Vote for your 2012 Brazilian GP driver of the weekend

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2012Which F1 driver had the best race weekend in Brazil?

Compare all the drivers’ performances below and vote for who you think was the best driver of the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend.

Brazilian Grand Prix driver-by-driver

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – Vettel made an error on his first Q3 lap and followed it up with a conservative run to secure fourth place. But he was boxed in by Webber at the start and fell behind the Ferraris, then tangled with the unsighted Senna four corners into the race. Pointing backwards and having suffered a heavy hit on the right-hand side of his car, his championship hopes seemed in tatters. He quickly recovered to get within range of Alonso – and the title – but when an early rain shower abated the loss of performance due to damage was telling and he got stuck behind Kobayashi. Suffering a radio problem, he pitted for fresh slicks then had to pit again when the rain returned. However he finally passed the Sauber to get back into title-winning shape, and made further gains to secure his place as a three-times world champion.

Mark Webber – From fourth he was passed by the Ferraris and Hulkenberg within the opening laps. Having given Vettel little room at the start he moved aside for his team mate after they switched to intermediate tyres, but Vettel’s subsequent problems meant Webber finished ahead. This was despite him going off at the restart while trying to pass his team mate. He closed on the Ferraris towards the end while keeping Hulkenberg at arm’s length for fourth place.

McLaren

Jenson Button, McLaren, Interlagos, 2012Jenson Button – Trailed his team mate in qualifying and at the start, though not by much. When the rain came Button briefly got ahead, only to be re-passed by Hamilton. In a repeat of last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix Button ultimately got ahead by correctly deciding not to put intermediate tyres on. However he lost the lead to Hulkenberg and their 45-second margin at the head of the field was destroyed by the safety car. Hamilton passed him at the restart but the lead fell back into Button’s hands later on and he delivered his third victory of the season.

Lewis Hamilton – Hamilton took pole position but lost the lead by changing to intermediate tyres. He recovered his place at the head of the field when Hulkenberg made a mistake at two-thirds distance. But he lost the chance to win his final race for McLaren when Hulkenberg spun into him while trying to take the lead back.

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso – Out-qualified by Massa for the second race in a row but this time there was no team-imposed gearbox penalty for Massa – something crowd would surely not have appreciated. Capitalised on Vettel’s problems at the start then passed Webber to reach the vital third place. But he lost that position when he went off at turn one – the first of two such mistakes – allowing Hulkenberg through. Briefly troubled by Kobayashi at the restart, Hamilton and Hulkenberg’s problems moved him back up to second, aided by Massa who moved out of his way. But second place wasn’t enough to keep Vettel from the title.

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2012Felipe Massa – For the second weekend in a row Massa was quicker than his team mate in qualifying and the race – a remarkable turnaround from his desperate start to the season. Having taken third at the start he was shuffled back to sixth on the second lap. He stayed out on slick tyres longer than his team mate but eventually had to pit for intermediates. This left him a lap down, and he was fortunate the safety car allowed him to get back on the lead lap. From there he raced well, picking off Di Resta, Vettel and Kobayashi. Pitting two laps earlier than Alonso got him ahead of his team mate, but he inevitably had to hand the place back.

Mercedes

Michael Schumacher – Schumacher bade farewell to Formula One with a solid drive to seventh place despite starting 13th and picking up a puncture along the way – a situation not unlike his previous ‘retirement’. He was running in sixth place in the closing stages, but with Vettel coming up behind him and lapping around two seconds faster, did not put up much of a fight.

Nico Rosberg – Both Mercedes drivers suffered punctures during the race – Rosberg’s dropped him to last place after the first safety car period. Struggling with floor damage, he came in 15th.

Lotus

Kimi Raikkonen – He may have rued his decision not to come to the circuit on Thursday to do the usual track walk when he tried to rejoin the circuit through a closed escape road during the Grand Prix. He had been running in the lower reaches of the points after running off the track on the first lap to avoid hitting Vettel. Di Resta’s retirement promoted him to tenth.

Romain Grosjean – Was fortunate not to suffer a worse accident after tangling with De La Rosa during qualifying. After that he failed to progress from Q1, started 18th, and crashed heavily at Mergulho on lap seven.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Interlagos, 2012Paul di Resta – Di Resta ended the season with a sixth consecutive qualifying defeat to his team mate. Unlike Hulkenberg, he switched to intermediates early on, but the safety car brought him back into contention. After the restart he lost positions to Massa and Ricciardo, then Webber, Schumacher and Raikkonen demoted him in a single lap. He had just passed Vergne for ninth when he crashed heavily with two laps to go.

