• Oct 30, 2011
India is rapidly motorizing, and with it is emerging a burgeoning automotive industry. Where there's cars there's bound to be racing, and just as the world's biggest automakers head to India in droves, so has the world's foremost racing series. India has seen two of its top drivers make it into F1, it's given rise to its own F1 team, it's hosted numerous demonstration events, and this weekend, for the first time, it hosted its first grand prix.

The race was held on what has – despite a stray dog wandering onto the track during Friday's practice sessions – been widely rated as a fantastic new circuit on the outskirts of New Delhi. But while the hype is all well and good, the part that really counts is how the race went down. Follow the jump to read on.
2011 Indian Grand Prix

The qualifying sessions on Saturday initially left Lewis Hamilton's McLaren sandwiched between the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, but after Hamilton failed to heed the yellow flags, he was handed a three-place penalty that relegated him to fifth position on the grid. Ahead of him started Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and McLaren's Jenson Button, with Ferrari's Felipe Massa right behind in sixth, Mercedes GP's Nico Rosberg seventh, Force India's own Adrian Sutil eighth, and Toro Rosso's Sebastian Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari ninth and tenth, respectively, as Michael Schumacher was relegated to eleventh on the starting grid.

The start of the race saw Button squeeze around Alonso for third heading into turn one, then move past Webber for second into turn four. Schumacher charged from eleventh up to eighth while his former prodigy Massa moved up a position to fifth. Further adrift in the tightly packed field, Barrichello, Perez, Glock and Kobayashi were all caught up in collisions that race officials investigated but chose not to penalize. By the third lap, Force India's former DTM champ Paul di Resta and Trulli had also scraped. The race that would see five retirements before the finish, as Glock and Kobayashi never made it out of their pit garages, soon to be joined by three more.

2011 Indian Grand Prix2011 Indian Grand Prix
2011 Indian Grand Prix2011 Indian Grand Prix

By the fifth lap, Vettel was building a commanding lead as Button was tried to keep Webber at bay. Bruno Senna, meanwhile, was performing admirably, moving up to tenth place from fourteenth on the starting grid. The young Brazilian's luck wouldn't hold out long, however: Alguersuari made it past on lap 10; it soon emerged that there were problems with the Renault's powertrain.

Lap 14 saw Maldonado join Glock and Kobayashi on the pit wall as the third retirement of the day. Three laps later saw some heated action between Ferrari and their former champion Schumacher when Alonso came out of the pit lane just ahead of his elder rival, only for Schumi (still before his next pit stop) to squeeze past. Massa soon joined the pursuit and Alonso made use of the DRS wing to pass the Mercedes.

2011 Indian Grand Prix

Massa got more action than he bargained for, however, several laps later when dueling with Hamilton. As the McLaren tried to pass up the inside, Massa slammed the door hard in his face and the two collided. Both cars spun, but while Hamilton made it back onto the track first, he was forced to pit for a new front wing. Massa followed in hot pursuit but didn't show any substantial damage, so by the time the marshals assigned fault to the Ferrari driver, he was already back up in fifth place, the McLaren back in ninth after his pit stop. Massa then took his drive-through penalty, but shook the front-left suspension loose where he had struck Hamilton after charging hard over the curbs. Massa was forced to retire trackside, only a few laps after Buemi.

Alonso picked up the flag for Ferrari, emerging ahead of Webber after his final pit to take and hold third place through the end of the race, finishing on the podium behind race-winner Vettel and runner-up Button. Webber settled for fourth, with Schumacher behind him in fifth, having emerged from his last pit stop just ahead of his wingman Rosberg in sixth. Hamilton had to be satisfied with seventh, just ahead of Alguersuari in eighth. Local team Force India's Adrian Sutil took ninth, ahead of Sauber's Sergio Perez, who collected the final point in tenth. As for Narain Karthikeyan, the only Indian driver on the grid (having been awarded a start by HRT) – well, he managed to tick off just about everyone, consistently refusing to give way to frontrunners long after he'd been lapped three times. He ultimately finished seventeenth, three places from last.

2011 Indian Grand Prix

The results, of course, further cement Vettel's and Red Bull's already-clinched championships, but don't help Webber in his pursuit of second place in the standings, as Button and Alonso still stand ahead with two rounds to go. The series rolls back into Abu Dhabi in two weeks before the season finale in Brazil the last weekend in November.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      Deepak
      • 3 Years Ago
      Idiots will talk ****......but the fact is that INDIANS has down a fantastic job ....keeping in mind that they got only 2 years to do this..... Few word for haters .....you love it ....or leave it
      Noz
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yeah that's all they need...90% of their population is in poverty and starving and some white Brit douch&bags want to bring their race over there...nice.
        Myself
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Noz
        I can't see why Noz is being branded as a racist. For stating the obvious? He may not have gotten the 90% right, but I'm sure he's damn close. EITHER way. For the record, just minutes before the races the BBC, official broadcaster in the UK, broadcast a document about a 7-year old girl who makes living by scavenging scrapyards and selling the stuff she finds. Yes, it's nice to explore new markets and the Indians seemed to have enjoyed the race and the atmosphere. But there weren't that many visitors at the circuit and asking whether the billions invested couldn't have been spent in a more appropriate way.
          Myself
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Myself
          That girl lived somewhere in India.
          Arnie
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Myself
          See I never get this logic...people act like there is no poverty in the US or other countries that are deemed as 'first world' This question is equally valid in the US where 39.1 million are poor (2009 figures) and have no support from the government, or in Australia where Aborigines have a substantially lower standard of living to the rest of the population. Why does this question never crop up there? Why do countries like India have to relegate themselves to not getting any major events because they have poverty, when there is still poverty in many 'first world' countries (granted its smaller....but its still there...) The media love to emphasize the poverty of 'third world nations' ...it gives them some sort of satisfaction inside. They could write the same story in dozen different countries...1st, 2nd and 3rd world....but generally choose the latter because they think it appeals to their target audience in the first world. And this message board shows that they may be right.
        Narom
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Noz
        Shut up your racist shitbag. Besides, why isn't it there is always some egit that blames F1 for the races being in that country. India WANTED the race, they've been talking about it for 15 years. Its not like Bernie has gone "we are racing in india next year, build a track now". If the indian government didn't want it, they shouldnt have bought the franchise for it. Oh and one more thing. Shut up
      storm9
      • 3 Years Ago
      1. This track was built by a private company for $400million. Not the Gov't. 2. Some of the money will be trickling down to the poor, it provides jobs. 3. If 90% of the people are poor as you say, then there are atleast 120million who are not poor and can afford to go to the F1 race. the middle and upper classes are growing and they should not be held back just because there are still lots of poor. If you study economics you will see that before a poor country becomes wealthy there will be a lot of income disparity and then gap narrows again as poverty is reduced.
      gtv4rudy
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Indian media stated the Grand Prix was a sell-out but if you look closely at some shots, you will see quite a lot of empty seats.
        Myself
        • 3 Years Ago
        @gtv4rudy
        If they sold, say, a third of capacity and sell all tickets, then it's technically a sell out. Interestingly, all posts pointing out the poverty in India and critical of the GP were deleted by Autoblog censors. Why? For saying that India is a poor country?
      Max Car
      • 3 Years Ago
      We are a used car dealer in Gurgaon. Pl add us to your used car dealer listing. Name - MaxCar India Pvt Ltd Address - MaxCar, Opp Raheja Mall, Sohna Road, Gurgaon. Phone - 8802773770 Email - maxcarindia@gmail.com URL- www.maxcar.yolasite.com Contact persons - Mr Sandeep & Mr Amardeep.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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