Driver Performance Analysis: India
Published 1st November 2012 - Written by Craig Norman
We’ve already covered the heroics of the Spaniard – we awarded him Sunday’s Top Dog award!
Another race in Asia, and another maximum score for the champ. 4 races won, 3 front row lockouts, 2 world titles already under the belt, another 1 on the way?
It’s vintage Vettel from the very start – get that gap up to a couple of seconds on lap 3 and the race it pretty much in his pocket barring a pesky alternator failure. Damn you, pesky alternator, we were counting on you. (just kidding of course)
It’s the raw pace at the start of the race that is the skill that Sebastian seems to be mighty at. It’s what the other drivers behind him lack, trying negotiate the opening laps in cars heavier than the day before. Seb can adjust in an instant – the way the gap to Mark Webber expanded was incredible;
Lap 1 – 1.2 seconds. Lap 2 – 1.6. Lap 4 – 1.9. Lap 8 – 2.6. Lap 16 – 4.1. Need we go on?
It’s going to be very hard to see Fernando overhauling not only a 13 point gap, but also the heavy feeling of inevitability. We can all hope though, right?
All the praise for both Sebastian and Fernando, let’s not forget the return to form of Mark. He wasn’t a slouch this weekend – he only missed out on pole position by 0.044s – but he was just eclipsed by the cars that finished in front of him.
He managed to hold off a hard charging Lewis Hamilton while also spending 20 laps or so trying to restart his KERS system. That’s a skill all in itself.
On “home” turf, Force India didn’t set the track on fire, missing out on Q3 for the first time in 10 races, but the German managed to nab a strong 8th place on race day. It sent the fans home happy, which is what you want to do when you’ve got a fanbase.
But, with Nico nudging ahead against Paul Di Resta, he’s now upped and left for Sauber.
The team now has to rally and try and get the most points possible with a driver who’s out the door and off to another midfield rival. Tricky times ahead indeed.
Finally getting hold of a car that’s not twitchier than a pig at a butchers, Bruno strung together a fine performance at a time when contracts are on everybody’s minds. He could have snuck into Q3 if he’d had the perfect lap, but we all know he’d have pulled the same stunt as Rosberg and not set a time – what would have been the point?
He’d made the list for this race for the clever bit of racecraft mid-race, where he managed to negotiate an opportunistic move past Pastor Maldonado while the Venezuelan was defending from a DRS powered Romain Grosjean. Pastor lost two places in two corners, but Bruno used his skill to get past, not technology.
Not a touch from all three as well – that’s an achievement in itself.