place to Alonso in the final pit-stops, when being the first of the frontrunners to change to the hard Pirellis cost him.

Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa’s turbulent season continued with yet another collision between them. The Ferrari had got ahead of the McLaren on the first lap and was a safe distance ahead until an error on lap 24 left Massa vulnerable to attacks from Hamilton.

On the next lap, Hamilton had a run on the Ferrari approaching Turn 5. Massa moved to defend his position but Hamilton was able to get down the inside on his rival. Massa turned in, and contact was as inevitable as it was avoidable.

The race stewards concluded Massa had caused the latest collision between the two and handed him a drive-through penalty.

Massa later retired when he smashed his front suspension on a kerb, just as he had in qualifying, while Hamilton recovered from ninth to seventh after pitting for a new front wing.

Hamilton finished behind the Silver Arrows, which were led by Michael Schumacher, who had moved onto Nico Rosberg’s tail with a fast start then jumped his Mercedes team-mate for fifth with a late final pit-stop.

Toro Rosso looked set to get both cars in the points until Sebastien Buemi stopped with smoke pouring from his car. Jaime Alguersuari went on to take eighth, ahead of Adrian Sutil’s Force India, and Sergio Perez, as the Sauber driver proved the most successful of those who ran ultra-short opening stints on the prime tyre then switched to the soft option for the duration.

Perez narrowly beat Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, who followed the same strategy. Bruno Senna challenged for points in the second Renault but was hampered by KERS issues and finished in P12, followed by Force India’s Paul di Resta and Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus – which showed strong race pace to run as high as P10.

The Buddh International Circuit layout proved tricky for the 24-car field to safely navigate as one on the first lap. First a brush between the two Williams sent Rubens Barrichello into Kamui Kobayashi’s Sauber, which then rejoined in the path of Timo Glock’s Virgin. Among several other brushes of wheels around the lap, Jarno Trulli was left with a puncture after his Lotus was punted into a spin by an HRT of Narain Karthikeyan.

After two difficult weeks in motor racing, it was a nice fitting tribute to see the Formula One drivers paying their respect to the late Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli by putting on a good, successful show in India.

Race results from the Indian Grand Prix, 60 laps:

1.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           1h30:35.002
2.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +8.433
3.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +24.301
4.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +25.529
5.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +1:05.421
6.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +1:06.851
7.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +1:24.183
8.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1 lap
9.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +1 lap
10.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +1 lap
11.  Petrov        Renault                    +1 lap
12.  Senna         Renault                    +1 lap
13.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +1 lap
14.  Kovalainen    Lotus-Renault              +2 laps
15.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +2 laps
16.  D’Ambrosio    Virgin-Cosworth            +2 laps
17.  Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth               +3 laps
18.  Ricciardo     HRT-Cosworth               +3 laps
19.  Trulli        Lotus-Renault              +4 laps

Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:27.457

Not classified/retirements:

Massa         Ferrari                      33 laps
Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari           25 laps
Maldonado     Williams-Cosworth            13 laps
Glock         Virgin-Cosworth              3 laps
Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari               1 lap

World Championship standings, round 17:

1.  Vettel       374
2.  Button       240
3.  Alonso       227
4.  Webber       221
5.  Hamilton     202
6.  Massa         98
7.  Rosberg       75
8.  Schumacher    70
9.  Petrov        36
10.  Heidfeld      34
11.  Sutil         30
12.  Kobayashi     27
13.  Alguersuari   26
14.  Di Resta      21
15.  Buemi         15
16.  Perez         14
17.  Barrichello    4
18.  Senna          2
19.  Maldonado      1

1.  Red Bull-Renault          595
2.  McLaren-Mercedes          442
3.  Ferrari                   325
4.  Mercedes                  145
5.  Renault                    72
6.  Force India-Mercedes       51
7.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         41
8.  Sauber-Ferrari             41
9.  Williams-Cosworth           5

Next race: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina. November 11-13.

12 thoughts to “Vettel takes dominant win in India”

  1. After winning the Indian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel has admitted he was left feeling mixed emotions following the last two tragic weeks in motorsport. has the story.

