Seven times champion Michael Schumacher, probably the biggest Formula One name in a country more focused on cricket, collided with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne at the start and pitted with a punctured rear right.
That sent the 43-year-old German to the back of the field on his last race appearance in India. To compound his problems, he was lapped by Vettel after eight laps and was then under investigation for ignoring blue warning flags.
To his credit, Schumacher battled on until finally retiring three laps from the end.
In Image: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany leads teammate Mark Webber into turn one at the start of the Indian Formula One Grand Prix