Hamilton on pole, Vettel fourth and Alonso seventh

Hamilton on pole, Vettel fourth and Alonso seventh

24 November 2012 – McLaren have locked out the front row for the Brazilian Grand Prix, ending the 2012 F1 season as they began in Melbourne. Both championship contenders were out-qualified by their team-mates, with Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso fourth and eighth. Rain remains a firm possibility for Sunday’s final race of the campaign.

On the run-up to this 20th and final race weekend of the year, rain has been the hot topic and many thought qualifying would be a washout. Ultimately, Q1 was affected by a few sprinkles but both the second and third phases were completely dry. This allowed McLaren to take full advantage, having topped all three practice sessions across Friday and earlier today.

Perhaps the biggest upset of the day came at the earliest possible point, as Romain Grosjean suffered his first Q1 elimination of the year; oddly enough, this was only the second for Lotus as a team and the first had been for Kimi Räikkönen at Round 1. Today, Grosjean lost his front wing after Pedro de la Rosa – not seeing the Frenchman in his mirror – moved over as the pair passed the pit lane entry. The Spaniard ends up at the back of the grid, having picked up a puncture and broken DRS, while his adversary was left highly annoyed.

There were no major surprises in Q2, but Michael Schumacher ended his last Formula 1 qualifying session early and in 14th position. Two places ahead, Bruno Senna threatened the top ten at his home race but eventually dropped back. Worrying for Ferrari, Alonso and Felipe Massa were just ninth and tenth as the latter squeezed in at the last moment.

Saving his best run until the last, Hamilton stormed to his first Interlagos pole with a best lap time of 1:12.458, thus equalling McLaren stalwart Mika Häkkinen for 26 pole positions on his final weekend with the Woking team. With Button just half a tenth slower, the outfit moves one ahead of Red Bull for a quartet of front row lock-outs this season. Mark Webber and Vettel fill the second row slots, with Vettel having made a mistake on his penultimate lap before suggesting that more was also possible on the final tour.

Running more downforce than most and having almost certainly gambled with a wet setup for Sunday, Alonso managed either place and is behind Massa once again; the Brazilian will start one position behind Vettel and will no doubt attack the German at the start of the race. If rain does fall, Alonso’s bet may pay off but finishing fourth or higher still guarantees Vettel with the title. Alonso must finish on the podium to stand any chance. Behind him on the grid will be Räikkönen – recovering from little running in practice and an engine failure this morning – and Nico Rosberg, masterly dragging the Mercedes into the top ten.

Sunday’s race will mark the first time that two drivers have headed into a championship finale with each fighting for a third title. Whether the victor proves to be Vettel or Alonso, he will steal Ayrton Senna’s record as the youngest triple Champion in the history of F1.


Post-qualifying development:
Alonso promoted as Maldonado is penalised


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vettel will pick up the title under the following circumstances:
- Finishing in the top four
- Finishing fifth, sixth or seventh if Alonso doesn’t win
- Finishing eighth or ninth if Alonso is third or lower
- Finishing tenth or non-scoring if Alonso is off the podium

Alonso is the new three-time World Champion if this happens:
- Winning with Vettel fifth or lower
- Finishing second with Vettel eighth or lower
- Finishing third with Vettel tenth or lower
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The title-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix of 2012 begins at 2pm local time (GMT -2) on Sunday and can be followed through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 18 August 2017

  2. 11:32

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  3. Video: What happens during the shutdown? 11:16

    Video: What happens during the shutdown?

    What goes on at an F1 factory during the summer break? Mercedes 'reveals all' in this light-hearted video.

    F1
  4. Alonso: 'Unfinished business' with McLaren 09:54

    Alonso: 'Unfinished business' with McLaren

    Fernando Alonso says he is open to sticking with McLaren for 2018, highlighting "unfinished business together", but needs…

    F1
  5. Mid-season review: Sauber still at the back 08:52

    Mid-season review: Sauber still at the back

    GPUpdate.net concludes its mid-season review series with Sauber, which has remained at the rear of the Formula 1 field as it…

    F1
  6. Video: Keke vs Nico - Williams memories 05:32

    Video: Keke vs Nico - Williams memories

    F1 champion father and son Keke and Nico Rosberg share their favourite memories of Williams.

