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Vettel wins colourful first Indian Grand Prix, pays tribute to fallen racers
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Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Oct 2011   |  12:57 pm GMT  |  71 comments

Sebastian Vettel made more history today as he won the first Indian Grand Prix, setting a new record for most laps led in a season in the process. The German went past Nigel Mansell’s 692 laps led from the 1992 season.

It was his 11th win of the season and the 21st of his career.

It was one of Vettel’s most comfortable wins of the season; he won from pole position, led every lap and set the fastest lap.

“I’m very proud to be the first winner of the Indian Grand Prix,” said the world champion, “It’s a great country, great people, they don’t have much but they are happy and we can learn a lot from them. I find it inspiring.

“Jenson was at some stages very strong today. We were in a comfortable position, always controlling it, but with Jenson in my mirrors we had push to the end. I have mixed emotions with two tragic weekends for everyone who is a fan of motorsport. We have to pay respect to Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli who lost their lives, young and committed race drivers.”

It was one of Vettel’s most perfect wins; covering Button, controlling every phase of the race and taking no chances.

He opened a gap early on over Jenson Button and managed it to the end, making his pit stops calmly and keeping out of reach of McLaren’s Jenson Button, who had another strong race after a troubled qualifying session.

Fernando Alonso grabbed the final podium spot, after a race long battle with Mark Webber. Alonso’s mechanics were busy on the grid, fixing a problem on the left side of his front wing, with a retaining screw on the top element.

Three cars started the race on the hard tyre; Perez, Di Resta and Petrov.

At the start Button dived up the inside from P4 on the grid and went past Alonso, he then passed Webber on the long straight for the first time.

Behind them Trulli, Barrichello, Glock and Kobayashi got in trouble with various incidents and had to pit on lap one.

Di Resta pitted on lap 2 to get off the hard tyre and onto the soft, Perez and Petrov did likewise soon after.

Webber came back at Button on lap 5 using the DRS wing, trying a move at the end of the long straight, Button squeezed him out.

Michael Schumacher got a great start up to 8th, right behind his team mate Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton got a poor start, losing a place to Felipe Massa, finding himself behind the second Ferrari as he has quite a bit recently.

Alguersuari and Buemi was in the the improved Toro Rossos were able easily to pass Sutil. Buemi retired however on lap 26, leaving a long trail of oil on the circuit.

Alonso, Webber and Hamilton all stopped on lap 16, Alonso falling behind Schumacher as he exited the pits. This cost him time in his battle with Webber. But he was able to pass the German a lap later.

Button pitted on lap 19, Vettel a lap later. Hamilton had closed on Massa by three seconds through the first round of stops, by pitting a lap earlier.

Hamilton attacked Massa for 5th place and got alongside, but Massa turned into him, yet another coming together between the pair.

This time it was definitely Massa’s fault, Hamilton came alongside and Massa turned into him, damaging the McLaren’s front wing. Hamilton had to pit for a new one, dropping to 9th.

“We had the one minute silence before the start of the race and me and Felipe were standing next to each other,” said Hamilton. “He hasn’t spoken to me in a long, long time so I put my arm around him and just said ‘good luck for the race.

“But in the race I tried to overtake and I tried to come out of it because it didn’t look like he was going to give me any space, and we collided.”

Massa wasn’t available for comment as I post this, but a comment from him will appear here soon.

Massa got a drive through penalty and a lap after serving it, when he was just 6 seconds ahead of Hamilton and all set for a second round battle, Ferrari pulled him in for a tyre stop and front wing change. He rejoined but soon after retired with a broken front suspension.

Once again it looked like he had hit a kerb at a bad angle and the front left suspension broke.

In the battle for third place, Webber was struggling with higher tyre wear than Alonso and when he suddenly lost a second a lap he was forced to pit and take the hard tyre. Alonso stayed out and was able to jump him when he came in for hard tyres soon after.

The two Mercedes drivers had a great battle for 5th and 6th places, Schumacher recovering well from a poor qualifying session to take the fight to Rosberg. He got ahead of the younger man in the second round of pit stops.

