2011 F1 Indian Grand Prix - Mercedes GP Race Report - Vettel Cruises to Victory, Schumacher 5th and Rosberg 6th
Mercedes GP finished strong in the Inaugrual Indian Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher who started 11th on the grid finished in fifth place ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg. Schumacher at the start of the race was able to jump three to 8th by the end of the first lap and maintained a constant pace behind Rosberg. Before the second round of pitstops, Schumacher began to eat away at Rosberg's lead and brought the gap down to 1.5sec. While Nico pitted, Michael kept putting in his best lap times and after his stop, he emerged infront of Nico by 1.2 secs and maintained that gap to the end of the race.
Sebastian Vettel dominated his way to his 11th win at the Indian Grand Prix. With 2 races left in the season, can Vettel match Nigell Mansell's record with 13 wins in one season? Vettel kept a comfortable lead ahead of Button, who managed to over take Webber and Alonso by the forth corner. Everytime Button set a fast lap, Vettel always answered back, by the end of the race, Vettel claimed the checkered flag, led every lap of the race, and set the fastest lap.
Fernando Alonso took third after he leapfrogged Webber in the pits. Webber tried to attack back, but couldn't find a way past the Ferrari.
Hamilton and Massa provided most of the excitement for this race. Again these two drivers managed to find a way to fight each other. On corner 5 on lap 24 a charging Hamilton dove to the inside and Massa shut the door and both collided, breaking both of the driver's wings. This time Massa was hit with a drive through penalty for the incident. Two laps after the penalty Massa hit the kurb on turn 9 and the result was a broken front suspension ending his race.
Hamilton ended up finishing behind Rosberg in seventh place. Jaime Alguersuari, Adrian Sutil and Sergio Perez rounded out the the top ten and home favourite HRT's Narain Karthikeyan will be pleased with his 17th place, finishing ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Michael Schumacher - 5th:
Nico Rosberg - 6th:
"I am obviously happy about the race today. We achieved the maximum that we could hope for, and as a team we maximised our potential. Fifth and sixth places are a great result for us. On top of that, my car was very nicely sorted for the race and very stable. At the start, everything worked out according to my strategy as I deliberately didn't want to use KERS in the first two corners and save it for the long straight where I knew that I could make up some positions. In the second stint, I managed to maintain my tyres so I could stay out longer and that was enough for fifth place. What's really important at the moment is that we keep pushing and trying to improve, and that is what we achieved today. To the organisers of the first Indian Grand Prix, I would like to send a big compliment; I'm sure that I am not the only one to say that this was a very positive debut."
"We can be happy with a good team result and that's what the boys in the garage deserved. I'm also pleased to have gained one place on my grid position. However my strategy was not perfect today and I lost some time in the second pit stop which meant that I wasn't able stay ahead of Michael. I had good pace at the end of the race and pushed very hard but it was impossible to catch him over the last laps. I'm confident that we can repeat this good result in the last two races. All in all, it has been a good Indian Grand Prix debut for us and I hope all the fans enjoyed the race. I'm looking forward to coming back next year."
"A very solid race from the drivers and team today, and we are very pleased to have achieved fifth and sixth places. Michael, Nico and the engineers did an excellent job to focus on getting the car right for the race, and making the best use of the tyres. We certainly got everything that we could out of our current car this weekend. It was an exciting race from our two drivers with Michael coming out on top this time, however you could see just how closely matched they are during the race. Nico's second set of tyres faded a little bit more on him whilst Michael was able to stay out longer which was enough to take fifth place. It was a very good result for the team today and I'm extremely pleased with how we have worked this weekend."
"A strong result today for our team considering the possibilities that our technical package currently has. It is satisfying for everybody to extract the maximum and to achieve the best possible result. Our lap times looked consistent throughout the race which shows that we handled the tyres well and found a set-up which suited the track. Of course, our drivers did a very good job today. To come home in fifth place after starting in 11th is certainly satisfying for Michael. His start, when he gained three places, and his second long and consistent stint were decisive for him to get in front of Nico. He also did a good job today with both our drivers doing similar lap times throughout the race which shows that they achieved what was possible.
This inaugural Indian Grand Prix was a remarkable event. This is a fantastic and challenging race track, and saw packed grandstands and great enthusiasm from the fans. Formula One could not have wished for more during the first race in a new country. So a big thank you to the organisers, the Jaypee Group, and to Bernie Ecclestone and FOM, who have worked very hard to make this new event happen. We now are looking forward to the next Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, the home of our co-owners and partners aabar, where we hopefully can achieve a similar result. Fifth and sixth paces are not what we are ultimately striving for but it is satisfying to get the best possible results and we can build on that in order to make a good step next year."
Full Race Results:
Indian Grand Prix 2011