Rain makes for another nail biting 2012 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso had to overcome a 13 point deficit to become the 2012 Formula 1 World Champion. In other words, everything had to go right for Alonso, and not so for Vettel. The weather provided the equalizer.
Saturday qualifying saw somewhat unusual results, as weather played the major factor. For once, championship leader Sebastian Vettel was not able to take pole. He ended up starting in fourth and was out-qualified by teammate Mark Webber, who started just ahead in third. Up front were the boys from McLaren. Lewis Hamilton took pole for his last race at the McLaren team, and Jenson Button was just half a tenth behind. Fernando Alonso was desperate to qualify ahead of Vettel to try and take away the driver world championship, but he was only able to start in eighth. Felipe Massa did much better and qualified in fifth. Pastor Maldonado and Nico Hulkenberg split the two Ferraris in sixth and seventh respectively.
Sunday brought more rain and a very exciting start. Massa made a dynamite launch and advanced from fifth and into second after the first turn. Alonso also had a good start and then saw his fortunes improve further as Vettel was hit in the back and turned around in the midst of the field. This put Vettel into dead last place, but we all know better not to discount Sebastian Vettel.
All the teams struggled with finding the correct tire as rain decreased and intensified several times. Vettel quickly climbed up back through the field and into the top ten. Alonso struggled with his tires but remained ahead of his RedBull opponent. And what about the McLaren boys? Lewis Hamilton was fighting with Nico Hulkenberg as they leapfrogged each other several times. When the rain picked up again in the latter part of the race, Nico went in for another pass into turn one but lost grip and slid into Hamilton thus braking the front suspension on the McLaren. Jenson Button assumed the lead and held onto it until the end.
The championship fight went to the last lap, which was run under Safety Car. Alonso and Massa rounded out the podium, but Alonso’s second place finish was not enough. Sebastian Vettel came in sixth and had enough points to claim third consecutive Driver’s World Championship.
Wow, what a year! Can’t wait until 2013!
Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, and software engineer. On the weekends – you may find him at a car show, an auction, watching a race, or tinkering with a car in the garage. When not working or spending time with the family – he often scours the internet and other media for various automotive, mechanical, and computer related information.