He was told “You are free to race, but keep it clean.” He held off Rosberg to the end.

Vettel set the fastest lap of the race near the end to round out a perfect day.

INDIAN GRAND PRIX, Buddh International, 60 laps
1. Vettel Red Bull 1h30:35.002
2. Button McLaren + 8.433
3. Alonso Ferrari + 24.301
4. Webber Red Bull + 25.529
5. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:05.421
6. Rosberg Mercedes + 1:06.851
7. Hamilton McLaren + 1:24.183
8. Alguersuari Toro Rosso + 1 lap
9. Sutil Force India + 1 lap
10. Perez Sauber + 1 lap
11. Petrov Renault + 1 lap
12. Senna Renault + 1 lap
13. Di Resta Force India + 1 lap
14. Kovalainen Lotus + 2 laps
15. Barrichello Williams + 2 laps
16. D’Ambrosio Virgin + 2 laps
17. Karthikeyan HRT + 3 laps
18. Ricciardo HRT + 3 laps
19. Trulli Lotus + 4 laps

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71 Comments
  1. Alex_D says:

    Very DULL race….and it is not because of Vettel:-)

    1. Douglas says:

      It’s the dust – the width of the track can’t be used so everyone just follows in procession and can’t really overtake. The layout of the track might be nice and all, with Tilke very proud of some corners, but it is all completely wasted in a dusty climate like that.

      If they could control the dust somewhat and wash the track down thoroughly the week before the next race, it might have the foundation for some great racing.

      1. Cloney says:

        From what I picked up watching the coverage, a lot of the dust was from trucks and equipment that was still around and on the track right up till Practice 1, because they were still finishing the track right through the weekend.

        While it is a dusty climate, I think next years will be better if they lay off the trucks and such it will aid keeping the dust to a minimum because over the weekend, there didn’t seem to many dust storms or anything.

        Just suffered from the Commonwealth Games syndrome of not being finished until the last second.

    2. Duke says:

      DULL?? I didn’t think it was dull at all,but it seems the majority of fans in GB are Lewis fans,and they cannot accept his “accidents” hence the comments.
      Stop being such a miserable lot,the race was great.No one has hardly mentioned Schumacher who came from 11th to finish 5th in front of Rosberg.Nothing wrong with the Schumi magic in India.The top Bollywood star headed straight for Schumis berth on arriving,so it is OK to like Schumi even if you are British!Well I am and proud to be a Schumi fan.Alonso was great,and of course Vettels car didn’t just arrive at the finish by itself.Vettel is a great young driver.Give him some credit,and the India race – not so sure about EJ’s legs though!!:)

      1. aziwal says:

        I was/am a Schumi fan and far from being a Hamilton fan but it WAS a dull race mate. I switched off half way through the race and didn’t bother to even check the results later.

      2. Trent says:

        I enjoyed this race.
        The look and feel of it was somehow different; I don’t know if it was the muted colours from the dusty atmosphere, the sun that glowed red and seems to set at mid-afternoon in India amongst the soupy air, or a track that really offers something unique.

        Most of all, it was maybe images like this:
        http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-photos/7863/2011-indian-formula-1-grand-prix-sunday/188824/#/188824

        Photos of fans wedging themselves in to get a glimpse of F1 up close is something from a bygone era. I do hope India embraces F1, and the fans come back for another look next year!

  2. sam w says:

    I think that Massa needs to learn that sometimes it is better to concede a place than take a line and risk breaking the car. Webber and Alonso have been great examples of this this year. The most obvious being Webber at eau rouge, Alonso could have run him off, but it would have damaged his car and could have hurt both of them. Take Hamilton Massa in Monaco at Lowes, if Massa had conceded as Schumacher did he probably would have avoided contact and perhaps later stayed in the race. With regard to the kerbs, the fat kerbs are dangerous, if a driver makes a genuine mistake he could be launched and hurt… however Massa needs to stop making these mistakes. I thought his penalty was harsh today but no harsher than the vast majority of penalties dished out to Lewis.

