Button wins thrilling race as Vettel seals title

Jenson Button ended an epic Formula One season with his 15th win of the season after a thrilling wet and dry Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.

As for the championship battle between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, the Red Bull driver was able to win his third drivers’ title becoming the youngest ever triple Formula One champion in the sport’s history.

Vettel was able to finish in sixth position despite suffering significant damage on his RB8 on the opening lap. His title rival Alonso battled to second place in the dramatic wet/dry race, which was led for a quite a period by Nico Hulkenberg until the Force India clashed with Lewis Hamilton.

Despite Vettel getting involved in a first-lap crash and suffering a pitstop delay, the German was able to recover sufficiently to ensure that even Alonso’s runner-up finish could not deny the Red Bull driver a third title. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa took a solid third in his race.

Vettel’s race had immediately become more complicated as a tentative start and first corner in drizzly conditions dropped him to seventh spot, while Alonso swept around the outside to move up to fifth.

Then as the pack jostled into the Descida do Lago, Vettel made heavy contact with Bruno Senna, spinning the Red Bull and also collecting Sergio Perez.

It was heart in the mouth moment with Vettel facing the wrong way down the track. In fact, the Red Bull driver did not appear to see Senna’s car alongside and the pair made contact (twice!).

The impact damaged the bodywork around Vettel’s exhaust and Red Bull was concerned it would overheat. But Vettel was able to continue – albeit now down in P22.

While the Sauber and Williams were both out, Vettel was amazingly able to continue. He then charged up through the field and was up to seventh place by lap eight.

Meanwhile Alonso was on a mission by taking a potentially title-clinching third by diving past Felipe Massa and Mark Webber in a single move as they battled into the Senna S.

But an error at the same corner two laps later meant Alonso lost a position to Hulkenberg, who had quickly dismissed Webber and Massa in a blistering early charge.

The McLarens still led at this stage, with Button all over Hamilton as the rain steadily increased.

The worsening conditions prompted everyone except Button and Hulkenberg to head into the pits for intermediates tyres.

That initially put Alonso and Vettel down to P12 and P17 respectively, although they were both back in the top five within five laps thanks to a combination of bold overtaking and others pitting.

While up front, Force India’s incredible performance continued as Hulkenberg edged up behind Button before passing down the outside into the Senna S on lap 19.

By that time the pair were in a class of their own. They had been left 45 seconds clear once the rest of the field went for intermediates, and with the shower passing, their rivals were all now having to stop.

Hulkenberg began to pull away, but debris was littering various corners from earlier incidents, and when Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes picked up a puncture the decision was made to call out the safety car.

At the restart on lap 29, Hulkenberg led Button, Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Kobayashi and Webber. Kobayashi and Webber immediately pounced on Vettel, although Webber ran out of track at the Senna S and went over the run-off.

Kobayashi’s charge soon took him past Alonso to fourth, although the Ferrari did not take long to regain the position, whereas Vettel had no answer to the Sauber.

Massa, who lost track positions by staying on slicks for far too long and going to intermediates late, completed a recovery charge by passing both Vettel and Kobayashi to slot into fifth behind team-mate Alonso, who could not stay with the top three.

Hamilton overtook Button for second shortly after the restart, but Hulkenberg appeared comfortable in the lead until lap 49, when a half-spin at the Bico do Pato let the McLaren through.

Hulkenberg did not let the McLaren escape, and as they jostled through traffic on lap 54, the Force India slipped ahead into the Senna S, only to slide into a spin and hit Hamilton.

Despite bouncing onto two wheels, Hulkenberg was able to continue in second behind Button, although he did pick up a drive-through penalty for causing the clash. Hamilton had to retire and so ends his time driving for McLaren.

The return of the rain was a factor in the incident, and as the track became slippery again, everyone opted for intermediates. Vettel was among the first to pit, but the team was not ready, leading to a long delay.

