Vettel achieves his fourth Formula 1 title with dominant win in India

Sebastian Vettel became the youngest four-time Formula 1 world champion after taking the chequered flag in style at the Indian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull Racing driver converted his pole position into the lead at the first corner at the Buddh International Circuit and despite the differences in tyre strategy, the defending world champion was on fine form to race against his rivals.

Vettel started on Pirelli’s soft tyres and was the first driver into the pits for the medium compound at the end of the second lap.

Once Felipe Massa’s Ferrari and the Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had got rid of their softs, Mark Webber was left in front while the German battled through the pack.

A combination of passing moves and pitstops for others quickly moved Vettel up from P18 to fifth. Despite being in traffic, he cut an 18-second deficit to his Red Bull team-mate to 11-second by the time the Australian made his first stop on lap 28.

By that point Vettel had passed Romain Grosjean’s Lotus, his future team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren’s Sergio Perez, meaning he retook the lead at this point.

Both Red Bull drivers made their final stops by lap 33, with the team adopting a similar, short-stint strategy on softs for Webber.

Webber’s 11-second deficit to Vettel before those final stops became one of more than 13-second after them, leading to the team instructing the German to ease his pace and protect his tyres.

It became irrelevant after ten laps when Webber was forced to retired from second position after suffering an alternator problem.

Webber’s misfortune promoted Kimi Raikkonen to second place, the Lotus driver attempting to make it to the finish with a 52-lap stint on medium Pirellis.

But The Iceman could not hold off the two-stopping Rosberg, who used his DRS to ease into second with eight laps to the flag. He finished 29-second behind Vettel as Red Bull clinched the constructors’ title.

Raikkonen’s pace during the final few laps was over a second slower than those chasing him, including his team-mate Grosjean, whose rubber was 46 laps old by the end.

The Frenchman, who started in P17, pulled onto Raikkonen’s tail with four laps to go and passed the Finn for third at the exit of Turn 4, only to cede back the place immediately to avoid a penalty.

Raikkonen let Grosjean by further around the lap to allow him to finish on the podium for a third consecutive race. He was then passed by Massa for fourth as they crossed the start/finish line seconds later.

The battling Hamilton and Perez were with Raikkonen a lap-and-a-half later, Perez using his DRS and KERS to pass both down the back straight and take fifth – his best result since joining McLaren last winter.

Raikkonen, who lost sixth to Hamilton during the same move, pitted for fresh rubber with just two laps to the end, but was able to remain ahead of Paul di Resta and set the race’s fastest lap.

Di Resta and Adrian Sutil made it two Force Indias in the points with Ricciardo completing the top ten.

Fernando Alonso, the only driver who arrived in India with a chance of denying Vettel the title, had a race fraught with incidents.

He stopped early for tyres and a new front wing after clipping Webber’s rear wing and damaging his nosecone at the exit of the Turn 1, and then banged wheels with Jenson Button two corners later.

The Ferrari driver spent his entire race in the midfield and finished P11 after stopping three times. And battling with Ricciardo, Pastor Maldonado and Button late on.

Nico Hulkenberg drove strongly all weekend and was on course for eighth when he pitted near the end with a problem with the floor of his Sauber. He retired with three laps left.

So, a remarkable victory for the 26-year-old German. Sebastian Vettel is now the sport’s youngest four-time world champion and joins the list of greats of achieving the ultimate prize.

Red Bull Racing also won the constructors’ title for the fourth consecutive season. With both championships done, the driver and team can now enjoy themselves in the remaining three races of the 2013 season.

Indian Grand Prix race results after 60 laps:

1.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault           1h31:12.187
2.  Rosberg        Mercedes                   +29.823
3.  Grosjean       Lotus-Renault              +39.892
4.  Massa          Ferrari                    +41.692
5.  Perez          McLaren-Mercedes           +43.829
6.  Hamilton       Mercedes                   +52.475
7.  Raikkonen      Lotus-Renault              +1:07.988
8.  Di Resta       Force India-Mercedes       +1:12.868
9.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes       +1:14.734
10.  Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1:16.237
11.  Alonso         Ferrari                    +1:18.297
12.  Maldonado      Williams-Renault           +1:18.951
13.  Vergne         Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1 lap
14.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes           +1 lap
15.  Gutierrez      Sauber-Ferrari             +1 lap
16.  Bottas         Williams-Renault           +1 lap
17.  Chilton        Marussia-Cosworth          +2 laps
18.  Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth          +2 laps
19.  Hulkenberg     Sauber-Ferrari             +6 laps

