Vettel extends his F1 domination in Indian Grand Prix

2011 Indian Grand Prix review

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Sebastian Vettel had the Indian Grand Prix under control from the first lap of the race and took his 11th win of the season.

He was never threatened by Jenson Button, who finished second, while Mark Webber slipped to fourth behind Fernando Alonso.

Alonso had lost ground at the start as he ran wide at the first corner, falling behind Button. As they came onto the long back straight Button lined up Webber and took second place.

Behind them several cars had made contact: Rubens Barrichello lost his front wing at the first corner and ran wide, pushing Kamui Kobayashi off.

The Sauber driver drove into the path of Timo Glock when he returned to the track. The pair made contact, which ultimately put both out.

As they reached turn three Narain Karthikeyan hit Jarno Trulli, tipping the Lotus into a spin, but both continued.

Vettel set about extending his customary advantage at the start. Webber had a couple of looks at Button in the DRS zone, enough to force the McLaren driver to defend, but not enough to make a pass.

Behind them were the two Ferraris, Felipe Massa having passed Lewis Hamilton off the line.

The two Mercedes were next, Michael Schumacher behind Nico Rosberg. Like Vettel in Korea, Schumacher had avoided using his KERS when the lights went out, using it all on the long back straight, and moving up to eighth.

Adrian Sutil and Bruno Senna were behind them but they soon came under attack from the Toro Rossos. Using their superior straight line speed and the added boost of the DRS zone, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi both moved ahead. Senna complained his KERS wasn’t working as he fell back into the clutches of Pastor Maldonado.

By lap 17 Vettel’s lead had stabilised at just over four seconds. Webber, Alonso and Hamilton pitted together shortly after. Vettel and Button stayed out the next time by but Massa did come in.

Massa and Hamilton clash again

On lap 24 Massa made a slight mistake at turn one and suddenly Hamilton was all over him. On the next lap Hamilton had a run at the Ferrari going into turn five.

Massa moved to defend his position but Hamilton was able to get down the inside of the Ferrari. Massa turned in, and contact was as inevitable as it was avoidable.

The stewards concluded Massa had caused the latest collision between the two and handed him a drive-through penalty. Hamilton had to pit for a new front wing.

Massa’a race quickly went off the rails as he had to switch to the unfavourable hard tyres – a legacy of having lost a set of softs during his qualifying crash. The vibrating front wing from practice made a reappearance and shortly afterwards he was out of the race.

Heading into turn nine Massa hid the kerb on the inside and suffered a repeat of his suspension failure from qualifying. The visibly unhappy Ferrari driver stalked back to the pits.

None of this troubled Vettel who was troubled only by the occasional dawdling backmarker on his way to victory. Button closed on him during the pit stops, Vettel pitting after the McLaren driver on their two visits, but was always able to re-establish his lead.

Alonso closed on Webber during the second stint and the Red Bull driver made an early switch to hard tyres, hoping to preserve his advantage. It didn’t work: Alonso came out of his final pit stop back in front of the Red Bull driver.

Schumacher jumps past Rosberg

The Mercedes drivers also traded places at the final round of pit stops. Schumacher stayed out longer on the soft tyres to jump ahead of his team mate and claim fifth.

Hamilton progressed no further than seventh, complaining of understeer in his McLaren after the contact with Massa. Alguersuari claimed eighth for Toro Rosso but his team mate retired halfway through.

Senna ran in the points towards the end of the race but it was an illusion – he hadn’t made his mandatory switch to hard tyres and once he did he slipped to 12th.

That promoted Sutil and Sergio Perez. The latter used the opposite strategy to Senna, starting the race on hard tyres and getting rid of them early, going on to claim the final point.

Vitaly Petrov did likewise and had a couple of scruffy off-track moment on his way to 11th. Paul di Resta was another driver who started the race on hard tyres, hoping for an early safety car period which never happened. He finished 13th.

The Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen was 14th having run as high as tenth during the race. He finished ahead of the delayed Barrichello.

Behind Jerome d’Ambrosio, Narain Karthikyean brought his HRT home ahead of team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who made an extra pit stop late in the race. Trulli was the final runner.

