Date:Monday November 19 2012
Fernando Alonso did all he could in the inaugural Texas US Grand Prix to keep the Formula One championship battle alive until the final race of the season.
Once again, as has been for the majority of races this season his Ferrari just didn't have the out and out pace to compete for the race victory in America.
This was highlighted throughout practice and qualifying when the Spaniard, who now sits second in the standings after leading the majority of the season, couldn't get near the pace of Red Bull.
On a very green and dusty circuit, Alonso was over two seconds slower than Vettel in FP1, Vettel still held seven tenths advantage at the end of Friday's running in FP2.
On Saturday that advantage remained static throughout FP3, whilst in qualifying the gap was back up to nearly two seconds with Alonso qualifying in ninth place.
“We never managed to put together the best lap, which on these tyres and with these track conditions is always the last one you do. We knew it would be a complicated weekend but clearly today we were too slow and we will start from too far back. Alonso told formula1.com.
Grosjean's gearbox penalty moved Alonso up to eighth and onto the dirty side of the track for the grid. So it was a wonderful bonus for Ferrari when conveniently Felipe Massa opted to also change his gearbox to suffer a five place grid penalty, bumping Alonso up to seventh on the grid and crucially onto the clean side of the track.
Not exactly in the spirit of competition, but since when has that ever existed in Formula One?
It proved to be a master stroke with Alonso capitalising on a good start to leap up into fourth place.
Every single driver on the dirty side of the track lost at least one place on the opening lap.
On lap 17 there was more good fortune for Alonso as Mark Webber was forced to retire, he had already lost KERS and then an alternator failure left him without power and out of the race, bumping Alonso up into third place.
The Ferrari didn't have the pace required to challenge either Hamilton or Vettel at the front of the race, so with Massa behind him Alonso settled for third.
It would prove to be Alonso's twelfth podium finish of the season, his sixth in seven races and with former McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton taking the victory ahead of Vettel, it means that the Spaniard only lost three points to Vettel leaving the championship alive going into the final race of the 2012 Formula One World Championship.
“It was an unexpected podium which came at the end of a particularly difficult weekend. We did not have the pace to match Red Bull and McLaren, so to only lose three points to Vettel is in fact a nice present. It could have been much worse, but now we will arrive in Sao Paolo in Brazil in with a chance right to the last. Maybe on paper that chance is not so big, maybe 25 percent, but deep down, I feel it’s much more than that. Anything can happen at Interlagos and we saw again how important reliability can be, didn’t we? Then, there’s the chance of rain and a race in the wet can be very risky and we definitely have nothing to lose.
F1 Drivers World Championship
1. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull- 273
2. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - 260 (-13)
If Alonso wins the race in Brazil, for Vettel to take still take the championship, he needs to finish fourth or higher.
If Alonso finishes second, Vettel will only need to finish seventh or higher.
Another third place finish for Alonso and Vettel will need to finish no lower than ninth.
If Alonso fails to make the podium, Sebastian Vettel is crowned 2012 World Champion.
Date:Monday November 19 2012
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Dennis hits out at McLaren Honda critics (Friday October 2 2015)
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Button to stay at McLaren in 2016 (Thursday October 1 2015)
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Letter of intent signed for Lotus buy-out (Tuesday September 29 2015)
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Blog: Japanese GP Report (Sunday September 27 2015)
2015 - Japan GP - Race (Sunday September 27 2015)
Blog: Suzuka Qualifying (Saturday September 26 2015)
2015 - Japan GP - Qualifying (Saturday September 26 2015)
2015 - Japan GP- FP3 (Saturday September 26 2015)
2015 - Japan GP - FP2 (Friday September 25 2015)
2015 - Japan GP - FP1 (Friday September 25 2015)
Perez to stay with Force India (Thursday September 24 2015)
Blog: Suzuka Preview (Thursday September 24 2015)
McLaren ready for financial shortfall (Wednesday September 23 2015)
Button expected to announce retirement (Wednesday September 23 2015)
It's Ferrari or Bust for Red Bull Racing (Wednesday September 23 2015)