Fastest lap: Raikkonen, 1:27.679

Not classified/retirements:

Webber         Red Bull-Renault             40 laps
Pic            Caterham-Renault             36 laps
van der Garde  Caterham-Renault             2 laps

World Championship standings, round 16:

1.  Vettel        322
2.  Alonso        207
3.  Raikkonen     183
4.  Hamilton      159
5.  Webber        148
6.  Rosberg       144
7.  Massa         102
8.  Grosjean      102
9.  Button         60
10.  Hulkenberg     49
11.  Di Resta       40
12.  Perez          33
13.  Sutil          28
14.  Ricciardo      19
15.  Vergne         13
16.  Gutierrez       6
17.  Maldonado       1

1.  Red Bull-Renault          470
2.  Ferrari                   309
3.  Mercedes                  303
4.  Lotus-Renault             285
5.  McLaren-Mercedes           93
6.  Force India-Mercedes       68
7.  Sauber-Ferrari             55
8.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         32
9.  Williams-Renault            1

Next race: Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina. November 1-3.

15 thoughts to “Vettel achieves his fourth Formula 1 title with dominant win in India”

  1. After winning the Formula 1 title for the fourth time, Sebastian Vettel has admitted he was left feeling speechless. has the news story.

    Sebastian Vettel said clinching his fourth consecutive Formula 1 world championship left him speechless, as he wrapped up the 2013 crown with Indian Grand Prix victory.

    Vettel’s win at Buddh was his sixth grand prix victory in a row.

    The Red Bull man has not been defeated since the Hungarian GP before the summer break.

    “I’m speechless. I crossed the line and I was empty,” said Vettel.

    “I took ages to think of something to say, and it’s one of those moments you wish to say so many things but you can’t.

    “It’s a pleasure to jump in the car and go out for the guys and give it all I have.

    “The car was phenomenal today, it was phenomenal all season. I couldn’t ask for more.”

    Vettel launched into a series of celebratory donuts on the main straight after the race, and admitted this gesture was unplanned.

    “I hadn’t really thought about it,” he said.

    “Rocky [Guillaume Roquelin] my engineer called for the usual procedure and I thought ‘not this time’.

    “There are so many people in the main grandstand, I had to do it.

    “Usually we are not allowed to but it felt so right.”

    The German said the championship and the reception in India were particularly rewarding given the perception that Red Bull had had a dominant car and the heckling he received on some podiums this year.

    “It was not an easy season for sure, even though people from the outside got the idea that we had it in our hands for the last couple of races,” said Vettel.

    “It was very difficult for me personally to receive boos even though I hadn’t done anything wrong.

    “To overcome that and give the right answer on the track and finally get the acceptance I think we are all looking for as racing drivers makes me very proud.”

  2. As for his championship rival Fernando Alonso, the Ferrari driver had a difficult race with a damaged car. has the details.

    Fernando Alonso said he was left struggling with a damaged Ferrari for the whole Indian Grand Prix after his first-lap incidents.

    The double world champion had to finish first or second to have any hope of further delaying Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 Formula 1 coronation.

    But instead Alonso was left 11th following first-lap clashes with Mark Webber and Jenson Button, while Vettel dominated.

    “Obviously it was not a clean start,” said Alonso, who clipped Webber’s Red Bull after it banged wheels with Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus at Turn 1.

    “I was a bit unlucky because I think Mark was also having contact with someone and the third part of that equation was me. And I had a battle in corner four as well [with Jenson Button].

    “The race was uphill from that moment as we were last with one stop already done.

    “It was damaged in the front because the steering was very heavy in the right corners and very light to the left.”

    Alonso said there was no doubt that Vettel and Red Bull were deserving 2013 F1 champions, and just hoped he and Ferrari could be closer next season.

    “I congratulate him,” he said. “They’ve been very strong, very dominant, especially in the second half of the season, so they deserve to be champions.

