Brazil Grand Prix (2012) RESULTSun, 25 Nov 2012
It may be a McLaren front row for the Brazilian Grand Prix, but the race is all about Vettel or Alonso as world champion. How did it end?
The final race of the 2012 Grand Prix calendar has every element you could wish for: two world champions battling for this year’s title, a great circuit in Interlagos and the threat of rain to put an extra edge on proceedings.
The race was a gem, but the world champion is Sebastian Vettel – triple world champion, despite finishing only sixth in the race – but what a race.
The McLarens at the front ran away on the start, but a tentative start from Vettel saw him drop to seventh and then make heavy contact with Senna, spinning his car and taking Perez with him. Remarkably, despite Senna and Perez going out, Vettel managed to continue and got up to eighth place by lap 22.
Whilst it was all going on for Vettel, Alonso got a good start, passing Massa and Webber and moving in to third place and then promptly lost that third place to a charging Hulkenberg.
As the rain fell, just about everyone bar Button and Hulkenberg pitted to change tyres, leaving the pair in first and second and Hulkenberg eventually taking Button for the lead, by which time the two were more than half a lap ahead of the field.
But that big gap disappeared when the safety car was brought out after debris from earlier incidents gave Rosberg a puncture and the pack shuffled up. At the restart it was Hulkenberg followed by Button, Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Kobayashi and Webber, with Kobayashi soon passing Alonso and Vettel for fourth. Alonso recovered his place, but not Vettel, and Massa also charged by to slot in behind Alonso.
Hamilton then got past Button for second place but couldn’t get past Hulkenberg until lap 49 when the Force India had a half spin and let Hamilton through. Hulkenberg chased back hard and ran in to Hamilton five laps later, finishing Hamilton’s race – and his career at McLaren – and letting Button re-take the lead.
More rain saw changes to intermediates – and no pit radio for Vettel meant his change was slow as the team weren’t ready for him – but he got back in the race and up to sixth which, even though Alonso had by this time made it in to second place after a bit of help from Massa, would be enough to win the title.
And it was, as the race ended in an anti-climax as Paul di Resta crashed heavily on the pit straight bringing out the safety car which took the train of F1 cars to the end.
It was a great race, a well-deserved title for Vettel, a sad end for perhaps the best driver of the year – Alonso – who missed the title by just three points, a sad end for Hamilton and a great fillip for Button to win the last race of 2012 and reinforce his credentials as the go-to driver in tricky conditions. And at least Schumacher ended in the points in his last F1 race.
A terrific last Grand Prix of 2012.
By Cars UK