Brazilian Grand Prix: Race Analysis

Sebastian Vettel has today joined the exclusive club of triple world champions, taking the 2012 title in spectacular, and dramatic circumstances. Fernando Alonso performed admirably, climbing to 2nd, while Jenson Button ended the season in the fashion with which he started it, taking the victory. It was a race, which many have described, as one of the best ever.
An unbelievable season ended with a spectacular 71 laps, which had everyone on the edge of their seats. Drama, controversy, accident, this race had everything. Jenson Button’s victory will be one which many will fail to remember, and was one which may well have fallen to his teammate, before an unfortunate collision with Hulkenburg, saw the Brit retire. Nico had driven an immense race, where he was able to keep pace with the McLaren’s and at times, exceed that. After he and Button remained on the slicks well into the race, they managed to construct a 40 second lead, prior to the first safety car. Subsequently, Hamilton returned to the fight, and took the lead after Nico made a rare error. This was then followed by a more costly one.
Hulkenburg attempted the overtake into turn 1, which required him to move onto the damp line. Kovalainen ahead, meant that the Force India had nowhere to go, and a resultant snap of oversteer meant that he collided with Hamilton, breaking the McLaren’s left frond suspension, and pull rods. It was game over for Lewis, in his final race for McLaren. A disappointing end to what has been one of Lewis’ greatest seasons. Hulkenburg eventually recovered to 5th, after his car miraculously survived the accident unscathed. The German received a drive through penalty for the incident, which was perhaps slightly harsh. The team later suggested that the Caterham blocked Nico’s escape route, which he would have otherwise taken in order to avoid the collision. The path was then cleared for Button to claim a ‘simple’ victory, and his third of a difficult 2012. An excellent way to enter 2013, the season when he becomes McLaren team leader.
As a result of the incident, Fernando momentarily found himself in a position, sufficient for taking the title. Sebastian was still in the process of recovering after a dreadful lap 1 crash almost saw his championship hopes go up in smoke. Vettel was ironically closed down by Mark Webber into turn 1, meaning that he was forced to liftoff throttle much early, to make the tight apex. As he tuned into 4, Bruno Senna was at the apex of the corner, and Vettel failed to acknowledge this. Subsequently, he spun and collected Bruno Senna and Sergio Perez. Incredibly, whilst the Sauber and Williams suffered terminal damage, the Red Bull escaped relatively in-tact. Some minor floor damage meant that drag was increased, yet other then that, Vettel’s car survived the tribulations of lap 1. This was in part, a result of incredible precision and skill sown by Sebastian. When spun, he reversed down the hill instinctively to aid the oncoming cars in avoiding his stricken RB8. Watching the traffic, he was still able to think rationally and committed to a move which may have saved his season.
The moment defined Vettel’s race. In circumstances when the German may have cracked, he maintained composure, and knew exactly what was needed to win. He was unfazed; whatever his fellow competitors threw at him, he emerged well. Even nature was unable to halt his recovery through the field. A race which may well have ended on lap 1, was saved by an incredible performance. Sebastian Vettel has proved his doubters wrong.
“It was an incredible race, everything that could have happened to make it more difficult for us today, happened!” said a clearly-exhausted Vettel, F1’s ninth, and youngest, triple World Champion. “To win a third title, especially here where one of my heroes Ayrton Senna was from, it’s difficult to put into words. I was crying in the car but my radio wasn’t working, so I’m maybe happy for that!” 
Christian Horner had faced many issues during the race on the pit wall. The constant threat of rain had kept the engineers guessing, while midway through the race, Sebastian lost contact with his team after an issue with his microphone. Subsequently, when Vettel stopped, the team were unsure of the tyres that he required. The Intermediates were not ready at the time, and Vettel lost around 15 seconds. Fortunately, the communication issues did not hamper the team too much, yet it certainly added to the tension. “It was such an eventful start and Sebastian Vettel got turned around at the start,” the Red Bull team boss told the BBC.
“Then the rain came and the radio stopped working and we couldn’t really communicate with him. But he stuck at it and he has driven with such determination this year. Congratulations to Fernando Alonso too, he has been brilliant this year. That is what makes this Championship so worthy because he has been up against the best.”
Further down the grid, Caterham were also the big winners from Sunday, having acheived 10th place in the constructors. The position was stolen from the clutches of Marussia, after Petrov passed Pic to claim the all important P12. The triumph has earned the team around $10 million, and may have saved Heikki Kovalainen’s future in F1, due to the demand for driver sponsorship being less prominent at the team. Many would suggest that since Petrov secured the place for the team, the spare seat should be offered to him. Tony Fernandes will no doubt have the final say.
This however, will always be remembered as Vettel’s day. He battled against all the obstacles which hampered his progress, and drove with maturity and determination. He was adamant that the 2012 title would be his, and let nothing stand in his path. His third title in as many years, means that he now has to be classed among the greats.

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One comment

  1. who would have thought that Mercades could go from where they were at the end of 2012 to being one of the top teams, battling for dominance at the start of 2013.
    I suppose anything is possible though with one of the best drivers in the paddock. by this i am of couse reffering to Rosberg

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