    Sebastian Vettel admitted he was left with mixed emotions following his win in the Indian Grand Prix after a tragic two weeks for the world of motorsport.

    The Red Bull driver paid tribute to two-time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon and MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli, both killed in races over the past two weeks.

    “To be honest with you, it is a little bit of a mixed emotion,” said Vettel after scoring his 11th win of the season.

    “On the one hand I am very happy, very proud to be the first winner, but on the other hand looking back at last weekend we lost two of our mates. I didn’t know Dan but obviously he is a big name in motorsport.

    “This year I got to know Marco Simoncelli and our thoughts are with them. We are ready to take certain risks when we get in the car, but sometimes things happen. As I said a bit of mixed emotions and our thoughts are with them at the moment.”

    He added: “Obviously it was a very good race for us. I enjoyed the time in the lead very much. I had a bit of a fight with Jenson in the distance as he was always four seconds behind and with the strategy he kept closing in during the pitstops.”

    Vettel won the race from pole position, leading every lap, and setting the fastest lap to continue with his dominant season.

    The German broke Nigel Mansell’s record for most laps led during a season, but said he was not focused on records like that and said he just wants to continue enjoying his season.

    “I don’t mind,” he said. “I think we can continue. The car is fantastic and the team is enjoying it. We are on a run since the beginning of the season. We enjoy every race. The great thing is when you walk in the garage every morning, they are flat out and pushing very hard.

    “It’s really enjoyable to see that knowing what we have achieved, we are still hungry, not lacking motivation. The people come with questions but we come back with the right answers, so we don’t want this to end.”

  2. Yet again Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa made contact in the race. has the details.

    Lewis Hamilton felt Felipe Massa left him no space in their collision in the Indian Grand Prix, and admitted that the Brazilian was not currently speaking to him.

    Massa was given a drive-through penalty for their clash, which occurred as Hamilton tried to overtake the Ferrari for fifth place at Turn 5. While Hamilton recovered to seventh after getting a new front wing, Massa retired after breaking his suspension on a kerb.

    “There’s not really much to say,” said Hamilton. “It’s a disappointing day. My team worked hard all weekend as they always do. I don’t really know what else to say.

    “We had the one minute silence before the start of the race and me and Felipe were standing next to each other. He hasn’t spoken to me in a long, long time so I put my arm around him and just said ‘good luck for the race’.

    “But in the race I tried to overtake and I tried to come out of it because it didn’t look like he was going to give me any space, and we collided. I’m really, really sorry for my team.”

    Hamilton felt his car had picked up damage in the incident.

    “I had some vibrations, in right handers it felt like the floor was scraping on the floor, and I just had very, very poor performance and I was pushing as hard as I could just to have the pace of anyone,” he said. “The car looks fine so maybe it’s just me.”

  3. McLaren’s Jenson Button admits Sebastian Vettel was out of his reach in the Indian Grand Prix. has the story.

    Jenson Button admitted he did not have quite enough pace to threaten Sebastian Vettel in the Indian Grand Prix.

    Vettel was able to make an early break while Button battled for second with Mark Webber, but although the McLaren stayed within a few seconds of Vettel for much of the race, Button felt the champion had enough in hand.

    “The last race I really struggled on the first lap and lost a lot of places, so I wanted to redeem myself here, and then I was just trying to hang on to Seb,” said Button.

    “His pace was good, he didn’t make many mistakes. The tyres when I came out of the box felt good and felt competitive, but as soon as Seb got into a rhythm I could not do anything about it.

    “For the team we have done a perfect job today and could not have done anything else.”

    Button said he had enjoyed his first-lap dices with Webber and Fernando Alonso.

    “The start off the line didn’t feel that good but it’s such low grip, then I was able to get Fernando in Turn 1 when he went a bit deep,” said Button.

    “I knew I had to get a good exit out of Turn 3, got a good exit and was in Mark’s tow – he covered the inside but I had enough speed around the outside.