    “We need to start thinking for next year and try to make things more difficult for him.”

    Ferrari is now four points behind Mercedes in the battle for second in the constructors’ standings.

    “I think overall the weekend was not good enough and in Abu Dhabi we have to improve if we want to pass Mercedes in the constructors’ championship,” said Alonso.

  3. Despite starting way down in P17, Lotus driver Romain Grosjean recorded a third place finish at the Indian Grand Prix. has the story.

    Romain Grosjean said he would not have even bet a peanut on managing to get an Indian Grand Prix podium from 17th on the grid.

    Lotus and Grosjean miscalculated in Q1 and thought they could progress without using soft tyres, a strategy that appeared set to ruin his Buddh weekend and end his run of podiums.

    But Grosjean was able to use a one-stop strategy to come through to third position.

    “Starting 17th I had no big hopes,” he said. “The best strategy on the computer gave me P4.

    “I would not have bet a peanut on being third.

    “The car came back to how it was on Friday.”

    After one tactical gamble failed in qualifying, Grosjean said playing safer in the race would have been pointless.

    “The race pace was great and we did a very brave strategy – as we did yesterday,” he said.

    “It was not the time to go safe. It paid off, we’re back on the podium.”

    Grosjean sealed third with a late move on Lotus team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who was struggling on fading tyres having run a different strategy.

    On the first attempt Grosjean gave the place back again having gone off-track to complete the move when eased wide.

    Lotus and Raikkonen exchanged harsh words on the radio before the Finn moved aside for his team-mate.

    Grosjean said the row did not matter in the end as it had not cost him his podium.

    “Kimi was in a difficult situation and I went for the outside and he didn’t see at that point,” said Grosjean.

    “I knew I had to be careful with my engine and knew [Felipe] Massa had much fresher tyres behind.

    “I lost a little bit of time, but never mind.

    “The good point is we are on the podium, we scored good points and we still have a very good car for the upcoming races.”

  4. This was a much more promising race from Sergio Perez, who managed to finish in fifth. Hopefully this result will proved his worth to the team. has the news story.

    Sergio Perez believes his performance in the Indian Grand Prix should show McLaren that he is the man they need for the future.

    The Mexican, who is still fighting to keep his seat for 2014, finished the race in fifth position, his best result of the season.

    Perez says that performing under the pressure he is under shows that he is ready for great things.

    “Finally we had a race without any bad luck like we had in the last two or three races, where we should have finished in a similar position,” said Perez, whose previous best result with McLaren had been a sixth place.

    “There’s no question that I have a lot of pressure and only great champions can perform with a lot of pressure. So I think that’s a good sign.

    “It is really good. We have three races to go and hopefully we can keep it up.”

    The McLaren driver admitted it was fantastic to overtake both Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton with the same move during the race.

    “It was, really,” he said. “Then I was just trying to keep Lewis behind and I managed to do it.”

    Team-mate Jenson Button had a day to forget after being hit by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso during the opening lap.

    The Briton was running out of the points before pulling out of the race with one lap to go.

    “I got hit on the first lap quite hard by Fernando and I had a puncture from it,” said Button.

    “The problem was I was on the medium tyre, which is the one you need to run long on. It destroyed that.

    “I had two pitstops by lap 16 or something. It wasn’t a very good afternoon.”

  5. As for Kimi Raikkonen, his race performance was hurt by overheating brakes in the Lotus. has the details.

    Kimi Raikkonen said his Indian Grand Prix was hampered throughout by overheating brakes, even before his tyres faded.

    A one-stop strategy brought the Finn up to third in the closing stages despite his issues.

    But after losing three positions in quick succession, he made a late pitstop for fresh tyres and finished seventh.

    “I did the first 20 laps with hardly any brakes on the car,” he said.

    “They overheated massively and every time I got close to somebody I lost the brakes.

    “In the end we lost the tyres too. It’s very disappointing.”

    Raikkonen and his Lotus team had a blunt radio exchange as his team-mate Romain Grosjean closed in on him late on.

    After resisting Grosjean’s first passing attempt, Raikkonen eased off and let him pass.

