Sebastian Vettel made it four consecutive wins for the first time in a season in his Formula One career to strengthen his grip on securing a third successive world title.
Vettel led the Indian Grand Prix from lights to chequered flag to open up a 13-point lead over Fernando Alonso with three races remaining as the Ferrari star was forced to settle for second, albeit his best finish since a win in Germany in July.
Not since Jenson Button in 2009 has a driver chalked up four wins in a row, with Vettel's run to the championship finish line seemingly perfectly timed.
Mark Webber just managed to hold on to third in his Red Bull ahead of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who trails by 75 points with only 75 to play for.
Once the five red lights disappeared to signal the start of the 60-lap race at the Buddh International Circuit, Vettel was faultless for the third consecutive grand prix, leading from start to finish.
Since inheriting the lead from Hamilton in Singapore on lap 23 when the 27-year-old's car suffered a gearbox failure, Vettel has led every single lap since. Vettel's running total is now 206 after lights-to-flag wins in Japan, Korea and India, leaving him just 58 adrift of the all-time record set by Ayrton Senna.
The minor placings went to Button, Ferrari's Felipe Massa, with Kimi Raikkonen seventh in his Lotus, the Finn now 67 points adrift.
Force India's Nico Hulkenberg was eighth, followed by Romain Grosjean in his Lotus and Williams' Bruno Senna.
Michael Schumacher, soon to be retiring for a second time, suffered a first corner puncture after a minor collision with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne.
That dropped him to the back of the field, with embarrassment to follow as the seven-times champion is under investigation for ignoring blue flags, waved to backmarkers to allow the leaders by.