  3. Marc says:

    Sorry to say, but this race was boring. The track the drivers acclaimed with so much enthusiasm delivered a static race. It was awful.

  4. Christine says:

    Great inaugural Indian GP Vettel was supreme as he’s been most of the season. Best start of the season for Button, hope he keeps it up. Ferrari front wing is looking a bit flimsy and Massa deserved his drive through, he seems to have a mental block when it comes to Hamilton.

  5. Stuart Harrison says:

    Bit of a dull race after all the pre-race hype. An interesting circuit but there seem to be only one or two places to attempt overtakes (unless you’re Hamilton – interesting to see Massa get the blame there for once!).

    The teams appear to be totally on top of the tyres so even they aren’t producing any interesting racing any more.

    And other faultless drive from Vettel. Are we going to see any notable mistakes from him or the team this year? It must be getting pretty boring for him out front, but I’m sure he’s not complaining :)

    1. Bhaskar says:

      You can remember Canadian GP. :)

      1. Stuart Harrison says:

        Yes and I remember Germany too, where he slid off briefly, but I said notable! These were minor slipups, nothing contributing to a drive-through penalty, or crashing into another driver, or the barriers.

        Every other top 10 driver has had a race-ruining incident this year (in fact I’d be surprised if it wasn’t the whole field barring Vettel). Vettel is just bulletproof in comparison!

    2. TheLegend92 says:

      Well, Fernando and Jenson have not made any big mistake. Fernando was out at Canada but that was Jenson’s fault if there was a responsible for that. Fernando crashed with Lewis at Malasia, but he had not to retire and you could also argue that it was Lewis’ erratic moves that caused it. Seb also had a really bad start at China (appart from Canada and Germany mistakes) that cost him the victory. And well, he crashed into the barriers on FP in Canada and another GP that i dont remember now. Last year he crashed into other drivers because he had to overtake often. ¿How many difficult overtaking maniouvres has he done this year? Can’t remember even one. Passing Alonso at Monza looked nice just because he put two tires out of the track, but when you have a car with the aerodinamic of an F15 you can do it. I mean Seb has been in really big preasure in China, Monaco, Montmelo, Canada, Germany and maybe Suzuka, but he had the WDC already won, and he lost 4 of this races. Not a great percentage to me…

      1. David A says:

        The Monza move on Alonso was one of the best I’ve seen this year, plus he got Rosberg on the outsode of Blanchimont, which are far from his only passes of the year.

      2. James Allen says:

        Button and Massa in one lap in Spain (albeit on fresh tyres)

  6. PaulL says:

    I was thinking briefly that Webber’s decline relative to Vettel is similar to how Patrese fared against Mansell between 91 and 92.
    It must be hard to be in the championship winning car and be 11 wins to zero down on your teammate.

    Also, I know he had the contact damage from the lap he collided with Massa, but it didn’t look like to me Hamilton had any real pace in the first stint either. He sat 1.5-2 seconds behind Massa.
    I’ve probably said this many times already, but what we need is to bring back refuelling so the kings of speed, like Lewis, have a better chance of being a force. Looking after tyres is a driving skill, but I don’t regard it as a RACING skill. As a fan, I want to see drivers pushing the limits of themselves and the car, not pushing to the limit of just the tyres. But then, F1′s a show first and a race second. The only thing I regret is that too many fans can’t tell the difference.

    1. Michael C says:

      “But then, F1′s a show first and a race second. The only thing I regret is that too many fans can’t tell the difference.”

      +1

      The FIA has regulated the racing out of F1 and engineered it into a circus with a bunch of useless gizmos like KERS,inferior tires and DRS.

    2. Laurence H says:

      I think Webber’s desire has gone. I don’t think Patrese ever had it!. He didn’t ‘decline’ against Mansell as he was never a challenge to him in the first place.

    3. terryshep says:

      Dead right! I sometimes wonder that the real racers don’t demand to be allowed to race properly.

  7. MOHAN DOSHI says:

    Great write up to a great race, the first held in India.

    As Vettel said, Indians may not have all the luxuries that other countries may have, but we are contended with what we have and we are happy the way we are.

