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GP Week : Issue 140
Team-By-Team: Indian Gr and Prix, New Delhi Button continued his intense examination of Vettel’s pressure-coping skills to keep the German on his toes throughout the race, but ultimately lacked the pace to challenge for the win. He overtook Webber on the first lap to climb to second and despite staying with 5 seconds of Vettel for most of the race he was unable to bridge the gap and fell to 8 seconds behind in the final laps. Hamilton, after being hit with a 3-place grid penalty on Friday, lost a place at the start and then had to make an unscheduled stop for a new wing after colliding with Massa, before coming home in 7th place behind both Mercedes. Red Bull enjoyed a typical 2011 Grand Prix with Vettel cruising to yet another race victory and team-mate Webber struggling with tyre wear and ultimately finishing off the podium. Vettel led every single lap of the race and set the fastest lap to wrap up his first “full house” over a race weekend, albeit having Jenson Button for close company for the majority of the distance. Webber lost second place on the opening lap and then lost third to Alonso at the final round of stops when he had to pit early. He now lies 19 points behind 2nd place in the championship. Renault claimed their third non-scoring finish in four races, as the Enstone team’s stock continues to fall in the closing races, with Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna taking the flag in 11th and 12th places. A slow getaway from his first pitstop on lap 3 ultimately cost Petrov a points finish, as he emerged behind Perez who took the flag in 10th. Senna opted for a different strategy and pitted with three laps to go, but dropped from 9th to 12th. He had gained four places off the line but had to drive most of the race without KERS after a failure around lap 10. Mercedes recorded their joint-best result of the year with fifth and sixth places at the finish, after yet another closely-fought battle between Schumacher and Rosberg. After gaining three places of the line Schumacher was immediately on Rosberg’s gearbox, but had to wait until lap 50 to finally pull ahead thanks to a later final pitstop. On the faster soft tyre he was able to open a gap to Rosberg who had switched to the hard, and emerged from the pits with a 1.3 second cushion to gain two points on his main rival in the drivers’ championship. Yet another dismal race for the Grove- based outfit that has typified their similarly disappointing 2011 campaign. Barrichello’s race was ruined from the first corner when he ran into the sister car of Pastor Maldonado while trying to defend from Kobayashi. That required a pitstop for repairs with a switch to the slower hard tyre costing him pace. He eventually took the flag in 15th, behind Kovalainen’s Lotus. Maldonado had survived the first-corner incident and was in 13th place when his gearbox suddenly failed on approach to turn 5. The team is investigating the cause. Alonso was pleased to finish on the podium at the inaugural Indian GP, especially after overtaking Mark Webber during the final round of stops to collect his 9th trophy of the year. He lost a place at the start when he ran wide at turn 1, but stayed close enough to Webber to jump him after his stop on lap 39. Team- mate Massa gained a place off the line and was keeping pace with Alonso when he collided with Hamilton at turn 5. He got a drive-through penalty but had to retire a lap later after a front- left suspension failure, identical to his failure in qualifying. 36