Schumacher finishes his F1 career as he started it

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix stats and facts

Sebastian Vettel cemented his place in F1 history by becoming the third driver to win three consecutive world championships.

The two drivers who did so before him, Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher, went on to win four and five titles in a row respectively.

As noted yesterday, Vettel is the youngest driver ever to win three world championships, beating Ayrton Senna’s record by six years.

Like Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton before him, Vettel won the title in Brazil despite not finishing on the podium.

So long to Schumacher

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2012While a new thrice-champion was crowned, another one bowed out. Michael Schumacher returned to retirement after 306 starts, having failed to add to his tally of 91 Grand Prix wins during his three-year comeback.

But he did make a final appearance in the points. The seven-times champion at the wheel of car number seven finished his F1 career in seventh place. Appropriately enough, that’s also where he started it.

Button wins for McLaren

In a similar vein McLaren ended their season the way they began it, with a front row lock-out led by Lewis Hamilton followed by victory for Button.

The pair led their first laps in Brazil but it was Button who clinched his 15th career win. He is now 17th on the list of most prolific F1 winners.

With Hamilton retiring following a collision with Nico Hulkenberg, Button has accumulated more points than his team mate during their three years together, with 672 to Hamilton’s 657. See this article for more information.

McLaren scored points in every race where Hamilton and Button were team mates. Here’s how many points each driver scored in that time:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58
Lewis Hamilton 15 23 31 49 49 59 84 109 127 145 157 157 182 182 182 192 210 222 240 258 262 287 299 317 325 325 337 349 374 386 386 398 408 418 436 442 467 467 482 497 512 516 520 530 555 555 559 559 584 584 609 609 619 620 632 632 657 657
Jenson Button 6 31 35 60 70 70 88 106 121 133 143 147 147 165 177 189 189 199 214 222 240 252 260 275 290 315 323 323 323 348 363 381 399 424 436 454 469 484 509 509 527 527 529 529 529 533 534 552 560 585 585 603 615 615 625 637 647 672

Hamilton’s last three victories have all been preceded and succeeded by no-scores. However he did set his 26th pole position for McLaren, equalling Mika Hakkinen’s tally.

Hamilton had more pole positions than any other driver this year: seven, which would have been eight but for his penalty at the Circuit de Catalunya. Vettel had the most fastest laps with six and Fernando Alonso the most podiums with 13.

And Hamilton also set fastest lap for the 12th time in his career, giving him as many as Alberto Ascari, Jack Brabham, Rene Arnoux and Juan Pablo Montoya.

McLaren were joined by Ferrari and Lotus in scoring points at every round this year. Constructors’ champions Red Bull had one no-score, at Monza.

Hulkenberg’s first laps in the lead

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Interlagos, 2012Nico Hulkenberg led a race for the first time. This was the third race led by a Force India, the others being this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix (by Paul di Resta) and the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix (Giancarlo Fisichella). Hulkenberg led for 30 laps, boosting Force India’s total to 35.

He became the 13th different driver to lead a lap this year, the same number that did so in 2009. The record is 15, set in 1954, 1956, 1957 and 1960 – all seasons which included the Indianapolis 500 – as well as 1975 and 2008.

Kimi Raikkonen’s mistake in trying to rejoin the track via a closed escape road cost him a lot of time and led to him being lapped. As a result he failed to complete every lap of the 20-race season – he did 1,191 out of 1,192.

However Paul di Resta’s crash promoted Raikkonen to tenth place and extended his string of consecutive points scores to 17.

Raikkonen ended the year third in the drivers’ championship, the best position for a Lotus driver since Ayrton Senna 25 years ago. He was the only driver to finish every race this year.

Pastor Maldonado became the first driver to receive a penalty for collecting too many reprimands. His third reprimand of the year earned him his tenth penalty of 2012, giving him twice as many as any other driver. Three of his penalties were for gearbox changes.

Sergio Perez failed to add to his points tally after being signed by McLaren six races ago.

This was the 500th Grand Prix to feature a Renault-engined car.

