Date:Friday November 30 2012
Fernando Alonso went into the Brazilian Grand Prix 13 points behind Championship leader Sebastian Vettel.
The form book was pretty clear, Red Bull had outperformed Ferrari throughout the second half of the season and if everything in Brazil played out as expected than Vettel was likely to take the title.
One of Ferrari's major disappointments this season has been its qualifying form for Alonso to have the best possible chance come Sunday, he needed a decent qualifying session to improve his position on the grid.
But Ferrari were unable to find any improvements and Alonso had to settle for eighth, although this was then bumped to seventh following Pastor Malonado receiving a grid penalty after qualifying had ended.
ďIím not surprised at this position, because itís not as though we can expect a revolution in performance terms in the space of a week. I think I did a good qualifying and, given how the last few races have gone, my chances of making it to the podium are still intact. That will be my objective because I know that, at least under normal circumstances, we are not in with a chance of fighting for the win. I also know that, if I am to have any hopes for the title, itís more plausible to count on a retirement for Vettel rather than for him to finish in a position where I can get ahead of him in the classification. Obviously, I am therefore hoping for a chaotic race and so the rain could be an important factor even if, in the wet, it is riskier for everyone. The car is not particularly set up for the wet, as itís not like it used to be. Felipein front of me? He did a great qualifying, above the norm, so itís to be expected. Itís almost a miracle to have arrived at the last race still in the fight for the title: under normal circumstances I think we would have said goodbye to our chances back in Monza or Singapore. However, here we are, still in the game and we are definitely not going to surrender today.Ē he told formula1.com on Saturday evening.
The start wasn't great for Alonso, while Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa enjoyed a great start zipping past both Red Bull's going into the first corner.
But with Sebastian Vettel spinning in the mayhem of the first few turns, Alonso saw his chance to take third place from Mark Webber on the first corner of lap two, beautifully engineered by Felipe Massa who sent Mark Webber down the outside of him, opening the door for Fernando Alonso to take two position in one turn and take third place.
If the race had ended there, Fernando Alonso would have been crowned World Champion, as third place with Vettel failing to score would have been good enough.
By lap five with Vettel down in seventeenth a mistake from Alonso in the slippery conditions meant that Nico Hulkenburg in the Force India took the crucial third place away from Alonso and the Red Bull of Mark Webber began to swarm all over the back of the Spaniard.
On lap eleven the conditions had deteriorated enough to make the move onto the wet intermediate tyres, Alonso dived into the pitlane, covered by Vettel who had fought his way back up through the field following his spin on the opening lap.
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.
Alonso didn't have the pace to battle with the race leaders, but on lap 55 the pendulum had swung once again in Alonso's favour.
Red Bull had got their tyre call wrong meaning that Vettel had to pit again for intermediates after initially swapping to dry tyres, whilst a collision between Hulkenburg and Hamilton for the race lead at left Alonso elevated back into third position. As it stood Alonso would be world champion.
Vettel however was carving his way through the field and had already got back up to sixth place by the time Massa moved over to hand Alonso second place.
It was a gladiatorial season for Alonso whose Ferrari car very rarely gave him the right to fight for this championship, but the Spaniard dragged that under-performing Ferrari onto the podium 13 times this season, with three victories to his credit.
A philosophical Alonso said after the race: ďI score this season a 10! If we had to repeat these twenty races I would change nothing done by the team or yours truly: no mistakes, no mechanical problems, zero problems at the pit stops, zero strategic mistakes. We definitely did not lose the title today, as that happened in Spa or Suzuka. We might not have finished the season with the most points, but we won many other things, like everyoneís respect and fans and colleagues agree on who was the best this year. I am proud of the job I did and that was also the case last year when I finished fourth and again this time when I fought right to the very end. Today is very different to Abu Dhabi: then, there was the frustration of an opportunity missed, whereas here we did our utmost race after race. I feel happy inside: I worked day after day with the team, which pays me at the end of every month and today, they can be proud of what theyíve done. Once again today we did an impeccable job, finishing on the podium after starting from the fourth row, producing yet another little Sunday miracle. The team kept me constantly updated about Vettel and, towards the end, I was hoping something might happen to him or Button which would allow us to reach our goal. It didnít happen and we must accept the result delivered on the race track. What to ask from the team for 2013? Thatís easy, a quicker car, but most of all Iíd like to see the same effort and professionalism the team displayed when it reacted to our initial difficulties. Even if maybe we didnít manage to reach the performance level of the best, everyone demonstrated total dedication. I repeat, I am happy and proud and nowís the time to drink a caipirinha!Ē
Date:Friday November 30 2012
Could F1 pull Russian Grand Prix? (Thursday July 24 2014)
F1 return to Mexico confirmed (Thursday July 24 2014)
McLaren and Mercedes target Vettel (Thursday July 24 2014)
FIA set interesting precedent says Horner (Wednesday July 23 2014)
Wolff predicts Abu Dhabi showdown (Wednesday July 23 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 11 (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Who will win in Hungary? (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Blog: German GP Report (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Accident wasn't scary from cockpit says Massa (Monday July 21 2014)
Alonso loved Ricciardo tussle (Monday July 21 2014)
Button backtracks (Monday July 21 2014)
What a week for Rosberg (Monday July 21 2014)
2014 - Germany - Race (Sunday July 20 2014)
Blog: Hockenheim Qualifying (Sunday July 20 2014)
Hamilton bruised but ok following shunt (Saturday July 19 2014)
2014 - Germany - Qualifying (Saturday July 19 2014)
2014 - Germany - FP3 (Saturday July 19 2014)
2014 - Germany - FP2 (Friday July 18 2014)
Wolff enjoys fantastic practice session (Friday July 18 2014)
2014 - Germany - FP1 (Friday July 18 2014)
Mercedes play down FRIC ban (Friday July 18 2014)
Rosberg plays down importance of next race (Friday July 18 2014)
Possible change to unsafe release penalties (Thursday July 17 2014)
Video: Rosberg signs Mercedes extension (Thursday July 17 2014)
F1 title chase starts now (Wednesday July 16 2014)
Oh FRIC, teams fail to find agreement (Wednesday July 16 2014)
Force India confident for good German performance (Tuesday July 15 2014)
McLaren confident in upgrades (Tuesday July 15 2014)
Schumacher's health 'slowly improving' says wife (Monday July 14 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 10 (Monday July 14 2014)
Who will win the German Grand Prix (Monday July 14 2014)
Red Bull have failed to close the gap (Friday July 11 2014)
Bianchi impresses for Ferrari (Thursday July 10 2014)
Blog: What a difference a day makes (Thursday July 10 2014)
F1 teams could face suspension systems ban (Wednesday July 9 2014)
Massa quickest at Silverstone test (Wednesday July 9 2014)
Rosberg plays down Hamilton row (Wednesday July 9 2014)
Bottas finish surprises Williams (Tuesday July 8 2014)
I'm at the top of my game says Button (Tuesday July 8 2014)
I was lucky says Chilton (Monday July 7 2014)
Raikkonen ok after horror smash (Monday July 7 2014)
Rosberg reflects (Monday July 7 2014)
Perfect day for Hamilton (Monday July 7 2014)
2014 - Britain - Race (Sunday July 6 2014)
Blog: Silverstone Qualifying (Sunday July 6 2014)
2014 - Britain - Qualifying (Saturday July 5 2014)
2014 - Britain - FP3 (Saturday July 5 2014)
2014 - Britain - FP2 (Friday July 4 2014)
2014 - Britain - FP1 (Friday July 4 2014)
Button hits back at Dennis (Friday July 4 2014)
Video: Hamilton hoping for home glory (Thursday July 3 2014)
Pirelli boss defends F1 2014 tyres (Thursday July 3 2014)
Caterham sold (Thursday July 3 2014)
Beating Vettel gives Ricciardo confidence (Wednesday July 2 2014)
McLaren boss critical of Button (Wednesday July 2 2014)
Bernie wants three car teams (Wednesday July 2 2014)
Kobayashi ignores Caterham rumours (Tuesday July 1 2014)
Blog: Silverstone Memories (Tuesday July 1 2014)
Renault progress limited until end of the year (Monday June 30 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 9 (Monday June 30 2014)
Who will win the British Grand Prix? (Monday June 30 2014)
F1 drivers speak out on rule change (Friday June 27 2014)
Ugly noses banned from F1 (Friday June 27 2014)
Standing restarts approved for F1 2015 (Friday June 27 2014)
Ecclestone slams poor teams (Thursday June 26 2014)
McLaren make Hamilton & Alonso approaches? (Thursday June 26 2014)
Standing restarts proposed (Wednesday June 25 2014)
Video: Schumacher medical data stolen (Wednesday June 25 2014)
Red Bull boss slams Renault again (Tuesday June 24 2014)
Williams maximised result in Austria (Tuesday June 24 2014)
Damage limitation for Hamilton (Monday June 23 2014)
Rosberg pleased with increased points lead (Monday June 23 2014)
2014 - Austria - Race (Sunday June 22 2014)
Blog: Austrian GP Report (Sunday June 22 2014)
Blog: Red Bull Ring Qualifying (Sunday June 22 2014)
2014 - Austria - Qualifying (Sunday June 22 2014)
2014 - Austria - FP3 (Saturday June 21 2014)
2014 - Austria - FP2 (Friday June 20 2014)
2014 - Austria - FP1 (Friday June 20 2014)
Force India challenge Perez penalty (Friday June 20 2014)
Red Bull challenge (Thursday June 19 2014)
Does Rosberg hold psychological edge? (Thursday June 19 2014)
F1 strategy meeting to be held (Wednesday June 18 2014)
Red Bull are not a one man team (Tuesday June 17 2014)
Austria could suit Lotus (Tuesday June 17 2014)
Ferrari remain committed to F1 (Tuesday June 17 2014)
Vettel wasn't committed says Marko (Monday June 16 2014)
Schumacher 'out of coma' (Monday June 16 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 8 (Monday June 16 2014)
Who will win the Austrian Grand Prix (Monday June 16 2014)
Pirelli boss pleased with racing (Friday June 13 2014)
Chilton takes the penalty (Friday June 13 2014)
Newey to step back from F1 and enter America's Cup (Thursday June 12 2014)
Hamilton remains confident of title run (Thursday June 12 2014)
Horner congratulates Red Bull driver programme (Wednesday June 11 2014)
Hass all set to name engine supplier (Wednesday June 11 2014)
First win surreal for Ricciardo (Tuesday June 10 2014)
Williams & Force India go public (Tuesday June 10 2014)
Perez & Massa continue battle post hospital (Tuesday June 10 2014)
Blog: Canadian GP Report (Monday June 9 2014)
|7.||Push The Button||432|