With both titles already won, Vettel continues to amass more records. Today he had his first perfect result (pole, win, fastest lap, led every lap) and set a new record for most laps led during a season.

The Indian Grand Prix may have been a new event at a new track. But with Vettel continuing his domination, another run-in for Massa and Hamilton, and Webber and Alonso battling for position, the race had a decidedly familiar feel.

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103 comments on Vettel extends his F1 domination in Indian Grand Prix

  1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 30th October 2011, 12:21

    RE: Massa/Hamilton

    Let’s forget the history, let’s forget all the inevitable partisan rubbish and judge this incident on its own merits.

    – Hamilton had a run on Massa and was entitled to have a look on the inside.
    – Massa was defensive and went right to take his racing line, giving Hamilton space to come alongside.
    – Hamilton’s front wheels were almost in parallel with Massa’s, but he wasn’t either ahead of him.
    – Just before they begin to turn in to the corner, Lewis is closing on Massa at a very rapid rate and has a lot of momentum.
    – As they both begin to take the corner, Lewis is occupying the space that Massa will take if he was to take the corner normally.
    – Massa, surely aware that Lewis is right behind him, sweeps into the corner as if Lewis isn’t there.
    – Hamilton recognises that Massa is going to leave him no room and holds the inside line, not moving into Massa in anyway, but it’s too late and Massa runs into him.

    With all this considered, it’s clear that Lewis is NOT at fault. “Oh but Geoffrey, Lewis was never going to make the move there!” Yeah, so what? Lewis has a right to put his car up the inside of Massa when he is clearly and legitimately alongside him without having Massa run into him. In Spa, Kobayashi had a right to put his car outside of Lewis into Les Combes without Lewis running into his space and Lewis quite rightly took responsibility for it – Massa should take responsibility for doing the same here. Had he realised that Lewis was not just alongside him but practically level with him, you’d have to imagine that he would’ve left Hamilton more space instead of squeezing him up the inside and expecting him to disappear. If Massa knew Lewis was there and decided to leave him no space anyway, then he absolutely is at fault and he deserved a penalty.

    Having said that, I still believe it was an unfortunate incident and I don’t know if I would’ve been inclined to penalise Massa. But I’m pleased that the stewards judged this incident on its own merits and didn’t let Hamilton’s reputation cloud their judgement. I’m sure there’ll be a major debate about this incident as there always is, but considering Hamilton was legitimately alongside AND he held his own line when Massa decided to leave him no space there is no reason at all why people should be calling for Lewis to have been penalised instead.

    • Ragerod said on 30th October 2011, 12:30

      Good piece. I agree with everything and this time it was Massa’s fault.

      I don’t know if I would’ve given him a plenty but I’m a believer that once the front wheels of the car behind are past the rear wheels of the car in front they are alongside and its the responsibility of both to avoid an accident.

      Drivers shouldn’t be expected leap out the way if someone dives up the inside but equally the leading driver shouldn’t be allowed to shove the other driver off the road.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th October 2011, 12:35

      I agree completely. This is what I posted elsewhere.

      Hamilton was almost fully alonsgide before braking. At that point it was going to end in several ways.

      1. Both brake an equal amount and are still level- Massa either turns in on Hamilton or chooses to yield.

      2. Hamilton outbrakes Massa. This allows him to either take the corner or it means that he has braked too late and actually runs wide into Massa (assuming Massa is taking a wider line and not turning into Hamilton already).

      3. Massa outbreaks Hamilton, putting him slightly ahead. Hamilton has essentially been committed to the corner since pulling alongside Massa- from there it will be very difficult to pull out. It is up to Massa to turn in on Hamilton or take a wider line. Massa chose to crash.

      All of these outcomes end with Massa hitting Hamilton or losing the position. Therefore, Hamilton pulling alongside before braking essentially means he has the corner claimed.

