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. Sunday 1 February 2015

  2. 19:18

    F1 photos: Jerez pre-season testing – Day 1

    F1
  3. Ricciardo notes 'step forward' with RB11 19:15

    Ricciardo notes 'step forward' with RB11

    Daniel Ricciardo says he could feel clear improvements with Red Bull's new Formula 1 car as pre-season testing got underway...

    F1
  4. Rosberg encouraged by Mercedes display 18:51

    Rosberg encouraged by Mercedes display

    Nico Rosberg was left in a buoyant mood following a reliable showing from Mercedes on the opening day of pre-season testing...

    F1
  5. Alonso patient over early McLaren issues 18:42

    Alonso patient over early McLaren issues

    Fernando Alonso says he has patience after McLaren was able to complete only six laps on the first day of testing at Jerez...

    F1
  6. Vettel pleased with Ferrari starting point 17:39

    Vettel pleased with Ferrari starting point

    Sebastian Vettel spoke of a positive start to his Ferrari career after setting the pace on the opening day of pre-season...

    F1
  7. McLaren set for 2015 livery change 17:13

    McLaren set for 2015 livery change

    McLaren CEO Ron Dennis has said that the squad's 2015 livery will change, but declined to comment on when the alteration...

    F1
  8. 16:11

    Jerez pre-season testing: Day 1 results

    F1
  9. Vettel fastest on opening test day at Jerez 16:05

    Vettel fastest on opening test day at Jerez

    New Ferrari recruit Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets on the opening day of pre-season testing at the Circuito de...

    F1
  10. Bottas aims for first win with Williams 12:09

    Bottas aims for first win with Williams

    Williams' Valtteri Bottas says he is aiming to claim his first Formula 1 victory this season, on the back of his successful...

    F1
  11. Lotus E23 to make late debut at Jerez 11:38

    Lotus E23 to make late debut at Jerez

    Lotus will make a late start to this year's pre-season testing period, with the Mercedes-powered E23 yet to arrive at the...

    F1
  12. 08:10

    Photos: The new Red Bull RB11

    F1
  13. Red Bull unveils RB11 in testing livery 08:09

    Red Bull unveils RB11 in testing livery

    Red Bull has unveiled its new Renault-powered RB11 in a 'testing livery' at Jerez. The car, which will be piloted by Daniel...

    F1
  14. 07:57

    Follow Jerez pre-season testing live!

    F1
  15. Williams reveals FW37 in Jerez pit lane 07:55

    Williams reveals FW37 in Jerez pit lane

    Williams has officially unveiled its Mercedes-powered FW37 in the pit lane at Jerez. The squad released computer images...

    F1
  16. 07:33

    Photos: Mercedes launches 2015 challenger

    F1
  17. Mercedes officially presents new F1 W06 07:31

    Mercedes officially presents new F1 W06

    Mercedes has officially pulled the covers off its new Formula 1 challenger, ahead of the start of pre-season testing at the...

    F1
  18. 07:15

    Photos: Honda presents new MotoGP livery

    MotoGP
  19. Honda showcases 2015 livery in Bali 07:13

    Honda showcases 2015 livery in Bali

    Repsol Honda presented its livery for the 2015 MotoGP season on the island of Bali on Sunday. Reigning double World...

    MotoGP
  20. Jerez pre-season testing: Day 1 line-up 05:53

    Jerez pre-season testing: Day 1 line-up

    The opening day of pre-season testing at the Circuito de Jerez has arrived and, to keep you fully up to date with who is in...

    F1
  21. Video of the Day: Adding SF15-T's livery 05:02

    Video of the Day: Adding SF15-T's livery

    Watch a time-lapse video as Ferrari turns its nascent SF15-T into a fully liveried machine.

    F1
  22. Saturday 31 January 2015

  23. 18:40

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  24. Video: Mercedes previews 2015 fight 18:31

    Video: Mercedes previews 2015 fight

    Mercedes presents footage of its F1 W06 Hybrid as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg talk about where they will improve in 2015.

