2012 Indian Grand Prix

The 2012 Indian Grand Prix (formally known as the 2012 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix)[1] was a Formula One motor race held on 28 October 2012 at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.[4] The race was the seventeenth round of the 2012 championship, and marked the second running of the Indian Grand Prix.

2012 Indian Grand Prix
Race 17 of 20 in the 2012 Formula One World Championship
Jaypee International Circuit 2011.svg
Race details[1]
Date 28 October 2012 (2012-10-28)
Official name 2012 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix
Location Buddh International Circuit
Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.125 km (3.185 mi)
Distance 60 laps, 307.249 km (190.916 mi)

Fine, Dry, a little hazy and a little dusty[2] Air Temp 30 °C (86 °F)[2]

Track Temp 36 °C (97 °F) dropping to 31 °C (88 °F)[2]
Attendance 65,000[3]
Pole position
Driver Red Bull-Renault
Time 1:25.283
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
Time 1:28.203 on lap 60
First Red Bull-Renault
Second Ferrari
Third Red Bull-Renault
Lap leaders

Sebastian Vettel started the race from pole position.[5] Vettel won the race for the second consecutive year,[6] but despite leading every lap of the race, he was denied a Grand Chelem when Jenson Button set the fastest lap of the race. The organisers of the race invited sport shooter Gagan Narang, who won a bronze medal for India at the London Olympics, to wave the chequered flag.[7]



Sergio Pérez was taken ill ahead of the race, forcing Sauber to run test and reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez in his place for the first free practice session.[8] Pérez was able to return to the car for the second practice session. Valtteri Bottas once again ran in place of Bruno Senna at Williams, while Giedo van der Garde drove Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham.[9]

Ferrari was the centre of controversy over the course of the weekend when they displayed the flag of the Italian Navy on the nose of the F2012 in support of the Italian sailors held by Indian authorities over a shooting incident that resulted in the deaths of two Indian fishermen in February 2012.[10]

Tyre supplier Pirelli brought its silver-banded hard compound tyre as the harder "prime" tyre and the yellow-banded soft compound tyre as the softer "option" tyre.[11]

Following track invasions by stray dogs in 2011, race organisers took precautions by installing ultrasonic devices around the circuit to deter animals from accessing the circuit.[12]

Free practiceEdit

The first practice session was run without incident. Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time, despite having spent most of the ninety minutes of the session in his garage. Jenson Button was second, three-tenths of a second behind Vettel, with Fernando Alonso in third, a further tenth of a second behind.[13] Vettel was fastest in the second session as well, setting a time one tenth of a second faster than teammate Mark Webber and six-tenths of a second faster than Fernando Alonso.[14] The under-used surface of the circuit caused problems for several drivers, with Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean, and Bruno Senna all spinning throughout the session, though all three were able to continue running without forcing the suspension of the session.[15] Vettel was once again fastest in the third practice session, two-tenths faster than Button and Webber.[16]


Force India ensured that their cars were first on track for the first part of Saturday's qualifying session. Kimi Räikkönen, Felipe Massa and Bruno Senna set the early pace while the Red Bulls and McLarens stayed in the garage waiting for the track to become more grippy once rubber had been laid down. Ferrari attempted to improve Fernando Alonso's lap time by making Massa run in front of him on the straight so he could use the slipstream to gain extra top speed. Alonso's lap, however, was not faster than Massa's and the drafting idea was not used later in qualifying, presumably because it did not work. Massa was on a quick lap after this, but accelerated too much out of a corner and spun his car round; he recovered and returned to the pits. Once the Red Bulls and McLarens had set their lap times, the Toro Rosso of Jean-Éric Vergne was left in eighteenth and therefore not within the top seventeen slots times required to make the next qualifying session. He set a lap time, but it was only good enough to move up one place. His teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, was the driver who progressed to Q2 himself when he pushed Vergne back into the eighteenth qualifying slot. Once again, the Caterhams, Marrusias and HRTs occupied the three final rows of the grid. Vitaly Petrov, whose car had needed some last minute repair just before the session had begun, qualified in nineteenth place and his teammate Heikki Kovalainen ended up twentieth after spinning the car round on his final lap, and running back across the track before getting stuck in the gravel. Narain Karthikeyan qualified in twenty-third place for his home Grand Prix, just one thousandth of a second slower than Pedro de la Rosa. The Marussia cars of Timo Glock and Charles Pic ended up twenty-first and twenty-fourth, and last, respectively. Every car excluding the Red Bulls, McLarens, Ferraris and Lotuses used the softer compound 'option' tyre in the session. Williams driver Pastor Maldonado set the session's fastest time.