Maldonado to stay, Grosjean to leave? (Tuesday September 22 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 14 (Monday September 21 2015)
Who will win in Japan? (Monday September 21 2015)
Blog: Singapore GP Report (Monday September 21 2015)
2015 - Singapore GP - Race (Sunday September 20 2015)
Blog: Singapore Qualifying (Sunday September 20 2015)
2015 - Singapore GP - Qualifying (Sunday September 20 2015)
2015- Singapore GP - FP3 (Sunday September 20 2015)
2015 - Singapore - FP2 (Friday September 18 2015)
2015 - Singapore GP - FP1 (Friday September 18 2015)
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Merhi & Rossi to share Manor Marussia seat (Thursday September 17 2015)
Another new deal for Melbourne (Thursday September 17 2015)
It's over says Renault (Thursday September 17 2015)
Blog: Singapore Preview (Wednesday September 16 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 13 (Wednesday September 16 2015)
Who will win in Singpore? (Wednesday September 16 2015)
Williams may not take Mercedes upgrade (Tuesday September 15 2015)
Lotus to drop into administration on Friday? (Monday September 14 2015)
Big hopes for Ferrari in 2016 (Friday September 11 2015)
Button's wait nearly over? (Thursday September 10 2015)
Webber slams pay drivers (Wednesday September 9 2015)
Mercedes board reject supplying Red Bull engines (Tuesday September 8 2015)
Blog: Italian GP Report (Tuesday September 8 2015)
Disqualifying Merc would have been the easy call (Monday September 7 2015)
Mercedes cleared - Italian GP result stands (Sunday September 6 2015)
Mercedes under investigation following Italian GP (Sunday September 6 2015)
2015 - Italian Grand Prix - Race (Sunday September 6 2015)
Blog: Monza Qualifying (Sunday September 6 2015)
2015 - Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying (Saturday September 5 2015)
2015 - Italian Grand Prix - FP3 (Saturday September 5 2015)
2015 - Italian Grand Prix - FP2 (Friday September 4 2015)
2015 - Italian Grand Prix - FP1 (Friday September 4 2015)
Mercedes split on Red Bull deal (Friday September 4 2015)
Rosberg targets Monza pole (Thursday September 3 2015)
Formula One is on the edge (Thursday September 3 2015)
Will Maldonado join Hulkenberg at Force India? (Thursday September 3 2015)
Renault to rescue Lotus team? (Thursday September 3 2015)
Blog: Monza Preview (Wednesday September 2 2015)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 12 (Tuesday September 1 2015)
Who will win the Italian Grand Prix? (Tuesday September 1 2015)
McLaren drivers getting frustrated? (Friday August 28 2015)
Ferrari do not want fight with Pirelli (Thursday August 27 2015)
Hamilton delight at qualifying form (Wednesday August 26 2015)
Vettel launches foul-mouthed attack on Pirelli (Wednesday August 26 2015)
Former British F1 driver Wilson killed in crash (Tuesday August 25 2015)
Blog: Belgian GP Report (Monday August 24 2015)
2015 - Belgian GP- Race (Sunday August 23 2015)
2015 - Belgian GP - Qualifying (Sunday August 23 2015)
2015 - Belgian GP - FP3 (Sunday August 23 2015)
2015 - Belgian GP - FP2 (Friday August 21 2015)
2015 - Belgian GP - FP1 (Friday August 21 2015)
Ten drivers in contention for Haas 2016 seats (Friday August 21 2015)
Mercedes to take the fight to their rivals (Thursday August 20 2015)
Raikkonen retains seat at Ferrari (Thursday August 20 2015)
Blog: Spa Preview (Wednesday August 19 2015)
Who will win the Belgium Grand Prix? (Tuesday August 18 2015)
Blog: Why Honda might still get it right (Monday August 17 2015)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 11 (Monday August 17 2015)
Stevens pleased with Manor season (Friday August 14 2015)
Toro Rosso takeover talks over (Thursday August 13 2015)
Lack of simulator running will hurt Sauber (Wednesday August 12 2015)
Lotus expect great things from Maldonado (Tuesday August 11 2015)
Toro Rosso should push on (Monday August 10 2015)
Money means nothing to Ricciardo (Friday August 7 2015)
Honda to spend tokens (Thursday August 6 2015)
Force India investigate failures (Wednesday August 5 2015)
McLaren oppose testing plans (Tuesday August 4 2015)
Ferrari speculation affecting Bottas (Monday August 3 2015)
Does Ferrari's Raikkonen option expire today? (Friday July 31 2015)
Double podium for Red Bull Racing (Thursday July 30 2015)
Vettel dedicates victory to Bianchi (Wednesday July 29 2015)
Vital talking point: Hungary - Merc stalling? (Tuesday July 28 2015)
Blog: Hungarian GP Report (Monday July 27 2015)
2015 Hungary GP - Race (Sunday July 26 2015)
Blog: Hungaroring Qualifying (Saturday July 25 2015)
2015 Hungary GP - Qualifying (Saturday July 25 2015)
2015 Hungary GP - FP3 (Saturday July 25 2015)
2015 - Hungary GP - FP2 (Friday July 24 2015)
2015 - Hungary GP - FP1 (Friday July 24 2015)
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