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. Saturday 1 October 2016

  2. 11:05

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Qualifying results

    F1
  3. Hamilton storms to Malaysian GP pole 11:03

    Hamilton storms to Malaysian GP pole

    Lewis Hamilton dominated qualifying to claim pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix, ahead of Mercedes team-mate and…

    F1
  4. 09:48

    Follow qualifying for the Malaysian GP!

    F1
  5. Formula 1 tightens double yellow flag rules 09:02

    Formula 1 tightens double yellow flag rules

    Formula 1 drivers have been told that they must now abandon any laps during free practice and qualifying sessions if…

    F1
  6. Vandoorne: Positive to race next to Alonso 08:42

    Vandoorne: Positive to race next to Alonso

    Stoffel Vandoorne reckons it is "positive" that he will be racing alongside Fernando Alonso at McLaren next season, due to the…

    F1
  7. 08:24

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Saturday at Sepang

    F1
  8. 08:05

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Full Practice 3 results

    F1
  9. Hamilton leads Verstappen in final practice 08:02

    Hamilton leads Verstappen in final practice

    Lewis Hamilton remained at the top of the timesheets during Saturday morning's final practice session for the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  10. Alonso's penalty increases with new parts 07:18

    Alonso's penalty increases with new parts

    Fernando Alonso's grid penalty at the Malaysian Grand Prix has increased to 45 positions after McLaren-Honda elected to fit new…

    F1
  11. 06:52

    Follow final practice for the Malaysian GP!

    F1
  12. 05:58

    Latest GP2 photos: Saturday at Sepang

    GP2
  13. Giovinazzi wins race, Prema clinches title 05:54

    Giovinazzi wins race, Prema clinches title

    Antonio Giovinazzi wrestled back control of the GP2 Series title race with victory during a thrilling Feature Race at Sepang…

    GP2
  14. 04:18

    Latest GP3 photos: Saturday at Sepang

    GP3
  15. Albon wins after dramatic opening lap 04:16

    Albon wins after dramatic opening lap

    Alexander Albon claimed his fourth victory of the GP3 season for ART Grand Prix after a dramatic opening lap in the first race…

    GP3
  16. Video of the Day: Mercedes pit-stop challenge 03:06

    Video of the Day: Mercedes pit-stop challenge

    Watch as Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg become mechanics and take on the pit-stop challenge.

    F1
  17. Friday 30 September 2016

  18. Bryan Herta/Andretti renew partnership 19:05

    Bryan Herta/Andretti renew partnership

    Bryan Herta Autosport and Andretti Autosport have confirmed that they have extended their partnership into the 2017 IndyCar…

    Indy
  19. Hockenheim: No agreement for 2017 F1 race 17:58

    Hockenheim: No agreement for 2017 F1 race

    Officials at Hockenheim say there is currently no agreement in place for the circuit to host the German Grand Prix next year…

    F1
  20. 14:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  21. 13:30

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Friday at Sepang

    F1
  22. Palou excluded from GP3 qualifying 13:29

    Palou excluded from GP3 qualifying

    Campos driver Álex Palou has been excluded from the results of GP3 qualifying at Sepang after his car was found to be in breach…

    GP3
  23. Alonso boosted by McLaren improvements 13:15

    Alonso boosted by McLaren improvements

    Fernando Alonso was left boosted by McLaren's progress after an encouraging pair of practice sessions for the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  24. Renault: Valve problem led to Magnussen fire 12:12

    Renault: Valve problem led to Magnussen fire

    Renault Technical Director Nick Chester has confirmed that a problem with the valve on a fuel breather pipe triggered Kevin…

    F1
  25. Force India 'very confident' Pérez will stay 10:53

    Force India 'very confident' Pérez will stay

    Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley has reiterated that the outfit is "very confident" over Sergio Pérez remaining…

    F1
  26. 10:36

    Latest GP3 photos: Friday at Sepang

    GP3
  27. Leclerc leads ART 1-2-3 in Sepang qualifying 10:35

    Leclerc leads ART 1-2-3 in Sepang qualifying

    Ferrari protégé Charles Leclerc extended his GP3 Series title advantage to 28 points after taking his fourth pole position of…

    GP3
  28. Verstappen optimistic over long run pace 09:50

    Verstappen optimistic over long run pace

    Max Verstappen feels that Red Bull is looking "very strong" on its long run pace after the first day of practice for the…

    F1
  29. 09:42

    Latest GP2 photos: Friday at Sepang

    GP2
  30. Gasly beats title rival Giovinazzi to pole 09:41

    Gasly beats title rival Giovinazzi to pole

    Pierre Gasly extended his GP2 Series advantage to 14 points after beating Prema team-mate and title rival Antonio Giovinazzi to…

    GP2
  31. Hamilton: First day a 'good building block' 09:28

    Hamilton: First day a 'good building block'

    Lewis Hamilton has called his first day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix a "good building block", after struggling in…

    F1
  32. Vettel urges Ferrari to take any chances 09:10

    Vettel urges Ferrari to take any chances

    Sebastian Vettel has urged Ferrari to take any opportunities that come its way over the final six races of the season, starting…

    F1
  33. 08:35

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  34. Hamilton moves ahead in second practice 08:33

    Hamilton moves ahead in second practice

    Lewis Hamilton moved to the top of the times during Friday afternoon's second free practice session for the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  35. 06:51

    Follow second practice for the Malaysian GP!

    F1
  36. Renault hopes to run Magnussen in FP2 04:59

    Renault hopes to run Magnussen in FP2

    Renault is hopeful of fielding Kevin Magnussen during Friday afternoon's second practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix…

    F1
  37. 04:36

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
  38. Rosberg comfortably tops FP1 at Sepang 04:35

    Rosberg comfortably tops FP1 at Sepang

    Nico Rosberg comfortably topped the timesheets during Friday morning's opening free practice session for the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  39. First practice red flagged after Magnussen fire 03:38

    First practice red flagged after Magnussen fire

    Friday's first practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix was red flagged after Kevin Magnussen's car caught fire in the pit…

    F1
  40. 02:52

    Follow first practice for the Malaysian GP!

    F1
  41. Magnussen: Team-mate Palmer underrated 02:24

    Magnussen: Team-mate Palmer underrated

    Kevin Magnussen believes his reputation has been hindered by having a rookie team-mate, commenting that Jolyon Palmer is…

    F1
  42. Video of the Day: Bottas' 'My Path' - #1 01:00

    Video of the Day: Bottas' 'My Path' - #1

    Valtteri Bottas begins his 'My Path' series which tells his story of becoming a Formula 1 driver with Williams.

    F1
more news