    “It was an exciting part of the race, then I had Mark behind me for eight laps pushing me really, really hard. We both braked very, very late, I kept position and then was able to pull away.

    “It was a fun race, bit frustrating that I couldn’t catch up with Seb. The pace isn’t quite there but hopefully in the next two races we can make that step.”

    He also joined Vettel and Alonso in paying tribute to the late Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli, who lost their lives in recent IndyCar and MotoGP races.

    “As Seb said, it was a tough weekend for everyone in motorsport,” said Button. “The last two weekends have been very difficult with two fatalities, very difficult.

    “I knew Dan from an early age, he was the guy we always had to beat.

    “We should dedicate this first Indian race to Dan and to Marco – a super-talented youngster who was the most amazing guy to watch on a bike.”

  4. Jamie Alguersuari is confident his Toro Rosso team will finish ahead of Sauber this year after having caught the Swiss squad after the Indian Grand Prix.

    Alguersuari finished in the points for the second race in succession after coming home in eighth position following another strong display by the Faenza-based squad.

    The Spanish driver was delighted with the result, which allowed Toro Rosso to match the amount of points of Sauber: 41.

    With two races remaining, Alguersuari is optimistic his team can leap ahead of its rival and finish in seventh position.

    “I am very happy with the performance of the team overall as this race was another good one for us, with a pace that was as quick as the one we had shown in Korea,” said the Spaniard. “I managed to pass Senna and then Sutil because of this.

    “I was also ahead of the Saubers and I think this result reflects where we should be in the order. It is encouraging that we could outperform the Renaults. Once again the team did a great job in preparation work, in the sessions and in the pitstops and it looks like we are on the right road.

    “I am very happy to have scored four points which puts Toro Rosso on the same total as Sauber. I am looking forward very much to the next two races as I think that if we do a good job we can end the year ahead of them. It’s a shame that Sebastien did not finish, both for him and for the team. But I am sure he will back in the points soon.”

    Team-mate Sebastien Buemi had a disappointing race after retiring with a technical failure when he looked set for a top-eight finish.

    “I am very disappointed with what happened this afternoon, because I was having a very good race, after an excellent qualifying yesterday,” he said. “When the car stopped, I had just passed Hamilton, I was lying eighth and I think we could have finished in the top eight.

    “So when you go from that promising situation, to a non finish with no points, it’s a bit difficult to take. However, if we look on the positive side, our pace all weekend has been good, confirming the step forward we showed in Korea. So now we have to work hard and keep going in this direction for the final two races when I hope to be back in the points again.”


  5. Mercedes GP’s Michael Schumacher was delighted by his performance in the Indian Grand Prix. He finished the race in fifth after starting in P11. has the details.

    Michael Schumacher said he was extremely pleased to achieve the maximum result possible for Mercedes in India, as he came through from 11th on the grid to beat his team-mate Nico Rosberg to fifth place.

    Schumacher made up several positions on the opening lap, then jumped his team-mate by staying out slightly longer at the final stops.

    “I am obviously happy about the race today,” he said. “We achieved the maximum that we could hope for, and as a team we maximised our potential. Fifth and sixth places are a great result for us. On top of that, my car was very nicely sorted for the race and very stable.

    “At the start, everything worked out according to my strategy as I deliberately didn’t want to use KERS in the first two corners and save it for the long straight where I knew that I could make up some positions.

    “In the second stint, I managed to maintain my tyres so I could stay out longer and that was enough for fifth place.”

    He added that the most encouraging aspect was that the result proved Mercedes was continuing to make good progress.

    “What’s really important at the moment is that we keep pushing and trying to improve, and that is what we achieved today,” said Schumacher.

  6. Narain Karthikeyan believes he proved a point with his drive in the Indian Grand Prix after coming home in 17th position.

    The Indian, making a one-off return to racing in place of regular HRT driver Tonio Liuzzi, crossed the finish line ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and also the Lotus of Jarno Trulli.

    Karthikeyan admitted he was delighted with his performance and reckons he proved “a lot of points”.