He was rapidly able to get back up to sixth, which was sufficient even with Alonso getting up to second thanks to the Hulkenberg/Hamilton tangle and some assistance from Massa, whose well-timed intermediate switch had got him ahead of his team-mate.

The race then came to a slightly underwhelming conclusion as Paul di Resta crashed heavily on the pits straight kink and brought out the safety car with a lap to go.

That clinched the win for Button, and meant that despite Ferrari’s double podium finish; Vettel’s sixth position gave him the championship triple by a three-point margin.

Webber recovered from a variety of adventures, including an early clash with Kobayashi, to take fourth ahead of Hulkenberg and Vettel.

Michael Schumacher claimed seventh in the final race of his Formula One career, despite a late brush of wheels with Kobayashi, who consequently spun to ninth behind Jean-Eric Vergne.

Superb underdog performances in the treacherous early laps led to Caterhams, Marussias and HRTs all appearing in the top ten, with Heikki Kovalainen and Timo Glock as high as sixth and seventh.

The battle ultimately came down to Charles Pic versus Vitaly Petrov for P12, with the Russian battling past the Frenchman to give Caterham tenth in the constructors’ championship in what became eleventh when di Resta crashed.

But for that incident, Daniel Ricciardo was set to pass both Pic and Petrov, which would have given Marussia tenth place back again.

Raikkonen had a wild afternoon, starting when he nearly wiped out Vettel moments before the Senna tangle, and also including a long excursion at Juncao where the Lotus driver tried to use an access road to rejoin only to encounter a closed gate. He finished in P10.

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado’s eventful years came to messy ends with both crashing in the opening laps.

And so ends a thrilling race to an exciting season of Formula One racing. Vettel’s race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin admitted he feared his driver’s title hopes were lost after the first-lap crash. But an error-free recovery drive of measured aggression gained Vettel a deserved third title by the narrow margin of three points.

Both he and Alonso deserve praise for their efforts and achievements this year. Alonso once again wrung all he could from his Ferrari and it’s doubtful he could have finished higher.

If a championship is valued by the quality of the opposition a driver faces, then Sebastian Vettel can count this triumph as his greatest so far.

Brazilian Grand Prix, race results after 71 laps:

1.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           1h45:22.656
2.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +2.754
3.  Massa         Ferrari                    +3.615
4.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +4.936
5.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +5.708
6.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +9.453
7.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +11.907
8.  Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +28.653
9.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +31.250
10.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +1 lap
11.  Petrov        Caterham-Renault           +1 lap
12.  Pic           Marussia-Cosworth          +1 lap
13.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1 lap
14.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +1 lap
15.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +1 lap
16.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +2 laps
17.  De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth               +2 laps
18.  Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth               +2 laps
19.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +3 laps

Fastest lap: Hamilton, 1:18.069

Not classified/retirements:

Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes             55 laps
Grosjean      Lotus-Renault                6 laps
Maldonado     Williams-Renault             2 laps
Senna         Williams-Renault             1 lap
Perez         Sauber-Ferrari               1 lap

Final World Championship standings, round 20:

1.  Vettel       281
2.  Alonso       278
3.  Raikkonen    207
4.  Hamilton     190
5.  Button       188
6.  Webber       179
7.  Massa        122
8.  Grosjean      96
9.  Rosberg       93
10.  Perez         66
11.  Hulkenberg    63
12.  Kobayashi     60
13.  Schumacher    49
14.  Di Resta      46
15.  Maldonado     45
16.  Senna         31
17.  Vergne        16
18.  Ricciardo     10

1.  Red Bull-Renault          460
2.  Ferrari                   400
3.  McLaren-Mercedes          378
4.  Lotus-Renault             303
5.  Mercedes                  142
6.  Sauber-Ferrari            126
7.  Force India-Mercedes      109
8.  Williams-Renault           76
9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         26

15 thoughts to “Button wins thrilling race as Vettel seals title”

  1. New world champion Sebastian Vettel has admitted this Brazilian Grand Prix was the toughest ever for him. Autosport.com has the story.

