It's the medium and softs for this weekend, the white and yellow sidewalls respectively. The gap is pretty big, as well, with Christian Horner saying the soft goes 30 miles, the medium 300.
|Buddh International Circuit|
|Local timezone||+06:30 GMT|
|Number of laps||60|
There hasn't been a safety car during the Indian Grand Prix, will we see one today? It's such a wide track that incidents are neutralised pretty quickly.
Interview with Nico Hülkenberg: "Seventh is solid, is good. Hopefully we can keep that. We have to keep an eye on the McLarens, they're the ones we need to focus on. On Friday, on long runs we were pretty competitive, close to the Ferraris, hopefully we can annoy them too."
Tweet from @MercedesAMGF1: So here's a stat - no Pirelli-era race has ever been won starting on prime tyres. Will that still be true post race?
|1||S Vettel||Red Bull|
|4||M Webber||Red Bull|
Romain Grosjean is the name missing from that list. After a couple of good qualifying performances, this time the tyre call was wrong and he dropped out in Q1. He starts from 17th on the grid.
Niki Lauda on whether Mercedes have any chance of taking the fight to Vettel: "No."
@OfficialSF1Team: 30 minutes to race start! A special hello to all the fans at the live viewing in Hinwil. Have fun watching the race!
Final preparations on the grid, as the public clear and the team crews wait for the call to take off the tyre blankets.
Valtteri Bottas gets his game face on, he starts 15th ahead of teammate Maldonado in 18th. Pic via @WilliamsF1Team.
The mechanics clear the grid, the engines start to roar, and the formation lap begins!
Vettel leads the two Mercedes away, weaving quickly down the home straight and towards the first corner.
Close up visibility looks good but the longer shots down the straights show smog and reduced visibility.
The cars round the final corner and Vettel slows to a crawl on the grid. Rosberg runs alongside him and they stop in their respective grid slots. The field files in behind.
Lewis Hamilton makes a good start to jump his teammate Rosberg, but Vettel cuts them off to retain the lead.
It looks like Alonso gets away cleanly but someone cut across him and he lost a chunk of front wing.
Meanwhile, Felipe Masa has surged forward to second place, passing both Mercedes drivers. As you might imagine, Webber has had a poor start and has dropped back to 7th.
Paul di Resta and Jean-Éric Vergne have pitted.
Team radio from Giedo van der Garde: "Again Chilton, again Chilton. What an idiot!"
Van der Garde has come in to the pits.
Vettel also gets the call to come in to the pits, heading in from the lead after just a couple of laps.
Fernando Alonso comes in early, a new front wing for the Ferrari. That's ruined his strategy, as he started on the mediums and was hoping for the different strategy to work.
Felipe Massa now leads.
Vettel is down in 17th, let's just wonder at this moment. He's leading those that have stopped, of course.
Replays of the start show Alonso tapped the rear of Webber's car after both cars had a bit of a wobble. It wasn't major contact, but it's made all the difference.
Hamilton made a bit of a mistake ahead of the huge long straight, which allowed Vettel to scarper, his teammate to get back past, and Massa to sweep past them both.
There's also shots of a Caterham running wide off onto the grass, which presumably was Van der Garde after contact with Chilton.
According to the live timing, Van der Garde has retired.
Nico Hülkenberg pits for the first time.
Alonso complains over the radio that his car is very heavy down the right-hand side, the team are looking into it.
Team radio to Alonso: "There may be something strange on the wheel but for the moment the car seems okay, let's see what we can do."
Jenson Button has come in reasonably early after starting on the medium tyres. He's put the soft ones on.
Team radio to explain Button's early stop: "We have a puncture, we need to box this lap. Puncture right rear."
Rosberg and Räïkkönen both come in for their stops.
Button pulls alongside Räikkönen to try a move, but can't make it stick. Vergne takes advantage of the situation to move past the McLaren.
Race leader Massa comes in to the pit lane, Hamilton and Maldonado also follow in.
Webber now leads, with Pérez and Ricciardo behind. Grosjean is up to fourth! (Pitstops pending).