    “It’s normal to move out of the way, but you can’t do it in a fast corner,” he said when quizzed about the argument.

  6. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has commented that this was a “pretty poor” race from himself, especially when compared to his team-mate Nico Rosberg, who finished in second place. has the details.

    Lewis Hamilton conceded his Indian Grand Prix was “pretty poor” after finishing sixth on a day when his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg took second.

    Hamilton was 23 seconds behind Rosberg at the finish, saying he destroyed his tyres while trapped behind Felipe Massa’s slower Ferrari.

    “It’s good we got some points, but [the problem] was the strategy,” said Hamilton.

    “It was so hard to pass the Ferrari.

    “I just tried to hang in there and tried to get past, but destroyed the tyres.

    “A pretty poor race for myself, but it’s OK, these things happen.

    “It was unfortunate but we’ve got more races ahead of us.”

    Rosberg admitted that getting past Massa in the first pitstops was critical to his runner-up finish.

    “The start was a bit difficult dropping behind Massa,” said the German.

    “He was definitely slower.

    “I tried to pass him one lap and he got it back. The team did a fantastic strategy to get past him.

    “It was important to have a normal weekend, get a lot of points and now we’ve giving Ferrari a run for their money in the constructors’.”

  7. Germany’s Sebastian Vettel won his fourth Formula One title in a row for Red Bull at the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday, becoming the sport’s youngest quadruple champion at the age of 26.

    Vettel is only the third driver to win four successive championships, after compatriot Michael Schumacher and the late Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio.

    Only four drivers have ever won four titles – Fangio, Schumacher, Frenchman Alain Prost and now Vettel.

    The following are some key facts about the champion:


    * Vettel was born in Heppenheim, a town surrounded by vineyards between Heidelberg and Darmstadt, on July 3, 1987. He started out racing karts at the age of eight.

    * The German won 18 of 20 races in the 2004 German Formula BMW championship. The following year he was top rookie in the Formula Three Euroseries, won by Britain’s Lewis Hamilton.

    * He became the youngest driver to take part in a grand prix weekend when he drove for BMW-Sauber in Friday practice in Turkey in 2006, aged 19 and 53 days.


    * In 2007 Vettel made his Formula One race debut with BMW-Sauber at Indianapolis, replacing the injured Robert Kubica, and finished eighth – making him the youngest F1 driver to score a point aged 19 and 349 days.

    * Vettel started seven races with Toro Rosso in 2007 and all of the 2008 season, when he set more records. His win at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza from pole position made him the youngest driver to start on pole (21 years and 72 days) and youngest ever winner (21 years and 73 days).

    * He switched to Red Bull for 2009 and took the team’s first victory at the Chinese Grand Prix, where he also handed Red Bull a first pole and led their first one-two finish. He ended that season as overall runner-up to Briton Jenson Button.


    * In 2010, he became Formula One’s youngest champion at the age of 23 and 135 days. The previous youngest was Hamilton in 2008, aged 23 and 301 days. Vettel is Germany’s second F1 world champion, after Schumacher. He was nicknamed ‘Baby Schumi’ in his early days.

    * In 2011 he won 11 grands prix with a record 15 poles, celebrating most victories with a raised index finger to indicate his status as number one.

    * Known as a bit of a joker, with a love of British humour and the Beatles, Vettel has no manager but is close to Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone and occasionally plays backgammon with him. He lives in Switzerland.

    * Vettel showed a more controversial side to his character when he passed Australian team mate Mark Webber to win this year’s Malaysian Grand Prix despite being told not to. The incident left the two barely on speaking terms.

    * Vettel has also been booed on the podium, notably at Monza and Singapore. Hamilton said some fans were finding his domination boring.

    Source: Reuters

  8. How Sebastian Vettel has joined the list of Formula 1 greats after his Indian Grand Prix win. News story from Reuters.

    Germany’s Sebastian Vettel roared into the record books as Formula One’s youngest four-times world champion after winning the Indian Grand Prix for the third year in a row on Sunday.

    The 26-year-old’s Red Bull team also took the constructors’ world championship for the fourth successive year.

    “You’ve done it in style,” Red Bull principal Christian Horner shouted over the team radio as Vettel took the chequered flag with a massive 29.8-second lead over compatriot Nico Rosberg for Mercedes.