    Sebastian Vettel believes the race that made him a three-time Formula 1 world champion was the toughest he has ever had.

    The Red Bull driver dropped from fourth to seventh at the first corner, then fell to last after a collision with Bruno Senna that left him with a damaged car.

    Vettel rapidly charged back to seventh place, but would bounce up and down the order for the rest of the race as the conditions ebbed and flowed from wet to dry.

    He was also delayed with a slow final pitstop, before recovering to sixth – which was enough to clinch the title despite his rival Fernando Alonso finishing second.

    “It was an incredible race. They tried everything to make it difficult for us today,” said Vettel.

    “Inside the car when you get turned around in Turn 4 for no reason, it’s not the most comfortable feeling. I was quite lucky that nobody hit me from that point onwards.”

    Vettel believes he and Red Bull showed great fortitude after the clash.

    “I think it was the toughest [race we had], but we kept believing and remained ourselves,” he said.

    “A lot of people tried to use dirty tricks, certain things that from our point of view that were beyond the limit and we never got irritated or distracted by that. We gave a big push to the end.”

    Vettel also reckons he proved a point with his surge back up the order in the tricky weather.

    “This weekend, people tried to push us in a certain direction by saying when it rains it will be difficult for us,” he said.

    “I think we have proven today that we like wet conditions as much as dry conditions, in that case today it even helped us a little. After 10 or 20 laps I was back in fourth or fifth, right behind Fernando.”

    When the track dried up, Vettel said the damage to his car began to show.

    “Fortunately the front wing was intact, but in the dry conditions there was no pace,” he said.

    “Really difficult. How do you try and keep calm? You just push and push and make a comeback.”

  2. The Marussia team were left feeling devastated to lose tenth position in the constructors’ championship. Autosport.com has the details.

    Marussia boss John Booth described losing 10th place in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship to Caterham in the Brazilian Grand Prix as a huge emotional blow for his team.

    Marussia had moved ahead of Caterham after Timo Glock finished 12th in the Singapore GP.

    A thrilling Interlagos race gave both teams the chance to get their best result of the year, and Caterham’s Vitaly Petrov passed Charles Pic for 12th position near the end of the race.

    The result, which turned into 11th after Paul di Resta crashed out, moved Caterham back into the crucial 10th position that will mean a financial boost for the team.

    Booth admitted it was a devastating moment for Marussia.

    “Today is an emotional day for everyone involved with the Marussia team. Tenth place has eluded us after such a long fight and, naturally, ‘disappointed’ doesn’t even come close,” said Booth.

    “We made all the right calls and our strategy worked out perfectly, but in the end we lost out due to factors beyond our control. Here’s to 2013, the advantage of KERS and some very encouraging signs that things can only get better for us.”

    The team boss was nonetheless encouraged by the progress made by Marussia during the 2012 season.

    “Much has been made of closing the gap to Caterham, but at the same time we have reduced the delta to the midfield and the front of the field,” he added.

    “For example, in Australia the gap between our own fastest lap and the winner’s fastest lap was 4.5 per cent, whilst in the closing stages of the season we have reduced that to 2.5 per cent – again, without KERS. So if we reflect on our big picture, it is even more encouraging than may have been apparent.”

    Pic, who will move from Marussia to Caterham next year, believes he put on one of his strongest performances of the year.

    “Although the outcome is disappointing, I think today was one of my best races for the team,” he said. “Our strategy was the right one and I pushed very hard the whole race. The conditions were not easy; it was very slippery but the car was quite well-balanced and we put up the best possible fight.

    “In the end, we just lost out unfortunately. My thanks to everyone in the team for a fantastic debut season in F1. We have fought so hard all year and I wish the team the very best next season.”

  3. Making his final race for Sauber before switching to McLaren next season, Sergio Perez was feeling sad to end his season with a crash at Interlagos. Autosport.com has the story.

