Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sebastian Vettel Scores First Ever Grand Prix of India Pole Position

Photo Credit: Mercedes GP

 
Bringing the festival of Formula 1 to one of the most populous regions in the world, the Buddh International Circuit located in New Delhi hosts the ever Indian Grand Prix. A newly-completed entertainment complex, the 16-turn, 5.137-kilometer track tests the 2011 Formula 1 drivers and teams with several, sweeping high-speed turns and high ambient temperatures for late October.

 
A first ever visit to the circuit, many drivers got advance interaction with the Indian Grand Prix circuit by computer simulation programs including Team Lotus. Team Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen commented prior to visiting the circuit, "There’s the obvious overtaking zone at the end of the long straight and then a few pretty standard medium speed corners but I think the main challenge for us is going to be finding a balance that suits the demands of T10 to T13, which is quick, and the hairpins at T3, T4 and T16. We won’t know anything about tyre degradation until we get out there, but whatever happens it’s going to be hot, probably a bit mad, but seriously good. I can’t wait!”

 
 
Photo Credit: Charles Coates/LAT Photographic

 
Allocated an extra set of tires for Friday practice, the real-life adaptation to the Buddh International Circuit resulted with the Red Bull Racing and McLaren F1 team leading the way. Among the hot and haze of the New Delhi climate, qualifying for the Grand Prix of India started with minimum air temperatures in the high 20 degree Celsius range.

 
Defeated in the Korean Grand Prix race weekend's pole qualifying session by year-long nemesis McLaren F1, Red Bull Racing is eager to restart their streak of pole which ended at 16 races. Immediately, acclaimed 2011 Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel took top position of the time sheets in qualifying. Lapping the race track in a 2nd fastest time of 1 minute, 26.218 seconds in the initial Q1 session, Vettel's Red Bull-Renault barely held off the charge of the McLaren-Mercedes of Jenson Button. For Button, the 2nd place in the session result required a last-second run from near elimination inside the first qualifying group.

 
The surprise in early Indian Grand Prix qualifying came with the Lotus Renault GP car of Vitaly Petrov vaulting to the 1st place spot in Q1 using fresh, softer Pirelli tires. While Petrov impressed with fastest in Q1, the second year driver for Lotus Renault GP would miss a top-10 placement in Q2 to Jaime Alguersuari's Toro Rosso-Ferrari. Due to a Friday practice infraction, Vitaly Petrov will be dropped an addition five-grid spots to 16th place.

 
Out of the HRT Formula 1 organization for much of the season following the European Grand Prix, Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan was suited up for the first Indian Grand Prix. An instant hit with his home country, Karthikeyan actions during qualifying neither impressed Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP or Formula 1 race stewards. As Schumacher was making a flying lap late in the Q1 session, the HRT-Cosworth of Karthikeyan was deemed to have disrupted the qualifying run. The Indian driver will be demoted to the second-last starter for the Grand Prix of India as a penalty. 

 
Becoming the only driver to score a time under the 85-second barrier in Q2, Sebastian Vettel picked up nearly half a second on his Q3 fastest lap to command pole at 1 minute, 24.178 seconds. While the McLaren-Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton qualified second fastest following the Q3 session, the British driver will be starting in 5th position for Sunday's event. Hamilton received a three-grid position penalty by the race stewards after they deemed the McLaren F1 driver failed to slow for double-yellow flag. Thereby, the Red Bull-Renault of Mark Webber will be elevated to a front row starting position alongside teammate Vettel.

 
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and McLaren driver Jenson Button will start on the second row for Sunday's first Indian Grand Prix. In the race's third row, the penalized Lewis Hamilton starts alongside Felipe Massa's Ferrari which suffered major front suspension damage after hitting a corner curb. Nico Rosberg's Mercedes GP leads off the fourth row with Adrian Sutil and the Force India team giving their home country fans a reason to cheer.

 
Starting at 5 am Eastern time, the first Indian Grand Prix event is set to start under a hot sun.
 

 
2011 Formula 1
Indian Grand Prix
Buddh International Circuit
Starting Line-up

  
  1. 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing
  2. 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing
  3. 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
  4. 4 Jenson Button McLaren
  5. 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren
  6. 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari
  7. 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP
  8. 14 Adrian Sutil Force India
  9. 18 Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso
  10. 19 Jaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso
  11. 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP
  12. 15 Paul di Resta Force India
  13. 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1
  14. 9 Bruno Senna Lotus Renault GP
  15. 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams F1
  16. 10 Vitaly Petrov Lotus Renault GP
  17. 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber
  18. 21 Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus
  19. 20 Jarno Trulli Team Lotus
  20. 17 Sergio Perez Sauber
  21. 25 Jérôme D’Ambrosio Marussia Virgin Racing
  22. 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT F1
  23. 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT F1
  24. 24 Timo Glock Marussia Virgin Racing

 

 

 

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