Vettel's road to the 2012 world title - Part 2
27 November 2012 – Sebastian Vettel's bid for a third world title was far from straightforward, with the 25-year-old sitting 44 points behind Fernando Alonso at the halfway mark of the season. In Part 2 of this championship overview, GPUpdate.net runs through the final ten races and finds out how he managed to overturn that deficit...
Round 11, Hungary: With Hamilton on top form at a circuit he loves and the Lotus pairing of Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean at one with their cars under the baking sun, fourth was the maximum for Vettel in Hungary. However, after a four race spell of finishing behind Alonso, this was a more important result than initially anticipated. For the first time since Canada, the points gap to his rival had been reduced.
Points: Alonso, 164 - Vettel, 122
Round 12, Belgium: Spa-Francorchamps was a lucky escape for Vettel, with Alonso being taken out in one of the biggest first corner crashes in recent years. Failing to secure a place in Q3 on Saturday afternoon happened to be a blessing in disguise and the Red Bull driver went on to finish the Grand Prix in second place. Alonso's lead was slashed to just 24 points.
Points: Alonso, 164 - Vettel, 140
Round 13, Italy: Sixth on the grid, a drive-through penalty for forcing Alonso off the circuit and an alternator failure. Italy was far from Vettel's finest weekend in 2012. Having approached the event within striking distance of the title lead, he left Monza fourth in the standings and 39 points behind the top spot. It was time for the Heppenheim man to fight back, beginning on the streets of Singapore...
Points: Alonso, 179 - Vettel, 140
Round 14, Singapore: Although Vettel inherited victory at the Marina Bay circuit in September, the fact remains that he was there to pick up the pieces when Hamilton's McLaren failed. From the misery of Monza, Vettel was back in the hunt once again. With six races remaining, little more than one race victory stood between Vettel and his determined Spanish rival.
Points: Alonso, 194 - Vettel, 165
Round 15, Japan: Vettel stamped his authority on the title race with a stunning performance in Japan. Raising his victory total to three at the historic Suzuka venue, he closed to within four points of main rival Alonso who suffered another first lap retirement. This would turn out to be one of the most important Grands Prix in the battle for championship glory.
Points: Alonso, 194 - Vettel, 190
Round 16, Korea: Korea was statistically Vettel and Red Bull's most successful weekend in 2012, with the Milton Keynes-based squad locking out the front row and claiming a 1-2 finish - its first since Brazil 2011. The new title leader and his team were in a very good place at exactly the right time, while Alonso was left without an answer for their outright pace in third.
Points: Vettel, 215 - Alonso, 209
Round 17, India: India marked a fourth successive victory for Vettel, with the German turning his title bid around from Singapore onwards. He now held a 13 point championship advantage ahead of the final three races of the season, but the Drivers' crown was far from guaranteed as Alonso's persistence in lesser machinery had kept him firmly in the hunt.
Points: Vettel, 240 - Alonso, 227
Round 18, Abu Dhabi: The Yas Marina weekend arguably defined Vettel's determination to claim the 2012 world title. Following a post-qualifying penalty, Abu Dhabi turned out to be a sublime example of his ability to fight through the field. Despite some heart in mouth moments, he left critics speechless and rose from the pit lane to third, just behind Alonso.
Points: Vettel, 255 - Alonso, 245
Round 19, United States: America returned to the calendar for the first time since 2007, with Vettel looking incredibly quick from the offset. He was untouchable during practice before winning a pole position battle with Hamilton. A slow but rule-abiding HRT scuppered his chances of victory, although second place extended his points gap to Alonso.
Points: Vettel, 273 - Alonso, 260
Round 20, Brazil: In the most dramatic season finale imaginable, Vettel secured the points required to become the sport's youngest ever triple World Champion. A first lap clash with Bruno Senna sent him to the back, but a string of impressive overtakes saw him rise to sixth. Despite finishing second, Alonso missed out on the title by three points.
Points: Vettel, 281 - Alonso, 278
With 2012 presenting one of Formula 1's most intense title battles in recent years, it is easy to forget that the sport witnessed seven different winners from the first seven races. However, one man rose to the top and although Fernando Alonso put up a spirited fight, Sebastian Vettel became a thoroughly deserving triple World Champion.
You can take a look at Part 1 of Sebastian Vettel's road to the title here