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Vettel win underlines Red Bull's constant progress

Budget-capping in Formula 1 sounds pretty appealing right about now. Watching Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber dominate the Indian GP on all three days and take a 1-3 finish only amplified it. Vinayak Pande reports.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2012 11:26 IST
Vinayak Pande

Budget-capping in Formula 1 sounds appealing right now. Watching Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber dominate the Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit on all three days and take a 1-3 finish only amplified it.

This would mark the fourth straight season in which Red Bull have beaten every other team on the grid in terms of developing their car towards the end of the season, and it is their objection to a restriction in team spending that has prompted them to leave the Formula One Team's Association.

At least one person, however, seems unperturbed. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who finished second, remains "100%" confident that he will be the 2012 world champion.

"Nothing changed in one race," said Alonso.

"There are 75 points and we are 13 points behind and we know we need to improve. We are not fast enough, especially on Saturday, but we can improve the situation in Abu Dhabi or USA."

The Spaniard was especially confident about his chances in the season-ending Brazilian GP, believing that the circuit would best suit his Ferrari.

Sebastian Vettel celebrates finishing first in the qualifying race of Indian Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit. HT/Virendra Singh Gosain

Alonso started the 60-lap race from fifth place and approached the massive back straight between turns three and four with the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

It appeared like he would pass both cars by the end of the straight but was forced to hold station.

"I was in position to get past both McLarens early," said Alonso.

"But they were fighting amongst themselves and forgot that I was there so I was able to pass one at the start and the other a little later."

Perfect take
Vettel's summary of his perfect weekend, however, made it seem ominous for Alonso and anyone else who has a mathematical chance of winning the title.

"Our Friday was perfect and we were able to run through all our programmes," said Vettel.

"The start was good and I was able to break the DRS gap to Mark early."

Vettel led every lap of the race and even lapped his compatriot Michael Schumacher after the retiring seven-time champion cut his right-rear tyre against Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso and saw it ripped to shreds.

The German dropped all the way to the tail of the field and recovered to 18th before retiring on Lap 54.

Back at the front, Alonso briefly gave hope that he could catch Vettel when he passed Webber after the Australian's RB8's KERS stopped working after Lap 20.

The Spaniard briefly gained on Vettel but the German took the flag by a gap of 9.4 seconds.

Hopefully F1's powers that be will be able to enforce something to stop teams from outspending each other. Until the end of 2012, however, fans will be hoping Alonso's "100%" confidence is more than just posturing.