    F1
  25. 17:51

    Latest F1 photos: Preparations at Jerez

    F1
  26. Tost targets fifth place for Toro Rosso 17:42

    Tost targets fifth place for Toro Rosso

    Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost says that his squad should aim for a top five finish in this year's Constructors'...

    F1
  27. 16:48

    Photos: Toro Rosso reveals STR10

    F1
  28. Video: STR10 on track at Misano 16:46

    Video: STR10 on track at Misano

    Toro Rosso runs its new STR10 on track during a filming day at Misano.

    F1
  29. Jerez pre-season testing: The line-up 16:32

    Jerez pre-season testing: The line-up

    The opening pre-season test gets underway at the Circuito de Jerez on Sunday morning. As a preview to the gathering,...

    F1
  30. Toro Rosso presents STR10 in Jerez 16:27

    Toro Rosso presents STR10 in Jerez

    Rookie drivers Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. have taken the wraps off of Toro Rosso's new Renault-powered STR10 in the...

    F1
  31. Preview: Formula 1 gears up for Jerez test 13:44

    Preview: Formula 1 gears up for Jerez test

    Just over two months after the chequered flag fell to bring the 2014 season to a close in Abu Dhabi, Formula 1 teams are...

    F1
  32. 'A lot of change' on Mercedes W06 – Lowe 13:16

    'A lot of change' on Mercedes W06 – Lowe

    Mercedes' Executive Director (technical) Paddy Lowe says the squad has found performance in "a number of areas" with its...

    F1
  33. Vettel appreciative of 'straightforward' Räikkönen 12:26

    Vettel appreciative of 'straightforward' Räikkönen

    New Ferrari recruit Sebastian Vettel says the 'straightforward' nature of team-mate Kimi Räikkönen should aid their r...

    F1
  34. Video: Daniel Ricciardo on 2015 season 11:18

    Video: Daniel Ricciardo on 2015 season

    Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo discusses his hopes for the new season as he tries to build on a successful 2014.

    F1
  35. Kobayashi moves to Super Formula for 2015 10:11

    Kobayashi moves to Super Formula for 2015

    Kamui Kobayashi will move to Japan's Super Formula championship for 2015 after leaving Formula 1. Kobayashi spent three...

    F1
  36. Hamilton: Mercedes can be even stronger 09:04

    Hamilton: Mercedes can be even stronger

    Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton says that Mercedes' rivals will find it tough to match the outfit in 2015 as "there...

    F1
  37. Video: Magnussen on 2015 expectations 08:33

    Video: Magnussen on 2015 expectations

    McLaren test and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen discusses his 2015 role and expectations.

    F1
  38. Magnussen's sights set on Formula 1 return 08:32

    Magnussen's sights set on Formula 1 return

    Kevin Magnussen says he will work hard to show his capability as a Formula 1 driver as he bids to return to a race seat for...

    F1
  39. Feature: Sauber's Nasr 'ready for the next step' 07:25

    Feature: Sauber's Nasr 'ready for the next step'

    Formula 1 welcomes three rookies in 2015 – Toro Rosso team-mates Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen, and Sauber driver F...

    F1
  40. Video of the Day: Interview with Sebastian Vettel 05:04

    Video of the Day: Interview with Sebastian Vettel

    Sebastian Vettel talks about his move from Red Bull to Ferrari and his hopes for the year ahead.

    F1
  41. Friday 30 January 2015

  42. Ricciardo to debut Red Bull RB11 in Jerez 19:51

    Ricciardo to debut Red Bull RB11 in Jerez

    Red Bull has confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will debut the squad's new Renault-powered RB11 at Jerez on Sunday. The...

    F1
  43. Ferrari confident over improved power unit 15:48

    Ferrari confident over improved power unit

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison says that a significant amount of the squad's efforts over the winter period have...

    F1
more news