    I had a great grand prix and I really enjoyed myself, it was an amazing experience,” said Karthikeyan. “To finish 17th in my home grand prix is the best I could have wished for with the car we have and beating my team-mate and one Lotus on the way makes it all the more satisfying.

    “It’s a shame I faced the penalty and, perhaps, we could have had a much better race without it. But I made a good start and then suffered some damage to the front wing but afterwards I picked up a good rhythm and was able to complete a good race.

    “It’s an awesome feeling to have completed the first ever Indian Grand Prix and to have been competitive with our main rivals which proved a lot of points.”

    Ricciardo finished in 18th position, the Australian saying the handling of his car changed during the second part of the race, making it hard for him to keep his early pace.

    “The first laps weren’t great but then I managed to pass a few people,” he said. “Some laps later I got past Narain and set a good rhythm; I was happy with the first stint as everything was going well, the balance was good and the tyres were performing well.

    “In the second stint I felt a strange feeling in the front of the car after a couple of laps, the car was moving quite a bit from left to right, I still don’t know the reason for this but it might have been a puncture.

    “It’s a shame because as a cause we had to do an extra pit stop and lost quite a bit of time with that. In the third stint, once we found our pace we were quite competitive. It ruined the rhythm of our race but hopefully we can avoid it from happening next time.”


  7. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa has said he couldn’t understand why the race stewards chose to penalised him following the clash with Lewis Hamilton. has the story.

    Felipe Massa says he cannot understand why the Indian Grand Prix stewards chose to give him a drive-through penalty for his collision with Lewis Hamilton.

    The pair came together for the sixth time this year in today’s race at the Buddh International Circuit, clashing as Hamilton tried to pass Massa on the inside into Turn 4. The McLaren sustained a broken front wing and finished seventh, while Massa was penalised then retired with broken suspension after clipping a kerb.

    The Brazilian was adamant that he was not the one at fault.

    “My view is that I was in front, I braked later than him and I was in front, I was on the grippy area as well and then I started to turn and I didn’t see him on the left as he was behind,” said Massa. “He touched my rear wheel. So, to be honest I don’t understand why I have the penalty. It is not really understandable.”

    Asked if he felt he was now part of a ‘feud’, Massa replied: “Maybe for him. Because all the incidents are that he touched my car. So, I didn’t do anything wrong.”

    He added: “If it is Lewis or not Lewis, whatever the driver is there, I would do the same.”

    Massa also denied that he had looked in his mirrors to see where the McLaren was and then deliberately turned in on his rival.

    “I know he was on my side. But when I braked, this is the important place, not when you are on the straight, when I braked, he was not on my side,” he said.

    “So, I turned because I braked later than him. I cannot understand why I am supposed to back off and let him by, no? I braked later. He was on the dirty side.

    “And then I turned and he touched me from behind. He did not touch on my side, or wheel-to-wheel. If it was wheel-to-wheel I would not try to close the door.”

  8. Well first off, I just have to say Lewis was an idiot during practice by not slowing down enough for the yellow flag. If it was qualifying then I’d understand, but during a practice run? Crazy. Starting in second may have made for a completely different race for him, but hey I think we can just right off this season for him. Being dumped will only make the last few races even worse for him also so best just to look forward to next season eh Lewis?

    So onto the first race at India. I have to say I really like this circuit! Despite the facilities allegedly taking second place to the track design they still look great. But the track is awesome, dusty but awesome. With fast corners, great straights and very little 2nd gear turns thank God. The only bad thing seems to be some pretty harsh curbs. But hell, it’s about time there was some penalty to just being able to drive over them as if they weren’t there.

    To go with the great track is the great atmosphere. If there was any doubt as to how popular the race could be, then today put all that to rest. Full grandstands, and obvious great passion have shown it was a good decision to let F1 into India. If anything, judging by the VT the BBC showed in Texas, the Indians know more about F1 than the forthcoming Americans. But I have to say how cool it was to see DC (not DC Schumacher as one dumb ass Texan thought) drive the Red Bull as a rally car along the yet to be tarmacked circuit. I guess an F1 car has never had a ride height as high!

