Not even Mother Nature could decide the outcome of today’s FIA World Championship season finale from Interlagos, but McLaren’s Jenson Button won an absolutely exciting and shocking Brazilian Grand Prix and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took his third consecutive championship by finishing sixth.
“First of all I want to congratulate the whole team this is the perfect way to end the season,” Button said. “We started on a high and we ended on a high and this bodes well for 2013.”
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, and his teammate Felipe Massa who continued his career resurgence in front of his home crowd. “I think the second part of the year was the preparation for next year,” Massa said. “It’s so emotional to race here. I think the race was really fantastic…I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to feel. It’s just so amazing.”
Alonso was visibly disappointed by losing the championship, but expressed his gratitude to the team and seemed undaunted for 2013. “I feel very proud of my team,” he said. “When you do something with your heart and when you do something with 100 percent, you have to be proud. I’m proud of my team. I’m happy for them and we will try next year.”
Today, the rain came and went and came again. For much of the race McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg battled for the lead while Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso swapped the championship lead. However, the smooth and steady Button beat the elements and all others to take the top spot on the podium.
Button inherited the lead on lap 57 after his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton and Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg collided in turn 1 on lap 55.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber finished ahead of his world champion teammate in fourth place and Hulkenberg fell to fifth after serving his penalty.
In sixth was Sebastian Vettel securing just enough points to continue his drive for dominance of Formula 1.
Mercedes’s Michael Schumacher finished his final grand prix in seventh. Before the race he took a moment to thank his team and express his gratitude to those that supported him during his career. It’s the end to a superb career and lackluster comeback.
Jean Eric-Vergne finished in eighth for Scuderia Toro-Rosso, tying his best ever finish with the Italian squad.
Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi dropped to eighth, but at one point in time led Sebastian Vettel and was the only car between the championship leader and his closest rival.
Kimi Raikkonen finished in 10th, which is not bad considering on lap 53 he found himself off track and on the original Interlagos circuit.
Raikkonen went wide, and went outside the wall onto the escape route. He continued up the hill parallel to the straight, but found a locked gate at the end of the lane. He made an about face, drove around the wall, back across the grass and rejoined the race.
Today’s race was exciting from the first turn on lap 1 until the very end when on the 69th lap, Paul di Resta slid off the track into a wall. That brought the Safety Car for the final lap. "Unfortunately with a lap to go I aquaplaned in the final corner. It was a big hit with the wall, but I’m OK," said Di Resta.
Rain began to spit just as the cars hit the grid, and the Red Bulls got off to a slow start. The two Ferraris rocketed to the front and Vettel was forced to the inside. He turned into Williams’ Bruno Senna and spun.
“I had a good start and was racing well but unfortunately I had an incident when Sebastian tried to take the apex and there was nowhere to go,” said Senna.
Somehow the wave of cars coming at Vettel parted and there was not a major incident. However, Vettel was dropped to the back of the pack. He surged to the front, and took every chance he could. Even with five pit stops he managed to finish sixth and win the title.
"I was up nice and high and I was trying to get back into it, but I was on the white line and I had absolutely no grip," explained Webber, adding "I tried to go wide and stay away from Sebastian."