Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel has hailed his latest victory in India as an 'important step' as he looks to secure the F1 drivers' title for the third year in succession.
Vettel dominated the 17th round in the 2012 F1 World Championship, heading every single session over the weekend at the Buddh International Circuit, and leading the race from lights-to-flag, the only thing he didn't manage was to set the fastest race lap.
Still his fourth win on the trot and his fifth of the year allowed him to stretch his lead in the drivers' standings over arch rival Fernando Alonso and he will now go into the final three races, beginning in Abu Dhabi next weekend, with a 13-point cushion.
It wasn't all plain sailing, however, and near the end a loose skid block on his RB8 gave the Milton Keynes-based outfit a minor scare, although the 25-year-old played down its significance at the finish.
“All in all, it was a very good race for us and I'm happy with the result. I had a good start, Mark [Webber – my team-mate] had a better one and it was close in Turn 1, but I had a good exit from Turn 3 and got ahead,” said Vettel.
“I was then able to open a gap, which was important. I felt very good on the soft tryes and was competitive, I could have stayed out even longer I think, but at some stage you have to cover [the other drivers].
“McLaren and Ferrari were quick on the hard tyre today, so it was important to have a gap to them.
“I saw some sparks at the end from the car, but we saw a lot of cars throwing sparks this weekend, and we [just] joined them. [Overall] it was a really great day for us and an important step.”
Red Bull Racing team principal, Christian Horner meanwhile was equally delighted and with Webber coming home third in the sister car, despite a KERS issue, the squad also strengthened its position over Ferrari in the Constructors'.
“Sebastian drove an immaculate race and really controlled the race from start to finish, leading every single lap,” Horner continued.
“With three races to go, we still need to take every race one at a time, but it's fantastic to win for a second time in India and it's remarkable for Sebastian to have won four races in succession. He's led every single lap of the Indian GP since it started in 2011.”