The second part of qualifying began under yellow flag conditions because Kovalainen's stricken Caterham was still being returned to the pits. Every driver set a time not long after the flag had been lifted, and many returned to the pits not long after this. There was a flurry of lap times being set at the end of the session, and it was not certain which drivers had made it through until after the chequered flag was waved as every driver but Vettel, Webber and Hamilton came back on track. Kamui Kobayashi qualified his Sauber in a disappointing seventeenth place, while his teammate made it into the final session of qualifying. It was the same story for Romain Grosjean, Bruno Senna and Michael Schumacher who all failed to make Q3 after their teammates did. They lined up on the grid in 11th, 13th and 14th respectively. The Force India team were disappointed at their home race, with Nico Hülkenberg and Paul di Resta only taking twelfth and sixteenth spots on the grid respectively. At least one of their two drivers had qualified within the top ten at each of the last ten races. Daniel Ricciardo out-qualified Vergne for the thirteenth time in 2012, put his Toro Rosso in fifteenth position on the grid. Jenson Button completed the final lap of the session to give himself the second fastest time behind Vettel.

Seven teams were represented in Q3, but the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg elected not to run and consequently took tenth place on the grid. Sergio Pérez and Pastor Maldonado did well to qualify their cars in eighth and ninth positions; the Lotus of Räikkönen was in front of them in seventh. The session was split into two informal phases, with cars choosing to make two attempts at a good time. Sebastian Vettel made a mistake on his first flying lap and ran across turn 7, but he set lap worthy of pole position on his following attempt. Mark Webber set a lap half a tenth slower, initially in front of Button, Alonso and Hamilton. Both Red Bulls abandoned their laps at the very end of the session, as Vettel set a too slow first sector, and Webber ran wide at turn 3 whilst running behind the McLarens. Vettel took pole position for Red Bull's third consecutive front row lock-out. It was the first time Red Bull had had three front row lock-outs in a row, and the first time any team had done since McLaren did in 2007. Lewis Hamilton set the last lap of qualifying to move his car up to third on the grid, only two-tenths behind Webber. Button qualified fourth in front of Vettel's main title rival Alonso and Massa qualified sixth. This meant that the cars lined up two by two, with Red Bulls taking front row, McLaren taking the second and Ferrari taking the third. It was only the third time in the 2012 season that no penalties needed to be applied before the start of the race.


Sebastian Vettel took a dominant win, which was his 4th consecutive one ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso who got past Mark Webber when the latter suffered from a KERS problem in his Red Bull. Lewis Hamilton closed up to Webber but couldn't get past and had to settle for 4th place. After this race Vettel extended his Championship lead to 13 points over Alonso.[17]

Post race controversiesEdit

There was speculation in the media that the chaotic Indian customs regulations might have cost Fernando Alonso the race. This was because Ferrari could not get certain crucial auto parts and equipment flown into India because of the complex paperwork associated with Indian customs.[18]

A significant drop in race day attendance was noticed, as the number of fans attending the race dropped to 65,000 (from 95,000 in the previous year). Formula One president Bernie Ecclestone stated that he was not worried, and that attendance is always high in the first year and tends to go down in the second.[3]

There was also some discontent between Ferrari technical director Pat Fry and Alonso, when Fry stated in Twitter that "In order to be where we wanted and where we were capable of being, we needed to be perfect today and we weren't", after Alonso qualified fifth behind the Red Bulls and the McLarens. Alonso apparently took this as a jibe against his driving skills, and the Ferrari management had to prevent him from responding to it publicly.[18]



Pos. No. Driver Constructor Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Grid
1 1   Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:26.387 1:25.435 1:25.283 1
2 2   Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:26.744 1:25.610 1:25.327 2
3 4   Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.516 1:25.816 1:25.544 3
4 3   Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.564 1:25.467 1:25.649 4
5 5   Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.829 1:25.834 1:25.773 5
6 6   Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:26.939 1:26.111 1:25.857 6
7 9   Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:26.740 1:26.101 1:26.236 7
8 15   Sergio Pérez Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.179 1:26.076 1:26.360 8
9 18   Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:26.048 1:25.983 1:26.713 9
10 8   Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.458 1:25.976 no time 10
11 10   Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:26.897 1:26.136 11
12 12   Nico Hülkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:27.185 1:26.241 12
13 19   Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:26.851 1:26.331 13
14 7   Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:27.482 1:26.574 14
15 16   Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:27.006 1:26.777 15
16 11   Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:27.462 1:26.989 16
17 14   Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.517 1:27.219 17
18 17   Jean-Éric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:27.525 18
19 21   Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:28.756 19
20 20   Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:29.500 20
21 24   Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:29.613 21
22 22   Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:30.592 22
23 23   Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:30.593 23
24 25   Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:30.662 24
107% time:1:32.071


Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1   Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 60 1:31:10.744 1 25
2 5   Fernando Alonso Ferrari 60 +9.437 5 18
3 2   Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 60 +13.217 2 15
4 4   Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 60 +13.909 3 12
5 3   Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 60 +26.266 4 10
6 6   Felipe Massa Ferrari 60 +44.674 6 8
7 9   Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 60 +45.227 7 6
8 12   Nico Hülkenberg Force India-Mercedes 60 +54.998 12 4
9 10   Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 60 +56.103 11 2
10 19   Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 60 +1:14.975 13 1
11 8   Nico Rosberg Mercedes 60 +1:21.694 10
12 11   Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 60 +1:22.815 16
13 16   Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 60 +1:26.064 15
14 14   Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 60 +1:26.495 17
15 17   Jean-Éric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 59 +1 Lap 18
16 18   Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 59 +1 Lap 9
17 21   Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 59 +1 Lap 19
18 20   Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 59 +1 Lap 20
19 25   Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 59 +1 Lap 24
20 24   Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 58 +2 Laps 21
21 23   Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 58 +2 Laps 23
22 7   Michael Schumacher Mercedes 55 Gearbox 14
Ret 22   Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 43 Brakes 22
Ret 15   Sergio Pérez Sauber-Ferrari 21 Collision 8

Championship standings after the raceEdit

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.


  1. ^ a b "2012 Formula 1 Airtel Grand Prix of India". Formula One. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "2012 FORMULA 1 AIRTEL INDIAN GRAND PRIX (Race)". f1standings.net. F1standings. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Indian Grand Prix: Organisers upbeat despite attendance dip". The Indian Express. 29 October 2012.
  4. ^ Collantine, Keith (7 December 2011). "United States Grand Prix remains on unchanged 2012 F1 calendar". F1 Fanatic. Keith Collantine. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b Tremayne, Sam (27 October 2012). "Vettel leads all-Red Bull front row in India". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  6. ^ a b Collantine, Keith (28 October 2012). "2012 Indian Grand Prix result". F1 Fanatic. Keith Collantine. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  7. ^ "A tribute to a champion". The Hindu. 29 October 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  8. ^ Tremayne, Sam (26 October 2012). "Esteban Gutierrez to stand in for Sergio Perez in FP1". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  9. ^ Collantine, Keith (26 October 2012). "Vettel leads the way as practice begins in India". F1 Fanatic. Keith Collantine. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  10. ^ "India Grand Prix: Ferrari court controversy with Navy sticker as Indian government refuses to release marines". The Daily Telegraph. 26 October 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  11. ^ "Pirelli reveal tyre choices for final three rounds". Formula One. 16 October 2012. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  12. ^ Sidhu, Jasvinder (26 October 2012). "India F1: Buddh International Circuit 'dog proof'". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  13. ^ Strang, Simon (26 October 2012). "Sebastian Vettel goes quickest in first practice". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  14. ^ Strang, Simon (26 October 2012). "Sebastian Vettel stays on top in second practice". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  15. ^ Collantine, Keith (26 October 2012). "Vettel extends his advantage in second practice". F1 Fanatic. Keith Collantine. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  16. ^ Tremayne, Sam (27 October 2012). "Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull complete practice sweep". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  17. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/20115603
  18. ^ a b "Did Indian customs cost Alonso the title?". The Hindu. 1 September 2012.
  19. ^ a b "India 2012 - Championship • STATS F1". statsf1.com. Retrieved 18 March 2019.

Previous race:
2012 Korean Grand Prix
FIA Formula One World Championship
2012 season
Next race:
2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Previous race:
2011 Indian Grand Prix
Indian Grand Prix Next race:
2013 Indian Grand Prix
Preceded by
2011 Indian Grand Prix
Formula One Promotional Trophy
for Race Promoter

Succeeded by
2013 Brazilian Grand Prix