    Sergio Perez admitted he was extremely sad to end his final race with Sauber with an opening-lap retirement in Brazil.

    The Mexican, who will drive for McLaren next year, was involved the third-corner crash in which Bruno Senna made contact with world champion Sebastian Vettel.

    Perez’s car was too badly damaged to continue, which meant he has failed to score any points in the six races following the McLaren deal announcement.

    “A very sad way to end my career at Sauber,” Perez said.

    “I was gaining some positions going into the first corner and then suddenly I was on the inside to try and avoid some contact and then everybody came into me – I think Bruno and Sebastian.

    “So I had very big damage to the car. A very sad way to end my season.”

    Team-mate Kamui Kobayashi, still without a drive for next year, finished in ninth position in his last race with the Swiss squad.

    The Japanese driver was pleased with his performance, despite a late spin when making contact with Michael Schumacher.

    “Overall I think it was a really good race,” he said. “I was able to do my own race and fight. I am happy for the team and for myself that we have scored points in this our last race together.

    “I want to thank Sauber for the good times we have had and now I will try to find myself a Formula 1 cockpit for next year.”

  4. As for his Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber, the Australian has commented that Sebastian Vettel’s third title means something very special. Autosport.com has the details.

    Mark Webber believes his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel has achieved something “very, very special” by clinching his third consecutive Formula 1 world championship.

    Vettel was able to claim the 2012 title with sixth place in a wild race in Brazil, as his championship rival Fernando Alonso finished second.

    “He’s in a club on his own now,” Webber said of Vettel.

    “Very, very special to do it three times in a row.

    “Last year was a little more straightforward, this year was a bit more difficult, as was 2010.

    “Three in a row is going some, for sure. So I congratulate him, it’s a great effort.”

    Webber almost made contact with Vettel at the restart following the mid-race safety car, before diving onto the run-off.

    “I was up nice and high and I was trying to get back into it but I was on the white line and I had absolutely no grip,” said Webber, who had previously fallen down the order in a collision with Kamui Kobayashi.

    “I tried to go wide and stay away from Sebastian.”

    The Australian eventually finished fourth, and said the Red Bull had been tough to drive in the conditions.

    “It was quite a tricky race for Seb and I,” Webber said.

    “The temperature wasn’t super-easy for us to get into the car.

    “It didn’t disappoint in terms of drama, did it?”

  5. Despite finishing in second position at the Brazilian Grand Prix, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso missed out on winning the championship by three points over his rival. However, the Spaniard has described 2012 as his best season. Autosport.com has the news story.

    Fernando Alonso labelled his and Ferrari’s 2012 Formula 1 efforts as perfect despite losing out to Sebastian Vettel in the championship battle after a thrilling Brazilian Grand Prix.

    The Spaniard went into the season finale 13 points behind Vettel and, during some stages of the race, Alonso was in a situation that would have allowed him to clinch his third title.

    In the end, however, Alonso came in second and Vettel was sixth, a result that gave the Red Bull driver his third title by three points.

    The Ferrari driver insisted his team had every reason to be extremely proud of its season, and said the title had not been lost in Brazil.

    “The championship was not lost here,” said Alonso. “The championship was lost when [Romain] Grosjean flew over my head [at Spa] or when Vettel surprisingly only got a reprimand after qualifying in Japan.

    “There’s been situations during the season that make you think of these three points, but that’s the sport. Even though I finished second in the points I have never had such respect and the affection from everybody in the paddock.

    “This is the first time that I have got drivers, ex-drivers, teams, fans to say that we have done the best championship. We’ll be back as strong in 2013, because it would be harder to be stronger. I have a great feeling after 2012, by far the best year of my career.”

    Alonso said the Brazilian race was a good example of what his season has been like, with him charging through the field to finish on the podium despite his car having not been as strong as its rivals’ in qualifying.

    Alonso had started the race from seventh position.

