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F1 India: Sebastian Vettel wins to seal 2013 championship (+results)

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel claimed his fourth consecutive drivers' title this weekend during the Indian Grand Prix, with a sixth consecutive victory. The German led his countryman Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus) to the finish line at the Buddh International Circuit.

Sebastian Vettel, F1, Buddh International Circuit
Sebastian Vettel, 2013 F1 world champion (Photo: WRi2)

Two distinct tire strategies emerged over Saturday's qualifying session, previewing a straight fight between Vettel, on the soft and fast rubber, and his teammate Mark Webber on the longer lasting medium compound.

If the softs degraded as fast as he hoped, Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) would also be in with a chance of beating Vettel, which might have kept his championship prospect alive for at least another race.

But race ending alternator problems took Webber's chances away from under him on lap 39 of 60, when the race was still open. And Alonso's afternoon was ruined in a first lap incident that damaged his front wing.

This left Vettel to cruise to another dominant win, which he eventually claimed with a 29-second priority over Rosberg. His 25-point tally also earned Red Bull the constructors' title.

Grosjean made good use of a one-stop strategy to climb back from 17th on the grid to the last spot of the podium, erasing his team's mistake in qualifying the day before, when it thought the Frenchman's run on medium tires would get him into Q2.

Added to Rosberg's podium, Lewis Hamilton's sixth place allowed Mercedes to move ahead of Ferrari in the race for second in the constructors' championship.

Race results* – Indian Grand Prix (Buddh International Circuit)
1 - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB9-Renault) - 60 laps 1.31'12"187
2 - Nico Rosberg (Mercedes W04) - 29"823
3 - Romain Grosjean (Lotus E21-Renault) - 39"892
4 - Felipe Massa (Ferrari F138) - 41"692
5 - Sergio Perez (McLaren MP4/28-Mercedes) - 43"829
6 - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes W04) - 52"475
7 - Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus E21-Renault) - 1'07"988
8 - Paul Di Resta (Force India VJM06-Mercedes) - 1'12"868
9 - Adrian Sutil (Force India VJM06-Mercedes) - 1'14"734
10 - Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso STR8-Ferrari) - 1'16"237
11 - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari F138) - 1'18"297
12 - Pastor Maldonado (Williams FW35-Renault) - 1'18"951
13 - Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso STR8-Ferrari) - 1 lap
14 - Jenson Button (McLaren MP4/28-Mercedes) - 1 lap
15 - Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber C32-Ferrari) - 1 lap
16 - Valtteri Bottas (Williams FW35-Renault) - 1 lap
17 - Max Chilton (Marussia MR02-Cosworth) - 2 laps
18 - Jules Bianchi (Marussia MR02-Cosworth) - 2 laps

Fastest lap of the race: 1'27"679 by Kimi Raikkonen

Retirements
Lap 54 – Nico Hulkenberg
Lap 39 – Mark Webber
Lap 35 – Charles Pic
Lap 1 – Giedo Van der Garde

Drivers' championship
1.Vettel 322; 2.Alonso 207; 3.Raikkonen 183; 4.Hamilton 169; 5.Webber 148; 6.Rosberg 144; 7.Massa, Grosjean 102; 9.Button 60; 10.Di Resta 40; 11.Hulkenberg 39; 12.Perez 33; 13.Sutil 28; 14.Ricciardo 19; 15.Vergne 13; 16.Gutierrez 6; 17.Maldonado 1.

Constructors' championship
1.Red Bull-Renault 470; 2.Mercedes 313; 3.Ferrari 309; 4.Lotus-Renault 285; 5.McLaren-Mercedes 93; 6.Force India-Mercedes 68; 7.Sauber-Ferrari 45; 8.Toro Rosso-Ferrari 32; 9.Williams-Renault 1.

*Unofficial scoring