Indian Grand Prix: Vettel dominates to take fourth successive world title in fine style

Sebastian Vettel crosses the line to win the Indian GP

Sebastian Vettel crosses the line to win the Indian GP

It was never in doubt that Sebastian Vettel would wrap up the 2013 Formula 1 World Championship at the Indian Grand Prix, and he did so, as expected,  in the finest style possible – by winning the race for the third time in as many years, extending his current streak to six races victories in a row. He claimed the title yet again.

The German was simply in a class of his own at Buddh International Circuit, as he has been since August in Belgium. After starting with the very fragile softer yellow band Pirelli tyres he made a pitstop on lap two, he was relegated to 17th position. Thereafter he carved his way through the field. By lap 15 he was third, by lap 21 he was second and on lap 29 he regained the lead – briefly lost it to his teammate a lap later – but by lap 32 he was in the lead again where he remained unchallenged to the end.

When the chequered flag fell to bring an end to possibly the last ever Indian Grand Prix, Vettel became World Champion for the fourth time in a as many years, and Red Bull  wrapped up the Constructors’ title for the fourth time as well.

Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Sebastian Vettel celebrates

It was another straightforward and dominant display from Vettel, although the team might point to concerns over the alternator on the Renault powered RB9 which would force Mark Webber to pull over and retire from the race while in second place. But in the end, as has largely been the case over the past four years, Vettel was unaffected.

However there was an irony to Webber’s retirement as it summed up the past three years of the Red Bull partnership in the cruelest way possible. One driver sweeping all before him, the other hitching a lift back to the pits on a scooter. As Vettel and Red Bull donned their World Champions t-shirt for a fourth year in succession, Webber could be forgiven getting a batch printed with the (Mario Balotelli style) slogan: Why always me?

But the day belonged to Vettel and it was great to see the World Champion doing donuts, climbing fences and bring back some good old fashioned ‘I am very glad I won style celebrations’ – his silhouette amid the smoke of his tyres as he climbed on to the Red Bull in front of the main grandstand will be permanently etched in the memory of those who witnessed the spectacle. His greatness will be revered in due course.

Early shower for Mark Webber

Early shower for Mark Webber

Vettel spoke afterwards, “First of all I would to thank the crowd for an unbelievable reception, I am speechless – 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 is a pleasure to jump in the car and go out and drive for the guys and give it all I have. The car was phenomenal today and has been phenomenal all season to be honest.”

“I want to say a big thank you to everyone who is behind the team, 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 was hard but I think I answered the things on the track which I am very pleased about.”

“I am overwhelmed, I don’t know what to say but it is the best day of my life so far. When I started to race, Formula 1 seemed so far away but there are so many people I have to thank along the way from karting to here.”

Sebastian Vettel celebrates

Sebastian Vettel celebrates

“I was taught so many things and I have always tried to listen but to come out on top of this incredibly talented field is amazing. I am not old yet but I am getting older and maybe I am not grasping it yet. Maybe in 10 years time I will look back and realise the enormity.”

As for the support cast, it was Nico Rosberg who was best of the rest, taking second place in the Mercedes despite dropping down to as low as 13th place at the halfway mark. But the Silver Arrows pit wall made the strategy work. The German outfit are now ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors’ standings.

Rosberg summed up his afternoon,  “I’m pleased, the start was difficult after dropping behind Massa. The team did a fantastic strategy and I’m pleased. Sebastian has done an amazing job and deserves to be champ. We will do everything possible over the winter to be competitive next season.”

Drive of the day, man of the match – call it what you want – must go to Romain Grosjean who turned 17th on the grid to third place by the end of the race, by doing only a one stop race. In the process he also revealed the true colours of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen. As the Frenchman came up to overtake the Finn, whose tyres were clearly finished and way off the pace, Raikkonen was hardly helpful, which was strange considering the number of times Grosjean capitulated for his teammate in the past. Nevertheless Grosjean clearly out performed his highly acclaimed teammate yet again. Raikkonen crossed the line in seventh.

Romain Grosjean showers Sebastian Vettel

Romain Grosjean showers Sebastian Vettel

Afterwards Grosjean made little of the incident with his teammate, rather focusing on the positives of being on the podium again, “I would not have bet a penny on it. We had a very brave strategy, as we did yesterday, it was not the time to go safe and it paid off. I tried to go through the field, it was tough until the end. I didn’t know when the tyres were going to go off, but the team were fantastic. I am very proud.”

“Kimi was in a difficult situation and went for the outside and didn’t see that point so I knew I had to be careful to my engine. I lost a little bit of time but we got on the podium and scored good points for the team.”

Felipe Massa gave one of his strongest performances in a while on his way to fourth place. Opting to ignore his Ferrari engineers and devise his own game plan for the race, the Brazilian had a mega start and was always at the sharp end of proceedings while teammate Fernando Alonso struggled after a first turn collision compromised his race. The Spaniard spent the afternoon battling with the wrong group of cars, and 11th was his reward.

Fernando Alonso was in the wars early on in the race

Fernando Alonso was in the wars early on in the race

Alonso, who had a mathematical chance of catching Vettel before the race, was magnanimous in defeat, “I congratulate Sebastian Vettel, they have been very strong and dominant, especially in the second half of the season and Red Bull deserve to be Champions. We need to start thinking about next year and make things more difficult for him.”

“It was not a clear start. I was a bit unlucky; the race was uphill from that moment. It was a difficult race, with not enough pace. The car was damaged. The steering wheel was very heavy into the right corners and light into the left corners. Overall the weekend was not good enough and in Abu Dhabi we need to improve if we want to pass Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship,” observed the Spaniard.