    So out of all the new/ish meetings, India by a country mile is the best so congrats to all involved in giving a thrilling event.

    However results were not quite as thrilling. Another pole to win race for Seb which has now given him the record for most laps lead. Impressive indeed with so many more years for the young lad to race to come. I’m not sure Michael Schumacher’s seven titles will ever be beaten, but the rest are achievable for the young fellow German.

    Given its a new track built on sand, it was surprisingly grippy, but despite this, plenty of contact was to be had. Thankfully no silly penalties were handed out until, yet again the Massa Vs Lewis battle rose it’s head again. This time, despite everyone thinking Lewis would yet again get royally screwed, it was (quite rightly) Massa who got a slap. He clearly saw Lewis’ position, and despite Lewis backing off slightly to give him room, Massa backed off also the just turned in on Lewis. So thanks God we got justice this time and hopefully Massa will learn that he’s turning into complete cock. Sorry, but despite the close finish back in 2008, Massa has never been as good as he can be, even less so since his horrific accident which threatened his life and career. Living in the shadow of Alonso clearly doesn’t sit well with him. But Christ, imagine if he was Rubens with Schuey as his team mate?!

    But hey ho, such is life at Formula 1.

    I enjoyed India immensely and it’s great to such passion from the roots and not all flash and pompousness that we get from Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. It may have it’s controversy on how it all got made and where the money came from or who’s pockets it went into. But if it’s always full and doesn’t price out the real fans from wherever they come from, India has proven they could do it with enough money floating around to make Bernie happy to be there year on year.

  9. After such a troublesome couple of weeks for motor sport, it was good to see everyone so dedicated to give time for Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli. I’m not really an Indy fan given the the state of the sport is in atm, but did know of Dan. Ignoring the issues drivers had with the speed being far too high, I hope the organisers pay more attention to the teams and I’m sure the public will want a change or at least some sort of speed restriction where necessary.

    Thankfully F1 has seen a massive push for safety and while nothing is 100% safe, I think F1 does get a great rep for it’s safety. While everyone wants uber fast cars, we don’t want all our racing hero’s to die, so the mix F1 has is juts about perfect at the moment.

    Bikes on the other hand are a whole different beast. Technology on clothing is every expanding, but how much farther they can go I’m not sure. Other than that, what can you do? Not a great deal so riders like Marco Simoncelli will always be taking the greater risk and my respect will never dwindle for what they do.

  10. Thanks for the comment invisiblekid. I agree on the incident between Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton. I’ve lost count on the number of occasion the pair had collided into one another this season. Both are being beaten on pure speed and consistency by their fellow team-mates and number one drivers at Ferrari and McLaren respectively. Massa and Hamilton need to step up their performance against Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button in the remaining two races.

    The penalty for Massa was justified as he should had backed off and allow Hamilton through into Turn 5. The various television replays show the Brazilian was looking in his mirrors, so he was fully aware that the McLaren was coming through. Lewis had the inside line and was nearly alongside the Ferrari, and you would have expect the passed driver to give way. But no! Massa turned towards the apex and contact was made.

    I love the expression on Rowan Atkinson’s face and here is a reminder – That clash was the only highlight in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

    As for the track, I’ve ‘driven’ it thanks to Codemasters’ excellent F1 2011 video game and it does have a nice flow to it. The drivers seem enthusiastic and enjoy the challenge, more so than Sebastian Vettel, who led all sixty laps of the race!

    I’m so impressed by Sebastian. After winning the world championship in Suzuka, he hasn’t backed off his efforts and to win two races after sealing the title in Japan is just fantastic. Not surprised to see him break new records in qualifying and most laps led.

  11. Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa’s team bosses say they will not interfere in the ongoing situation between the two drivers, despite yet another collision in the Indian Grand Prix.

    With the duo having already been involved in five incidents this year, Massa and Hamilton came to blows again at the Buddh International Circuit as they battled for position – with the Brazilian being handed a drive-through penalty for his part in the crash.