    Most people have questioned whether holding an F1 event in the country is appropriate and that F1 is an elite sport. I would like to say that poverty of a country has nothing to do with holding sporting events. Poverty is to be tacked by the powers that be with poverty alleviating policies and relief framework. One cannot equate the two. There are no similar parameters here for a critical analysis.

    The organisers have done the country proud by holding this Grand Prix. We love you all, the organisers, the champions, the technical staff and all those who made this such a memorable event for us.

    1. Bhaskar says:

      Well said.
      Those who are making others living in poverty arent happy to see others growing as well. They just want the things to be as perfect for them as they are, forever.
      If they say this sport isnt our priority, then why they are letting that much money to be spent on Cricket as well.
      Welcome for F1 and let Cricket to expand in other continents. :)

      1. MOHAN DOSHI says:

        That’s exactly the point that needs to be elaborated. The people in power are the ones who crib the most about these events. And they are responsible for the mess around us today. If someone tries to clear the mess and create a state-of-the-art racing track, a ton of bricks descends on this person in the form of socialist barbs and welfare pricks, that F1 is an elitist sport.

        You have rightly pointed out that let us welcome F1 wholeheartedly and export cricket to some other place. As it is only 10 countries play cricket and yet we have what is called the “WORLD CUP”. It can’t get stranger than that.

        Thanks for your comments.

  8. Udo Thiel says:

    James, to call the Massa/Hamilton incident “definitely Massa’s fault” is controversial, to say the least. Not seeing this through British glasses, I’d call it a gift from Johnny Herbert to Hamilton. This man has so much talent, yet one sometimes has to wonder what is between his two ears. He was obviously quicker than Massa but instead of overtaking him where all sane drivers tried their overtaking manoevers, on the 1,2 km straight, he was impatient and forced a crash. Christian Danner called it 60% Hamilton’s fault. Ralf Schumacher said after the race, Hamilton might be faster on a single lap than Jenson, but Jenson is just the much more clever driver. I can’t see what Massa has done wrong, he stuck to the racing line and if that is worth a penalty then good night to racing. Not even Hamilton fans should expect other drivers to leave the racing line for Mr. Hamilton to pass. Greetings from a non-British motorsport fan.

    1. markdartj says:

      Maybe Massa should move to IndyCar. Believe it or not, the idiot in race control (who I will not name here, since I used the word “idiot) has decreed that the drivers entering a corner on a road/street course must remain in their “lane”; i.e. if Massa was on the outside entering the turn, he must remain outside, letting a car underneath him. It is a great storyline, now that the season is wrapped up. Massa v. Hamilton.

    2. Chris Anderson says:

      To say if was 100% Massa’s fault is laughable. Even the BBC commentators were not blaming Massa. Massa Had the racing line and out braked Hamilton. If you listen to Hamilton’s on board he knows its not going to work and tries to back out of it but not enough. Racing incident 50-50

      1. James Allen says:

        Anthony Davidson on 5 Live certainly blamed Massa 100%.

  9. Charlie B says:

    Quite a dull race, Hamilton vs. Massa was the only real incident. Do not see how Massa deserved a penalty, it was like Singapore 2010. By that I mean racing incident but a silly decision by Lewis, that whole sector is not a place to pass. He only had to wait until the main straight and it would have been easy with DRS.

  10. Schumilewis says:

    Worryingly for the 1st time in 25 years of watching F1 I have started to find the races a bit boring if Vettel is in the lead after the 1st corner ( not Vettel’s fault as he’s driving superbly ). If I find it boring what will the casual viewer think? I wish Lewis could get back to his ’07/08 standards but I fear the car is being adapted more to Jenson’s style.

    1. Stuart Harrison says:

      Quite so; the race to see who comes 2nd is never quite as enthralling.

      It must be said that the wins in China and Canada would not have been quite so sweet without a dominating performance from Vettel. We all expected him to drive to a commanding victory, so when that didn’t happen it was all the more surprising. :)

    2. 2002 was a bit like this season too don’t you think?

      In 2004 we had Jenson in the BAR proving an interesting challenge and was wondering when his maiden victory would come through.