      And on top of that I think a penalty was justified. When Hamilton hit Massa in Singapore, it was a fairly minor incident, but the stewards apparently took into consideration that Massa’s race was affected. Here Hamilton’s race was affected, and as the precedent has already been set by the stewards, it was right for Massa to get one in my opinion. Especially as this was arguably a bigger incident than Singapore (higher speed, turning in on the side).

    • Oliver said on 30th October 2011, 12:37

      Well you almost got it right.
      In actual fact, they were both on the brakes, Massa lifted to inch slightly ahead, meaning he was aware of his situation.
      He then proceeded to turn as if the car he was driving alongside wasn’t even there. Which is madness.
      Massa was also responsible for the accident in Monaco, he did the exact same thing, changed his line behind Webber, and effectively made himself into a wall in the part of Hamilton.
      If the stewards were patient enough to go through Massa’s telemetry, they would realise that it was only on that lap massa changed his usual line, and by a very wide margin.

      Massa is a mad man, there is no longer any doubt.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 30th October 2011, 12:38

      Indeed, this one was Massa’s fault. Bad weekend for him (again).

    • Simon999 (@simon999) said on 30th October 2011, 12:43

      Agree with this analysis – you can’t take the racing line if another car has already occupied the space.

      Sure, the overtaking driver needs to be at least partially alongside (you can’t just stick a wheel up the inside and claim you had the corner), but there is as much responsibility on the car bring overtaken to be aware as there is on the one overtaking.

      Whether it was a penalty, I’m not sure, but I presume the stewards felt Massa did know where Hamilton was (in which case it would be justified).

      More effective mirrors are a must for next season though, in my opinion. There’s a clear and obvious need for better visibility, so for the FIA not to act would be negligent.

    • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 30th October 2011, 14:04

      @Magnificent-Geoffrey Good point, well made. I respect your argument and opinion, but I disagree to an extent.

      I’ve watched the replay about 100 times now, and my view is slightly different to what I originally thought in the heat of the moment. Hamilton was alongside, but braked too early. To make a move stick into that corner, he’d have need to make a proper lunge, but he went into it half-heartedly. Felipe turned in on him, and perhaps he could have avoided it, but Hamilton’s move wasn’t going to work even if Massa left him room. They would have both run wide or Felipe would have been forced off the track to allow Hamilton through. The move wasn’t on, or at least, Hamilton didn’t execute it properly. They’re both at fault to an extent.

      At best, it was a racing incident. But if anyone deserves a penalty, it’s certainly not Felipe.

      • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 30th October 2011, 14:34

        @damonsmedley

        Felipe turned in on him, and perhaps he could have avoided it, but Hamilton’s move wasn’t going to work even if Massa left him room

        I think you’re wrong. Lewis was holding the inside line comfortably. If you watch the footage, he didn’t run wide into Massa looked like understeering to the right in the slightest. Lewis braked early to ensure he wouldn’t swing wide into Massa. Had Massa given Lewis more space, I see no reason why they couldn’t have both made the corner side-by-side without contact.

        Yeah, Lewis could’ve bailed out before the corner. But he had a lot for momentum and he was virtually level with Massa before braking for the turn. ‘Racing incident’ seems fair enough, but Massa is clearly the one who was most responsible for avoiding contact and since he didn’t why shouldn’t he be penalised for it? Hamilton was lucky Felipe didn’t break his right-front suspension for him.

        I know you were keen for Massa to do well this weekend, but it seems a bit like your letting your dislike of Hamilton affect how you’re viewing this incident.

        • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 30th October 2011, 14:41

          I know you were keen for Massa to do well this weekend, but it seems a bit like your letting your dislike of Hamilton affect how you’re viewing this incident.

          Hey, come on Geoff. I don’t dislike Hamilton at all. I’m massively annoyed with him this year but I don’t dislike him. I was so happy for him in China, but since Monaco, he started to change. He started making silly errors, and if it was because of his personal life, then that’s his problem. I just didn’t like the way he attacked the stewards for punishing him. For the record, I think that of all the incidents these two have had this year, Felipe was more at fault in this than any of the others.

          I actually sat back and watched it and pretended I didn’t like any of them more than the others (I was being honest, too) and I think it wasn’t worthy of a penalty. They both contributed to the accident in one way or another.

          • Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 30th October 2011, 23:38

            Forgive my ignorance but do they not have the 75 percent rule? If the attacking driver is three quarters of the way up the inside then they deemed to have won the pass. As much as i enjoy seeing HAM in pain I have to commiserate with him on this one.

    • Solo (@solo) said on 30th October 2011, 15:20

      I don’t think you ever have to count the drivers personal history. That was Massa being Massa. The guy whenever his in a fight he likes to push people off the road thinking they will always disappear. He isn’t doing such staff only to Hamilton, he does to a lot of drivers and then he always plays the victim, he has a way of choosing good moment to turn on people and making it seem like he is kind of innocent.
      Remember Alonso-Massa incident when Alonso was with Mclaren? Remember Button in Australia. I also believe that Monza was his fault and not Webber’s.
      Massa seems to think that when they reach a corner he can just leave the brakes a little late to get his wheels in frond and then turn on the other guy. He thinks that as long as his wheels are in-frond he can just turn on people that are by his side and they have to disappear. His under the delusion that no matter what his always right if his car is slightly in-frond, which is wrong.
      Hamilton believes exactly the opposite, he believes that when a drivers is by your side you should respect him and not leave him without a track. That’s why he has incidents like Maldonado in Monaco and with Massa that turn into you and thats why he was immediately ready to take the blame with Kobayashi despite Kobayashi only touching his back wheel.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 30th October 2011, 19:27

      @magnificent-geoffrey My first impression was that Lewis wasn’t at fault. I still think that. But I also think Massa has no fault as he did turn in but not directly on the kerb, but rather left some space between the kerb and his car. I think it was a racing incident.

  2. Antranik (@antranik) said on 30th October 2011, 12:23

    How does he this year, just suddenly dominate drivers 3 times more experienced than him? It might be his car, but then again even Webber is nowhere near him, he is yet to win a race! I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything like Vettel this year, ever before in F1.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 30th October 2011, 12:36

      He just gets better and better.

      There were signs of it last year though. In 2010, his car did let him down from an extra three wins, but he still came back to win the title. That Mr. Webber, was grit.

      • Simon999 (@simon999) said on 30th October 2011, 12:50

        I’m just hoping Adrian Newey makes a design mis-calculation over the winter break (decimal point in the wrong place, maybe?). The currenty combination looks almost unbeatable.

        • I just hope Alonso keeps pressurizing Ferrari to poach Adrian Newey somehow if he’s to have any chance of securing a third title. As things stand Vettel could beat him to it and we’ll be forced to see more dreary winner-decided-on-lap 1 races.

          Strangest of all is that in such a superior machinery 2010 title contender Mark Webber is nowhere near Vettel. I just don’t understand – it almost seems choreographed to me, Vettel riding off at the front.

          • I just hope Alonso keeps pressurizing Ferrari to poach Adrian Newey somehow if he’s to have any chance of securing a third title. As things stand Vettel could beat him to it and we’ll be forced to see more dreary winner-decided-on-lap 1 races.

            So do you envision Alonso in a Newey-designed car not being as dominant as Vettel is in this one? Or would it just not be as dreary if Alonso were the one doing the dominating?

          • Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 30th October 2011, 23:42

            RBR have all but admitted that the cars are set up for VET this year and not WEB. Webber said that as well last week. You have to take into account that VET is a better driver as well.

    • Lachie (@lachie) said on 30th October 2011, 13:20

      We’ve seen this before, in 2002 and 2004. That is not a compliment towards this year.

    • On the contrary said on 30th October 2011, 13:26

      While Media doesn’t harp on “smooth driving style and tyre management” as they do for Jenson. But Vettel has managed the Tyres best of all and that is the secret of his success. He always had the raw speed, but this year he has marked his complete authority on the championship. All kudos to him. While he might have done mistakes last year, but they essentially stemmed from the early reliability issues he had that was threatening to put him out of title contention second time in row (after 2009). He has managed all aspects of his racing very well. Not to mention way he remains grounded, talks more about “we the team” than “I the driver” is hallmark of true champion

      • Praveen Titus said on 31st October 2011, 12:51

        Any driver in the modern era says “we the team.” From NASCAR to Formula 1, V8 to Le Mans, drivers always give credit to the team. It’s not just a Vettel thing.

