Nico Rosberg claims podium finish in India

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Nothing prepares you for the chaos of India. Cows – all of them sacred – wander wherever they want; cars stop for no apparent reason in the fast lane of motorways and people try to sell you something at every turn. Life on the sub continent is an assault on the senses, and that in-your-face colour is what makes the Indian Grand Prix such an enjoyable race to attend.

Formula One’s attitude towards the race appears to have changed over the years. At the first running of the event in 2011, many of the drivers arrived at the last possible moment on Thursday and they left immediately after the race on Sunday afternoon. This year, some of them arrived several days early to see the sights and many of them delayed their departure to Abu Dhabi to hang in New Delhi for a couple of days.

Such a positive swing in attitude has been reflected in the things that F1 now does for the local area surrounding the Buddh International Circuit. Several drivers, including Mercedes AMG star Nico Rosberg, did some charity work with homeless kids and all of the teams gathered up their un-eaten food after the race and donated it to local charities.

However, charity work was the last thing on the drivers’ minds during the race. The manner in which Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel charged through the field from 17th (after pitting for fresh tyres on lap two) to first was utterly ruthless and nothing less than a champion’s drive. Congratulations to him for securing his fourth consecutive world title in emphatic style.

Behind Vettel, Rosberg put in a fantastic performance to finish second and score his first podium finish since the British Grand Prix eight races ago. Nico started the race second and managed his tyres to perfection to cross the line 29s behind the new world champion. With his team-mate Lewis Hamilton finishing sixth, giving Mercedes AMG Petronas a total of 26 points for the race, the team has taken a four-point lead in its battle with Ferrari over second place in the constructors’ championship.

“The team’s goal for the weekend was to be best of the rest, and we were,” said Rosberg. “Finally, I had a smooth weekend without any problems and I was able to put that to good use. To finish ahead of Ferrari was good, and I’m only four points behind Mark Webber in the drivers’ standings so maybe I can pass him before the end of the year.”

Nico doesn’t have to wait long for his next chance to close that gap to Webber because the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is next weekend. As exciting as it is to have another race so soon, it’s with a heavy heart that F1 leaves New Delhi. The Indian Grand Prix isn’t on next year’s calendar; let’s hope it gets reinstated in 2015.