    “Brilliant drive. You join the greats, mate. You’re up there.”

    The victory from pole position was Vettel’s sixth in a row and completed a hat-trick in India where no other driver has won since the race made its debut on the calendar in 2011.

    Vettel becames the fourth quadruple champion and only the third driver to land four titles in a row after Germany’s seven-times winner Michael Schumacher and the late Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio.

    The German celebrated by adding some tyre smoke to the haze hanging over the Buddh International circuit, slowing the car on the pit straight and then spinning it around with some ‘donuts’ for the fans.

    He got out, standing up on the car before crouching to kiss the front in a gesture of worship. Throwing his gloves into the grandstand, Vettel clambered over the pitwall to embrace Horner and designer Adrian Newey.

    “How do I feel? I’m overwhelmed. One of the best days of my life so far,” he said in a podium interview alongside Rosberg and third-placed Frenchman Romain Grosjean who had roared through from 17th on the grid for Lotus.

    “I am speechless and I was empty when I crossed the line. I spent ages thinking what to say, there is so much you want to say at a time like that.


    “It has not been an easy season. From the outside people will think it was easy but it wasn’t. It has been hard for me in particular to be booed when I have not done anything wrong,” added Vettel.

    The boos that marked some of his earlier wins were absent on Sunday, with the German’s title a foregone conclusion and the crowd happy to witness history in the making.

    He had led Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, the only man who could put his celebrations on hold, by 90 points before the start with three races remaining – worth a maximum 75 – after India.

    Vettel now has 322 to Alonso’s 207.

    Alonso needed to finish in the top two but his hopes evaporated at the start when he tagged the rear of the Red Bull driven by Vettel’s team mate, Australian Mark Webber, and had to pit for a new front wing before rejoining the race in 20th place.

    The Spaniard finished out of the points in 11th spot while Webber, who led for much of the early part of the race after starting on the longer-lasting medium tyre, retired on lap 40 with an alternator problem.

    “I still have a smile on my face, there’s nothing more I could do today,” said Webber.

    Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finished fourth with Mexican Sergio Perez fifth for McLaren in his best result of the year.

  9. Mark Webber insisted he had no complaints about Red Bull’s Indian Grand Prix strategy even though he was poised to lose out to team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

    The two Red Bull cars deployed divergent tactics at Buddh on a weekend when the soft tyres faded very quickly but the mediums had great longevity.

    While Vettel qualified and started on softs, but shed them for mediums as early as lap two, Webber used mediums in his first and third stints, with just four laps on softs mid-race in between.

    Vettel’s route proved more successful as despite falling into the midfield following his lap-two stop, he was in front once Webber had made his last switch back to mediums.

    Webber denied that he might have been better off sticking with medium tyres for most of the race before making a very late swap to softs.

    “You’ve got to protect against a safety car as well,” he said.

    “You’ve got to run the softs for a few laps, which we did.

    “If you put primes [mediums] on again [after the first stop], you’re a little bit exposed to the safety car and it could get tricky.”

    The Australian ultimately retired with an alternator failure while running second.

    “In the end I still have a smile on my face,” he said. “I couldn’t do any more today.”


  10. Lotus will discuss their intra-team battle involving Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen. has the story.

    Lotus will hold talks with its drivers in Abu Dhabi having admitted it expected Kimi Raikkonen to make life easier for his team-mate Romain Grosjean in their Indian Grand Prix battle.

    Grosjean’s tyres were in much better shape as he gained on Raikkonen by two seconds per lap in the closing stages as they fought for third.

    The Frenchman was held out wide in his first passing bid, leading to a profanity-laced radio exchange in which the team urged Raikkonen to “get out of the way” while the Finn objected to being “shouted at” in fast corners. He subsequently moved aside.

    Asked if Raikkonen should have moved aside immediately, team boss Eric Boullier replied: “They are free to race each other.

    “It’s true that we maybe expected a little bit of an easier manoeuvre, let’s say.

    “You are never happy when you see both cars fighting and one car going off so you just make sure everything is going in the team interest.”

    Boullier believes the team now needs to sit down with the duo to discuss the situation.

