Sebastian Vettel wrapped up his fourth consecutive drivers’ championship in style with a convincing win in Sunday’s 2013 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix in New Delhi.
The German, whose victory also secured a fourth straight constructors’ crown for Red Bull, needed to finish in fifth place or higher to secure another drivers’ crown, but ended up reaching the chequered flag first, half a minute clear of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg who was second, with Lotus’s Romain Grosjean an impressive third having started 17th.
Fittingly it was Red Bull’s chief technical officer Adrian Newey who joined Vettel on the podium to receive the constructors’ trophy on behalf of the brilliant RB9 car he had designed.
The only downside for Red Bull was Mark Webber’s retirement from second place, riding shotgun for Vettel, with alternator failure on the 39th of the 60 laps. Later Vettel was told on the 52nd lap to stop using his drinks bottle and not to engage KERS, as the team advised him not to take any more energy out of the car than was absolutely necessary.
Things went wrong for Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso – the only man who could stop Vettel from securing the title in India – right from the start. As Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen and Webber collided at the first corner, Alonso was left with nowhere to go and collected the Red Bull, damaging his front wing and forcing him to pit for a replacement on the second lap. After that his Ferrari was never right and he never got higher than his eventual 11th place finish.