Vettel World Champion as Button wins in Brazil

Vettel World Champion as Button wins in Brazil

25 November 2012 – Sebastian Vettel has become a triple Formula 1 World Champion as a remarkable Brazilian Grand Prix ended under the Safety Car. Jenson Button took victory following a collision between Nico Hülkenberg and Lewis Hamilton, as Vettel fought back to sixth place after  being hit and spun down to last on the opening lap.

Felipe Massa charges up to second as Vettel falls back

Interlagos had already delivered numerous dramatic title-deciders in recent years, but Sunday’s race will forever be remembered as one of the best in living memory. Sprinkles of rain fell around 20 minutes before the start as Hamilton and Button headed an all-McLaren front row in what was the former’s final race with the team. For the championship, Vettel would guarantee the crown with a top four finish whereas Alonso had to fight through to the podium from seventh position on the grid.

It was a clean start, but a cautious one for Vettel as he lost positions. At the front, Felipe Massa sized up Button for second as Alonso took to the outside line and found himself fourth. Intense drama followed immediately, at Turn 4. Kimi Räikkönen ran off circuit as Vettel was tipped into a spin by Bruno Senna. Both Senna and Sergio Pérez were out on the spot, as Vettel rejoined with heavy damage and at the very back of the pack. At this point, it looked highly likely that Alonso could become the 2012 World Champion.

Vettel is spun to the back of the field on the opening lap

The 71-lap encounter featured a selection of rain showers, prompting some drivers to make as many as four pit-stops when one would have been possible in dry conditions. Both title contenders changed to Intermediates at the first round, whereas Button – following an entertaining dice with Hamilton – stayed out in the lead and on Slicks. He was followed by the Force India of Hülkenberg, who had started sixth and stayed out of trouble; incredibly, the German seized the lead from Button at the start of Lap 18.

As Adrian Newey assessed Vettel’s damage courtesy of a paper print-out, his driver stormed through the field and was already up to sixth on the ninth tour. Hamilton had decided to pit but proceeded to catch the two leaders, whereas Alonso had suffered a pair of scary off-track excursions at Turn 1. In the opening stages, Massa played shotgun for his team-mate as a charging pack – headed up by Mark Webber, who later spun on two occasions – threatened to pass both Ferraris. With debris littering the circuit on Lap 23, the Safety Car was called for to allow for a collective pause for breath.

The entire race was filled with chaotic moments like this

Romain Grosjean had already slammed into the barriers at Mergulho as team-mate Räikkönen took a lurid off-track excursion behind the Armco at Junçao, but it was Hamilton on the move as he passed Button after the restart. Hülkenberg still led but, struggling for grip, allowed Hamilton to pass when he half-spun at Laranjinha. Seven laps later, the McLaren was taken out as the recovering Force India attacked but lost control at the first corner; Hamilton walked back to the pits as Hülkenberg duly received a penalty.

Intensely heavy rain came in the final third of the race; Daniel Ricciardo gambled for full Wets as leader Button and the rest of the field survived with Intermediates. Alonso had risen to third after Red Bull made a tactical error by bringing Vettel into the pits too soon; the Spaniard then took second place as he was allowed through by Massa. Vettel, after another stop, sat seventh but was still comfortable for the title – and became even more so when compatriot Michael Schumacher, in his last ever F1 race, jettisoned sixth position.

Button’s win confirmed him as a winner in both the first and last races of 2012, with the pair of Ferrari drivers appearing on the podium together for the only time this year. Vettel’s triple success was guaranteed one lap early, as the Safety Car was deployed when Paul di Resta suffered a large accident at the final corner. In spectacular fashion, Vettel is the ninth three-time World Champion and only the third man in history to win three consecutive titles. He also becomes the youngest triple Champion, taking that record from the late Ayrton Senna.

Vettel: Triple World Champion

Elsewhere, Ferrari retained second from McLaren in the Constructors’ Championship and a late-race pass from Vitaly Petrov on Charles Pic allowed Caterham to nab tenth overall from Marussia. The demise of Hamilton also means that Kimi Räikkönen finishes third in the drivers’ standings in his comeback year. At the sharp end, the eventual gap between Vettel and Alonso is just three points at the end of a truly remarkable campaign.


