Image : The field of Formula 1 races through the first few corners in India for the first of what could be many times.
India had never hosted a Formula 1 race in the 61 previous World Championships. That changed in 2011 when the high pitched roars of Red Bull Racing, Scuderia Ferrari, and even HRT took to the brand new Buddh International Circuit outside Delhi. It was a huge hit even though it was another dominating weekend for Red Bull. Two Indian drivers drove at one point in the weekend and an Indian team said that this was their dream come true. The Airtel Indian Grand Prix was a new dawn in New Delhi, and will be a for as long as the Grand Prix runs.
Some drivers had a great race in India, while others might have wished their weekend had fallen better into place. One driver who did extremely well was the World Champion, Sebastian Vettel. He came into the Indian Grand Prix with no pressure, no need to do well, but the passion to be the number one until the season ended. He showed that passion in Qualifying on Saturday when he took pole by three tenths of a second over McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who had received a penalty on the grid for setting a fast time in practice while under yellow flags. Vettel continued to win the race after being the race leader since the red lights turned green. He took the fastest lap on the final lap to complete the "Grand Slam", the result Sebastian had been waiting for.
Further down the field but not too far down was Jaime Alguersuari. He was looking good in his Toro Rosso all weekend but his race result showed his young power once again. He and his teammate, Buemi had been doing very well ever since they started practice on Friday and Jaime continued the speed. Alguersuari moved himself from tenth on the grid to eighth during the race. The result helped Toro Rosso tie with Sauber for seventh in the Constructor's Championship. It also gave the young Spaniard more than five times the amount of points he had scored in the whole season last year.
Sergio Perez also did an amazing job to score some valuable points in New Delhi for himself and Sauber, who are now defending their position from the improving Toro Rosso team in the Championship. Perez's weekend didn't start well at all. In Qualifying, Perez got knocked out in Qualifying Two, the second session on Saturday, with the slowest time. He received a penalty for ignoring yellow flags and was forced to start twentieth, behind both Lotus cars. His race result was much better. Perez had climbed up the field into tenth and scored one point to keep Sauber tied for seventh in the Constructors Title.
After getting a penalty for ignoring yellow flags, Hamilton was not in the best mood. Fifth on the grid was his worst starting position since the British Grand Prix in the beginning of July. It was also the position right in front of Felipe Massa, Hamilton's biggest foe. Lewis dropped behind Massa at the start and that angered him. Massa had soon pulled away but slipped wide allowing Hamilton to come back and fight. When Lewis went down the inside, Felipe turned in and contact was made. Ham would need to pit for a nose and Massa would receive a drive-thru. Hamilton was hurt more by the accident and stayed behind Massa even with the penalty. Felipe later retired when he bounced over the kerbs and his left suspension broke. Lewis's race didn't improve even after Massa's retirement and he wound up seventh. It was the least amount of points scored for a finish since the Malaysian Grand Prix when he only scored four.
Kobayashi didn't have the best luck in New Delhi either. He qualified way down the field in seventeenth. That put him in a position to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kamui got caught in the first corner calamaty with Glock, Barrichello, and Maldonado. Kobayashi spun and hit Glock while the Williams cars approached the incident to fast. Kobayashi would need to retire as did Glock. The Williams cars continued only to see Maldonado drop out on lap 14. It had been a bad weekend for Kobayashi, who would've been very entertaining to watch if he hadn't retired.
Image : Kobayashi retired on the first lap after some damage after a first lap accident.
Here are the final classifications for the Grand Prix of India.
| Place Car ||No||Driver||Team|| Laps || Elapsed Time || Grid ||Pts|
|2||4||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||60||+8.4 secs||4||18|
|3||5||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||60||+24.3 secs||3||15|
|4||2||Mark Webber||RBR-Renault||60||+25.5 secs||2||12|
|5||7||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes||60||+65.4 secs||11||10|
|6||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||60||+66.8 secs||7||8|
|7||3||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||60||+84.1 secs||5||6|
|8||19||Jaime Alguersuari||STR-Ferrari||59||+1 Lap||10||4|
|9||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||59||+1 Lap||8||2|
|10||17||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||59||+1 Lap||20||1|
|11||10||Vitaly Petrov||Renault||59||+1 Lap||16|
|12||9||Bruno Senna||Renault||59||+1 Lap||14|
|13||15||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||59||+1 Lap||12|
|14||20||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus-Renault||58||+2 Laps||18|
|15||11||Rubens Barrichello||Williams-Cosworth||58||+2 Laps||15|
|16||25||Jerome d'Ambrosio||Virgin-Cosworth||57||+3 Laps||21|
|17||22||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT-Cosworth||57||+3 Laps||23|
|18||23||Daniel Ricciardo||HRT-Cosworth||57||+3 Laps||22|
|19||21||Jarno Trulli||Lotus-Renault||55||+5 Laps||19|