Nico Hulkenberg – Hulkenberg took advantage of the battle in front of him on lap two to pass Massa and Webber, then inherited third place when Alonso went off. He bravely gambled to stay on slick tyres on a damp track, and after Hamilton pitted he closed in on Button and passed him to lead. Force India were unhappy that the safety car eradicated his hard-won advantage, but he handled the restart well and maintained his led until a half-spin on lap 48 let Hamilton through. He tried to fight back on lap 55 but succeeded only in spinning into Hamilton, for which he was given a drive-through penalty. In light of Maldonado’s reprimand for a similar incident at Silverstone, this seems harsh. He returned to the track behind Webber and had to settle for fifth.

Sauber

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Interlagos, 2012Kamui Kobayashi – The weekend started badly when his team mate accidentally confirmed Kobayashi would not be racing for Sauber next year. The news was made official on Friday morning, the prelude to a disappointing qualifying session which left him 14th on the grid. But the race contained plenty of the Kobayashi verve which he impressed with on his debut at this track three years ago, not least his opportunistic pass on Alonso which temporarily gave him fourth place. He spun while trying to pass Schumacher in the latter stages, losing eighth to Vergne.

Sergio Perez – Started 12th in conditions that might have been tailor-made for him, but was too close to the unfolding Vettel-Senna collision on lap one to avoid it.

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo – Running ninth after the first safety car period, he dropped out of the points when he pitted for another set of hard tyres before the rain returned. He then gambled on a switch to wet weather tyres for the final laps but the rain didn’t get hard enough quickly enough. “In simple terms, it was a case of too many pit stops,” he said after making five visits to the pits.

Jean-Eric Vergne – Vergne fell to 20th place after clashing with Glock, but over the final 40 laps he recovered 12 places for a solid points finish. He admitted he made his own calls on tyre changes and left it too late to switch to intermediates at the end. Once he did, he was among the quickest drivers on the track.

Williams

Pastor Maldonado – Picked up reprimand number three and, consequently, penalty number ten of the season after driving past a red light in the pits during qualifying. Spun at turn three on the second lap and retired with damage.

Bruno Senna – Dived down the inside of Di Resta and Perez at the end of Reta Oposta on the first lap, but appeared alongside Vettel who was already turning into the corner ahead. From that point there was little either could realistically do to avoid contact, and the collision ended Senna’s involvement in his home race.

Caterham

Vitaly Petrov, Caterham, Interlagos, 2012Heikki Kovalainen – Kovalainen’s race was ruined by a very slow first pit stop which cost him around 18 seconds. “We went onto full wets on the last stop to cover the chance of the rain increasing,” he said, “but there was very little grip until the last couple of laps on that set.”

Vitaly Petrov – Petrov’s race-long battle with Pic turned out to be the decider in the battle for tenth in the constructors’ championship. He lost the place when he spun as the second rain shower arrived, but re-took it from Pic with six laps to go, to the immense joy of his team.

HRT

Pedro de la Rosa – De La Rosa pinned blame on Grosjean for their tangle during qualifying. He briefly held ninth place in what will probably be HRT’s last F1 race, and came home 17th.

Narain Karthikeyan – Ran a similar strategy to his team mate and finished last behind him.

Marussia

Timo Glock, Marussia, Interlagos, 2012Timo Glock – Had Marussia in a position to hold onto their tenth in the constructors’ championship until he was hit by Vergne. “It is a crying shame for everyone associated with the team as we have all worked so hard together to come this far,” he said. “It’s so sad to lose tenth like this because we were right on it and we had everything lined up to stay ahead of the other guys. Unfortunately, Vergne crashed into the back of my car and destroyed the race for me because it was right at the restart and I had to pit under the green flag. I went straight to the back of the field and worked hard from there, but there was very little we could do.”

Charles Pic – There will no doubt be speculation that Pic, who heads to Caterham next year, gifted his future team the position they needed to take tenth in the constructors’ championship. But he had spent most of the race until that point behind Petrov, and all year long Marussia have struggled to defend against their KERS-equipped rivals.