    “I’m going to speak to both of them in Abu Dhabi,” he said.

    “We are working for these guys to deliver, but there is a team behind them and you always have to think about the team.

    “If Kimi’s tyres would not have dropped off he would have been on the podium. We let them race, which is normal, but the tyres dropped off and we tried to save the maximum number of points for Kimi.

    “We had the fear of the tyres dropping off for Romain. We had an engine issue as well when we had to switch off everything to make sure the engine would last to the end.

    “There was a lot of stress behind which is not always easy to manage.”

    Though Boullier said he understood Raikkonen’s stance, he thought the situation in India should have been handled better.

    “Kimi is a competitor. He is racing everybody and I can understand this,” said Boullier.

    “But when you are racing in certain conditions, you are racing and I am fine with that. When the tyres are dropping off and you are two seconds off the pace against your team-mate you try not to make a drama of this.”

  11. After winning the race, Sebastian Vettel performed some donuts on the main start/finish straight as a celebration in winning the championship. But he has been called up to the FIA… has the details.

    Sebastian Vettel has been summoned by the FIA to explain why he celebrated in front of fans at the Indian Grand Prix rather than taking his car straight to parc ferme.

    The German’s victory at the Buddh circuit was enough for him to clinch his fourth consecutive Formula 1 title.

    Clearly emotional over his success, he elected not to head to the pits and instead performed some donuts with his Red Bull car on the main start-finish straight.

    With his actions being a breach of the regulations, Vettel and a member of the Red Bull team were asked to explain – although it is highly unlikely he will face any sanction.

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner said he would be extremely disappointed if there was anything more than a talking to handed out.

    “I would think he will probably get his knuckles rapped for it,” said Horner. “I would be disappointed if he did [get punished] because to win a world championship and to show a bit of exuberance in front of a crowd like that, it is great for Formula 1.

    “It is great for the show – and it will be a great pity to see that kind of thing subdued or penalised. But hopefully that won’t happen.”

  12. Felipe Massa believes Sebastian Vettel is now ranked at the same level as Ayrton Senna after racking up four consecutive world championships.

    Vettel has joined Michael Schumacher, Juan Manuel Fangio and Alain Prost as the only drivers to have won four drivers’ titles by winning the Indian Grand Prix.

    Massa, who came within a point of winning the world championship in 2008, believes there is longer any doubt that the German is an all-time great.

    “Today, he signed his name as one of the best Formula 1 drivers in history together with Senna, together with Schumacher, together with other drivers who are all the time at the top,” said Massa.

    “I’m very happy for him [as after] everything he did in his career he deserved it. He is a fantastic driver.”

    Massa’s Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso, who was the only driver who could have prevented Vettel clinching the title in the Indian GP, has congratulated his title rival.

    He stressed that his focus is now on mounting a more serious challenge to the Red Bull ace next year.

    “I congratulate Sebastian,” said Alonso. “He’s had a very, very strong season dominating especially the second part of the year with many wins, so well done to him and the team.

    “Hopefully next year, we can make things a little bit more difficult than next year.”

    Alonso added that it is not possible to come up with a definitive answer as to how to rank the great drivers of F1 and that numbers alone only tell part of the story.

    He believes it is up to individuals to decide who the greats of the sport are.

    “Many people think Ayrton was the best in history, he had only three championships compared to people that had more,” said Alonso.

    “Some people think that Michael is the greatest if you look at the numbers he should be the best one because he has 91 victories and seven titles.

    “This is nothing we can discuss, there will always be many different opinions and this is the good thing about the sport.”


  13. his is unbelievable. After performing some donuts as a celebration in winning the championship, Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing has been reprimanded from the race stewards. has the details.

    Sebastian Vettel was reprimanded and his Red Bull team fined 25,000 Euro for his post-race title celebrations at the Indian Grand Prix.

    The four-time champion elected not to proceed directly to parc ferme as required by the regulations, and instead drove on to the start-finish straight to make clear his delight at his latest success.

    He performed a series of donuts before climbing out of the car, kneeling in front of it and them climbing up the catch fencing to throw his gloves in to the crowd.

    Having been summoned to see the race stewards to explain his actions, it was decided that the German should be reprimanded and his team fined.