      However, I don’t think it is Vettel who is making the race a bit processional behind him. The track is certainly interesting and we should have a better race next year when, excuse the pun, the dust settles.

  11. Irish con says:

    I thought fernando on the hard tyre would of been easy for mark to pass. F1 really confused me sometimes considering the hard hasn’t been used since England and ferraris struggles on the medium since. Tho susuka they were ok on the medium.

  12. Richard says:

    Well as great as the circuit is, the Indian race itself apart from a few of the incidents was fairly lack lustre. It may not be a popular view, but F1 was far more exciting in the past. It was however a more dangerous place to be though. I think F1 today is too constrained and too dependant on aero efficiency rather than mechanical grip. In my view too much is dependant on the car rather than the driver such that wheel to wheel racing is far less evident. It’s a sort of negative F1!?

    1. Michael C says:

      “It may not be a popular view, but F1 was far more exciting in the past.”

      Despite all the excitement generating gizmos engineered into the cars today. They haven’t improved the sport one bit if you ask me. They’ve cheapened it.

    2. Mithil says:

      “I think F1 today is too constrained and too dependant on aero efficiency rather than mechanical grip.”

      Rightly said. But on the other hand F1 is about designing new exciting stuff for the world of motosport.

  13. KRB says:

    Isn’t that called a grand slam, when you get pole, win, lead every lap and get fastest lap? Just looking up F1 records on Wiki, and it shows that this is the first time Vettel has achieved this.

    Quite surprised by that in fact. I thought he did that in Singapore this year as well. Just saw now that Button took fastest lap in Singapore.

    1. CJD says:

      and if you followed the laptimes in the end – and the radio conversation, vettel and button (and webber) where fighting till the last lap for the “fastest lap” .. looked like both didn’t want vettel to get the grand slam

  14. KRB says:

    Sauber and STR now equal on pts, Sauber ahead on countback. That battle between those two and Force India is a good one.

  15. seifenkistler says:

    Schumi said in german TV that he wasn’t using KERS at start. He wanted reserves at the long straight, hoping for a hole to pop up.

    Also that he learned to save tires, same as in last race when he had bad luck to be rammed out.

    Seems being old and having experience isn’t that bad.

  16. DK says:

    Honestly, I think it is very difficult to get Mark to second place if he do not want any gift from Seb or the team in the remaining races.

  17. Olivier says:

    hello James, Mansel’s record is more significant as there were not so many races in a season in that era.

    It is still an impressive feat from Vettel & the Red Bull boys though.

    1. RDS Motorsport says:

      I think if they convert it to % form I think Mansell will still be ahead, it will interesting to see that comparison.

      Vettel has longer seasons and the new points system working in his favour

  18. Olivier says:

    As to the race. As dull as a cricket play : )

    1. Rukman says:

      You mean as dull as a baseball game? :-)

  19. goferet says:

    Thankfully we have got to this point in the season, that I have longed for all season long i.e. ”The End Of The Vettel Era”.

    After this race, I believe we won’t see the finger in the last two races & all races next year apart from a few one-offs like Bahrain for I seriously doubt Vettel can win anything again.

    Surely the law of diminishing returns has to kick in now.

    About this track, I now totally change my mind about it for while watching this race, horror images of Abu-Dhabi & Bahrain flooded my brain like a tsunami.

    I wonder why Bernie doesn’t use different designers for each new track for it’s quite obvious Tilke’s well has run dry or maybe he has designers’ block.

    Gosh, the race was boring that I can’t even think of a drive that deserves the driver of the day title.

    And how come, these last races aren’t as entertaining as the earlier ones in the season, something has changed, maybe Pirelli have began making the tyres too durable like Bridgestone used to do.

    I really feel sorry for the Indian fans for they were really excited about having a Formula 1 race at last but they go & get this track.

    If Bernie & Tilke are reading this, enough with the health & safety tracks, we want every F1 circuit having walls at some corners like Canada. The cars are strong enough, they can handle the impact!