Qualifying and race results summary

Started Gap to team mate Laps leading team mate Pitted Finished Gap to team mate
Sebastian Vettel 4th +0.179s 44/71 4 6th +4.517s
Mark Webber 3rd -0.179s 27/71 3 4th -4.517s
Jenson Button 2nd +0.055s 24/54 2 1st
Lewis Hamilton 1st -0.055s 30/54 2
Fernando Alonso 7th +0.266s 61/71 3 2nd -0.861s
Felipe Massa 5th -0.266s 10/71 3 3rd +0.861s
Michael Schumacher 13th +0.486s 51/70 4 7th Not on same lap
Nico Rosberg 9th -0.486s 19/70 4 15th Not on same lap
Kimi Raikkonen 8th -0.535s 4/5 3 10th
Romain Grosjean 18th +0.535s 1/5 0
Paul di Resta 10th +0.417s 0/68 3 19th Not on same lap
Nico Hulkenberg 6th -0.417s 68/68 2 5th Not on same lap
Kamui Kobayashi 14th +0.146s 0/0 3 9th
Sergio Perez 12th -0.146s 0/0 0
Daniel Ricciardo 15th -0.045s 45/70 5 13th Not on same lap
Jean-Eric Vergne 17th +0.045s 25/70 4 8th Not on same lap
Pastor Maldonado 16th -0.521s 0/0 0
Bruno Senna 11th +0.521s 0/0 0
Heikki Kovalainen 20th +0.013s 11/70 5 14th +27.637s
Vitaly Petrov 19th -0.013s 59/70 3 11th -27.637s
Pedro de la Rosa 24th +0.123s 62/69 4 17th -32.325s
Narain Karthikeyan 23rd -0.123s 7/69 4 18th +32.325s
Timo Glock 21st -0.596s 30/70 4 16th +34.578s
Charles Pic 22nd +0.596s 40/70 3 12th -34.578s

Review the race data

Vote for your driver of the weekend

Which driver do you think did the best job this weekend?

Cast your vote below and explain your choice in the comments.

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2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Sahara Force India F1 Team, Sauber F1 Team, Caterham/LAT, Marussia

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176 comments on Vote for your 2012 Brazilian GP driver of the weekend

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  1. smifaye (@smifaye) said on 28th November 2012, 8:30

    Wow I voted Massa! I was trying to think which McLaren should take it, or should it be Alonso or Vettel but then I thought about Massa. Qualified ahead of his team mate and finished on the podium. He might have been running a different setup but it was still impressive from him in a car that isn’t good enough.

    He was also a lap down at one stage but was helped out by the safety car. He did fantastically well to get back to third and even though he inherited a few places it was great to see him back on the podium.

  2. I had a short list of four drivers for my driver of the weekend Button, Hulkenberg, Massa and Vettel.

    Button and Hulkenberg stayed on dry tyres when everyone else pitted for intermediates early in the race and were unlucky with the safety car which erased their lead, without that it would have been a battle between the two for the victory.

    Button was closer to Hamilton than usual in qualifying and his gamble not to pit during the first shower proved correct, yes he benefitted from Hamilton’s retirement but without the safety car Button would have had a big lead over his teammate.

    Hulkenberg unfortunately made a couple of mistakes during the race which firstly lost him the lead, and then took out Hamilton which earned Hulkenberg a drive through, otherwise I think he could have earned his and Force India’s first victory.

    Massa again outperformed Alonso, he always seems to perform best at his home Grand Prix, he then did everything he could in the race to help Alonso’s title challenge. He may have been poor earlier in the season but Ferrari could not have asked anymore of him this weekend.

    After facing the wrong way on the opening lap, dropping to the back of the field and incurring damage to his car, it looked like Vettel might not be Champion for 2012 but he put in another great drive through the field, even if some drivers didn’t put up much resistance, to earn enough points to become a three time World Champion.

    I honestly could have voted for any of them, but in the end decided to vote for Massa, I think this as partly influenced simply by his improvement in the latter part of the season, hopefully he can keep carry this form over into 2013.

  3. Dimitris 1395 (@dimitris-1395) said on 28th November 2012, 18:52

    Hulkenberg made only one mistake last weekend and unfortunately, it cost him a podium. He was superb in qualifying, he made an excellent start and when it started raining he was supreme in mixed conditions. If he was a bit more patient he could score a podium. He drived phenomenally and he will take many victories in the future.

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