Renault powered Sebastian Vettel to victory in today’s Indian Grand Prix, securing his fourth drivers’ world title in four years. The 25 points added to Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s tally and clinched the team the constructors’ championship for the fourth consecutive year.
Vettel, who had started from pole, started on the soft compound tyre and made a strategic gamble to pit just a few laps into the race. Team-mate Mark Webber opted for the harder tyre and stayed out longer. Mid-race the two strategies merged and the two looked set for a battle to the end, however the dream result was not to be as Webber pulled up less than 10 laps from the end with an alternator failure.
Romain Grosjean joined Vettel on the podium in third place behind Nico Rosberg. The Frenchman drove a measured race from start to finish, pushing his way up from 17th on the grid. He caught and passed team-mate Kimi Raikkonen just laps from the end to secure his third podium in three races. Raikkonen looked set for a fourth placed finish however a last gasp pit stop to change his fading tyres put him back into seventh.
Williams F1 Team had a very good first part of the race with Valtteri Bottas running in the top 10 for a large part of the Grand Prix, however he slipped down the order to 16th at the end. Pastor Maldonado finished in 12th.
While the constructors’ and drivers’ championship has been won, second position is hotly contested. Mercedes have 313 points, Ferrari 309 and Lotus 285. In the drivers’ race Alonso is on 207 with Raikkonen third with 183, Hamilton 169 and Webber 148.
Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations
Needless to say we extend our congratulations to all at Infiniti Red Bull Racing and are proud to have contributed to their success. Since 2007 the partnership has got stronger and stronger year on year: getting four in a row requires everything to be on completely top form, all of the time, but to constantly push for more.
Of course today was not a perfect day as Mark’s car had an alternator issue, which is frustrating as we have not had any problems with this in a long time and there was no apparent reason for it to happen here. We will naturally study this carefully.
Romain had a great race from P17 – he drove exceptionally well and thoroughly deserved the podium. It was very nerve-wracking at the end though as we saw the pneumatic system losing pressure. Since we had a similar problem in Singapore, Romain helped us nurse the car to the end. We do not think the root cause is the same however so we will have to revisit this area again and put in place a solution so the team can really push in the final races and get the second place in the constructors’ championship. For us, to finish in first and second would really end the V8 era on a high so we’ll do all we can to help the team achieve this.
Renault Sport F1