Formula 1 now heads into a period of hibernation before pre-season testing begins at Jerez in February.

GPUpdate.net would like to thank every one of its readers for continued support across a fantastic 2012 season. Daily updates will continue throughout the break!

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 25 July 2014

  2. 12:50

    Follow second practice for the Hungarian GP!

    F1
  3. 10:43

    Hungarian GP: Full Free Practice 1 results

    F1
  4. Hamilton fastest in first Hungaroring practice 10:32

    Hamilton fastest in first Hungaroring practice

    Lewis Hamilton set the standard as the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend got underway on Friday morning. The Mercedes driver...

    F1
  5. Azerbaijan to stage Grand Prix from 2016 10:26

    Azerbaijan to stage Grand Prix from 2016

    Azerbaijan has confirmed that it will stage the European Grand Prix from the 2016 campaign. There were plans for the Baku...

    F1
  6. 10:19

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Hungaroring

    F1
  7. Hamilton 'not worried' about Vettel rumours 10:06

    Hamilton 'not worried' about Vettel rumours

    Lewis Hamilton says he is unconcerned about claims that Mercedes is trying to sign Sebastian Vettel. Ahead of the...

    F1
  8. Camier to stand in for recovering Hayden 09:36

    Camier to stand in for recovering Hayden

    Leon Camier will replace Nicky Hayden at Aspar for the next two races as the latter recovers from surgery. Hayden has...

    MotoGP
  9. 09:00

    Follow first practice for the Hungarian GP!

    F1
  10. Video of the Day: Hamilton's Hungaroring guide 05:00

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's Hungaroring guide

    Join Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton for a lap of the Hungaroring.

    F1
  11. Thursday 24 July 2014

  12. Video: Mexico outlines planned track changes 22:49

    Video: Mexico outlines planned track changes

    Organisers of the returning Mexican Grand Prix highlight the modifications that will be required to the Autódromo Hermanos...

    F1
  13. Räikkönen: 2015 car will be more to my liking 17:16

    Räikkönen: 2015 car will be more to my liking

    Kimi Räikkönen is certain that next year's Ferrari design will be better-suited to his driving style. The former World C...

    F1
  14. Sutil shrugs off replacement rumours 16:39

    Sutil shrugs off replacement rumours

    Adrian Sutil has shunned rumours that Sauber is looking to replace him before the end of the season. It was suggested...

    F1
  15. Rossi joins Marussia as reserve driver 16:26

    Rossi joins Marussia as reserve driver

    Alexander Rossi has joined Marussia as its reserve driver for the remainder of the 2014 season. The 22-year-old American...

    F1
  16. 15:20

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday at Hungaroring

    F1
  17. Pérez '100 per cent sure' of Mexico return 14:49

    Pérez '100 per cent sure' of Mexico return

    Sergio Pérez says he has no doubts over Mexico's planned return to the Formula 1 calendar. At a special press conference...

    F1
  18. Video: Rosberg previews the Hungarian GP 13:30

    Video: Rosberg previews the Hungarian GP

    Mercedes driver and championship leader Nico Rosberg previews the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    F1
  19. Pirelli announces tyre choices until Singapore 13:10

    Pirelli announces tyre choices until Singapore

    Pirelli has announced its tyre compound choices for the Belgian, Italian and Singapore Grands Prix. At Spa-Francorchamps,...

    F1
  20. Marko: Mercedes, McLaren targeting Vettel 11:46

    Marko: Mercedes, McLaren targeting Vettel

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko claims that Mercedes and McLaren have targeted Sebastian Vettel. The reigning quadruple...

    F1
  21. Pérez gets grandstand for United States GP 10:06

    Pérez gets grandstand for United States GP

    A grandstand has been dedicated to Sergio Pérez fans for this year's United States Grand Prix. The Force India driver has...

    F1
  22. Video: Mansell, Berger battle in Mexico 09:14

    Video: Mansell, Berger battle in Mexico

    With news that the Mexican Grand Prix will return to the Formula 1 calendar next season, relive one of the standout battles...