        It’s easy to say that Vettel is a better driver than Webber but Webber was a title contender last year winning races in total authority and managing the points when he wasn’t winning. Somehow I feel the team wasn’t fully behind him in 2010. They just didn’t like it. I suspect that is one of the reasons Webber dropped behind in the final races of 2010, particularly in Abu Dhabi when Webber felt completely out of steam.

        With Vettel Red Bull is fully content and they support him all the way. I don’t have concrete proof for this but I feel I’m only telling what people already suspect. It’s not just Vettel’s driving (which is phenomenal for sure) but something else that’s giving him the edge – the team’s full support.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 31st October 2011, 14:36

          To quote myself:

          In reality, Vettel is only 24, and has improved from last year. The 14 point gap has grown to 153 for 2 more reasons:

          1). No more repeats of Bahrain, Australia and Korea 2010. The unreliability of the RB6 affected Vettel more than it did Webber. Seb lost 60+ points to Mark there.

          2). Vettel practically handed Webber two of those wins last year through mistakes. Sure, Webber drove well to capitalise on them, but obviously if Seb cuts those mistakes out, Mark either has to up his game, or be left in the dust.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 30th October 2011, 13:30

      Confidence. A world title is a major confidence booster.

      He was fast and a bit erratic at times, but after a WDC, he polished his racecraft, and is on top of his form.

      The sad thing is that we’re not seeing anything from him yet. If he could, he’d score a fastest lap at every grand prix, suggesting there’s so much more up his sleeve, yet he’s unchallenged 90% of the time.

  3. David Smith said on 30th October 2011, 12:28

    But why does another incident Involve Hamilton??

    You just knew it was going to end in tears!!

    • Skett (@skett) said on 30th October 2011, 12:41

      We did, however I’m pretty sure that if he’d been overtaking any other driver it wouldn’t have been a problem and we’d have been applauding a great overtake

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th October 2011, 12:47

        Because Massa and Hamilton are always destined to collide, or because Massa was always going to be irresponsible turning in?

        • David (@neiana) said on 30th October 2011, 19:20

          Or because Hamilton likes to try making passes where passes are legitimately not meant to be attempted?

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 30th October 2011, 22:36

            Where on earth is there a corner anywhere in F1 where attempting an overtake wouldn’t be ‘legitimate’? It was the 3rd or 4th best spot on the track for overtaking, it’s just that it is rare to get as good a run on the guy in front out of turn 4. If a driver can pull alongside, as Hamilton did, then it is clearly fit for overtaking.

  4. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 30th October 2011, 12:40

    What a fantastic way for India to come into F1. They completed the circuit much sooner than was the case with Korea last year and they did a much better job in organising it, too.

    On Friday, I was a little concerned that we’d see the problem with the dogs affecting the weekend, but they promptly sorted that (how they did it, I don’t know!) and the rest of the weekend ran without a hitch. The attendance for Friday and Saturday wasn’t amazing, but the turn-out for the race was staggering! It’s great to see a country new to F1 embracing their Grand Prix in a way we’ve not seen for a while.

    The on-track action itself wasn’t anything amazing, but the track lived up to it’s hype in my opinion, and any other year it might have been closer at the front. Vettel’s dominance is nothing to do with poor track design, so you can’t blame Tilke or anyone else for the lack of action at the front.

    Overall, I think the event was brilliant. It really had that hectic Indian feel to it and the culture of the magnificent country came across beautifully over the weekend. The haze made it a little glum, but I suppose that’s part of the package considering where the track is. But the late afternoon sun casting an orange tint over the circuit toward the end of the race was spectacular, and I think the weekend has really been great for India.

    I’m pleased to say that the inaugural Indian Grand Prix has been, on the whole, a great success.

