2012 Brazilian Grand Prix
|Race 20 of 20 in the 2012 Formula One season|
|Date||25 November 2012|
|Official name||Formula 1 Grande Prêmio Petrobras do Brasil 2012|
|Location||Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo, Brazil|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
4.309 km (2.677 mi)
|Distance||71 laps, 305.909 km (190.067 mi)|
|Weather||Race start: drops of rain, light rain shower getting heavier at the end.|
|Time||1:18.069 on lap 38|
The 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix (formally known as the Formula 1 Grande Prêmio Petrobras do Brasil 2012) is a Formula One motor race that took place at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo, Brazil on 25 November 2012. The race was the twentieth and final round of the 2012 Formula One World Championship, and marks the forty-first running of the Brazilian Grand Prix. The race was won by Jenson Button.
This was also the final race for the HRT Formula 1 Team, who in their history never scored a point. HRT withdrew because of financial issues. With Michael Schumacher and Pedro de la Rosa both retiring from Formula One, the race marked the last time any Formula One driver active during the twentieth century participated in a Grand Prix.
Pirelli brought its silver-banded hard compound tyre as the harder "prime" tyre and the white-banded medium compound tyre as the softer "option" tyre, as opposed to the previous year where Pirelli brought the medium and soft compound dry tyres.
The qualifying on Saturday was run under difficult weather conditions. Q1 started on a damp track and therefore on intermediate tyres, while by Q2 the track was almost dry and slick tyres were used. In Q1 Romain Grosjean collided with the slower running HRT of Pedro de la Rosa and lost his front wing. While he succeeded in nursing the car back into the pits, he was not able to change his tyres and was therefore left on an unsatisfying 18th position on the grid. His last ever qualifying did not go well for Michael Schumacher either. He took 14th position, almost half a second down on his teammate, admitting he had perhaps compromised his setup too much for an expected wet race. The McLarens were fastest all weekend and easily took the front row, with Lewis Hamilton securing his last pole position with the team. Title contenders Vettel and Alonso both struggled, taking 4th and 8th position on the grid respectively. Pastor Maldonado was handed a 10-place grid penalty for missing the weighbridge in the second part of qualifying. He dropped from sixth to 16th, moving Alonso one place up to seventh.
Title contender Alonso and Ferrari were hoping for damp conditions during the race, stating: "Wet races are a bit more unpredictable so we need some kind of damp race with many things happening, because we know that in normal conditions, fighting for the championship will be very difficult". The race on Sunday then turned out to be one of the most exciting in the history of the sport, with three-time world champion Niki Lauda stating that he had never seen a race like it.
Vettel started poorly, dropping to seventh position, while his rival Alonso moved up into fifth. Vettel and Bruno Senna collided at turn 4 in a racing incident, neither driver to blame, which saw Vettel spin while Senna ended up hitting the rear of Pérez. Vettel suffered damage to his left diffuser but was able to carry on racing in 22nd position. The reigning world champion soon moved up the order, while there were heavy fights for position at the front of the field. Local Massa helped his teammate overtake Mark Webber on lap 2 going into the Senna-S, giving the Spaniard the crucial third position he would need to grab the title. But Alonso lost the position again to the fast running Force India of Nico Hülkenberg after running wide on lap 4. Maldonado crashed out on lap 2, when he lost control of his car on the kerb through the inside of turn 3, and crashed into the tyre barrier on the exit of the corner.
Rain began to fall during the next few laps and the first cars pitted for intermediate tyres, including the two title contenders, while Button and Hülkenberg stayed out. This proved to be the right decision since rain decreased shortly after and all cars on intermediates were forced to pit for slick tyres once again. Hülkenberg continued his stunning performance by overtaking Jenson Button for the lead on lap 19.