Felipe Massa is immediately on it, overtaking Bottas in the Williams for eighth place.
Tweet from @Marussia_F1Team: Max is P15 and is still on his starting tyre - the Medium. Jules started on the Soft & has now completed a planned pit stop for the Medium
Button's unscheduled stop for a puncture, via @McLarenF1.
Vettel is reminded that he's not really racing the cars in front, but he still passes Adrian Sutil for fifth place. He's now chasing Grosjean for fourth.
Alonso is also on the hunt, but way down in 17th. He's got Jean-Éric Vergne ahead of him but the Toro Rosso is surprisingly tricky to pass.
Vettel dispatches Grosjean with ease, the Lotus driver is still on the soft tyres, though. Eleven laps in.
Incident involving Esteban Gutiérrez under investigation - Jump start.
Jenson Button has pitted again, the second time already, but he was on the softer compound so completed a short stint.
Romain Grosjean finally pits, that was a great 14 lap stint on the soft tyres, and a good stop by the team - 2.7 seconds. He feeds back out just behind Alonso in 15th.
Webber continues to lead then, with Pérez behind. Vettel is now up to third.
Drive through penalty for Esteban Gutiérrez - jump start.
The penalty will free up Felipe Massa who has been battling to get past the Sauber driver for sixth places.
Sebastian Vettel sets the fastest lap of the race so far, a 1:31.008, there's a championship in his sights.
Tweet from @OfficialSF1Team: Fast is good, too fast not so much #Guti serving his drive through due to a jump start.
Button's informed they are effectively racing Alonso. Jenson is currently 19th, with Alonso up in 14th.
Team radio to Pérez: "The car behind is Vettel, we are not racing him so we don't want to lose any time to him. Keep looking after the tyres, you're doing a very good job."
Alonso has passed Gutiérrez for 13th place, Grosjean is next up to try and pass the Sauber.
Scratch that, Gutiérrez made the best use of DRS and got back past Alonso. The Ferrari driver has spent the last few races staring at Sauber rear wings.
Tweet from @MyCaterhamF1: More trouble for @Charles_Pic1 who has to box again with a second puncture
Vettel easily passes Pérez for second place. Just his teammate stands between him and the lead now.
Fernando Alonso goes aggressive down the straight, pulling alongside Gutiérrez going into the hairpin, backs off again but then engages KERS to make the move into the next few corners. 13th place for Alonso.
Team radio to Räikkönen: "Kimi, you need to start cooling the car on the straights where possible."
Replays show Nico Rosberg managed to duck down the inside of Felipe Massa and get ahead, but Massa had the advantage going into the next corner and retook position. That's 6th and 7th they're fighting for.
The tyre strategy has worked out so that all the drivers are on medium tyres at this stage of the race. It's a waiting game to see how the next stint works out.
Hülkenberg was doing battle with a Williams, and side by side they rounded a corner, with Nico being pushed off track. He got ahead, but quickly took to the radio to say he didn't gain an advantage.
Adrian Sutil is apparently reporting that his medium tyres are holding up very well. Sutil is currently sitting in fifth place, behind Ricciardo.
Rosberg looks for another place to pass Massa but there's no opportunity yet. Hamilton has also closed up to the battle, but sits just behind whilst he waits to see what his teammate can do.
Rosberg gives up the fight and comes into the pit lane, another set of medium tyres go on the Mercedes. He rejoins in 13th place.
Mark Webber pits from the lead of the race, and Sergio Pérez follows quickly behind.
Vettel moves into the lead of the race once more, as Webber rejoins in second place. Pérez filters back out into seventh behind Hamilton.
Incident involving Esteban Gutiérrez and Romain Grosjean under investigation - more than one change of direction.
Grosjean complained to his team that Esteban's move wasn't fair, the stewards will decide.
Ferrari mechanics are poised to grab some tyres and hustle out for a stop.
Sergio Pérez closes up to Hamilton, the Mercedes moves to defend, but can't keep the McLaren behind. Pérez takes sixth place, with the softer tyres providing a bit of an advantage.