    On a completely different note, I really thought the minute of silence for the recent passings of Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli was a very nice touch and well executed. It made me feel proud to be an F1 fan. In fact, I was proud to be a motorsports fan.

  5. i still can’t believe Vettel making a mockery of Webber’ talent..
    there’s just no way he beats him by a mile.. please wake me up..
    from winning races in 2010, to not-able-to-at-least match Seb is
    astonishing..

    If I were Mark, I would’ve gone to a different team & sell Newey’s
    blueprint to making a bullet of a car.. I’d rather be in a not-top team
    in an equal car(i don’t buy it RBR!).. sadly its another year for Mark

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 30th October 2011, 13:38

      In reality, Vettel is only 24, and has improved from last year. The 14 point gap has grown to 153 for 2 more reasons:

      1). No more repeats of Bahrain, Australia and Korea 2010. The unreliability of the RB6 affected Vettel more than it did Webber. Seb lost 60+ points to Mark there.

      2). Vettel practically handed Webber two of those wins last year through mistakes. Sure, Webber drove well to capitalise on them, but obviously if Seb cuts those mistakes out, Mark either has to up his game, or be left in the dust.

    • Mable Mable arms off the Table said on 30th October 2011, 19:14

      I honestly think Mark is one of the most overrated drivers in F1, Sure he seems like a really nice guy, and has a marketable appearance (he’s not a bad looker is what I meant but it sounded a bit gay) but honestly six wins in over 170 races. He is always biotching about being a #2 driver when clearly he’s lucky to be that. Webber should hitch his ride to Vettel a la Barrichello to Schumacher and shut his mouth. Otherwise don’t complain, the RBR chassis is clearly top of the league and Webber isn’t, i’d love to see what Alonso, Button, or Hamilton could do in his seat.

      • Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 30th October 2011, 23:51

        Jeez you’re a hard marker. WEB is running in a pack of 6 current and former world champs, pretty impressive you would have to admit. And he keeps thrashing the wunderkind HAM at two out of every three meetings. There are some serious underperformers in the field amd Mark isnt the worst of them by a long stretch. And just because he doesnt keep up with VET is no argument, the other 5 WDCs are being embarrased as well.

    • d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 30th October 2011, 23:55

      Thats an unbelievable comment. Mark is in a winning car but isnt fast enough to win, and his teammate isnt making any mistakes and isnt breaking down. What else is he supposed to do? You honestly think its better for him to steal intellectual property and move to a different team (which team, by the way, do you mean to insinuate would even accept such clearly stolen “blueprints”), when the issue here isnt the team, but rather his team mate?

      Vettel and Red bull are currently racing in an entirely different formula than the rest of the drivers, plain as day. The fact that Mark can’t keep up doesnt mean he isnt getting equal machinery. He is second driver and gets second choice in strategy when Vettel is leading the race/championship, but aside from that they are given the exact same kit to do the job. And Vettel is eclipsing mark and the rest of the field. This kid is unbelievable.

  6. BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th October 2011, 13:14

    An interesting observation for me is how Vettel paces the guy behind him. He used to let them get down to about 3 seconds earlier in the year (valencia), but when Button closed up fast, got inside his safety zone and then forced him to suddenly hurry up and make a mistake in Canada, he went to pacing himself to about 4 seconds.
    Now he seems to have upped that again to react immediately when the difference to second place gets between 4 and 5 seconds.

  7. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 30th October 2011, 13:14

    Another unfortunate collision between Massa and Hamilton. I’d love to see Massa have a return to the kind of form he had in 07 and 08, but he’s not making it easy for himself! Hamilton has in my view been to blame for the majority of incidents with Massa, but you can’t blame him for that today. The pass was unlikely to come off but you can’t blame Lewis for attempting it.

    Also considering the pace of his team mate I found it odd that Hamilton was unable to take the fight to Felipe in any significant way before the incident. I don’t know if it was just the characteristics of the track or a bad set of tyres but Hamilton spent the first 20 or so laps around 2 sec behind Massa while Button was up the road successfully fending off Webber. This difference in pace strikes me as quite unusual.