    The two-time champion reiterated his belief that it was a miracle he was still in the championship fight until the final laps.

    “We tried to do the best as usual. We were starting seventh and we finished on the podium again, like we have been doing all season,” he said. “I think we didn’t have the quickest car, as it has been obvious in all races, and it was a miracle that we were fighting for the championship here.

    “And it was a miracle until the final lap, because thanks to the team’s perfect work we have found ourselves in this position. And even though we lost the championship today, we have to be proud to have finished second.

    “We are Formula 1 championship runners-up and not everybody can say that. And when you fight with all your heart and all your strength for so many months, without making a single mistake, neither the team or me, we have to be very proud.”

  6. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa believes his momentum is a good omen for 2013 after finishing in third place at the season finale. Autosport.com has the details.

    Felipe Massa believes his form in the latter stages of the 2012 season leaves him in good shape for next year, following his podium finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    The Brazilian came third at Interlagos, his best finish on home soil since he won the race in 2008 but narrowly missed out on the championship to Lewis Hamilton.

    Massa was in tears as he walked onto the podium with race winner Jenson Button and Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso, who he will partner again next year.

    “I don’t know what to say or feel,” he said. “It was such an emotion to race here and I think the race was really fantastic.

    “The second part of the year was preparation for next year. What happened during the year, everything came together.

    “The first part of the season was a disaster but after that it was completely different, doing what I know, performance I know.”

    Massa added that it was an emotional feeling to stand on the podium in Brazil for the first time since his 2008 championship near-miss.

    “So many things happened from the last time I came through that [podium] door,” he said.

    “It was actually not a great time of my career but I think I learned a lot. It was a life experience.

    “The most important thing is to understand and go back to a good direction, which I always believed I could do.

    “Coming back was a great feeling. I was competitive all weekend here, even in the race with the problems I had.

    “I was always competitive and I think that is really what makes me proud to be here.”

  7. McLaren’s Jenson Button has commented that winning this race was extraordinarily tough. Autosport.com has the full story.

    Jenson Button described the Brazilian Grand Prix as an extraordinarily tough race after emerging on top of a nailbiting event.

    The McLaren driver, starting from second behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton, first fought with his compatriot and then with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg as the weather made the conditions very tricky on track.

    Button’s path towards victory was cleared when Hulkenberg and Hamilton collided, the Briton retiring and the German getting a penalty.

    The win was Button’s third of the 2012 season and it means he finished just two points behind Hamilton.

    “One of the toughest races I have ever had,” said Button. “The conditions were very tricky and at that point many times where you think inters are the right tyre.

    “You are locking up the tyres here and there. You just have to push to the limit and wait for the team to give you the info. It is not just about driving the car, you need all the info out there.

    “It was a really good race, and things were made difficult with the first safety car. The race was between me and Nico then, so it was made a lot more difficult and when I came in I struggled.”

    Button admitted he was sorry Hamilton had to retire from the race, as he was enjoying the battle with him.

    “It’s sad that Lewis isn’t here to enjoy his last race with the team but that is racing and these things happen.

    “I would like to bid him farewell. We had a good time together that last three years and we proved it in the first 10 laps when we had a good fight.”

    The McLaren racer also praised Hulkenberg’s effort.

    “I don’t think we expected to see a Force India today,” he said. “F1 is closer in terms of regulations. Not having many regulation changes brings the field very close and we will see that next year.”

  8. As for his McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton, he was left feeling disappointed to retire from the race after a collision with a Force India. Autosport.com has the details.

    Lewis Hamilton said he was disappointed that Nico Hulkenberg did not apologise for their collision which put him out of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    Hamilton and Hulkenberg were battling each other for the lead when the Force India driver spun and hit the McLaren at Turn 1, forcing Hamilton out of his final race before switching to Mercedes for 2013.

    Hulkenberg was given a drive-through penalty for causing a collision, but went on to finish fifth while Jenson Button – who was third at the time of the incident – went on to win.