    F1
  7. Thursday 17 August 2017

  8. Video: How to master IndyCar oval tracks 17:02

    Video: How to master IndyCar oval tracks

    A selection of IndyCar drivers talk about the challenges of racing on ovals, and how to master them.

    Indy
  9. Williams 'very disappointed' with first half 16:27

    Williams 'very disappointed' with first half

    Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe says the team was left feeling "very disappointed" with its results over the opening half of…

    F1
  10. Overview: Alternative stats from season so far 14:58

    Overview: Alternative stats from season so far

    Formula 1 championship standings, race wins and pole positions all get covered, but what are the lesser-known statistics of the…

    F1
  11. Marko backs Vettel to claim 2017 crown 12:34

    Marko backs Vettel to claim 2017 crown

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has tipped Sebastian Vettel to come back "even stronger" following the summer break and clinch…

    F1
  12. Video: Sébastien Loeb returns to action 11:27

    Video: Sébastien Loeb returns to action

    Watch as nine-time WRC champion Sébastien Loeb returns to action at the wheel of the Citroën C3.

    WRC
  13. Makino to make F3 return at Zandvoort 10:40

    Makino to make F3 return at Zandvoort

    Honda-affiliated Tadasuke Makino will return to the European Formula 3 grid at this weekend's Zandvoort round, after recovering…

    F3
  14. Ferrari hopeful of avoiding turbo penalties 10:08

    Ferrari hopeful of avoiding turbo penalties

    Ferrari is hopeful of avoiding power unit-related penalties over the second half of the season, despite both its drivers being…

    F1
  15. Mid-season review: McLaren-Honda's woes 08:42

    Mid-season review: McLaren-Honda's woes

    GPUpdate.net continues its mid-season review series with McLaren-Honda, which has lacked reliability and performance…

    F1
  16. Video: IndyCar 'Photo Finish' with Dixon 05:43

    Video: IndyCar 'Photo Finish' with Dixon

    Scott Dixon is the first guest on IndyCar's 'Photo Finish' series as he looks back on his career.

    Indy
  17. Wednesday 16 August 2017

  18. Saavedra gets SPM seat for next two rounds 17:17

    Saavedra gets SPM seat for next two rounds

    Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) has announced that Sebastián Saavedra will pilot the No. 7 Honda for the next two rounds of…

    Indy
  19. Iannone urges patience for Suzuki gains 16:12

    Iannone urges patience for Suzuki gains

    Andrea Iannone says Suzuki "learned so much" across back-to-back events in the Czech Republic and Austria, but has urged the…

    MotoGP
  20. Video: F1 2017 game 'Born to Be Wild' trailer 14:24

    Video: F1 2017 game 'Born to Be Wild' trailer

    Watch the latest trailer for Codemasters' new video game, F1 2017, to be released on August 25.

    F1
  21. Vandoorne making 'big steps' at every race 12:19

    Vandoorne making 'big steps' at every race

    Stoffel Vandoorne feels that he is making "big steps" forward at every Grand Prix following a difficult start to his first…

    F1
  22. Video: Mansell's Williams FW14B on track 11:02

    Video: Mansell's Williams FW14B on track

    25 years ago today, Nigel Mansell claimed the 1992 world title with the revolutionary Williams FW14B. Karun Chandhok recently…

    F1
  23. Rabat's title-winning Moto2 bike stolen 10:28

    Rabat's title-winning Moto2 bike stolen

    Tito Rabat's title-winning Moto2 bike was stolen from Marc VDS' base in Belgium on Wednesday, the team has revealed, as it seeks…

    MotoGP
  24. Montoya gets sports car deal with Penske 10:05

    Montoya gets sports car deal with Penske

    Juan Pablo Montoya will return to full-time competition in 2018, after signing a deal to race for Penske in the IMSA WeatherTech…

    Misc
  25. Bourdais given 'all clear' for IndyCar return 09:41

    Bourdais given 'all clear' for IndyCar return

    Sébastien Bourdais has been given the "all clear" to return to IndyCar action following a final check-up with medical chiefs in…

    Indy
  26. Mid-season review: Renault's steady progress 09:02

    Mid-season review: Renault's steady progress

    GPUpdate.net continues its mid-season review by reflecting on Renault's slow and steady progress since its full-time return…

    F1
  27. Video: Sounds of Williams' 40 years in F1 05:42

    Video: Sounds of Williams' 40 years in F1

    Williams has released a spine-tingling film of the various sounds from its 40 years in Formula 1.

