Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso danced in the rain today for 71 laps as they battled for the 2012 world title in the season finale on the FIA Formula One Championship calendar. Alonso ended on the podium in second place, while Vettel was sixth. The difference in the final outcome in the standings was a mere three points.
"It was an incredible race. I think we have proven today that we like wet conditions as much as dry conditions,” Vettel said. “To win a third title, especially here where one of my heroes Ayrton Senna was from, it’s difficult to put into words. I was crying in the car but my radio wasn’t working, so I’m maybe happy for that! Tomorrow I can probably say more, but now I just don’t have the right words.”
...he’s never given up and you saw that in today’s race.
Amazingly the two contenders never gave an inch despite the weather conditions on the Interlagos circuit in today's Brazilian Grand Prix. They both deserved the title with their performance during the race. Said Alonso, “When you do something with your heart and do it 100 per cent, you have to be proud of yourself and your team and we'll try again next year.”
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner said, “Having gone up against an incredible opponent in Fernando Alonso, and we have to pay tribute to him and the way he’s driven this year, it has made this Championship even more appreciated because of the level of competition we’ve had to compete against.”
Vettel again this season handled his Red Bull car with damage sustained on the opening lap when he had contact with Bruno Senna. The German was in last position and as in the past when his car was not perfect, Vettel never flinched. He went on a charge to regain positions while doing his best to protect his points lead. As typical with any race car driver, he also had the desire to win!
Horner did not mince words as he commented: “Sebastian has driven better than ever this season and has fought his way back into this Championship; he’s never given up and you saw that in today’s race.”
Vettel added to his amazing record by taking the 2012 FIA Formula One championship. The battle for the title this year was not easy; in fact the Red Bull-Renault team driver did not earn his first grand prix this year until the fourth race at Bahrain.
The German’s second victory was not until after the season break in Singapore in September. Vettel then went on a charge by landing on the top step of the podium four-consecutive times, and looking like the Vettel from the past two years.
“I am very, very happy. The most important thing throughout the season is that we kept pushing and remained ourselves. We just try to do our thing and stick to the route that we know and that’s what made the difference,” said Vettel.
In his first year with the Red Bull team, he handed them their first grand prix win, along with the first pole for the team. He finished out the 2009 season as the vice-champion and set a record by being the youngest driver (22) to place second in the standings.
The following year, Vettel took his first Formula One championship at the age of breaking the 2008 record held by Lewis Hamilton. The German became the youngest-ever World Champion. He followed up with second his crown in 2011 in a dominating fashion.
Once again, he changed the record books: Youngest ever to take a back-to-back championship, and along with his teammate Mark Webber, Red Bull earned their first Formula One Constructors’ Championship.
What is notable is the fact that the majority of the records held now by Vettel belonged to his main rival for his newest crown. Alonso set the “youngest driver” first prior to the new kid on the block arriving in the premier single-seater series. When Vettel won his first title at the age of 23 and 135 days, he stripped Lewis Hamilton as the youngest champion. Hamilton took it out of the hands of Alonso in 2008; the Briton was 23 and 301 days.
Red Bull and Renault locked up the Constructors’ title again this season last weekend at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
However, the German with the most consecutive World Championships was Michael Schumacher with five (2000 to 2004). Schumacher broke a record that was set back in the 1950s by Juan Manuel Fangio. The Argentinian landed four-consecutive World Championships.
The 2012 season had its ups and downs for the Red Bull team and their drivers but they never gave up. “Everyone at Milton Keynes and here at the circuit, they are always pushing so hard and we really stepped up our game in the second half of the season. I would like to thank everyone in the team and at Renault. There’s no one in this team that feels more important than anyone else, we all push together, alongside each other, it’s one big force and I’m very proud of that,” said Vettel.
Vettel stands tall today among some of the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One.