It's Massa who comes in first for Ferrari, and Alonso is in on the same lap. Quick work from those mechanics.
Hamilton and Di Resta also stop for the second time each.
Vettel comes in for his second stop of the afternoon, it's a 2.8 second stop and Vettel rejoins in second place.
Meanwhile, Ricciardo and Sutil in third and fourth respectively, are the only two drivers not to have stopped yet.
Webber pits from the lead, medium tyres go on, and Vettel goes back into P1. Webber rejoins third behind Ricciardo.
Turn 4 incident involving Nico Hülkenberg and Valtteri Bottas under investigation - track limits. No further action.
Jenson Button has pitted, he's down in 18th now. At the front Ricciardo finally comes in for a stop, moving Sutil up to third.
A busy moment in the pit lane with Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg also stop.
Just over halfway through, Vettel leads Webber, with Sutil yet to stop. Alonso is all the way down in 13th.
Tweet from @F1onNBCSports: Rocky: "Sebastian, you need your tires for the whole stint, not now." - just after Vettel sets the fastest lap
Fernando Alonso takes his third stop of the day, and feeds back out behind... a Sauber!!
Pic has been backed into the Caterham garage. Charles is told over the radio they are retiring the car.
Ricciardo and Maldonado both come in for their second stops. The Toro Rosso returns to the track in 14th, Maldonado 16th.
Team radio to Webber: "We're losing gearbox sync, we've lost gearbox sync."
And moments later, Webber pulls off track, very kindly keeping out of the way and right by a marshals station. An alternator failure apparently.
Yellow flags and DRS disabled.
Webber walks away from the car, hops on the back of a scooter and gives the crowd a bit of a glum wave.
Adrian Sutil comes in for his first stop of the day, he rejoins in ninth place. Soft tyres on the Force India.
|10||2||P di Resta||2|
Romain Grosjean up to fourth again. He no doubt has to stop again but still up thirteen places is good stuff.
Incident involving Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez - no further action.
Interview with Mark Webber: "I felt already some problems with the gearbox. I told the guys about that. Then they thought it was clear, but it looks like it's come back very quickly. You've got to run the softs for a few laps, which we did, if you put the primes on again you're exposed because of a safety car. In the end, I've got a smile on my face, I couldn't do any more than that."
Fernando Alonso has Ricciardo in his sights. It's a tricky train he's got to pass though. Ricciardo, Bottas and then the dreaded Sauber of Gutiérrez again.
Team radio to Räikkönen: "Okay Kimi, you need to try and save fuel if you can without losing too much pace."
Gutiérrez pits, as Alonso ducks and dives around the back of the Toro Rosso ahead.
Bottas manages to lose two places in one corner, as Ricciardo moves past and Alonso follows him through.
Tweet from @F1onNBCSports: Massa is told to wait for five laps and then begin to start attacking Grosjean, whose tires will begin to fade shortly
Bottas comes into the pit lane, Alonso still not past Ricciardo yet.
Ten laps to go.
Team radio to Vettel: "Stop using the drinks bottle, stop using the drinks bottle."
Kimi Räikkönen is still going on the tyres he put on during the stop on lap eight! That's over 40 laps on the one compound, can he get to the end?
Rosberg got past Kimi for second place, and the Lotus driver is clinging on to third for now. Behind him, teammate Grosjean is also hoping a one-stop strategy is the way to go.
Grosjean is hauling in the gap to his teammate, though. Nico Hülkenberg comes in for a really slow stop.
Hülkenberg is back in the pit lane again. A problem on that Sauber, they've pushed him into the garage and he's climbing out of the car.
Grosjean tries to pass his teammate, wheel to wheel action and Romain gets past but off track. Down the next straight, he gives the place back, so the work is all to do again.
"We are telling Kimi," says Grosjean's engineer and both Grosjean and Massa sweep past easily.
Now Räikkönen has Hamilton and Pérez behind him. They're both bound to get past very quickly, the Lotus is supremely slow as the tyres have gone.
Pérez engages his DRS earlier and gets past both Hamilton and Räïkkönen. That's fifth place for the McLaren, but Hamilton isn't giving up yet.
