• Indian Grand Prix

Driver-by-driver run down

Chris Medland and Fraser Masefield
October 30, 2011
Sebastian Vettel made it 11 wins in 2011 © Getty Images
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Sebastian Vettel - 1st A textbook display from the world champion on how to win a race from the front in 2011. Got away cleanly and pulled out a gap of over a second before the DRS was activated, then judged his pace to maintain a gap; always reacting whenever Button tried to close in. He led every lap of the grand prix, and secured fastest lap to complete a perfect weekend.

Jenson Button - 2nd Showed that Korea was just a blip as he again was the class of the field behind Vettel, and the only man to get anywhere near him. After struggling in qualifying he found the right balance for the race, and set it up by passing Alonso and Webber on the first lap. Drove aggressively as soon as he put on the hard tyre to get it up to temperature but Vettel always had a response when he closed the gap, and had to admit the Red Bull was just too quick on the day.

Fernando Alonso - 3rd Continues to deliver the results even though Ferrari hasn't been updating the car. Again had a new front wing, but it's designed with 2012 in mind, so qualifying third was real progress. Got a bit wide in turn one to lose out to Button at the start, but that was to be his only error as he preserve his tyres to pull in Webber at the end of each stint, passing him in the final stops before finding performance on the hard tyre - traditionally Ferrari's Achilles heel this year - to hold on to third.

Mark Webber - 4th Any hopes of winning disappeared when he decided not to challenge Vettel in to turn one, and then his race was heavily compromised by losing out to Button three corners later. Lacked the straight-line speed to regain the place and then chewed up his rear tyres towards the end of each stint which dropped him away from the leaders and in to the clutches of Alonso. Needs to find a way of preserving his tyres.

Michael Schumacher - 5th An impressive drive that brings him ever closer to Rosberg in the drivers' standings. Having started 11th, he cleverly saved his KERS for after turn three; passing both Toro Rossos around the outside before outdragging the faster cars along the straight, and putting a strong move on Sutil around the outside of turn four. His pace and tyre usage was key at the end of the race, allowing him to pit later than Rosberg and jump his team-mate for fifth.

Nico Rosberg - 6th A solid if unspectacular race, Rosberg benefitted from Massa and Hamilton's clash to climb up to fifth, but lost time in the middle stint and was forced to pit before his team-mate. The slower, harder tyre meant he lost the place to Schumacher, and then he couldn't close the gap in the closing laps. Good points for the team, but lacked a touch of pace.

Lewis Hamilton - 7th Like his team-mate, showed that Korea was just a blip, but in the wrong way. Returned to the driver from Japan: off the pace and involved in incidents. Admittedly, it was Massa who was rightly punished for their clash for turning in on the McLaren, but Hamilton had made little impression until then, and was unable to catch either Mercedes after that. 2011 is a write-off, needs to rediscover his form or Formula One will be the poorer for it.

Jaime Alguersuari - 8th Just lacked the extra bit of performance that he had in Korea, but delivered another good performance for Toro Rosso. Lost some time behind Senna at the start of the race which may have made him more of a threat to Hamilton in the end, but ultimately brought the car home as high as could be expected, drawing the team level with Sauber in the process.

Adrian Sutil - 9th Was perhaps not robust enough in his defence against Schumacher in to turn one, losing out as the Mercedes went around the outside, but didn't have the pace to challenge higher up and admitted Alguersuari was too quick for him. Did well to hold on to ninth under pressure from Perez, but might need even stronger performances to convince the team to retain him.

Sergio Perez - 10th The car was not inherently quick - as displayed by originally qualifying 17th - so to finish in the points ahead of both Renaults and a Force India was a very good performance. Started 20th after a penalty, so gambled on the hard tyres, steered clear of the turn one trouble and then pitted for softs at the end of the first lap. Displayed a good touch with the tyres to make them last so long, ultimately one stopping.

Vitaly Petrov - 11th Not his greatest race, but his strategy cost him. Started on hards and pitted at the end of lap three, but failed to pull away and lost a lot of time. Almost dropped it exiting turn 9 but did well to catch the car when contact with the wall was inevitable. Got within striking distance of points but didn't have the straight-line speed to make any positions on track.

Bruno Senna - 12th Made a very good start to go from 14th to 10th, but the lack of pace was evident as both Toro Rosso's soon dispatched him. A KERS failure didn't help, so he attempted to use strategy to gain positions and was running ninth late on, trying to extract enough pace to pit for hards and rejoin. It was a strong end to the race, but ultimately in vain.

Not everyone made it to the end of the grand prix to pass Sachin Tendulkar © Getty Images
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Paul di Resta - 13th Gambled by starting the race on the hard compound tyre with the hope of taking advantage of pitting under an early safety car. High tyre wear forced him into making three stops and hampered his chances to make inroads into the two Renaults ahead.

Heikki Kovalainen - 14th Made a strong start to avoid the opening lap melee and at one point ran as high as tenth. Able to keep pace with Senna's Renault before dropping back after switching to the harder compound. A sterling drive that represents a good step for Lotus.

Rubens Barrichello - 15th Lost his nose going into the first corner forcing him into an unscheduled stop. Had to change race strategy to a one-stopper as a result and could make precious little inroads into the cars ahead.

Jerome d'Ambrosio - 16th Started 21st after the grid penalties promoted him but was in danger of losing out to Karthikeyan. Managed to run for long stints without suffering tyre degradation and in turn hold off the HRT right at the end.

Narain Karthikeyan - 17th Could not have enjoyed a better race in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. Started from the back of the grid and made inroads despite minor damage to his front wing after hitting Trulli on the opening lap. Will take a lot of confidence from finishing ahead of his team-mate.

Daniel Ricciardo - 18th Found a way past his team-mate in the opening stint but then suffered with the balance of the front of his car during the second stint which lost him the place. Resolved the problem towards the end but unable to find a way back past Karthikeyan.

Jarno Trulli - 19th Had a good start from 19th on the grid but was then hit from behind by Karthikeyan which forced him to limp back to the pits with a puncture. From then on suffered badly with car balance and a damaged floor effectively put an end to his race.

Felipe Massa - DNF - suspension Running fifth when appeared to turn in on Lewis Hamilton, resulting in him spinning onto the run-off area before rejoining. Handed a drive-through penalty and complained of gearbox issues before smashing his suspension on a kerb in a similar incident to qualifying. Still fuming over the Hamilton incident long after the race. Left fuming after being slapped with a drive-through penalty for his part in the collision with Lewis Hamilton.

Sebastien Buemi - DNF - engine Was enjoying a strong race having passed Hamilton for eighth before engine expired in a plume of smoke on lap 26. Good race pace points towards better things.

Pastor Maldonado - DNF - gearbox Appeared to be hit by his team-mate into turn one but then enjoyed reasonable ace until forced into retirement with a gearbox issue on lap 14.

Timo Glock - DNF - collision Qualified in front of the HRTs but was unable to make any inroads after being hit by Kamui Kobayashi into turn one. Changed his front wing but there was too much damage to the left side of the car to enable him to continue.

Kamui Kobayashi - DNF - collision Another casualty of the opening corner melee. Reported being hit from behind and swerved into Glock's Virgin in an attempt to rejoin. Retired in a plume of smoke as his radiator was damaged.

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