Vettel on top in India

Congleton Guardian: Sebastian Vettel was quickest in first practice for the Indian Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel was quickest in first practice for the Indian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel continued his current dominance of Formula One by comfortably finishing top of the timesheet following first practice for Sunday's Indian Grand Prix.

Following a run of three successive victories, Vettel heads into the race at the Buddh International Circuit on the outskirts of New Delhi with a six-point cushion over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

The German clocked a time of one minute 27.619secs in his Red Bull and the usual suspects were left trailing, spearheaded by Jenson Button in his McLaren, the Briton 0.310secs adrift, followed by Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Alonso finished 0.425secs down on Vettel, with Hamilton a further two thousandths of a second behind, whilst Vettel's team-mate in Mark Webber was over half a second off the pace.

As for the remainder, there was a considerable gap between Webber and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg of three tenths of a second, with Felipe Massa in his Ferrari the only other driver to finish within a second of Vettel.

The soon-to-be-retiring-for-a-second-time Michael Schumacher was down in eighth in his Mercedes, but 1.374secs behind, the 43-year-old German followed by Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo and Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen.

Further suggesting he is ripe for a race seat next season, Williams reserve driver Valtteri Bottas had the edge over Pastor Maldonado by 3.5secs, the duo 11th and 16th.

Force India's Paul di Resta was down in 12th, but just over two seconds down, narrowly finishing ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

Another reserve in Caterham's Giedo van der Garde, taking the place of Heikki Kovalainen, was only 0.3secs behind Vitaly Petrov as they finished 18th and 19th.

At Sauber, in his first outing in a F1 car at a grand prix weekend, Esteban Gutierrez was 20th, 1.4secs behind Kamui Kobayashi while at the bottom of the field was HRT's Pedro de la Rosa, 5.2secs off of Vettel, and 0.7secs down on the only Indian in F1 in Narain Karthikeyan.

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