The best move of the day must go to McLaren‘s Sergio Perez who audaciously squeezed past Lewis Hamilton and Raikkonen to snatch fifth place. Granted, the Lotus and Mercedes were on gripless tyres at that point, nevertheless it was cheeky and very brave to venture between two of F1’s hard men as Perez did.

Sebastian Vettel leads the pack on his way to victory and his fourth world title at the Indian GP

Sebastian Vettel leads the pack on his way to victory and his fourth world title at the Indian GP

At their home grand prix, Force India rose to the occasion with Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil finishing eighth and ninth respectively.

Daniel Ricciardo, in tenth, claimed the final point for Toro Rosso.

Final word to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, celebrating both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships, “Let’s take nothing away from Sebastian not just today but for the whole season. He knew his strategy was to get through the traffic and he did it. He worked his way back through the field and he created the opening for himself today.”

“We decided last night that was going to be our approach to get off the tyres quickly and rely on Sebastian. Mark’s approach was different but he was doing what was required and opening up a gap, it’s just a shame we couldn’t complete the one-two.”

“It was hugely emotional for everyone to see him cross the line. I said to him to try and do it in style and he did and to win this Indian Grand Prix for the third successive time is incredible.”

Subbed by AJN.

Four times F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel celebrates on the podium

Four times F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel celebrates on the podium

Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit – Sunday, 27 October 2013

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time Grid Pts
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 60 Winner 1 25
2 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 60 +29.8 secs 2 18
3 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 60 +39.8 secs 17 15
4 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 60 +41.6 secs 5 12
5 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 60 +43.8 secs 9 10
6 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 60 +52.4 secs 3 8
7 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 60 +67.9 secs 6 6
8 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 60 +72.8 secs 12 4
9 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 60 +74.7 secs 13 2
10 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 60 +76.2 secs 11 1
11 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 60 +78.2 secs 8
12 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 60 +78.9 secs 18
13 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 59 +1 Lap 14
14 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 59 +1 Lap 10
15 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 59 +1 Lap 16
16 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 59 +1 Lap 15
17 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 58 +2 Lap 22
18 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 58 +2 Lap 19
19 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 54 +6 Lap 7
Ret 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 39 +21 Laps 4
Ret 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 35 +25 Laps 21
Ret 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1 +59 Laps 20


  • lawl

    “He cant do anything if he starts behind 3rd”. From 17th to 1st since lap 2.

    Amazing job, champion.

  • hillside

    Alonso suckers are comin in 3…2….1

  • Tamburello_1994

    Donuts were a nice touch.


  • Peter

    I congratulate Red Bull’s constant failure for Mark Webber. Let’s see how the champ handles another Aussie next year…..

  • Ukwhite

    Give Perez and Gutirez good cars and they will smoke and dust the self-proclaimed best drivers Lewis and Alonso respectivelly ;)

    IVettel, Congratulation mate, you are not only the best racer, but also the smartest of them all.

  • Taskmaster

    …. and Peter sets a new record for following a positive story about Vettel with the spewing of unsupported (statistically proven wrong) claim that Red Bull hobbled Weber. Excellent job!

    Congrats to the Red Bull team for a spectacular season and Vettel for another focused drive. Loved the doughnut finish! Yeah… now that’s what I’m talking about!

    …. and now to the haters, who will most certainly point out the rules infraction in an hysteric inter-web demand for disqualification of all championship points.

  • ZombieF1

    All hail Vettel

  • Ukwhite

    Un4gettable… A few times his age and this ordinary kid can still teach you a few lessons. Humble, approachable, smart and funny, masively skilled and determined, managing by himself his career, top notch friends circle, but most of all the ulimate racer. God loves this guy!

  • the fan

    congratulations to sebastian! very lucky indeed to be part of a very prestigious group of champions!

  • the fan

    ukwhite… so those mexicans had a better race in india then all of a sudden they are better than 2 world champions? lol

  • Ukwhite

    @the fan: you may have missed the emoticon’s meaning, see again the text, it is not a smile emoticon.

    Seriously now, my point was the two self indulgent brothers are a bit overated, If I really appreciated them I would have been their fan. But if you ask me, Alonso is definetely a class above Lewis…. with Vettel as F1 mentor (read master or magician)

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    Pole. Win. Fastest car by a country-mile. Best strategy.

    The obvious outcome

  • Empee

    Perez got midway into the points while Button gots lapped?

    Grosjean turned a 17th place start into 3rd while Kimi basically flat-lined over the same duration?

    Massa singlehandedly kept Ferrari within arm’s reach of 2nd in the Constructor’s fight?

    Who says F1 is boring?

  • The fan


    Maybe you see the “lol” after? Fair enough mate:) In all fairness to Alonso, he was hailed as a very good driver last year by a lot of people including christian horner so I wouldn’t say it’s self proclaimed. And yes I agree that he’s above Hamilton. Over a single lap he can be as fast as seb but for race craft on a Sunday I’d pick Fernando if they are all driving the same machine.

    Keep the debate healthy mate:)

  • farizY

    @The fan
    Too bad for Alonso then. But then again.
    Plus, given a RB car, Alonso might or might not perform, the car might or might not suit him.
    In the end, nobody will remember how Alonso came in second, in a so called ‘inferior’ package. Everyone on the other hand will remember Vettel as the youngest quadruple champ.

  • the fan


    same thing applies to vettel then huh? he might or might not perform in a different car. might not suit him as well. alonso has won in a renault, mclaren and ferrari. he has over the years proven he can win on different cars, on different scenarios. yeah he has failed as well but he has proven he can battle til the end. vettel is a great champ nobody can take what he’s achieved and he deserves every bit of it. both of them are a class above everyone else right now and deserve it. no one will remember alonso coming in 2nd? kimi raikonnen was 2nd numerous times yet everyone else remembers those years.