    A statement issued by the stewards said: “The driver failed to proceed directly to the post race parc ferme as detailed under article 43.3 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.

    “Due to the special circumstances the Stewards accepted the explanation of the driver.

    “The team failed to instruct the driver sufficiently to return directly to post race parc ferme.”

  14. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso congratulated Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel on his fourth successive Formula One world title on Sunday but reserved judgement on where the German stood among the greats.

    Alonso saw his faint chances of keeping the championship battle alive evaporate when Vettel completed an Indian Grand Prix hat-trick to become Formula One’s youngest quadruple champion.

    “Congratulations to Sebastian. Obviously a very, very strong season, dominating specially the second part of the year with many many wins. Well done to him and to the team,” Alonso, who finished 11th, told reporters.

    “Hopefully next year we can make things more difficult.”

    Alonso went into Sunday’s race trailing Vettel by 90 points and the German sealed the championship with the ruthlessness that has become the hallmark of his sustained domination in the past four years.

    The 26-year-old’s success has left many wondering if Vettel might be the greatest modern Formula One driver but numbers alone would not convince Alonso, who is widely regarded as the sport’s most complete driver even if his car is currently inferior.

    “Different opinions for different people and all of them we need to respect,” Alonso said.

    “Many people think Ayrton (Senna) was the best ever. He won only three championships, compared to people who have won more.

    “Some people think Michael (Schumacher) is the greatest. If you see the numbers, he should be the best because he has 91 victories, seven titles.

    “His (Vettel’s) driving performance is big with numbers, being four-times champion. In 2011, I remember him winning 14 or 15 races, this year he will win, I don’t know many. Now it’s 10, he will win maybe 13 races.”

    Alonso would not hazard a guess whether he, given an equally fast car, could beat Vettel and preferred to focus on mounting a stiffer challenge next year.

    “I’m not here to guess…today is the day to congratulate him and for him to enjoy the championship and it’s the day for us to start working even harder.

    “They have been very strong, dominating for the last four years. We need to do something better than what we did in the last four years because it’s clear that it’s not enough. So we will start immediately.”

    For the time being, Alonso was happy trying to ensure Ferrari finished second in the constructor’s championship after being overtaken by Mercedes.

    “For me, it makes a difference to have the team happy. They, at the end of the month, pay me…you need to make happy (the person) who gives you food,” he said.


  15. Following the retirement of Mark Webber, which turned out to be an alternator, the team were concerned that Sebastian Vettel might not finish the race. has the news story.

    Red Bull was genuinely concerned Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 Formula 1 title celebrations were going to be dampened by a car failure in the Indian Grand Prix.

    With Mark Webber’s hopes of a podium finish dashed when he stopped on lap 40 with an alternator problem, Red Bull got worried that Vettel was also going to get forced out.

    Team boss Christian Horner revealed after the race that a faulty sensor from Vettel’s car had indicated that there could be similar problems – which is why the team started winding down systems on the RB9 to protect its alternator.

    “After the failure on Mark’s car which was sudden, there was no reason to expect that it would not happen on the other car,” said Horner.

    “Immediately we tried to reduce the amount of draw on the alternator as much as possible – which included even turning off the KERS in the end.

    “There was then a problem with the sensor on the alternator which gave us even more heart in mouth moments.

    “But in the meantime, Sebastian is lighting up the timing screen with purple sectors, so there were some heart-stopping moments in there.

    “But thankfully the car got to the end and Sebastian did what he needed to. It was just tremendously cruel luck not to have Mark right up there as well.”

    Even if Vettel had retired, though, he would still have been world champion as title rival Fernando Alonso failed to score a point.

    Webber’s retirement from the race once again highlighted the cruel luck that the Australian has had in his Red Bull years with reliability, but Horner was adamant there was no tangible explanation for his issues.

    “If you statistically look at the time the two drivers [Webber and Vettel] have been in the car together, they have had an equal amount of issues and failures,” said Horner.

    “Look at the KERS issue on Seb’s car in qualifying in Japan a couple of weeks ago. There is no reason to it.

    “It was just tremendously bad luck for Mark today and, until Renault get the engine back, it is impossible to know what has caused it.”

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