    1. DK says:

      What about the orange kerbs? :)

    2. Andre says:

      @goferet: Do you really believe what you write??? I remember similarly strange lines of argument from you why Vettel should not win the 2011 title, races etc. earlier in the season…

      I’m sorry to say but you will end up being very disappointed in the seasons to come ;-)

    3. sender says:

      You said:
      “And how come, these last races aren’t as entertaining as the earlier ones in the season, something has changed, maybe Pirelli have began making the tyres too durable like Bridgestone used to do.”

      I agree completely with that (see also my post about it).
      I had my suspicions that in time everything will return to the situation as it used to be. Maybe it is not like Bridgestone and maybe it will never be like that, and some races will be very good, but it is not enough. You can’t create interest during the whole season with a couple of good races.
      The track itself is not at fault (at least it is not the only or main problem), there are other issues which need to be resolved.

    4. Udo Thiel says:

      Can you explain to a non-Britain please, what is wrong with the Vettel finger? Is it a rude gesture in Britain?

      1. Andrew Woodruff says:

        Thinking about this, as a Brit, the reason it winds us up so much is quite difficult to put your finger on! (Pun fully intended). I have come up with the following though, and bear in mind that I am actually a fan of Vettel as a driver, a person and an ambassador for the sport. I just can’t stand that wagging finger!

        It is the implication of the gesture, more than the gesture itself. It says: “look at me, I am number 1″. I can’t recall any driver in history who has self-proclaimed in such a way before (except perhaps Hamilton, who, contrary to belief outside Britain, has made himself quite unpopular as a personality in the UK over the last couple of seasons).

        Back to Vettel though – it is the self indulgence of the gesture, combined with the fact that he is young and so precocious – a double world champion by the age of 25 – that riles people. There is nothing wrong with success at a young age in itself, but because he has had a significant car advantage for most of the last two seasons, for many there is still doubt about whether he actually is number 1. Among the very best, sure, but no-one likes a show-off!

    5. Rob Newman says:

      goferet, you always make me smile with your comments. I do enjoy what you write but why do you hate Vettel so much? He has done a great job this year and I am sure he will be up there in the coming years too.

      1. goferet says:

        @Rob Newman Hahaa thanks!

        Well I don’t necessarily hate Vettel (since he beats Alonso for us) but the thing is am a Hammy fan & hate to see his thunder stolen.

        And what’s worse, is this Vettel character surely can’t hold a candle to our hero but yet the car is flattering him for instance with everything being equal, am certain Vettel wouldn’t beat Hammy in qualifying.

  20. Nilesh says:

    A Grand Chelem from Vettel. He gets more impressive with each race. The race was a rather dull spectacle which is surprising with the excellent track layout. Did the dirt make drivers not go off the racing line? Was it something else?

  21. GPS says:

    a pity that it was such a dull race as the circuit looked great, and I thought the promoters did a fantastic job to pack the stands in a way that other countries have failed to do.

    On the whole the Tilke designed circuits do seem to throw up dull races, I wonder just how much that has to do with his design or the regulations that govern the design? any thoughts James?

  22. Williams4Ever says:

    a) Overall Good Race.

    b) TV Feed Scattered, was all all over the place. Didn’t focus on anything, leader’s race, home-driver’s race or any battles along the field. So big let down. If F1 has added artificial gimmicks like DRS to “improve the show” TV feed should at least show the DRS assisted shames instead to hovering over “Nothing”.

    c) Hamilton-Massa – It was a racing incident, but given the background of their stormy relationship( Nicole has split, Rafaella must be on her way out), someone had to be penalized. So Massa it was this time. Massa had no place to go and he was ahead going into the corner, while Lewis was dashing for racing line. Sad very sad.
    Lewis and Massa should perform “Come together” on Karaoke in after-party and make up.

    d) Drives of the race – Vettel, Alguersuari, Karthikeyan, Ricciardo and Sutil.

    e) Karthikeyan’s competitiveness throughout the weekend after so much less mileage in the car vindicates he deserves a drive in F1. But then sadly there are only 24 seats out there.

