Greater Noida - Sebastian Vettel roared into history as Formula One's youngest four-time
champion in superlative style as he dominated the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Pole-sitter Vettel pitted early to change his soft tyres but then sped
through the field to win 30 seconds ahead of Mercedes's Nico Rosberg, with
Lotus driver Romain Grosjean third.
The 26-year-old German becomes the youngest man to win four straight titles,
with Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher the only other drivers to
achieve the feat.
"Unbelievable day," said the jubilant Vettel over the team radio.
"We did it! Yes! Yes!"
Vettel celebrated in uproarious fashion by spinning doughnuts in front of
the grandstand. He then stood on top of his Red Bull and saluted the crowd
before bowing to his car in mock worship.
Despite team-mate Mark Webber's retirement with a mechanical problem, Red
Bull also sealed their fourth straight constructors' title in what has become
an era of dominance.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who was Vettel's nearest challenger going into
the race but 90 points adrift, managed only 11th place.
Vettel's sixth win in a row, 10th in 16 races this season and 36th of his
career left him poised to shatter more records in the remaining three races in
Abu Dhabi, America and Brazil.
If he wins all three, Vettel will equal Schumacher's record of 13 wins in
2004 and become the only driver to secure nine consecutive victories in a
Italian Alberto Ascari drove a Ferrari for nine straight wins, but his run
was spread over two seasons in 1952 and 1953.
The German, who won the Indian race in both 2011 and 2012, once again
dominated the circuit with record times in all three practice sessions this
year and a perfect qualifying round on Saturday.
Vettel, made a quick change to medium tyres after the second lap and dropped
to the back of the field, but was he returned to second place by the 21st lap
The German regained the lead in the 30th lap but then saw Webber drop out of
the race in the 40th due to gearbox problems.
As Vettel took charge in familiar fashion, his team were taking no chances
in the pitlane and at one stage even admonished him for trying to set the
The big turnout at Buddh International Circuit would have pleased the
organisers, who hope to return to Formula One in 2015 after being left out of
the 2014 calendar.
2013 Indian Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit: Race results
1 Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull) 1hr 31min 12.187sec
2 Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes) at 29.823
3 Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus) at 39.892
4 Felipe Massa (BRA/Ferrari) at 41.692
5 Sergio Perez (MEX/McLaren ) at 43.829
6 Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) at 52.475
7 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Lotus) at 1:07.988
8 Paul Di Resta (GBR/Force India) at 1:12.868
9 Adrian Sutil (GER/Force India) at 1:14.734
10 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Toro Rosso) at 1:16.237
11 Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari) at 1:18.297
12 Pastor Maldonado (VEN/Williams) at 1:18.951
13 Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA/Toro Rosso) 1 lap
14 Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren) 1 lap
15 Esteban Gutierrez (MEX/Sauber) 1 lap
16 Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Williams) 1 lap
17 Max Chilton (GBR/Marussia) 2 laps
18 Jules Bianchi (FRA/Marussia) 2 laps
19 Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Sauber) 6 laps
Driver and Constructor standings:
1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 322
2 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 207
3 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 183
4 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 169
5 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 148
6 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 144
7 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 102
8 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 102
9 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 60
10 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 40
11 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Sauber 39
12 Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren 33
13 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India 28
14 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 19
15 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 13
16 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 6
17 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1
18 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 0
19 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia 0
20 Charles Pic (France) Caterham 0
21 Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham 0
22 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 0
1 Red Bull 470
2 Mercedes 313
3 Ferrari 309
4 Lotus 285
5 McLaren 93
6 Force India 68
7 Sauber 45
8 Toro Rosso 32
9. Williams 1
10 Marussia 0
11 Caterham 0