Date:Wednesday November 28 2012
The Vital Formula One Race weekend recap feature, usually only concentrates on the drivers who finish on the podium.
But just like everyone else in Brazil, the attention and focus was firmly on Sebastian Vettel last weekend and so it would only seem right to recap just how the German managed to take his third successive Formula One Drivers World Championship and write his name in the records books as the youngest ever triple World Champion.
The Red Bull driver of course arrived at the famous Interlagos circuit with a 13 points lead over title rival Fernando Alonso. That meant that Vettel just needed to finish in the top four on Sunday to take the title no matter what the Ferrari driver did.
If Alonso couldn't win the race and could only finish second, Vettel needed a seventh place finish, third for Alonso and Vettel needed a ninth place finish.
If Alonso failed to stand on the podium, Vettel would be champion even if he failed to score a point.
So with all that in mind, it was certainly Vettel's championship to lose. He just needed to do what he's done throughout the second part of the season and he would be champion.
Friday practice sessions threw up no great surprises, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton topped both sessions, with Vettel second in both sessions.
On Saturday Button topped the timing sheets with Vettel once again second, but once qualifying came around Red Bull slipped down the pecking order with a front row lock out for McLaren and Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber bumping Vettel down to fourth.
“Q2 was good for us, but I made a mistake on the first lap of Q3 in Turn 4. I was happier with the second lap in Q3, but it wasn’t quick enough. I could have done a little bit more, so I’m keen to see the data when I get back and see where I could have improved. We’re in good shape and have been quick all weekend, so let’s see what we can do in the race - we will try to do our best.” the reigning champ told formula1.com after qualifying.
With Vettel knowing that a fourth place finish would be enough to clinch the title, it was a hesitant Vettel who headed into the first corner following the start.
Despite Australian Mark Webber probably having clear instructions to support his team-mate the Red Bull driver squeezed Vettel out into the first corner forcing the German to lose momentum and slip down the pack.
Massa had already swung around the outside and was battling for second place with Button, but the drama was to really unfold behind him.
With the Lotus of Kimi Raikonnen darting off to the outside the attention was taken away from the Williams of Bruno Senna who hit Vettel from behind and spun him around.
As the German faced a field of cars driving directly at him he avoided any more contact but slipped down to last place and suffering with damage to the floor of his car infront of his left rear wheel.
By lap eleven Vettel made the move into the pits and would be buoyed by the sight of Fernando Alonso just a few hundred yards in front of him. Both title contenders switching to the wet intermediate tyres.
On lap 23 the safety car came out for the next 6 laps to clear away all the debris for a frantic first third of the race. Amazingly Vettel had managed to recover from his first lap incident and was fifth on the re-start directly behind Fernando Alonso, with Lewis Hamilton third, Jenson Button second and Nico Hulkenburg leading.
If Vettel was envious of Felipe Massa's team driving at Ferrari before then on the re-start he would have been again wondering just what Mark Webber was up too as once again the Red Bull team-mates went side by side going into the first corner, this time though Webber was on the outside and he decided to drive off the track rather than risk contact with his team-mate.
After losing a place to Kobayashi, Vettel would lose another place on lap 34 with Felipe Massa pulling off a great move around the outside of Vettel.
On lap 55 having already made a pit stop for dry tyres, Vettel returned to the pits for another set of intermediates. The pit stop dropped him out of the top ten and with Hulkenburg crashing into Hamilton, Alonso was back into third place, handing the title once again to Alonso if the race had ended just 16 laps earlier than race distance!
But Vettel had no reason to have worried, the Red Bull was so quick that Vettel had no issues slicing his way back up to the field and when he found German compatriot Michael Schumacher, the seven time world champion pulled over to gift Vettel sixth place.
If Schumacher who was retiring from his record breaking career could have passed him a baton at this point he would have done as it was certainly that kind of moment.
Just a few laps later and the safety car was out again for a second time and with just one lap remaining the race would end behind the safety car, confirming Sebastian Vettel as the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Formula One World Champion.
'It's difficult to imagine what goes through my head now, I am so full of adrenalin. It was an incredible race, everything that could have happened to make it more difficult for us today, happened! I got turned around in Turn 4 for no reason and was heading the wrong way; so I had to get straight and was lucky no one hit me. The car was damaged and we lost speed in straights, even more as it dried up, but fortunately it started to rain again. All weekend people tried to push us in a certain direction and said if it rained it would be harder for us, but we have proven today that we like rain conditions as much as the dry. I am very, very happy. The most important thing throughout the season is that we kept pushing and remained ourselves. We just try to do our thing and stick to the route that we know and that's what made the difference. Some people try to play games, but we never get distracted, we keep going our way. Everyone at Milton Keynes and here at the circuit, they are always pushing so hard and we really stepped up our game in the second half of the season. I would like to thank everyone in the team and at Renault. There's no one in this team that feels more important than any one else, we all push together, alongside each other, it's one big force and I'm very proud of that. It's unreal what has happened. 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! Tomorrow I can probably say more, but now I just don't have the right words.'
Date:Wednesday November 28 2012
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Raikkonen will end F1 career with Ferrari (Monday October 20 2014)
Vettel set to pay the penalty (Friday October 17 2014)
Caterham remain bullish (Friday October 17 2014)
Rosberg can swing momentum (Thursday October 16 2014)
Di Montezemolo confirms Alonso's Ferrari exit (Thursday October 16 2014)
Lotus dump Renault for Mercedes (Wednesday October 15 2014)
Button does not need to prove himself (Wednesday October 15 2014)
Hamilton contract talks on hold (Tuesday October 14 2014)
Mercedes win F1 constructors title (Tuesday October 14 2014)
Bianchi will not give up (Tuesday October 14 2014)
Pirelli make final selections (Monday October 13 2014)
Blog: Russian GP Report (Monday October 13 2014)
2014 - Russia - Race (Sunday October 12 2014)
Blog: Sochi Qualifying (Saturday October 11 2014)
2014 - Russia - Qualifying (Saturday October 11 2014)
2014 - Russia - FP3 (Saturday October 11 2014)
2014 - Russia - FP2 (Friday October 10 2014)
Kvyat excited by home race (Friday October 10 2014)
Marussia to run one car in Russia (Friday October 10 2014)
2014 - Russia - FP1 (Friday October 10 2014)
Russia will be an interesting challenge for F1 (Friday October 10 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 16 (Thursday October 9 2014)
Who will win in Russia (Thursday October 9 2014)
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McLaren & Mercedes deny Alonso deals (Monday October 6 2014)
Andrea de Cesaris killed in motorbike crash (Monday October 6 2014)
Vettel not 'running away' from Red Bull (Monday October 6 2014)
Bianchi in critical condition following surgery (Monday October 6 2014)
Blog: Japanese GP Report (Sunday October 5 2014)
Thoughts with Bianchi (Sunday October 5 2014)
2014 - Japan - Race (Sunday October 5 2014)
Blog: Suzuka Qualifying (Sunday October 5 2014)
2014 - Japan - Qualifying (Saturday October 4 2014)
What next for Alonso? (Saturday October 4 2014)
Vettel to replace Alonso at Ferrari (Saturday October 4 2014)
2014 - Japan - FP3 (Saturday October 4 2014)
2014 - Japan - FP2 (Friday October 3 2014)
2014 - Japan - FP1 (Friday October 3 2014)
Typhoon warning for Suzuka (Thursday October 2 2014)
Stevens to get F1 drive (Thursday October 2 2014)
Bailiffs seize goods at Caterham (Thursday October 2 2014)
Penalties to play part in final stage of season (Wednesday October 1 2014)
Ferrari target third place in the Championship (Wednesday October 1 2014)
Verstappen turns 17 and gets F1 drive (Tuesday September 30 2014)
Mercedes identify Rosberg fault (Tuesday September 30 2014)
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Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 15 (Monday September 29 2014)
Who will win in Japan? (Monday September 29 2014)
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Teams need six months notice for three-car teams (Friday September 26 2014)
Button hints at new deal (Thursday September 25 2014)
Rosberg hopes to 'get over' Singapore result (Thursday September 25 2014)
Vergne hopes Singapore performance brings rewards (Wednesday September 24 2014)
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Magnussen denies burns (Tuesday September 23 2014)
Red Bull not giving up on long shot (Tuesday September 23 2014)
Singapore swings in Hamilton's favour (Monday September 22 2014)
Will reliability decide the F1 title? (Monday September 22 2014)
Blog: Singapore GP Report (Monday September 22 2014)
2014 - Singapore - Race (Sunday September 21 2014)
Blog: Singapore Qualifying (Sunday September 21 2014)
2014 - Singapore - Qualifying (Saturday September 20 2014)
2014 - Singapore - FP3 (Saturday September 20 2014)
2014 - Singapore - FP2 (Friday September 19 2014)
2014 - Singapore - FP1 (Friday September 19 2014)
Alonso angered by Italian rumour mill (Friday September 19 2014)
Massa & Chilton raise radio ban concerns (Friday September 19 2014)
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Rosberg & Hamilton hope to gain advantage (Thursday September 18 2014)
FIA clarify new radio rules (Wednesday September 17 2014)
Lotus finances improving (Wednesday September 17 2014)
Williams want to become title contenders (Tuesday September 16 2014)
Prodromou completes McLaren switch (Tuesday September 16 2014)
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Pirelli select tyres for Japan and Russia (Monday September 15 2014)
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Mercedes not opposed to relaxing F1 engine freeze (Friday September 12 2014)
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Motorsport Council discuss draft 2015 calendar (Thursday September 11 2014)
Button enjoyed Perez battle (Thursday September 11 2014)
Schumacher returns home (Wednesday September 10 2014)
Di Montezemolo steps down (Wednesday September 10 2014)
Di Montezemolo criticised by Fiat boss (Tuesday September 9 2014)
Albers quits Caterham (Tuesday September 9 2014)
Williams maximise performance (Monday September 8 2014)
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Blog: Italian GP Report (Monday September 8 2014)
2014 - Italy - Race (Sunday September 7 2014)
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2014 - Italy - Qualifying (Saturday September 6 2014)
2014 - Italy - FP3 (Saturday September 6 2014)
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2014 - Italy - FP2 (Friday September 5 2014)
2014 - Italy - FP1 (Friday September 5 2014)
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