Brazil GP 2012

Super Seven Moments of the Brazilian GP

1. A Worthy Champion

There will be arguments about this for months. possibly years to come (Formula One fans have long memories after all) about whether or not Vettel was a worthy champion. Although after such an unpredictable season a new winner wouldn’t have been sniffed at, Vettel didn’t have it his way this season until after the summer break showing his mental fortitude and mettle even when things aren’t going his way.

His first win of the season was on his fourth outing in Bahrain, his second came a whopping ten races later in Singapore, but he followed it up with four straight victories. His 6th place in Brazil, much like his performance in Austin the weekend before showed that he CAN overtake, a shunt from Senna sent him spinning in the final race and put him dead last and with Alonso in a podium spot the Spaniard was champion on lap one. However Vettel kept his mind on the job in hand and more importantly his car on the black stuff, back into the points and got his hands on his third consecutive title. It wasn’t the utter dominance of 2011, thankfully, but when a driver works so well with his car it’s something to behold. A true meeting of mind and machine.

As ever though, what’s a championship without a little controversey and this time it’s ironically down to an overtake that was deemed to be under a yellow flag situation by fans and some media outlets. However the stewards were questioned about it and clarified the pass was made under red and yellows, indicating a slippery surface, so although it may have been a risky move it was a legal one.

2. To the Wire

There was action lap after lap right from lights off to flag down, and as they lined up on the grid Vettel had it all to lose. Alonso had shown little pace throughout the weekend which gave rise to speculation that Ferrari were banking on rain and a wet set-up to give their man the best chance. They got rain despite reports that the expected wet weekend had passed, but it didn’t quite have the desired effect, even with Vettel’s misfortunes, Alonso couldn’t chase down Button to claim the top step of the podium and had to settle for second with an emotional Massa completing the top three result.

Throughout the year and until the very end Alonso’s belief in himself and his team was unwavering, even when the world was questioning Ferrari’s ability to put together a championship winning car, Alonso kept pulling out the results others struggled to match. Inclement weather had been his friend this season, but when it really mattered, when he could have done with a dose of luck the weather wasn’t quite on time. No matter what the result was, whoever won the title beat someone who was equally worthy of it.

3. Include all the Things!

What a truly fitting finale to a season that has given the fans everything, new winners, first podiums, familiar faces and even an exciting race at Valencia, who’d have thought it? Treated to the best Formula One has to offer, Brazil had a lot to live up to and thankfully it delivered.

  • Safety car (shame it finished under one)
  • Intermittent and unpredictable rain
  • treacherous conditions
  • Change of championship winners

4. Hulk Smashed It

It was in 2010 that Hulkenberg timed his Q3 lap to perfection and set a time no one could beat, in his rookie year he started on the front row but it wasn’t enough to secure himself a 2011 seat. But despite a year out the German driver returned this season with a bang and has been a consistent points scorer throughout the year.

So in an effort to prove himself a bit of a Interlagos specialist he stayed out the longest on slick tyres (along with Button) and got himself into third quietly, then the battle heated up between those who dared. Hulkenberg executed the pass cleanly after a tidy fight. However, even though he looked like to have the pace to win, a collision between him and Hamilton on lap 55 as Hulkenberg tried to regain the lead, penalised with a drive though he still came home in 5th.

5. Leave Me Alone I Know Where I’m Going

Shame the race organisers didn’t preempt his off track excursion. Leaving the track on lap 52 the Finn sought the use of an access road to get himself back into the action, but whereas the last time he used it the gate was open in 2001, this time it was shut. His verdict, “Next year I’ll make sure it’s open again.”

6. Danke und auf Wiedersehen!

Schumacher bid a second farewell to the sport in Brazil, and to mark the occasion he did a special lap of the circuit with a flag saying ‘thank you’ to his fans, the sport and his team. He may have divided opinions throughout his career either for his volume of success or the manner in which he raced, either way he’s made a permanent and unforgettable impact on Formula One and provided a lofty benchmark for future drivers.

It’s definitely the end of an era with Schumacher retiring (again), but it ‘s another full stop to a relationship that created another world champion. McLaren and Hamilton always seemed such a perfect fit, much like Ferrari and Schumacher, it was a partnership that bore great fruit and created better reputations. However as ever things must change and for the 2008 world champion 2013 was the year he was going to make that happen, it was a shame he couldn’t finish his time with a win or finish the race at all after looking so strong all weekend.

7. Into the off-season we go

Ah yes, we may know who the world champion is, but as a result fans are plunged into a over a hundred days devoid of wheel to wheel action, however all is not lost. Testing absolutely counts, it’s cars on track, and better yet, they’re new cars. Instant excitement for all the tech blogs. There are still driver announcements to be made, there are 2 seats left at Force India, Williams and HRT (true until they say otherwise), and there is also a seat going spare at Lotus, Caterham and Marussia. Find out about the 2012 drivers looking to find themselves a seat for next season here. And then there’s Hamilton’s first day at Mercedes, countless 2012 season reviews, remembering those moments, wondering if the Lotus twitterer is that funny in real life…we’ll be fine.

P.S. Those wondering about the outro song on the BBC, it was Alistar Griffin’s Number 1 (iTunes).

Awesome-O-Meter

Race Stats

Qualifying

Hamilton

Button

Webber

Pole

L Hamilton 1:12.458 (McLaren)

Laps

71

Weather

Wet

Safety Car

2

Results

1. Button

McLaren

1:45:22.656

2. Alonso

Ferrari

1:31:12.811

3. Massa

Ferrari

1:45:26.271

Fastest Lap

Hamilton

McLaren

1:18.069

Retirements

Hamilton

McLaren

[3] Spin

Penalties

Hulkenberg

Caused collision with Hamilton

Drive through

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