Brazilian GP 2012
NOVEMBER 25, 2012
Race Notes - Vettel wins championship, Button wins wet Brazilian GP
Jenson Button won an action-packed wet Brazilian Grand Prix in the McLaren-Mercedes, while Sebastian Vettel held on to finish sixth - winning the 2012 World Drivers title by three points over Fernando Alonso.
Alonso finished second to Button on the road in his Ferrari, followed by his team mate Felipe Massa in third place.
Sebastian Vettel is the youngest driver ever to win three consecutive drivers titles (along with Fangio and Schumacher).
Mark Webber in the Red Bull-Renault finished fourth, Nico Hulkenberg (after leading the middle of the race) in the Force India-Merceds finished fifth, followed by Vettel in the Red Bull in sixth, Michael Schumacher in his final career drive in the Mercedes GP was seventh, Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso-Ferrari was eighth, Kamui Kobayashi in the Sauber-Ferrari was ninth and Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus-Renault was tenth.
Before the start, there were concerns that rain might fall during the race, and drops of rain started to fall on the grid.
Schumacher the most successful driver in formula 1 history, completed a lap with a flag that thanked the fans on his way to the grid - in this his final race of his 21 year career.
Pastor Maldonado drops from 6th on the grid to 16th after failing to stop for a weigh-in during qualifying.
The championship contenders, Vettel will start fourth and Alonso starting from seventh.
As the cars leave the grid, a mist is in the air - most believing that the race will be mostly dry, but one can never be sure of the weather at this Brazilian track.
At the start Hamilton takes the lead followed by Button. Massa up to third, Webber and Alonso following, Vettel down to seventh.
At turn four Raikkonen goes wide, but then further back Bruno Senna comes down the inside of Vettel. The two drivers touch and Vettel spins, and then resumes, but has some damage to the Red Bull's sidepod and floor.
On lap 2 Webber is battling Massa for third place. Down the main straight Alonso comes down the inside and passes both at once and takes third.
Red Bull tells Vettel that they can't fix the damage to his car and that he should continue on.
Senna and Sergio Perez are out, as a result of the first lap incidents.
On lap 3 Hulkenberg passes Webber for fourth place. Vettel sets fastest lap at 1m21.3s.
On lap 4 DRS is disabled due to the rain. The rain is getting heavier.
On lap 5 DRS is enabled again.
On lap 6 Raikkonen pits for intermediate wet tyres, as well as Schumacher pitting for dry tyres.
Alonso slithers wide in the first corner, and rejoins - Hulkenberg gets by the Ferrari to take third.
On lap 7 Grosjean spins and hits the tyre barriers. Button battles with his team mate Hamilton for the lead. Vettel is up to eighth place.
On lap 8 Button takes the lead.
On lap 9 Kobayashi pits as well as Schumacher, both taking intermediates tyres.
On lap 10 Webber and Nico Rosberg pit for intermediate tyres. The next lap Hamilton and Alonso also pit for intermediates.
On lap 11, Button leads from Hulkenberg, both having not pitted.
At lap 11 Button leads Hulkenberg by 2.7 seconds, followed by Massa (20.4s), Hamilton (20.8s), Vergne (25.3s), Kovalainen (26.5s), Vitaly Petrov (28.1s), Timo Glock (28.5s), Pedro de la Rosa (31.2s) and Charles Pic (31.3s) in tenth place - Vettel (38.0s) runs in 17th.
On lap 13 Vettel passes Webber for 16th. Pic runs wide.
On lap 14 Vettel is pressuring Rosberg.
On lap 16 Hulkenberg is chasing Button for the lead. Vettel passes Kobayashi. Massa, Vergne and Kobayashi pit.
On lap 19 Hulkenberg passes Button to take the lead in the Force India. Hamilton, Alonso, and Kobayashi as well as others pit.
On lap 20 Vettel pits for hard tyres. Webber, Daniel Ricciardo and Raikkonen pit.
On lap 21 Hulkenberg sets fastest lap at 1m21.6s. Button sets fastest lap the next lap at 1m19.8s. Rosberg has a tyre puncture and limps around to the pits.
At lap 21 Hulkenberg leads Button by 1.2 seconds, followed by Hamilton (45.5s), Alonso (64.8s), Vettel (67.4s), Kobayashi (69.4s), Webber (76.0s), Paul di Resta (78.2s), Ricciardo (1 lap) and Vergne (1 lap) in 10th place.
On lap 22 Alonso reports to the team that there is a lot of debris on the track.
On lap 23 with debris on the track the safety car is deployed and bunches up the field.
Hulkenberg and Button both pit, getting out before the safety car comes around.