    The history between the two drivers has prompted fears of the rivalry getting out of control, but McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh and Ferrari chief Stefano Domenicali have insisted that they do not need to get involved to stop matters escalating further.

    Whitmarsh said: “They’re young drivers but they’re not that young. They’re men They’ve got to figure it out for themselves. It would be nice if we got a situation where they’re not drawn together magnetically on the circuit and we didn’t have those incidents.

    “I have discussed it with Ferrari but I think it’s got to come from in them. This is not the time. If I arranged for the two of them to shake hands outside the garage to shake hands you would all take a picture and have a laugh about it.

    “They have to sort that out between themselves. I think underneath it all they’ve got a certain amount of respect but it’s one of those years where they’ve been coming together too frequently. I think Felipe is under enormous pressure within that team and that causes him to react.

    “In truth Lewis will be feeling under pressure because of the great performance of Jenson at the moment. They are both young quick drivers and hopefully they will remain stars of Formula 1 for many years. They’re going to be around racing each other for many years so they’ve got to sort it out themselves.

    “But a staged handshake? A conciliatory gesture outside the garage at the next Grand Prix? You don’t want that, unless it’s to take the Mickey out of it. They’ve got to sort themselves out.”

    Domenicali added: “We can sit down together and play cards but it will not solve the issue. One thing that is crucial in my view is that we need to make sure there is a coherent approach from the stewards about things that happen on the track. There is a lot of discussion about that.

    “We cannot avoid the fact there were a lot of kisses between them on the track. We cannot have these things being bigger than they are because they will be on the mind of the drivers which is not good. It will be solved by what I said before and a little bit of time.”

    When asked about Hamilton’s attempt to settle matters with Massa before the race by putting him arm around him, which he claims was snubbed, Domenicali said: “You will recall that Felipe went to see him in Singapore, and Lewis decided to do other stuff.

    “Felipe showed that he wanted to speak with him. That’s a fact. But we need to overcome this issue and solve it because it is not good for anyone.”

    When asked about his view on the incident between Massa and Hamilton, Domenicali said: “As you know I always say that I respect the decision of the referee but I was surprised when I saw that decision.

    “When I saw that Felipe was in front at the apex of the corner our reasoning was that he had the line to get the corner. I felt surprised. You may have a different opinion but it is what I feel.”


  12. After finishing on the podium by race winner Sebastian Vettel and runner-up driver Jenson Button, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso admits finishing second in this year’s world championship will be hard. has the details.

    Fernando Alonso admits it will be very hard to take second place in the drivers’ championship despite finishing on the podium in India.

    The Ferrari driver secured third place behind Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button, the Briton increasing his gap over Alonso to 13 points with just two races left.

    Although the gap is not that big, Alonso says he is aware Ferrari is currently slower than Red Bull and McLaren, which is why he reckons it will be hard to overtake Button.

    The two-time champion was nonetheless delighted with today’s result.

    “It’s nice to jump on the podium for India’s debut in Formula 1 and I’m pleased to have a new trophy to take home,” said Alonso.

    “After this race, second place in the drivers’ championship is still possible, but it will be very difficult because McLaren is on great form at the moment, even if the gap is only 13 points. We are aware that on paper, we are behind the two Red Bulls and two McLarens: then, if something unusual happens, we can make it to the podium.

    “Today, the team was fantastic, managing to fix a problem on the front wing which was only identified twenty minutes before the start. At the start, I did not get away particularly well and so Button was able to pass me.

    “Then I tried to stay close to Webber and when he slowed down a bit, I closed right up and, staying out on track a few laps longer than him, I was able to get ahead of him. Being patient paid off.”

    The Spanish driver admitted it had been a day of mixed emotions for him too following the deaths of Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli.

    “Today was a special day, full of contrasting emotions. In fact, the satisfaction at getting a podium finish cannot cancel out the sadness which has been with us for several days, because of the deaths of two of our colleagues, two special people – Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli.”

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