It was the moment of truth for the 2012 Grand Prix championship. This past Sunday saw the concluding race of the season, where we finally discovered who would be named this years’ world champion. The title was decided in stunning São Paulo, Brazil. It saw the German ace Sebastian Vettel make history by being crowned the youngest man ever to win three Grand Prix championships. The Red Bull driver is furthermore only the third racer in history to win the title three times in succession.
It is a race which is already being considered one of the most exciting in the annals of Formula 1.
There was a major shock at the very first lap. This was when Sebastian Vettel, setting off from fourth on the grid, had a disastrous opening, which saw him fall to the back. His car was crashed into at Turn Four and spun. The damage was deemed beyond repair, as it was not a front wing. Vettel, though, was not out of the race just yet, not by a long shot.
The Red Bull team were certain the situation was under control. By the eighth lap, Vettel had valiantly fought his way from the back of the field to find himself in seventh place. He then skilfully negotiated between Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button to move into sixth. This was a brilliant Lazarus like move of a champion, whom, at the outset, looked all but out of the running. It was an amazing comeback which now saw the championship back in Vettel’s reach. The German also had to watch out for Alonso’s Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa, whom had been blocking to help his compatriot.
Vettel and Alonso then made a pit stop and had intermediate tyres fitted. The German then found himself in a battle to overtake Nico Rosberg, but his determination carried him through. Vettel then had to close in on Kamui Kobayashi.
This was an idea of the constant pressure Vettel was under, in his attempt to secure the title. It was relentless. The Red Bull driver would eventually find himself in close quarters with Alonso, with the Spaniard only seconds in front. Vettel would also have Felipe Massa on his tail. The action was nonstop. Vettel would end up having to contend with both Alonso and Massa, but kept his eyes on the prize. He also had some help on the way by his Red Bull team mate Mark Webber, as well as fellow German Michael Schumacher.
There was also a point in the race when Vettel and Alonso had the exact same time. It was truly an inspirational effort from the German race car driver. He would maintain his determination for the entire race, where he ended up being the fastest driver on the track; one second ahead of the others.
This is the drive (no pun intended) which saw Sebastian Vettel come back from a possibly devastating collision at the very start, to eventually finish in sixth place. Well on his way to becoming champion.
There were many other drivers though, alongside Vettel and Alonso, all geared up to compete in Brazil. They were still looking for that one great win to round out the season.
Lewis Hamilton, for instance, who won the last race in the US a week ago, started the Brazilian Grand Prix from pole. He was engaged in a constant battle with his McLaren team mate Jenson Button, who qualified in second place. Hamilton was ahead of Button, but then, on lap 7, Button overtook him. Hamilton though retained first place at Turn One. However, Button ended up with the upper hand on lap eight, overtaking his compatriot once more.
Button found himself being pursued by an excellent Nico Hulkenberg, whom somewhat surpassed himself at São Paulo. He would spend a section of the race in first place, ahead of Hamilton, Button and Alonso. Lewis Hamilton would eventually get ahead of Hulkenberg. On the 54th lap, both drivers though would be involved in an unfortunate collision, resulting in Hamilton retiring from the race.
There was another decisive collision on the 70th lap, involving Paul di Resta. It brought out the safety car and prohibited drivers from overtaking. This left Jenson Button victorious. He ended up winning the Brazilian Grand Prix on the day. Fernando Alonso finished second, with his Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa, whom also had an exceptional race, coming in third.
It wasn’t enough for the Spaniard though to take the title away from Vettel. The German may have finished in sixth place, and it may have been a close call, but it was more than sufficient to clinch the 2012 Grand Prix championship.
In an interesting footnote, just as one German racer reached the pinnacle of his career, another is calling his a day. Following the Brazilian Grand Prix, the great Michael Schumacher, whom has had more success in the sport than any other driver, announced his retirement from Formula One. We will be sorry to see him go, as we look forward to the next Grand Prix season, in 2013.