|Winners of the Indian GP: Sebastian Vettel (centre),
Fernando Alonso (left) and Mark Webber (right)
30 October 2012: The winner of the second edition of the Airtel Indian Grand Prix wasn’t exactly a surprise. Sebastian Vettel was the star of the weekend, and his near precision driving in his last four outings have made the F1 races a tad predictable. Race Day at BIC on October 28, 2012 was action packed and quite dramatic, but the battle really was from second position onwards, as it was quite evident who the eventual winner would be even before the race began. Vettel got off to a flying start and never looked back throughout the 60 laps. Fernando Alonso put up a phenomenal performance to finish second and Mark Webber completed the podium trio.
The qualifying race was an exciting one, and went according to Red Bull Racing’s plan, with Vettel taking pole position and Webber on second position to start. Lewis Hamilton was on third, followed by teammate Jenson Button. Then came Ferrari’s Alonso and Felipe Massa respectively. Kimi Raikonnen, who has had a great season till now was at seventh place.
|Sebastian Vettel wins the Indian GP|
Vettel’s performance was clinical and had no challenge whatsoever. His first position was a given right at the start. Also the fact that the Buddh circuit suits the Red Bull racers who are more effective while handling corners as compared to long straights was proven right yet again. Fernando Alonso was the most impressive driver and had an aggressive race to finish second, moving up three places from where he started. His dual with Webber who finished third, was the highlight of the race. Lewis Hamilton secured fourth position, followed by Button, Massa and Raikonnen. With three more races to go this season, Alonso has to do something dramatic to challenge Vettel’s supremacy and make a serious bid for the Driver’s Championship this year. The gap between the two drivers is now 13 points, up from six points before the start of the race.
|The 2012 Airtel Indian GP: Vettel gets off to a flying start|
While the 2012 Airtel Indian Grand Prix was extremely well executed and went off fluently, this year the support from the fans was not as expected. The Indian GP organizers have to do some serious thinking about pulling in crowds over the race weekend, as it was disappointing to see the best drivers in the world being greeted by near empty stands on the practice and qualifying race days. I think students should be given special rates for these two days. Contact programs in schools and colleges a month before the races can really enthuse younger fans. The Buddh International Circuit has a capacity of over 1,00,000, but even on the final race day it only managed an estimated audience of 60,000 which was rather disappointing.
The circuit is challenging and the drivers love it. The weather in Delhi this time of the year is fabulous for a day out. If only we could find a way to make it more popular and get the crowds in, things would just be perfect.