Vettel impressed with Indian debut

Sebastian Vettel departed India with nothing but high praise for a country on which he left an indelible mark on Sunday.

Motorsport News: Sebastian Vettel

In a season of superlatives for the double Formula One world champion, the inaugural race at the Buddh International Circuit was undoubtedly one of the high points.

For the first time in Vettel's career he achieved F1's 'grand slam' of pole position, race win, fastest lap and leading every lap.

And the 24-year-old is already looking forward to next year's race after being thoroughly impressed with his debut experience in India as the sub-continent embraced F1 for the first time.

"If you look at where we come from, it's hard to imagine things if you haven't seen them," Vettel said.

"For us we sometimes measure happiness in our lives, in our world, by what we have achieved, what we have etcetera.

"But for the people here, it doesn't really matter. They're happy with what they have, even if you compare and they have so little, but they are happy, friendly, helpful and respectful.

"Obviously I haven't spent a lot of time here, but it was very inspiring, with a lot of things making you appreciate more than you probably do.

"It opens your eyes, it was an inspiration and something you should never forget."

The circuit also played its part in Vettel's appreciation of all things India as the 60 laps flew by, at the end of which he finished 8.4 seconds clear of McLaren's Jenson Button.

"All in all it was great to be here, a great circuit, which is what we judge the most," added Vettel, who now has 11 wins for the season, two shy of equalling Michael Schumacher's single-season record of 13 set in 2004.

"When my engineer came on the radio and said '12 laps to go' I was surprised and I thought 'That went by quickly'.

"It's a good sign because it means you enjoy the circuit.

"Having had debuts in different places the last couple of years, this will be one of the races that settles in very quickly and we will all be happy to come back."

A minute's silence was held before the race for Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli, who were killed in motor sport events in the previous two weeks.

Vettel added: "It is the first grand prix in India and I am very proud to be the first winner.

"But we have recently had two tragic weekends, losing two of our mates. For everyone who is a fan of motorsport it has been a hard time, so there are mixed emotions."

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was third ahead of Mark Webber in his Red Bull, with the Mercedes duo of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg fifth and sixth.

Lewis Hamilton was a disappointing seventh, with the McLaren star involved in a sixth collision of the season with Felipe Massa, who later retired on lap 34 with a broken suspension on his Ferrari.

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