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. Monday 2 March 2015

  2. Final Barcelona pre-season test in numbers 11:01

    Final Barcelona pre-season test in numbers

    The final pre-season test at Barcelona saw Nico Rosberg and Mercedes top the timesheets, and Sauber lead the mileage stakes....

    F1
  3. Vettel expecting close fight behind Mercedes 10:52

    Vettel expecting close fight behind Mercedes

    Sebastian Vettel says he expects a close fight between Williams, Red Bull and his Ferrari team this year - albeit some way...

    F1
  4. Mick Schumacher to race in German Formula 4 10:45

    Mick Schumacher to race in German Formula 4

    Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael, will make his car racing debut in German ADAC Formula 4...

    Misc
  5. Pons Racing parts company with Tunjo 10:33

    Pons Racing parts company with Tunjo

    Formula Renault 3.5 outfit Pons Racing has confirmed that it has parted company with Colombian youngster Óscar...

    FR 3.5
  6. 09:57

    Photos: Red Bull presents RB11 livery

    F1
  7. Red Bull reveals final RB11 livery 09:32

    Red Bull reveals final RB11 livery

    Red Bull has revealed the RB11 in its final race colours, ahead of the squad's planned filming day at the Circuit de...

    F1
  8. Tost happy with Toro Rosso's preparation 08:38

    Tost happy with Toro Rosso's preparation

    Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost says he is encouraged by the progress the squad has made across its pre-season testing...

    F1
  9. Chilton joins Nissan's LMP1 project 08:15

    Chilton joins Nissan's LMP1 project

    Former Formula 1 driver Max Chilton has confirmed that he will make the switch to the World Endurance Championship this year...

    LM
  10. Video of the Day: Chilton links up with Nissan 08:12

    Video of the Day: Chilton links up with Nissan

    Former Marussia racer Max Chilton and Nissan GT Academy mentor Alex Buncombe discuss their roles with Nissan ahead of the...

    LM
  11. Sunday 1 March 2015

  12. 19:26

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing – Day 4

    F1
  13. Pérez upbeat after first experience of VJM08 19:12

    Pérez upbeat after first experience of VJM08

    Sergio Pérez expressed his optimism after he received his first taste of Force India's VJM08 at the Circuit de...

    F1
  14. McLaren prepared for tricky start to 2015 18:57

    McLaren prepared for tricky start to 2015

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says the squad is prepared for a tricky start to its 2015 campaign after pre-season...

    F1
  15. Lotus: Brake issue caused Maldonado crash 18:33

    Lotus: Brake issue caused Maldonado crash

    Lotus has confirmed that a brake problem caused Pastor Maldonado's crash on the final day of pre-season testing in...

    F1
  16. Rosberg pleased with Mercedes' pre-season 18:13

    Rosberg pleased with Mercedes' pre-season

    Nico Rosberg declared himself happy with Mercedes' pre-season preparations, after topping the combined times at the final...

    F1
  17. 17:08

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 4 results

    F1
  18. Bottas tops final day of pre-season testing 17:03

    Bottas tops final day of pre-season testing

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time as the third and final pre-season test reached its conclusion at the...

    F1
  19. Hamilton explains decision to keep #44 13:06

    Hamilton explains decision to keep #44

    World Champion Lewis Hamilton says he chose to keep #44 as his car number for the upcoming season as it "means more to me"...

    F1
  20. 07:51

    Follow Barcelona pre-season testing live!

    F1
  21. Magnussen wanted Le Mans drive with father 07:46

    Magnussen wanted Le Mans drive with father

    McLaren test and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen says he enquired over the possibility of racing alongside father Jan for...

    F1
  22. Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 4 line-up 06:47

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 4 line-up

    The final pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya concludes on Sunday and, to keep you up to date with who is...

    F1
  23. Video of the Day: Official Formula E anthem 05:24

    Video of the Day: Official Formula E anthem

    Spanish musician and record producer Nacho Cano had released an official anthem for Formula E.

    FE
  24. Saturday 28 February 2015

  25. 21:12

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing – Day 3

    F1
  26. First Ferrari race simulation pleases Allison 20:04

    First Ferrari race simulation pleases Allison

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison expressed his happiness after the squad was able to conduct its first race...

    F1
  27. Hamilton: Predicting main rivals is 'irrelevant' 19:34

    Hamilton: Predicting main rivals is 'irrelevant'

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says it is "irrelevant" to make predictions over who the outfit's main rivals will be in...

    F1
  28. Ricciardo content with Red Bull progress 19:05

    Ricciardo content with Red Bull progress

    Daniel Ricciardo played down his lowly position on the timesheets during the penultimate day of pre-season testing at the...

    F1
  29. Magnussen feels 'very good base' with MP4-30 18:47

    Magnussen feels 'very good base' with MP4-30

    McLaren tester Kevin Magnussen says the team's Honda-powered MP4-30 feels better in many areas compared to its...

    F1
  30. 17:05

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 3 results

    F1
  31. Hamilton keeps Mercedes on top in Barcelona 17:04

    Hamilton keeps Mercedes on top in Barcelona

    Lewis Hamilton ensured that Mercedes remained at the top of the times on the penultimate day of the final pre-season test at...

    F1
  32. Symonds supportive of Manor revival 14:28

    Symonds supportive of Manor revival

    Williams' Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds says it will be a boost for Formula 1 if Manor can make it to the grid for the...

    F1
  33. Booth: Manor 'very close' to making first race 10:25

    Booth: Manor 'very close' to making first race

    John Booth says Manor Marussia is "very close" to making it to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, after the team was...

    F1
  34. Video: Vergne drives Ferrari Formula 1 car 08:47

    Video: Vergne drives Ferrari Formula 1 car

    Jean-Éric Vergne completed his first laps in a Ferrari F1 car during a demo in Adelaide on Saturday.

    F1
  35. Vergne completes Ferrari demo in Adelaide 08:11

    Vergne completes Ferrari demo in Adelaide

    Jean-Éric Vergne got behind the wheel of a Ferrari Formula 1 car for the first time on Saturday when he completed a...

    F1
  36. 07:52

    Follow Barcelona pre-season testing live!

    F1
  37. Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 3 line-up 06:43

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 3 line-up

    The final pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya continues on Saturday and, to keep you up to date with who...

    F1
  38. FIA wants new cameras for crash investigations 06:28

    FIA wants new cameras for crash investigations

    New high speed cameras could be fitted to Formula 1 cars from 2016 in a bid to improve investigations into...

    F1
  39. Video of the Day: Getting ready for pre-season 05:16

    Video of the Day: Getting ready for pre-season

    Mercedes documents the final push to getting the F1 W06 Hybrid ready for pre-season testing.

    F1
  40. Friday 27 February 2015

  41. 21:02

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing – Day 2

    F1
  42. Button: It was like completing 1000 laps 20:14

    Button: It was like completing 1000 laps

    Jenson Button says McLaren's ability to rack up over 100 laps at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday felt "like...

    F1
  43. Bottas impressed by Mercedes test pace 19:13

    Bottas impressed by Mercedes test pace

    Valtteri Bottas says he was impressed by Nico Rosberg's time on the second day of the final pre-season test at the Circuit...

    F1
  44. Hülkenberg: Early VJM08 mileage remarkable 18:18

    Hülkenberg: Early VJM08 mileage remarkable

    Nico Hülkenberg praised his Force India team following the VJM08's reliable start to life at the Circuit de...

    F1
more news