• F1 2013 - Mercedes-Benz gets on the podium at the Indian Grand Prix but Vettel secures championship

      There are three races left in the 2013 Formula 1 season but Red Bull Racing decided to end the season early. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel for winning the 2013 Driver's championship after his victory in India (he led every single lap) and to the Red Bull Racing team for securing the manufacturer championship. Red Bull Racing can now be on cruise control the rest of the year which makes the final three Grand Prix's on the schedule rather boring.

      The only interesting battle will be for second place which Mercedes now moved into passing Ferrari after Nico Rosberg finished second. Lewis Hamilton also picked up points finishing in sixth place.

      Full standing and results below but the season ends early simply due to Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel's dominance. Congratulations to Vettel on his fourth championship.

      Those lucky enough to be present at the 2013 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix were privileged to watch history in the making, as Sebastian Vettel become the youngest driver to win four Formula One drivers’ titles. And the crushing manner in which he did it - winning the race after carving his way through the field following an early stop - showed exactly why he must now be considered one of the all-time greats. We take a team-by-team look back at an unforgettable day in New Delhi...

      Red Bull
      Sebastian Vettel, P1
      Mark Webber, retired lap 40, alternator
      All Vettel needed was a fifth place finish. Instead, a great strategy and another fierce drive earned him his third Indian Grand Prix victory, his sixth win in a row and his 10th of 2013 and, of course, his fourth consecutive world championship. And all that wonderful success also clinched a fourth consecutive constructors’ crown for Red Bull. The only stain on the afternoon was Webber’s retirement from second place with an alternator failure, which obliged the team to tell Vettel not to use KERS or his drinks bottle for fear of agitating his alternator. In summary, it was an historic day for the team from Milton Keynes.

      Nico Rosberg, P2
      Lewis Hamilton, P6
      Rosberg said Mercedes’ aim this weekend was to be best of the rest, and Webber’s situations in both qualifying and the race actually gave the silver arrows a little more than that. He and Hamilton lost ground stuck behind Massa, but Rosberg’s pit strategy got him ahead of the Ferrari and a neat drive did the rest to earn him an honourable second place. Hamilton was slow on the straight and never did get past Massa, and neither could he resist Perez in the final laps. But their overall points haul put them four points ahead of Ferrari again.

      Romain Grosjean, P3
      Kimi Raikkonen, P7
      A brilliant 13-lap opening run on soft tyres brought Grosjean up from 17th to fifth, and he then built on that with a superb 47-lap run on mediums which took him up to third and the final podium position. Along the way he had a little tangle with team mate Raikonen, who had worked up to second after a seven-lap stint on softs and then a mammoth run on mediums. But as they faded towards the end he slipped down to seventh and finally had to pit for more softs with two laps to run. He was already angry after some pointed team instructions, and banged in the fastest lap of the race on his final tour. Lotus’s point score just keeps them in play in the fight for second place with Mercedes and Ferrari.

      Felipe Massa, P4
      Fernando Alonso, P11
      Massa led a race for the first time since China, after a brilliant start took him past both Mercedes on the opening lap. He fell back behind Rosberg in the pit stops but drove like his old self to challenge Grosjean for the final podium place until dropping back to a respectable fourth. Alonso’s race was a disaster as he was involved in the Raikkonen/Webber clash on the opening lap and then hit Button. The Ferrari then didn’t handle in right-handers and lacked straight-line speed, leaving him to a pointless 11th place finish as his title hopes ended. To make things worse, Ferrari lost second place in the constructors’ stakes to Mercedes.

      Sergio Perez, P5
      Jenson Button, P14
      Perez did a great job with a 28-lap opening run on his medium tyres, and at one stage looked a possible podium contender. After a five-lap run on the softs he was back on mediums and managed to catch and pass Raikkonen and Hamilton in one sweet move to take a much-needed fifth place. Button’s day was ruined when Alonso ran into him on the opening lap, puncturing one of his mediums, and condemning him to an unhappy run to a lowly 14th.

      Force India
      Paul di Resta, P8
      Adrian Sutil, P9
      Di Resta’s switch from softs to mediums at the end of the first lap worked well and an intelligent and mistake-free race brought him a much-needed eighth place finish. In one of the drives of the race Sutil made his mediums last 41 laps and then his softs last 19. And while doing the latter he withstood huge pressure from Ricciardo and Alonso to add to Di Resta’s points haul by taking ninth. All in all, a good race for the team as they hone their once superfast VJM06 on the revised Pirellis.

      Toro Rosso
      Daniel Ricciardo, P10
      Jean-Eric Vergne, P13
      Ricciardo kept himself well in the hunt with a 33-lap opening stint on mediums and then a short five-lap one on softs, but got trapped behind Sutil thereafter and just couldn’t overtake. Tenth place, nevertheless, was a decent result. Vergne, however, had a troubled time which included getting a hurry-up message from his team.

      Esteban Gutierrez, P15
      Nico Hulkenberg, P19, retired lap 55, brakes
      Hulkenberg believed that eighth place was possible after another strong run in the C32, but his race came to an end close to the flag with some sort of brake system failure. Gutierrez ruined his race with a jump start, for which he received a drive-through penalty, and made himself unpopular weaving while defending his place from Grosjean early on. He might have been a points contender, but ultimately finished 15th.

      Pastor Maldonado, P12
      Valtterri Bottas, P16
      Bottas was mixing it with Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Alonso for 11th place at one stage before a final pit call dropped him back behind team mate Maldonado by the flag. The Finn’s race was compromised a little by radio communication problems which delayed his first pit stop.

      Max Chilton, P17
      Jules Bianchi, P18
      Chilton survived a first-lap brush with Van der Garde, and after a 29-lap stint on his first set of mediums was able to hold on to beat team mate Bianchi home by a scant 0.7s.

      Charles Pic, retired lap 36, hydraulics
      Giedo van der Garde, retired lap 2, accident damage
      Caterham had another horrible race, with Van der Garde being pincered between team mate Pic and Chilton on the opening lap and sustaining sufficient damage to warrant retirement. Pic was also delayed and later had to retire with hydraulic failure.

      This article was originally published in forum thread: F1 2013 - Mercedes-Benz gets on the podium at the Indian Grand Prix but Vettel secures championship started by Sticky View original post