    “It was a little bit unfortunate,” said Hamilton. “The dude didn’t even say sorry. So that says a lot.

    “That’s what happens when you race with the less experienced. I feel OK, and I feel happy for the team to get the win.”

    Hamilton added that he had mixed feelings now that his time racing for McLaren has come to an end.

    “I feel a little bit like 2007,” he said in reference to the championship he lost to Kimi Raikkonen at the final race. “I feel a little bit numb.

    “It’s mixed emotions at the moment. We were leading and we didn’t get to see through the race. I always like to see through the race.

    “Then, I’m also excited for the future. Having a new start next year and then hopefully, at some stage, I’ll have a little bit of luck.”

  9. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg felt proud despite his Lewis Hamilton tangle during the Brazilian Grand Prix. Autosport.com has the story.

    Nico Hulkenberg believes he can still be very proud of his Brazilian Grand Prix drive despite clashing with Lewis Hamilton and falling from first to fifth.

    The German driver starred during the Interlagos event, overtaking the McLaren drivers to lead the race at various points.

    But the Force India driver was given a penalty for crashing with Hamilton when trying to pass the Briton for the lead.

    Hamilton was upset, but McLaren said after the race that Hulkenberg had apologised for their clash.

    Hulkenberg, who will drive for Sauber next year, believes fifth was still a great leaving present for Force India.

    “I’m not too disappointed,” he said. “Fifth place is still a good result.

    “I think I’ve learned a lot in this race. My first kilometres leading a race, and fighting with the top guys, so it was pretty eventful and a hell of a race.

    “I’m proud of what we’ve done and my drive. It’s not perfect but I’m still happy.”

    He felt the collision with Hamilton was a simple racing accident.

    “It was quite unfortunately obviously,” Hulkenberg said.

    “We were challenging and we had Timo [Glock] and Heikki [Kovalainen] into Turn 1 as well.

    “I think Lewis ran out of space with Heikki and was a bit irritated there. I obviously decided to make a move into Turn 1 and was on the damp side of the track and lost the rear a little bit. Unfortunately we collided.

    “Looking at the incident I think it’s just one of those things in racing. I think he could’ve turned away a bit. But the way it worked wasn’t good for either of us.”

    Team-mate Paul di Resta retired from the race when running in eighth position, the Scot crashing out two laps from the end.

    “When we went back to the intermediates in the closing stages we were more competitive and I was up in eighth place,” he said.

    “Unfortunately with a lap to go I aquaplaned in the final corner. It was a big hit with the wall, but I’m OK.”

  10. This was Michael Schumacher’s final race in Formula One and he ended his ‘second’ career with seventh for Mercedes. Autosport.com has the details.

    Michael Schumacher was delighted that he was able to recover to seventh place in his final Formula 1
    grand prix, despite an early puncture.

    In a incident-packed race, Schumacher fell to the back of the field in the opening laps but got up to sixth before being passed by title-bound Sebastian Vettel in late on.

    “It’s been a pretty big challenge because obviously I had the puncture and was at the back again,” said Schumacher.

    “It took some memories back to 2006 when the same thing happened to me.

    “Luckily I have the nature of not giving up and always trying to find a solution, and it worked out.”

    He admitted it was poignant to see his friend and compatriot Vettel claim the title on the day he waved goodbye to the sport.

    “It’s obviously a nice ending if you see the story I’m finishing off here,” said Schumacher.

    “In a way it does remind me of 2003 when I had a similar struggle and just managed by a point to win the championship.

    “I’m proud of him. He’s a good friend of mine.”

    Schumacher’s race also included a hard-fought battle with Kimi Raikkonen.

    “People are here to see a show, so you might as well put one on,” said the Mercedes driver.

    “Give it a go and give it the maximum. I was having a go, and at certain moments you need to accept that there isn’t the space and admit defeat.”