  23. sender says:

    If we ignore that Pirelli was reportedly conservative approaching this race, it still does not validate the poor showing.
    The general feeling is that races are becoming so static like they used to be last year and some of the other years.
    Tires are becoming more and more durable and the strategy has lost almost all variables and inventions.
    Almost nobody changes positions after the start. Almost all is decided in the start. The races are so predictable and uneventful that soon people will again start to complain. And they will be right.
    Again this is becoming a dull second half of the championship (at least last year there was excitement in the championship table, although the the last races were not very exciting).
    The problem is that all of the last years there are only a couple of winners. There were seasons not in the long past that also other drivers and teams were at least in contention for the podium . Some predicted that the gaps will be bigger this year but they are huge. There are three top teams among which during races there is little overtaking and then there is a huge gap to Mercedes and quite a big gap to other teams. That is not the main problem, but it is an interesting one.
    The main is the total lack of excitement. And that can be said about all of the seconf half of the season, not only this race.
    It is surprising that some people call Vettel boring and are tired of his domination. He is not at fault. He does what he has to do and does it well. The problem is the general situation in the races and the lack of competition.
    There should be more thought put into this.

  24. F1 Fanatic says:

    James what do you say about Bruno Senna’s F1 future?

  25. Peter says:

    These new “industrial” race tracks just do not produce the same races as Spa, Monza, Monaco etc. – the traditional circuits, no matter how hard designers try. Huge asphalt surfaces with painted stripes, no real character just artificial huge infrastructure. Maybe its fun to drive on it, but doest come across the screen. Too wide, too big, too uncharacteristic. And I have nothing against an Indien GP, just sometimes less is more.

  26. Robert Gunning says:

    If this race is anything to go by then Abu Dhabi will be just as boring. Perhaps you should make it a bit more interesting James by holding another competition; something along the lines of:

    Which lap will Lewis Hamilton crash into someone?

  27. F1Fan4Life says:

    An utterly boring race. I share the sentiments of some posters here, if as a serious F1 fan, I am finding the races boring, how will new fans view it? This was just another procession, if it weren’t for Massa and Hamilton driving foolishly I doubt I’d remember anything about it. India did their part…Tilke…I have no idea what to say. James, could we ever get a response from Bernie or Tilke on their definition of a successful track? Does it have anything to do with viewer entertainment whatsoever? I’d rather we replace the boring tracks with Spa and Suzuka… I’d rather watch two races at Spa in one year than one Abu Dhabi and one India.

  28. vikram says:

    A lot of people are talking abt the lack of excitement during the race. I wish they had taken super soft tyres, that would have added to the show like it has done at other venues.

  29. Rob Newman says:

    First of all, credit to the organisers for doing a fantastic job in organising the event. They have done a fantastic job.

    The first half of the race was boring and then it got a bit exciting. But overall it was not a great race. With double DRS zones, KERS and a wide track, there was hardly any action. I can’t understand the point of having a wide track when you can’t drive outside of the so called ‘driving line’.

    Both Hamilton and Massa has to take the blame for the accident. Hamilton was trying to bully Massa out of the way at a place where you can’t possibly overtake. Ferrari needs to think seriously if they want Massa on their car next year. He is not capable of doing a complete race distance anymore. If Ferrari wants to win any of the championships next year, then they need to replace Massa. Again on the race day Massa’s front wings were flapping like crazy like a bird about to take off. If that was a legal wing, then why did Ferrari replace it with an older version?

    Karthikeyan is the other driver who should get out of F1. On Saturday he almost ruined Schumacher’s qualifying and on race day, again he was blocking leading cars. If he doesn’t know how to use his mirrors, or has problems with his vision, then he shouldn’t be in F1. He ended up in front of Ricciardo only because Ricciardo had a problem with his car.

    I really don’t know if some of the cars nowadays are driven by drivers or by engineers and technical staff. If you listen to some of the pit to car radio conversation, one might think some of the drivers are just puppets turning a steering wheel. No wonder Valentino Rossi was not interested in coming to F1.