Hulkenberg leads Button, Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Kobayashi, Webber, Di Resta, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Massa in 11th place.
On lap 30 the race resumes with Hulkenberg still leading from the two McLarens, Kobayashi passes Vettel, while Webber runs wide at the first corner.
On lap 31 Hamilton passes Button for second place. Massa battles Di Resta for seventh. Hulkenberg pulls out a 2.4 second lead. Alonso closes on Button in third.
On lap 32 Glock pits. Kobayashi passes Alonso in the DRS zone for fourth place. Massa gets past Di Resta in seventh - Ricciardo gets past as well.
On lap 33 Raikkonen runs wide in the first corner. Alonso repasses Kobayashi for fourth.
On lap 34 Hulkenberg sets fastest lap. Massa passes Vettel for sixth place in the DRS zone. Hamilton sets fastest lap at 1m18.7s.
At half distance, on lap 35 Hulkenberg leads Hamilton by 2.3 seconds, followed by Button (4.0s), Alonso (5.8s), Kobayashi (7.7s), Massa (8.3s), Vettel (9.2s), Ricciardo (10.5), Di Resta (11.2s) and Webber (11.9s) in tenth place.
Reports of more rain in turn 9.
On lap 37 Button sets fastest lap at 1m18.1s. Massa passes Kobayashi for fifth - Kobayashi immediately pits. Kovalainen pits as well.
Di Resta spins and falls to 12th place.
On lap 39 Raikkonen and Schumacher battle for tenth - Raikkonen takes the position.
On lap 41 Di Resta passes Schumacher for 11th place. Webber passes Ricciardo for eighth.
Hulkenberg leads Hamilton by 1.9 seconds. It is still drizzling at spots around the circuit.
On lap 43 Webber half-spins at turn 12 but continues.
At lap 45 Hulkenberg leads Hamilton by 1.2 seconds, followed by Button (3.3s), Alonso (9.2s), Massa (13.9s), Kobayashi (18.3s), Vettel (19.1s), Webber (24.5s), Ricciardo (25.8s), Raikkonen (26.9s) in tenth place.
On lap 47 Petrov spins, the battle for tenth place in the team standings shifts back to Marussia.
On lap 49 Hulkenberg half-spins, but continues, but Hamilton dives down the inside and takes over the lead.
Many drivers tyres are suffering.
On lap 51 Di Resta closes on Raikkonen.
On lap 52 Rosberg pits for intermediate wet tyres. Ricciardo pits as well for hard compound tyres.
On lap 53 Vettel pits from eighth for medium tyres, and rejoins in tenth.
On lap 54 Raikkonen goes off track, and seemingly gets lost on the escape road trying to rejoin.
On lap 55 Hamilton passes a backmarker down the main straight - Hulkenberg dives down the inside into the first corner, slides into Hamilton making contact - Hamilton is out on the spot with a broken front suspension. Button takes the lead, and Hulkenberg resumes in second place.
The rain is getting harder.
Vettel pits again for intermediate tyres.
On lap 56 Webber pits. Alonso pits from third for intermediates and rejoins in fourth.
On lap 57 Hulkenberg is handed a drive-through penalty for causing the accident with Hamilton.
On lap 58 Button pits from the lead for intermediate tyres. Hulkenberg pits to serve his penalty. Rain is expected for the next 20 minutes.
At lap 60 Button leads Massa by 16.2 seconds, followed by Alonso (19.8s), Webber (28.5s), Hulkenberg (29.3s), Schumacher (42.3s), Vettel (47.3s), Kobayashi (49.6s), Vergne (59.4s) and Di Resta (61.4s) in tenth place.
The rain comes down harder.
On lap 62 Alonso closes on his team mate Massa. Kovalainen pits and takes full-wet tyres. Alonso passes Massa for second place. Alonso is currently 1 point behind Vettel in the championship as it currently stands. Button leads Alonso by 20 seconds.
On lap 64 Ricciardo changes to full-wet tyres as well.
On lap 65 Vettel passes Schumacher for sixth place, solidifying his championship lead with 6 laps remaining.
On lap 66 Petrov passes Pic for 12th, swinging 10th in the team standings back to Caterham.
Unless Alonso can win the race, Vettel will win the title.
On lap 68 Di Resta passes Vergne for ninth place. Red Bull tells Vettel to slow down, and take no risks.
On lap 69 Kobayashi tries to pass Schumacher, spins but continues.
On lap 70 Di Desta crashes on the final corner - the safety car is deployed.
The race finishes behind the Safety Car, and Button wins over Alonso and Massa. Vettel takes his third consecutive title.