    He added that he was incredibly grateful for the support he had received from fans during his ultimately disappointing return with Mercedes.

    “It has been a beautiful time,” said Schumacher.

    “Lots of exciting moments we shared, and lots of tough moments.

    “The most incredible thing in a way is that I felt a lot of support in these last three years and they have been the most difficult years for me.

    “But the fans have always been behind me.”

  11. Caterham team boss Cyril Abiteboul believes the team deserved the 10th place in the Formula 1 constructors’ championship it took from Marussia in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    Vitaly Petrov’s 11th place finish moved Caterham ahead of its back-of-the-grid rival Marussia, which had taken 10th in the constructors’ standings when Timo Glock finished 12th in Singapore.

    Abiteboul said after the season finale that while Caterham had not done a good enough job in 2012, the team still deserved to land 10th in the standings for the third year running.

    “On behalf of the whole team I want to say how proud we are of the job we’ve done today,” he said.

    “It’s been a tough year, one where we have not performed at the level we want to, but today we have very good reason to celebrate.

    “On balance, we deserved to regain 10th place. Our results over the whole season were better than our nearest rivals and when it mattered we were able to seize the opportunity that came our way.

    “That is the mark of a good team and it means we head into the winter break and next year in a positive frame of mind.”

    Petrov said it meant a lot to him to land the team the result it needed to overhaul Marussia.

    “Seeing what regaining 10th place in the championship meant to everyone when I got back to the garage was really special,” said the Russian.

    “I think we deserve it after all the hard work we’ve put in through the whole year.

    “Now we can celebrate and everyone has earned it – all the team on track, the factory back in Leafield, our team partners and our technical partners Renault Sport and Red Bull technologies.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  12. Merceds team boss Ross Bran thinks Michael Schumacher showed all his skills in his final Formula One race. Autosport.com has the details.

    Ross Brawn believes Michael Schumacher “showed all of his skills” to salvage a points finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix after suffering a puncture early on.

    Schumacher was competing in his final race in Formula 1, having announced his retirement from the sport for a second time following Mercedes’ decision to sign Lewis Hamilton for 2013.

    After suffering a puncture early in the race Schumacher got himself back into the points, and Brawn believes it was a drive which showed the seven-time world champion at his best.

    “Michael showed all of the skills that we know he has today to salvage his race; considered overtaking, good decisions on tyre strategy, and he kept the car on the road to bring us some points,” said Brawn.

    “It was a nice way to finish the season and his career with us.”

    Brawn added that while Schumacher’s F1 comeback was not as successful as both he and Mercedes were hoping when he returned in 2010, the three-year spell was still special.

    “In terms of results, Michael’s second spell in Formula 1 hasn’t been as special but it has been so for all of us who have had the privilege of working with him,” he said.

    “It has been a real honour for all of the boys and girls at our team, and working alongside Michael gives you an understanding or why he is so special and has achieved seven world championships.

    “He will be missed and we all wish him the very best for the future.”

  13. Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen ‘knew where he was going’ in excursion. Autosport.com has the story.

    Kimi Raikkonen says he knew where he was going when he tried to drive through a escape road after going off during the Brazilian Grand Prix.

    The Finn went off-track on lap 52 and tried to rejoin by using an access road.

    A gate in front of him was closed, however, and the Lotus driver had to turn around and drive through the grass in order to find the circuit again.

    “I went off at the last corner on lap 52 as I couldn’t see well with my visor being dirty and fogged up,” said Raikkonen, who finished in 10th position to become the only driver to have finished all races in 2012.

    “Where I went off you can get back on the track by going through the support race pitlane, but you have to go through a gate.

    “I know this as I did the same thing in 2001 and the gate was open that year. Somebody closed it this time.

    “Next year I’ll make sure it’s open again…”

    Team-mate Romain Grosjean crashed out of the race after losing control of his car on lap six.

    The Frenchman had a 9.5g impact but was uninjured.

