Plenty more drama to come

Plenty more drama to come

The German with boyish looks, who stole the limelight after just about managing to carry through a tired looking ‘Luscious Liz’ and ‘Randy Mandy’ (the weird names he has given to his cars) across the finish line at the Brazilian Grand Prix for his first title in 2010, had a lot more than just defending the title on his mind this time around.

Seated snug inside a more aerodynamic, louder, hotter, faster ‘Kinky Kylie’, he notched victories in Australia, Malaysia, Turkey, Spain, Monza, Valencia, Belgium, Italy and Singapore to get one hand on the drivers’ title. And whilst he wasn’t holding the winners trophy in Suzuka, he made it a point to get on the podium to enjoy the champagne shower.

Four second place finishes (China, Canada, Britain, Hungary) and a third place finish in Japan also dotted his season while his ‘poorest’ show came at his home where he finished fourth.

  In summary, he bagged 324 points from 14 races while the next best driver -- Jenson Button -- could only garner 114 points to be in second place.

The record for an early title victory is held by Michael Schumacher, who in 2002, emerged champion at the French Grand Prix with six races left. In 1992, Nigel Mansell won at the Hungarian GP with five races to go, and Schumacher did the same in 2004.

However, Formula One is not all about the drivers’ title, and hence, the inaugural Indian Grand Prix to be held at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida from October 28 to 30 is not a lost cause.

For one, it’s the first time an international motor sport event of such magnitude will enter Indian shores. Secondly, BIC will provide to a new generation of youngsters in India what they did not not have for long. And finally, unlike in 2002 and 2004 when Schumacher went on to win half of the races, a lot of action still remains.

Vettel may have won the title and his team will no doubt go on win to the constructors’ title as they already have 518 points as compared to McLaren’s 388, but down the grid, a battle is still being fought.

 Force India, who have 48 points and are in sixth place on the constructors’ standing, have quite boldly suggested that they will take on the might of the Renaults (72), the engine providers for Red Bull Racing, for the fifth spot. Ferrari (292) are not too far behind McLaren either. 

As far as drivers’ standings go, Fernando Alonso has 202 points and is a mere eight points away from taking the second spot, while Vettel’s team-mate at Red Bull -- Mark Webber -- is also eight points behind the former youngest double world champion. The controversial McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton (178) too has a chance to make it to the podium. Webber, who has taken to the backstage, hasn’t won a race this season, and perhaps a win at the inaugural Indian GP will put a smile on that age-hit face.

Also, now that the title has been defended, Vettel might just stick his foot to the pedal and get down to driving without a world to worry about. That apart, two Indian drivers -- Narain Karthikeyan (Hispania Racing Team) and Karun Chandhok (Team Lotus) -- will also be there to draw in the crowd.

“It was a foregone conclusion that Vettel was going to win before coming to India, but we were never really worried about that. In a perfect world, the championship would have been decided in India, in its inaugural GP, but that was always going to be hard. The Indian GP is a spectacle in itself. A lot will happen and more importantly, India will be on the map,” said a source from organisers Jaypee Sports International.

The war might be won, but many a battle remain. India can rest assured that those battles are worth waiting for.

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