November, 28th, 2012 (F1plus / Rosie Baillie) As the lights went out in Interlagos, the 2012 World Championship was Sebastian Vettel’s to lose and Fernando Alonso’s to fight for and win. This race has arguably been the most exciting race of the season as we watched with our hearts in our mouths to see who would be crowned the 2012 World Champion.
Luck was again on Vettel’s side, along with some brilliant driving, which saw him take his third consecutive World Championship.
Let’s take a look at the Yays and Nays of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel takes his third consecutive World Championship: Going into the weekend the Championship was Vettel’s to lose and Alonso’s to win.
After starting in fourth he made a poor start, which wasn’t helped when Bruno Senna ran into the back of him on the first lap, forcing him to face the wrong way into oncoming traffic. Vettel is no stranger to working his way up from the back of the grid and was in 6th place by Lap 10.
The changing weather and Red Bull’s questionable choice of tyres meant he wasn’t able to fight for the podium. He brought the car home in sixth place and won his third World Championship in just as many years.
Fernando Alonso comes second in the World Championship: Despite making a fantastic start, Alonso just didn’t quite have the pace to distance himself from Vettel and win the Championship.
When he stepped out of the car at the end of the race, he looked absolutely distraught and a little confused about what had happened. There’s no doubt there’ll be a shake up at Ferrari over the winter break as they try to challenge for the 2013 Championship.
The reason this is in the Yay column is that, Champion or not, I think Alonso has driven brilliantly this season, in a car that at times has been terrible. Fairly certain Alonso could squeeze a win or two out of a HRT.
Felipe Massa finishes third at his home race: Poor Massa has had a tough end to the season, especially after his team gifted him a five place grid penalty last weekend in Austin. Like Alonso, Massa also had a blinding start and drove well throughout the race and took third at his home race.
Clearly overjoyed, and certainly more happy than his teammate, Massa was tearing up on the podium and made a little speech to his home crowd in his native tongue.
Jenson Button wins in Brazil: While others struggle in changing conditions, Button always seems to excel in them. With all the action at the start of the race I almost forgot about the McLaren’s who raced off into the distance, after his team mate retired and Hulkenberg was given a drive through penalty, Button carefully steered his car home to take the win at the last race of the season.
Kimi Raikkonen’s adventure: A couple of races ago, Kimi Raikkonen famously told his race engineer that he knew what he was doing. I can only assume that wasn’t what he was saying today as he went on his own little adventure.
After losing it a tad, he ended up taking to what he thought was an escape road that would lead back onto the track. Sadly it was not so for the Finn, who was forced to spin around and re-join the track. Kimi being Kimi wasn’t phased by it and finished 10th.
Michael Schumacher passes the baton to Sebastian Vettel: In a moment which brought tears to the eyes of Formula 1 fans the world over, Schumacher moved aside to let Vettel past in order to secure his World Championship.
Schumi and Vettel have made no secret of their love and adoration for each other, with Schumacher even saying before the race that he was proud of Vettel.
While some fans were annoyed by this move, remember that Vettel would have won even if he’d finished in seventh, it wasn’t a team order, it was Schumi’s craftiness and goodwill.
Caterham take 10th in the Constructors Championship: Thanks to Vitaly Petrov the team manage to finish 10th place in the Constructors Championship, the coveted place for the smaller teams fighting for prize money.
Gaining 10th place and winning all that extra prize money will help Caterham to develop their 2013 car, which they hope will help them to move into the mid-field and begin taking on the likes of Williams and Toro Rosso.
The changeable Brazilian weather: At the beginning of the race the weather was looking good and it seemed as if the rain would hold of. It began drizzling at the start of the race, stopped, started again and got heavier towards the end of the race, catching teams out with their tyre choices, Red Bull especially.
Bruno Senna hits Vettel on the first lap: Now depending on who you support, you would have been screaming with joy or hiding behind the sofa as Senna careered into the back of Vettel during the opening lap.
Lewis Hamilton’s last race for McLaren ends in tears: Nico Hulkenberg was having a brilliant race and led most of it. He began struggling with gear changes and found himself back in second fighting for first place.
He went for the overtake on Hamilton and nearly made it stick until his back end stepped out knocking Hamilton over the track, which in the process destroyed his front left suspension. Hamilton was forced to retire and Hulkenberg was slapped with a drive through penalty and finished in fifth.
As Hamilton returned to the McLaren garage he was given a huge round of applause.
The 2012 F1 season is over: As they say, all good things must come to an end. Alas, the 2012 F1 season has come to and end and we know face 12 F1-less weekends until it makes a return in Melbourne in March.
Formula 1 waves goodbye to Michael Schumacher: Schumacher hung his gloves up on his return to Formula 1, which unfortunately wasn’t as glittering as his first. For someone who grew up watching Schumi dominate, I’ll really miss him.