With the two cars in front leading the field by almost a minute, debris on the track brought out the safety car on lap 23. At this point Alonso and Vettel were running in fourth and fifth place. At the restart in lap 29, Kamui Kobayashi took fifth position from Vettel, with the Red Bull unable to answer. Massa helped his teammate once again by overtaking Vettel. Meanwhile at the front, Hamilton took second from his teammate and was able to pass Hülkenberg when the German half-spun. Hülkenberg pursued the McLaren but slid into him on lap 56, leaving Hamilton out of the race with damage to the left front suspension and himself with a drive-through penalty, handing Button the lead.
When the rain started again, Vettel was one of the first to pit for intermediates, but since his radio had failed the team was not ready for him, causing a long delay. Ferrari timed Massa's pit stop perfectly, letting Alonso take second position from him. Vettel took sixth position from Michael Schumacher which proved sufficient to retain the title even with Alonso finishing second.
The race then ended quite underwhelmingly when Paul di Resta crashed on the start/finish straight, bringing out the safety car once again until the conclusion of the race. Caterham's Vitaly Petrov took 11th position which meant his team surpassing Marussia in the constructors' championship. Former world champion Kimi Räikkönen had an eventful race as well, almost crashing into Vettel after the start and later trying to use an escape road only to find it being a dead end. He also had an exciting tussle with the retiring Michael Schumacher, who finished 7th after recovering from an early puncture, but gave up sixth to Sebastian Vettel in order to help him extend his small point advantage over Fernando Alonso in the championship.
|Pos.||No.||Driver||Constructor||Part 1||Part 2||Part 3||Grid|
|3||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1:16.180||1:13.667||1:12.581||3|
|4||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1:15.644||1:13.209||1:12.760||4|
|7||12||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:15.536||1:13.704||1:13.206||6|
|11||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:15.901||1:14.121||10|
|16||16||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:16.744||1:14.574||15|
|17||17||Jean-Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:16.722||1:14.619||17|
|24||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:19.699||24|
|107% time: 1:20.330|
- ^1 – Pastor Maldonado received a ten-place grid penalty after receiving his 3rd reprimand of the season, for missing a call in to the weighbridge from the FIA.
Championship standings after the race
- Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- "Formula 1 Grande Prêmio Petrobras do Brasil 2012". Formula One. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- "FORMULA 1 GRANDE PRÊMIO PETROBRAS DO BRASIL 2012 (Race)". formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 25 November 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- Collantine, Keith (7 December 2011). "United States Grand Prix remains on unchanged 2012 F1 calendar". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- "Brazilian Grand Prix 2012: as it happened". Daily Telegraph UK. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
- "Brazilian Grand Prix 2012: as it happened". Guardian UK. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
- "Brazilian Grand Prix 2012: as it happened". BBC Sport. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
- Beer, Matt (18 November 2012). "Hamilton wins from Vettel and Alonso, title battle goes to wire". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Collantine, Keith (4 October 2012). "Michael Schumacher announces F1 retirement". F1 Fanatic (Keith Collantine). Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Teams to trial 2013 prototype Pirelli tyres in Brazil". Formula One. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Pirelli reveal tyre choices for final three rounds". Formula One. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- "Hamilton on pole as Vettel and Alonso struggle". Eurosport UK. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- "Maldonado handed 10-place grid penalty". Eurosport UK. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- "Alonso keen to just enjoy race now". Eurosport UK. 25 November 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- "So ein Rennen habe ich noch nie erlebt" (in German). Welt Online. 25 November 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- "Red Bull thanks 'gracious' Schumacher for giving Vettel sixth". Autosport. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- Beer, Matt (24 November 2012). "Hamilton leads all-McLaren front row". Autosport (Haymarket Publications). Retrieved 24 November 2012.
- "Maldonado relegated ten places". ESPN F1. 24 November 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.|
2012 United States Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
2013 Australian Grand Prix
2011 Brazilian Grand Prix
|Brazilian Grand Prix||Next race:
2013 Brazilian Grand Prix