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GP Week : Issue 173
Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel may have extended his lead in the championship standings by winning in India, but Fernando Alonso continued his stubborn pursuit of this year’s title, taking second place on the Buddh International Circuit. From pole, Vettel used a clean start to break free of the chasing pack and a loose skid block in the final third of the race didn’t phase him, as he took the chequered flag well clear of his chief title rival, Alonso, in second. “All in all, it was a very good race for us and I’m happy with the result,” said Vettel. “I felt very good on the soft tryes and was competitive. McLaren and Ferrari were quick on the hard tyre today, so it was important tohaveagaptothem.Itwasagreatdayforusandan important step.” From the third row of the grid, the tenacious Alonso used an exceptional tow to despatch Lewis Hamilton, before swooping past Jenson Button in the sister McLaren for the final podium spot. Alonso held station behind Vettel’s RBR team-mate Mark Webber during the opening stint but used an earlier stop to latch on to the Australian’s rear-wing. A KERS issue left Webber vulnerable in a straight-line and Alonso eventually used DRS to slipstream passed the ailing Red Bull for second place. Heading to Abu Dhabi, Vettel holds a slender 13-point lead over Alonso in the Drivers’ standings, while Red Bull consolidated its position at the top of the Constructors’ championship with Webber rounding out the podium places in India. And Alonso remains optimistic, with Ferrari expected to bring more updates to the F2012 to next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. “We can fight the Red Bulls but, at the moment, we still don’t have a car capable of winning,” said Alonso. “We did what we could today and if, come the end of the championship we win, then no one will be able to say it was down to mistakes from the others, but because we always did the maximum. “There are 75 points up for grabs and I am still optimistic. We are all aware that we have to improve our performance, but yet again we have seen that anything can happen and that the races are always long and difficult...” TENACIOUS ALONSO KEEPS VETTEL WITHIN SIGHT 24 GPWEEK.com // 24 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> INDIA