    “I’m a little bit shaken but otherwise not too bad,” he said.

    “Everything was nicely under control at the start of the race then it all ended very suddenly at Turn 11.

    “It was a strange one; I could see it was raining a bit more so I was taking it even easier than on the lap before, then suddenly the car just went from underneath me and that was it.

    “I’ve not had much luck this weekend and that’s definitely not the way I wanted to end the season, but overall it’s been a good year and hopefully there will be many better days to come.”

  14. Stefano Domenicali believes Fernando Alonso was the driver who deserved the world championship the most, after missing out to Sebastian Vettel in Brazil.

    Alonso finished second at Interlagos but Vettel’s recovery to sixth from a first lap spin that put him at the back of the field was enough for him to clinch the crown by three points.

    Domenicali reckons that the fact Alonso had come so close despite his costly first lap exits in Belgium and Japan was reason to feel huge disappointment about the outcome – but intense satisfaction at the job his driver had done.

    “Yes, we are proud of him,” he said. “But we are very disappointed because the one who deserved this championship was really him.

    “It is a shame because, after such a long season that we really fight in all conditions, we raced 18 races and not 20 – and being second by three points is not a lot. But that is the way it is.”

    Domenicali suggested that Ferrari was fighting an unstoppable force in Vettel, something which could be judged by the way that the German went from a disastrous opening lap to secure his third crown.

    “Sometimes there is a sign of destiny where you really can appreciate what is the direction of the wind,” he said.

    “After the first lap, after seeing what has happened and what was the outcome of the first lap, you start to think wow! For sure we need to do a better job next year.”

    Domenicali also said that there was no doubt that Alonso’s title was wrecked in Belgium and Japan, and not lost in Brazil.

    “Watch the facts,” he said. “Zero points in two races so we have done what we have done with 18 races. The others had 20 – and the points were over 20 races. These are facts, not words.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  15. Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner has admitted this race was the most stressful ever. Autosport.com has the story.

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner labelled the Brazilian Grand Prix as the most stressful race he had experienced in his career.

    Horner oversaw Sebastian Vettel bounce back from a first lap crash, radio problems and botched pitstops to take the points that he needed to become Formula 1’s youngest triple champion.

    And with Vettel himself having admitted that it had been the hardest race of his career – Horner was in no doubts that the Interlagos finale would stick in his mind for different reasons.

    “I can’t think of a more stressful race than that race,” he said. “I mean, it had everything going on in it.

    “From the first lap, with Seb getting turned around – and thankfully the rest of the field missed him. It did quite a lot of damage to the floor and the exhaust on the left-hand side. But then he got himself going again. His pace in the damp was unbelievable.

    “He got himself going, and then came back through the field to get the ultimate position. He was up to about sixth or seventh and just kept pushing and getting himself back in there, and then the rain came, so we went on to inters. Then the rain stopped, so we went back onto the harder tyre.

    “I think as the circuit dried out it became more obvious the problems he had were affecting the balance of the car. And then we needed to change tyres because basically there was no way he would have got to the end on that set.

    “By this point we lost radio and we couldn’t hear him any more. He pitted, went out on the softer tyre at the end, and then the rain started to increase significantly, so we had to get him back in.

    “He said he couldn’t hear what we were saying and we weren’t ready for him. And then it was a question of closing out those final laps.”

    Horner said that Red Bull approached the race deliberately not focused on just shadowing what Ferrari did, and instead reckoned its best chances were by worrying about itself only.

    “We spoke about that before the race and made it quite clear, let’s not be sucked into just covering Ferrari because the race wasn’t just about Ferrari, it was about getting the best result and let’s try and make the right calls at the right time.

    “I think by and large we did that today. I think the only thing that got us into a bit of difficulty was because of the degradation after the damage to the car and when the circuit dried out.

    “We had to stop, and it was too dry for inters, but in a lap or two, it was too wet for slicks, so we had to stop again. So that was the trickiest moment in the race.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *