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
Blog: Abu Dhabi Qualifying (Saturday November 28 2015)
2015 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying (Saturday November 28 2015)
2015 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP3 (Saturday November 28 2015)
2015 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP2 (Friday November 27 2015)
2015 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP1 (Friday November 27 2015)
One final duel for 2015 (Thursday November 26 2015)
Blog: Abu Dhabi Preview (Thursday November 26 2015)
Former FIA boss slams Ferrari (Wednesday November 25 2015)
Renault takeover deal pretty much done (Tuesday November 24 2015)
2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 19 (Monday November 23 2015)
Who will win in Abu Dhabi? (Monday November 23 2015)
Ferrari expect to beat Mercedes in 2016 (Friday November 20 2015)
Button belief in McLaren (Thursday November 19 2015)
Lowe defends Mercedes stance (Wednesday November 18 2015)
F1 has to change says Hamilton and Vettel (Tuesday November 17 2015)
Mercedes bashing after boring Brazil (Monday November 16 2015)
Blog: Brazilian GP Report (Monday November 16 2015)
2015 - Brazil GP - Race (Sunday November 15 2015)
Blog: Interlagos Qualifying (Saturday November 14 2015)
2015 - Brazil GP - Qualifying (Saturday November 14 2015)
2015 - Brazil GP - FP3 (Saturday November 14 2015)
2015 - Brazil GP - FP2 (Friday November 13 2015)
2015 - Brazil GP - FP1 (Friday November 13 2015)
Blog: Interlagos Preview (Friday November 13 2015)
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Blog:Why Hamiltonís pit questions were no big deal (Tuesday November 10 2015)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 18 (Monday November 9 2015)
Who will win in Brazil? (Monday November 9 2015)
Vettel holds hand up for poor Mexico showing (Friday November 6 2015)
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Mateschitz slams F1 engine suppliers (Wednesday November 4 2015)
Did Mercedes clip Hamilton's wings? (Wednesday November 4 2015)
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Blog: Mexican GP Report (Monday November 2 2015)
2015 - Mexico GP - Race (Sunday November 1 2015)
Blog: Mexico City Qualifying (Sunday November 1 2015)
2015 - Mexico GP - Qualifying (Saturday October 31 2015)
2015 - Mexico GP - FP3 (Saturday October 31 2015)
2015 - Mexico GP - FP2 (Friday October 30 2015)
2015 - Mexico GP - FP1 (Friday October 30 2015)
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FIA open tender for customer engines (Friday October 30 2015)
Blog: Mexico City Preview (Thursday October 29 2015)
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Dispondent Rosberg fails to hide disappointment (Tuesday October 27 2015)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 17 (Tuesday October 27 2015)
Who will win in Mexico (Tuesday October 27 2015)
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Blog: US GP Report (Monday October 26 2015)
Lewis Hamilton - Triple World Champion (Sunday October 25 2015)
2015 - USA GP - Race (Sunday October 25 2015)
Blog: Austin Qualifying (Sunday October 25 2015)
2015 - USA GP - Qualifying (Sunday October 25 2015)
2015 - USA GP - FP3 (Sunday October 25 2015)
2015 - USA GP - FP2 (Friday October 23 2015)
2015 - USA GP - FP1 (Friday October 23 2015)
Vettel confirms penalty (Friday October 23 2015)
Renault bring upgraded engine to USA (Thursday October 22 2015)
Blog: Austin Preview (Wednesday October 21 2015)
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2015 Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 16 (Monday October 19 2015)
Who will win the USA? (Monday October 19 2015)
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Blog: Russian GP Report (Sunday October 11 2015)
2015 - Russian GP - Race (Sunday October 11 2015)
Blog: Sochi Qualifying (Saturday October 10 2015)
2015 - Russian GP - Qualifying (Saturday October 10 2015)
2015 - Russian GP - FP3 (Saturday October 10 2015)
2015 - Russian GP - FP2 (Friday October 9 2015)
2015 - Russian GP - FP1 (Friday October 9 2015)
Blog: Sochi Preview (Thursday October 8 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)
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