Kimi Räikkönen dives in for a late pit stop.
He came in from seventh place, and returns to the track in the same position - ahead of Paul di Resta.
Vettel crosses the line to start the final lap, a 26 second lead to second place Rosberg.
Grosjean is instructed to short shift as much as possible, desperate to keep Massa behind for an impressive podium position after starting 17th on the grid.
Sebastian Vettel wins the Indian Grand Prix and the 2013 World Championship!
On the final lap, Jenson Button came into the pit lane.
Kimi Räïkkönen sets the fastest lap of the race on those new tyres - 1:27.679.
Two Lotus cars and one Force India sit at the pit exit, running out of fuel is in style this weekend, it seems.
Alonso's Ferrari is also stranded. Long race!
Lots of hugs going on in the Red Bull garage, as you might imagine.
Vettel does donuts on the pit straight. He's going to be in trouble for that. Or maybe not.
He gets out of the car and does the traditional cheering on top. Then he bows down in front of the car, respect to the machinery. That's one happy driver, I'd say!
Vettel jumps up on the fence to throw his gloves to the crowd, can't quite get them high enough and they bounce back in his face. Third time lucky.
Tweet from @Lotus_F1Team: It's a 3rd consecutive #F1 podium for @RGrosjean! What a performance from P17, miraculous stuff! #Kimi comes home P7 after a sterling drive!
Grosjean and Rosberg are having a good chat in the garage, as Vettel hugs Newey and Horner and scampers up the stairs.
It might be smog or tyre smoke, but through the grey Vettel salutes his car.
Vettel looks hot and sweaty, he leans against the wall - the pressure is off now and it's taking a moment to sink in.
Grosjean bounces on to the podium, a very happy Lotus driver. Rosberg is slightly more sedate but still smiling. And the champion, he pumps his fist as he makes it to the top step.
Helmut Marko stands beneath the podium, watching on proudly. They've got four times champion t-shirts made up and ready to wear.
|G van der Garde||Collision||4|
|8||4||P di Resta||2|
Podium quotes - Sebastian Vettel: "First of all, I'd love to say thank you to the crowd. Unbelievable reception today. It's a shame we aren't racing here next year. I'm speechless, I don't know. I crossed the line, I was empty. It's one of those moments you wish to say so many things, you can't. Phenomenal season. The spirit inside the team is so strong, it gives me so much power. It's a pleasure to jump in the car, go out for the guys, and give it all I have. The car was phenomenal today, phenomenal all season. I couldn't ask for more."
Podium quotes - Nico Rosberg: "I'm pleased. The start was a bit difficult, dropping behind Massa. I gave it a go on one lap but I couldn't make it happen. The team did a fantastic strategy... second place, I'm pleased with that. The car was running well today. Important for us to have a normal weekend, a lot of points, giving Ferrari a run for their money in the constructors."
Podium quotes - Romain Grosjean: "I wouldn't have bet a penny on me being on the podium today. The car came back as it was on Friday, the race pace was there. We did a brave strategy, it paid off, we're back on the podium. It's quite amazing from where we started. I tried to go through the field, it was tough until the end, I didn't know when the tyres were going to go off. The team were fantastic, I'm very proud to be here."
Tweet from @clubforce: For Paul Di Resta, great strategic work stopping on the first lap to switch to mediums and a perfect race afterwards to clinch 4 points!
Tweet from @GvanderGarde: Very disappointed about the race.. I want to congratulate #Vettel with his 4th world championship!! Well done my friend! #F1 #IndianGP
So the championship is over (pending any unforeseen circumstances before December). The pressure is off, and the drivers have three races just to go at it. Alonso must be very disappointed, although the maths was always against him.
The Sauber and Force India battle has swung in the latter's direction, after a double points finish for Force India and no points for Sauber.
The fight between Ferrari and Mercedes is still fascinating, now with just 14 points between them, and three races to make the difference.
Formula One returns in just seven days time with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I'll be back to cover each and every lap, I hope you'll join me then!
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