Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vettel Commandingly Takes Pole for 2013 Indian Grand Prix

Photo credit: Pirelli Photo Service

The fourth-to-last event on the 2013 Formula 1 schedule, the Indian Grand Prix welcomes the open wheel racing series when the white hot Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel is showing unbeatable domination. Qualifying for the third-ever Indian Grand Prix would only stoke the burning desire for the German's fourth Formula 1 Drivers' title.

Mounting a 1 minute, 24.119 second top time in the Q3 session of qualifying, Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull-Renault has captured the prime grid position for the 2013 Indian Grand Prix. The qualifying effort for Vettel was roughly 14/100ths of a second better than the second-fastest car on the 5.125-kilometer race course. Winner of the last five events, Vettel can clinch his fourth consecutive Formula 1 championship by earning an additional five points. In the quest for this feat accomplished just one time before by the seven-time World Drivers' Champion Michael Schumacher, the Buddh International Circuit is a hospitable ground for Vettel having won both runnings of the Indian Grand Prix

Vettel's win extends the Red Bull Racing team's pole qualifying streak to five events. The second Red Bull-Renault driven by Mark Webber will be starting in fourth place. It's important to note Webber has been riding on medium compound Pirelli tires when he set the fourth-fastest time on the Buddh International Circuit. Among four drivers in the top-10 starting on the medium compound racing slicks, Mark Webber will be the highest starting on the slightly slower but more durable rubber.

Able to split the Red Bull Racing duo, the Mercedes AMG Formula 1 machines of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton rose to the occasion in the late minutes of Q3. Separated by seven-tenths of a second, Rosberg grabbed the advantage over Hamilton. While Red Bull Racing's 2013 team performance has performed themselves as the near-unopposed leader of the Formula 1 constructors' championship, Mercedes AMG and Ferrari are in a tense second-place battle. Ferrari leads by only 10 points over Mercedes AMG. Leading the charge for Ferrari in Indian Grand Prix qualifying was Felipe Massa. Massa will start fifth while teammate and longshot 2013 championship hopeful Fernando Alonso will line up eighth on Sunday. Lotus F1 Team is also close to both teams making the runner-up spot in the team points standings very contentious.

Photo Credit: Pirelli Photo Service

After several races where Romain Grosjean has been propelled into the Formula 1 limelight, the Frenchman's qualifying effort in India was off-pace with his recent success. The Lotus F1 Team's plan for using medium compound tires in the Q1 session was perhaps a major contributing factor to Grosjean starting 17th in Sunday. By contrast, Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus-Renault race car will be starting sixth on the Indian Grand Prix grid.

With the Formula 1 tour already affirming there will not be on 2014 edition of the Indian Grand Prix, the 2013 race could allow a driver and team to brag about their effort right up to the likely 2015 return to the Buddh International Circuit. The 60-lap 2012 Indian Grand Prix is set to start at 3pm local time (5:30am Eastern time).

2013 Formula 1
Indian Grand Prix
Starting Grid

Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine

1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault
2 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
3 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault
5 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault
7 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber Ferrari
8 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari
9 6 Sergio Perez McLaren Mercedes-Benz
10 5 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes-Benz
11 19 Daniel Ricciardo Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
12 14 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes-Benz
13 15 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes-Benz
14 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
15 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 Renault
16 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari
17 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault
18 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1 Renault
19 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia Cosworth
20 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham Renault
21 20 Charles Pic Caterham Renault
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia Cosworth

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