  30. saleh alfakieh says:

    Booooooooooooring
    just enjoyed watching mister bean’s reaction

  31. Nick4 says:

    For all the positives of the weekend, this was a boring race; the most boring I have watched in a while and with all the signs of the onset of another Schumacheresque era. Take nothing away from Vettel and Newey, but it seems too easy for them. Alonso, Button and Hamilton just don’t seem to be able to take the race to Vettel. Roll on 2012 for a cleansheet.

  32. goferet says:

    @Udo Thiel Well thanks for your question.

    You see the Vettel finger has the same effect of rubbing salt in ones wounds after an injury for here’s a guy that has just beaten my driver & then he comes & shoves his overly aggressive index finger in the camera (our faces).

    But to be honest, I for one don’t really mind The Finger since it has the durable purpose role of whipping away tears too e.g. It worked over time in Germany 2011.

  33. goferet says:

    @Andre

    Yes I really believe what I have written.

    First things first;

    Vettel won Abu-Dhabi & Brazil last year and what’s worse, he’s won most of the races in the first half of 2011 so repeating that feat is going to be impossible.

    Second, all the first time (and young) two time WDC haven’t gone to win a third title from Alonso to Prost to Schumi.

    Third, looking back at history, Newey cars have only dominated two years at a time before they’re beaten.

    Fourth. no driver has ever won more than two titles in a Newey car.

    So you see, the only one that’s going to be disappointed from here on out is – You!

    1. AB says:

      So your saying that we should all be getting on Webber for next year as this current evolution has already dominated for two and a half years (remember which car was quickest for at least half of the Brawn year)? So, two and half years has knocked over the “only two years” for a Newey car.

  34. Keith says:

    Just a small gut feeling, but Button is and has been looking good, strong with each race, and building himself a good foundation within McLaren, where as Lewis, for whatever reason is losing it each race, no matter what he says, his actions are still speaking volumes.
    So going into 2012 where will McLaren put their trust in, to bring home the points and possible championship?
    Some of the older – retired F1 drivers are starting to recognised that Button is smart & clever driver, but of course McLaren will always go for the corp. speak, so you never really get a truth full answer from them, and I guess you have to rely on pit lane gossip to see what McLaren will do.
    So James, from your inside track on the movers & shakers, do you think McLaren are looking beyond Lewis now? Sure he has had a bad year, but at this level and the amount of retainers these drivers are paid. Friendship goes out the window pretty quickly, whereas results count.

  35. Rein says:

    Congratulations to India for staging such a fantastic and colourful event. Yes, it was a boring race but for me personally, it was OK this time round. A week ago, on Sunday morning, I was in shock after Marco Simoncellis fatal crash on live TV. Lets just finish this season in style, without any more dramas, and move on to 2012.

  36. dom jones says:

    For the first time since 2004 I actually turned off a race before the end. This was a boring race – fact. With KERS and DRS, it was still a procession. We know what DRS can do to a race so it must have been a problem with the track layout.

    Massa’s move was a disgrace. I wouldn’t presume to tell a racing driver to give up a place, but surely a good driver should be able to recognise when a position is effectively lost and then do the honourable thing and yield. Looked like he was trying to destroy Hamilton’s race! Gosh! Would he contemplate such a thing???

    Other than the intangible ‘off track’ problems Hamilton has got, I think some of his problems have been caused by being out of position. Problems with qualifying or starts seemed to have put him lower than he should be in several races this season which means he is trying to overtake to recover positions. I think he also needs to be a bit more patience and not simply go for the first chance that comes. The chance he went for yesterday wasn’t that great – although it was a chance. He should have used his knowlege of Massa’s attitude to him and waited a few more corners before trying a move on the start/finish straight, or the main straight.

  37. Yasser says:

    Just want to say one thing , I’m 100% sure that if massa had had a retirement from a broken radiator or something from that incident , Hamilton would’ve been given a drive thorugh instead .
    The fact that massa was lucky that he didn’t get damage from that incident while Hamilton had to change his wing made the stewards go towards handing the penalty to massa instead.

    My opinion about it is that massa was 1- clearly ahead 2- on the racing line , therefore it was 100% Hamilton fault

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