    F1
  23. Horner: We will fight all the way to Abu Dhabi 07:00

    Horner: We will fight all the way to Abu Dhabi

    Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner has insisted that the reigning World Champions will keep "fighting all the way to...

    F1
  24. Hungaroring memories: Räikkönen wins, 2005 05:00

    Hungaroring memories: Räikkönen wins, 2005

    Relive then McLaren driver Kimi Räikkönen's 2005 Hungarian Grand Prix victory.

    F1
  25. Wednesday 23 July 2014

  26. Official: Mexico confirmed for 2015 season 22:14

    Official: Mexico confirmed for 2015 season

    During a press conference in the country on Wednesday, organisers of a new race officially announced that Mexico will return...

    F1
  27. Video: Ferrari looks ahead to Hungary 18:05

    Video: Ferrari looks ahead to Hungary

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison looks ahead to this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

    F1
  28. Lotus already well into design of 2015 car 17:22

    Lotus already well into design of 2015 car

    Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester has confirmed the Enstone team is already "well into the design of next year's car"...

    F1
  29. FIA confirms minor changes at Hungaroring 16:05

    FIA confirms minor changes at Hungaroring

    The Hungaroring has been tweaked ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. The alterations see new debris fencing...

    F1
  30. Pirro named driver steward for Hungary 15:25

    Pirro named driver steward for Hungary

    Emanuele Pirro will be the FIA driver steward at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend, carrying out the task for the eighth...

    F1
  31. Toto Wolff injured in cycling accident 14:24

    Toto Wolff injured in cycling accident

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has suffered a fractured shoulder, collar bone, elbow and wrist ahead of this weekend's Hungarian...

    F1
  32. Mallya: More podiums possible for Force India 14:05

    Mallya: More podiums possible for Force India

    Force India boss Vijay Mallya is confident his team will be able to get more podium finishes this season. Sergio Pérez...

    F1
  33. Video: Force India drivers on Hungarian GP 13:30

    Video: Force India drivers on Hungarian GP

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez preview the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix.

    F1
  34. Magnussen wants problem-free weekend 13:17

    Magnussen wants problem-free weekend

    McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen has said he is hoping for a weekend "where everything comes together" in Hungary. Danish...

    F1
  35. Albers: Caterham making progress already 12:35

    Albers: Caterham making progress already

    Caterham Team Principal Christijan Albers believes that the squad is already making progress under its new owners. Tony...

    F1
  36. Lauda apologises to di Montezemolo and Ferrari 11:54

    Lauda apologises to di Montezemolo and Ferrari

    Niki Lauda has apologised to Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo after his blunt description of the team's 2014 Formula 1...

    F1
  37. Lotus: We want to keep Grosjean in 2015 11:07

    Lotus: We want to keep Grosjean in 2015

    Lotus Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi has said it is the outfit's "intention" to retain Romain Grosjean next...

    F1
  38. Bottas: Hungary not best circuit for our car 10:12

    Bottas: Hungary not best circuit for our car

    Valtteri Bottas has admitted he might struggle to get on the podium again this weekend in the Hungarian Grand...

    F1
  39. Mexico Grand Prix set for F1 return in 2015 09:52

    Mexico Grand Prix set for F1 return in 2015

    Mexico will return next season, Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed. According to reports by Forbes,...

    F1
  40. Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Germany 09:00

    Mark Sutton: Story behind the shot - Germany

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net is this season running a feature series entitled Story behind...

    F1
  41. Exclusive interview with Paul Hembery 08:00

    Exclusive interview with Paul Hembery

    Pirelli faced one of its biggest challenges since returning to the sport this season, having to adapt its products to...

    F1
  42. Hungaroring memories: Hill's first victory, 1993 05:00

    Hungaroring memories: Hill's first victory, 1993

    Take a look back at the 1993 Hungarian Grand Prix, when Damon Hill claimed his maiden Formula 1 victory.

    F1
  43. Tuesday 22 July 2014

  44. D'Ambrosio joins Dragon Racing team 16:27

    D'Ambrosio joins Dragon Racing team

    Jérôme d'Ambrosio has completed Dragon Racing's line-up for the inaugural Formula E season. The 28-year-old Belgian, who p...

    Formula E
more news