| Source: autosport.com |
Sebastian Vettel sealed his fourth consecutive Formula 1 World Championship crown with a dominant Indian Grand Prix victory.
Webber’s misfortune promoted Kimi Raikkonen to second, the Lotus driver attempting to make it to the finish with a 52-lap stint on medium Pirellis.
But the Finn could not hold off the two-stopping Rosberg, who used his DRS to ease into second with eight laps remaining. He finished 29s 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 team-mate Grosjean, whose rubber was 46 laps old by the finish.
The Frenchman, who started 17th, 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 the Frenchman to to finish on the podium for a third straight 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
Raikkonen, who lost sixth to Hamilton during the same move, pitted for fresh rubber with just two laps to go, but was able to remain ahead of Paul di Resta and set the race’s fastest lap right at the death.
“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.
Pos Driver Team Time 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 + 52.400 7. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 1:07.900 8. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:12.800 9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes + 1:14.700 10. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:16.200 11. Alonso Ferrari + 1:18.200 12. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 1:18.900 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: Driver Team On lap Webber Red Bull-Renault 40 Pic Caterham-Renault 36 van der Garde Caterham-Renault 2 World Championship standings, round 16: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 322 1. Red Bull-Renault 470 2. Alonso 207 2. Mercedes 313 3. Raikkonen 183 3. Ferrari 309 4. Hamilton 169 4. Lotus-Renault 285 5. Webber 148 5. McLaren-Mercedes 93 6. Rosberg 144 6. Force India-Mercedes 68 7. Massa 102 7. Sauber-Ferrari 45 8. Grosjean 102 8. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 32 9. Button 60 9. Williams-Renault 1 10. Di Resta 40 11. Huleknberg 39 12. Perez 33 13. Sutil 28 14. Ricciardo 19 15. Vergne 13 16. Gutierrez 6 17. Maldonado 1
BBC Post-race interview:
Eric Boullier: “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. I’m going to speak to both of them in Abu Dhabi. 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. Kimi is a competitor. He is racing everybody and I can understand this. 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.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 7th: “We ran maybe the first twenty laps with no brakes as they had overheated massively, so every time I got close to somebody I lost braking. At the end of the race I ran out of tyre performance too so it’s been a pretty disappointing day. I knew the tyres would drop off quite quickly, but there wasn’t much to lose between trying to get to the end and making an extra pit stop in terms of time lost. In the end it didn’t work.”
Romain Grosjean – 3rd: “If you had told me yesterday that I’d be on the podium here I would have said you were crazy! Straight from the beginning of the race I felt very comfortable on the option tyres and we looked in pretty good shape, then we fitted the mediums and the car was really quick. I lost quite a lot of time behind [Esteban] Gutierrez which maybe cost us the fight for second, but we managed to come back from that well. When I saw that I was fourth in front of [Felipe] Massa with 27 laps to go I knew it was going to be close with him as we had to take care of the tyres, plus we had an engine issue at the end of the race which made things quite tricky. In the final laps Kimi was really struggling with his tyres so I managed to pass him and luckily had enough pace to keep Felipe behind. Before the race our best prediction was fourth if we had a strong start and a perfect race, so it was an amazing result and a great performance from the team.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “It’s been an eventful weekend. In the end it was a brilliant job from the team and a great performance from Romain, who had a very strong drive and managed to conserve his tyre performance right to the end. He was fast today despite having to nurse his engine, and being on the podium is a good reward for the whole team. Obviously it’s disappointing that the tyres couldn’t last long enough for Kimi as being third and fourth would have been an amazing result for the team and very useful in the Constructors’ Championship, but we’ll keep fighting hard until the end of the season and we’ll give some headaches to the other teams. We give our congratulations to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull for their Championship victory today, and also our promise that we’re working hard to give them a tougher battle in 2014.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It was a fantastic race from both drivers, even though the strategy didn’t quite work out for Kimi. We started with a plan of two stops for him but made the call to go for one after losing time stuck behind Nico [Hulkenberg]. Unfortunately the tyres didn’t quite last as long as he needed and he was forced into making a late stop for fresh rubber. It was a fantastic drive from Romain again and a great call from our strategy team to move him from seventeenth to third; that was just brilliant. Romain’s engine pneumatic system’s air consumption was a big worry and we had to use every trick in the book to avoid him retiring as per Singapore. Overall, a great team performance today.”
Video – Team Radio soundclip:
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