  8. BasCB (@bascb) said on 30th October 2011, 13:17

    I really do not feel like going into much discussion about the next version of the Hamilton-Massa crash.

    Massa was wrong (after all, he had a look in his mirrors before turning in), that was a bit refreshing and its good to see the stewards getting their facts right there.
    Could have been a racing incident, but maybe the history between these two, or the damage done to the one not responsible (HAM in this case, as it had been MAS in Singapore) helped sway the balance.

  9. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 30th October 2011, 13:21

    I’m sick of both Hamilton and Massa to be honest.

  10. On the contrary said on 30th October 2011, 13:34

    Drives of the day Vette,l Alguersuari, Karthikeyan, Ricciardo and Sutil.

    I know lots of posters on this Blog have questioned Karthikeyan’s place on the F1 grid. Karthikeyan surely has proved his point to all the naysayers per whom its just the money that brings him to F1. Way he proved to be competitive after insufficient mileage under him, proves that the talent is definitely there, while not Vettel, Hamilton, or Alonso like talent, but definitely talent to be a strong midfielder getting the best out of the car under him.

    One particular poster on this forum was abuse and said that “Narain was going to make a fool of himself and be embarrassment to Indians” owes an apology to the Indian driver. So its time now.

    • SVettel (@) said on 30th October 2011, 13:40

      I think Buemi deserves a mention: throughout practice and quali, he was consistently faster than Alguersuari

      • On the contrary said on 30th October 2011, 14:03

        IMO Buemi and Alguersuari, both are doing their best and I hope the Tost and Marko don’t do their standard destabilizing trick@STR and unfairly eject both of them out.

      • John H (@john-h) said on 30th October 2011, 23:36

        Totally agree. Buemi was excellent today and was definitely up for it – you could tell by the way he bashed the steering wheel when he retired how much it meant to him.

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 30th October 2011, 13:42

      A good point.

      I had a pretty dismal outlook on Karthikeyan before the race, but fair play to him! He really suprised me and put in a great performance today. I’d be very interested to see him go against Ricciardo for the rest of the season.

    • On the contrary said on 30th October 2011, 17:20

      Ohh and I did forgot to mention to forget Jarno Trulli for vindicating belief of Indian F1 fans, what worst could have Karun Chandok done if he was allowed to race.

      It was ironic to see Tony Fernandes and Mike Gascoyne complaining that HRT cars were not lifting off on the spot for blue flags. These were the gents that were complaining till last season, that obeying blue flags meant their drivers could never put in proper laps and affected their overall performance.

      Way to go Tony and Mike

    • Praveen Titus said on 31st October 2011, 13:10

      @ On the contrary,

      Quite true about Narain.

  11. STSCM (@stscm) said on 30th October 2011, 13:45

    Hate to say it but with Vettel romping away with the works, the only entertainment has been Massa and Hamilton this season. This time I do think it was Massa’s fault, though honestly, if I were Hamilton I wouldn’t pass Massa unless 80% of the course width was open to me, just because. Glad they gig’d Massa for the accident, turn-about is fair play and all, though never confuse me with being any drivers ‘fan’.
    Considering all the maneuverings they did against Ferrari and Schumacher in ’02, I wish they’d tie one of Newey’s hands behind his back or something equivalent for next year. An even three way race for the championship would be nice.

  12. Franton said on 30th October 2011, 13:49

    Martin Haven on twitter made a good joke: If you win the WDC you should sit out the rest of the season … Or drive for HRT.

    In all seriousness, we should not have raced here as the track simply wasn’t ready. Basically it was covered in construction dirt that stopped the drivers using drs and those big wide corners for overtaking properly.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th October 2011, 13:50

      It was in a better state than Korea was last year.

      • Franton said on 30th October 2011, 15:46

        I said the exact same thing about Korea last year, just not on this forum! They had oils and all sorts oozing out of the tarmac there. This time it was visibly covered in dirt.

    • Praveen Titus said on 31st October 2011, 13:06

      I love that comment from Martin Haven – honest viewpoint from a fan. I once remember him commentating on some British club racing sometime in 2002/2003 and saying “this is how racing should be, not like a staid Formula 1 procession.” It was so true back then! Even now we need gimmicks like DRS to pull off a straightforward overtaking move.