    F1
  28. Tuesday 15 August 2017

  29. Video: McLaren's Woking Grand Prix 'plan' 16:22

    Video: McLaren's Woking Grand Prix 'plan'

    McLaren presents a tongue-in-cheek plan to add a Woking Grand Prix to the Formula 1 calendar.

    F1
  30. In photos: Formula 1 drivers' summer breaks 15:02

    In photos: Formula 1 drivers' summer breaks

    Formula 1 broke up for summer earlier this month, following an intense first half of the season, but what has the grid been up…

    F1
  31. Video: Formula 1 fans go behind-the-scenes 14:12

    Video: Formula 1 fans go behind-the-scenes

    Watch as Mercedes competition winners get a behind-the-scenes experience at this year's British GP.

    F1
  32. Kallio: Top 10 finish 'like a victory' for KTM 12:54

    Kallio: Top 10 finish 'like a victory' for KTM

    KTM test rider Mika Kallio labelled his top 10 finish as "like a victory" for the manufacturer as he displayed encouraging pace…

    MotoGP
  33. Stroll expected 'adversity' in rookie season 11:40

    Stroll expected 'adversity' in rookie season

    Williams rookie Lance Stroll says he braced himself for moments of "adversity" when he stepped up to Formula 1 and is pleased…

    F1
  34. Dovizioso: Marginal gains behind title tilt 10:38

    Dovizioso: Marginal gains behind title tilt

    Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso says "tiny" gains in several areas are behind his emergence as a title contender in MotoGP, following…

    MotoGP
  35. Redding to show 'full potential' with Aprilia 09:31

    Redding to show 'full potential' with Aprilia

    Scott Redding says he expects to show his "full potential" when he makes the switch to Aprilia for the 2018 season, having…

    MotoGP
  36. Mid-season review: Haas avoids 2017 slump 08:52

    Mid-season review: Haas avoids 2017 slump

    GPUpdate.net's mid-season review series continues with Haas, which has made gradual gains in its sophomore season, following the…

    F1
  37. Video: Importance of teamwork in motorsport 05:36

    Video: Importance of teamwork in motorsport

    SAFEisFAST highlights the importance of teamwork in motorsport with the Castrol Honda WTCC team.

    Misc
  38. Monday 14 August 2017

  39. Video: F1 2017 wet-weather gameplay at Spa 16:32

    Video: F1 2017 wet-weather gameplay at Spa

    Watch a 50% distance wet race at Spa-Francorchamps in Codemasters' new video game, F1 2017.

    F1
  40. Lorenzo: Austria my best race yet with Ducati 15:42

    Lorenzo: Austria my best race yet with Ducati

    Jorge Lorenzo labelled the Austrian Grand Prix as his best race since he joined Ducati at the start of the season, having spent…

    MotoGP
  41. Aprilia backs Lowes to 'express his talent' 14:59

    Aprilia backs Lowes to 'express his talent'

    Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano has backed Sam Lowes to "express his talent" again in the future, following confirmation that the…

    MotoGP
  42. Räikkönen adamant he still 'has the speed' 14:20

    Räikkönen adamant he still 'has the speed'

    Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen insists that he still "has the speed" to compete at the front of the Formula 1 field, despite a mixed…

    F1
  43. Aprilia announces Redding for 2018 season 13:26

    Aprilia announces Redding for 2018 season

    Aprilia has officially announced that Scott Redding will join the team for the 2018 season. Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano had…

    MotoGP
  44. Video: World's Fastest Gamer qualifiers - #1 11:02

    Video: World's Fastest Gamer qualifiers - #1

    Watch the first round of World's Fastest Gamer qualifiers at Silverstone. Virtual racers are competing for the ultimate job in…

    Misc
  45. Yamaha pair pin deficit on rear tyre issues 10:24

    Yamaha pair pin deficit on rear tyre issues

    Yamaha riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi pointed to rear tyre wear as a crucial limiting factor after the duo slumped…

    MotoGP
more news