      In fact the MRF Formula Ford Super 1600 support race had more action than the F1 yawn-fest.

  13. Michael had good race I think, despite struggling in qualifying yesterday he finished 5th. Overall, it was boring race again, but track seemed to be very interesting and I’m looking forward to next year’s race.

  14. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 30th October 2011, 14:20

    The scariest thing about the way Red Bull have dominated this season is that, once Vettel has gotten to the front, he has been able to build a comfortable lead relatively quickly, and then sit back and relax. I have gotten the impression several times during races this year that that the RB7 has been plodding along 0.3 of a second within its absolute limits, and that really doesn’t bode well for next season. McLaren and Ferrari will have to find a HUGE chunk of pace in the off season, while Mercedes and Renault will have to do something which is nothing short of a miracle to catch up. All Red Bull have to do is ensure that the RB8 irons out any wrinkles that are present in the RB7.

    The above means that I’m getting bored of this to be honest. Modern F1 seasons are now so long that, if one team gets the edge at the start of the year they just dominate race after race after race. The testing ban isn’t helping either, because teams which are behind have no real means of catching up. Vettel is now charging along, riding a wave of confidence (who wouldn’t be) and making a mockery of the record books, and really doesn’t look like being threatened by anyone. His domination is reaching Schumacher-ian levels, that is to say, that he is dominating to the extent that it no longer looks impressive! 9/16 was impressive when Nige did it in 92, 15/16 was impressive when McLaren did it in 88, but MSC/Ferrari’s numbers in 2002 and 2004 have never caught the fans imaginations in the same way. I fancy that whatever Vettel/Red Bull’s numbers finish up being, they won’t be looked on fondly.

    I hope that makes sense, fogive me if it doesn’t, I haven’t slept much over the last 4 days!

    • STSCM (@stscm) said on 30th October 2011, 14:41

      Actually it does make a lot of sense. In regard to Nige’s run as well as Macca’s, I think it was because they’re British based (Williams and McLaren) versus Ferrari and where ‘we’ get our news from. I certainly don’t think it was unappreciated in Italy.
      Testing, that’s what’s killing this deal right now, in my mind. The following teams have 0 recourse to make major improvements midseason. Granted, RBR could pull an even larger rabbit out of their hat with testing, but Macca and Ferrari can only produce a few minor changes on Friday now while trying to setup for Saturdays run. I wish they’re bring back 2 test period mid season.

    • On the contrary said on 30th October 2011, 14:42

      The scariest thing about the way Red Bull have dominated this season is that, once Vettel has gotten to the front, he has been able to build a comfortable lead relatively quickly, and then sit back and relax

      That’s how F1 is designed to work out, its just that reliability issues kept things dramatic till early 2000s. After the mandate to reduce cost by improving reliability (engine, gearbox) everybody is trying desperately to improve the show, but then come what may, as Nigel Mansell mentioned on the flying lap last week, racing is always about fastest driver winning in fastest cars.

    • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 30th October 2011, 19:48

      This is why 2010 was perfect for the championship being close. it seemed that you either sacrificed reliability for speed, and conservatism for reliability, it really did. Clearly team figured out something this year which prevents all the engine problems, gearbox and hydraulic faults that punished drivers for going at it so hard in 2010.

      Oh apart from Lotus and Williams.

      • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 30th October 2011, 20:06

        I love the qualification there! Poor Williams and Lotus.

      • On the contrary said on 30th October 2011, 21:38

        Lotuses are available in two colors green and black (per Karthikeyan to BBC). But then you are right both have had unreliability issues. Ironically Heidfeld chose to sue black lotuses for throwing him out of burning lotuses rather than suing them for worker’s comp :D. Now that is height of desperation.

  15. xtophe (@xtophe) said on 30th October 2011, 14:22

    Sector 2 just looks awesome with the onboard cam. I love the flow and can’t wait to see the dust clear next year so we can have some brave braking approaching the wide corner-entries.

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