Pirelli stats

Pirelli produced some interesting statistics on their second season as F1’s official tyre supplier.

During the season they provided 31,800 tyres – 22,500 slicks and 9,300 for wet conditions – plus a further 6,600 for testing. Pirelli also covered 7,021km of testing themselves using a 2010 Renault R30.

The average lifespan of their dry-weather tyres was 180km. Drivers averaged 1.9 pit stops per race with the most coming in the wet race at Malaysia (76) – Brazil saw 69.

The highest track temperature recorded during the year was 55C during the second practice session in Brazil on Friday. Valencia saw the highest ambient temperature, 37C. At the other end of the scale track temperatures dipped to 11C in America and 0C during testing at Jerez.

Review the year so far in statistics here:

Spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Brazilian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

Browse all 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix articles

Images ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Sahara Force India F1 Team

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125 comments on Schumacher finishes his F1 career as he started it

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  1. TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 26th November 2012, 13:35

    I’d love to know what Kimi’s lap time was on the lap he created his own version of Interlagos.

  2. Rally Man (@rally-man) said on 26th November 2012, 13:37

    See ya Michael, wish things would of gone different.

  3. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 26th November 2012, 13:38

    I think I’m right in saying Vettel becomes the first driver to win a championship without winning a European round. A sign of the times I guess!

  4. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 26th November 2012, 13:42

    The average lifespan of their dry-weather tyres was 180km. Drivers averaged 1.9 pit stops per race…

    These facts are pretty misleading. In race conditions, few tyres have actually done as much as 180km (certainly not before Spa), but I suppose the average is extended if you count free practice sessions with lots of in- and outlaps. Also, the 1.9 stop-average is for all drivers, I suppose, not for drivers that actually completed the race distance.

  5. the_sigman (@sigman1998) said on 26th November 2012, 13:45

    In the both of Schumacher’s last races before his retirements, the podium featured Alonso, Massa and Button.

  6. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 26th November 2012, 13:49

    Just to connect to the Schumacher retirement, here’s an awesome stat.

    Schumacher first retired in 2006. The results at his last race (which was held at Brazil) were Massa (1st), Alonso (2nd), and Button (3rd).

    Schumacher again retired in 2012. The results at his last race (which was held at Brazil) were Massa (3rd), Alonso (2nd), and Button (1st).

  7. PJ (@pjtierney) said on 26th November 2012, 13:49

    This is the third time Alonso has been within 5 points of winning the Drivers’ Championship.

    The podium for the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix (Schumacher’s first retirement) was the same as yesterday’s; Alonso, Button, Massa. Massa’s the only driver to be with the same team.

  8. ZanteX (@zantex) said on 26th November 2012, 13:54

    If I’ve done my calculations right, this is the first season with only one 1-2 finish for a team (Red Bull in Korea) since 1997 (McLaren in Jerez). One year which came close was 2005, with one for McLaren in Brazil and the farcical one for Ferrari at Indianapolis. I didn’t go further back in time to find one with no such races, but even in 1983 there were two.

  9. Jenson Button has now won twice a race where someone else clinches championship. There are a total of five such drivers, Button being the only one who has seen same driver winning the title twice.

    Stirling Moss won in 1956 Italy and 1958 Morocco.
    Nigel Mansell won in 1985 Europe and 1994 Australia.
    Gerhard Berger won in 1987 and 1991 Japan.
    Felipe Massa won in 2006 and 2008 Brazil.

    Berger’s first one is a bit debatable though, since the championship was actually decided a day before the race, with Mansell withdrawing due to his crash.

    Of the 63 titles, 30 has been clinched by winning the race.

  10. The top 5 in the drivers championship are all champions themselves; Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Button.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 26th November 2012, 14:17

      … which is the first time in history. The 1967 season came closest with Hulme, Brabham, Clark and Surtees in the top four. If you also count drivers that would later become champions, then it would be the 1966 season with seven champions in the top 7 (Brabham, Surtees, Rindt, Hulme, G. Hill, Clark and Stewart).

    • And sorted in order of # of titles and seniority by year won.

  11. No driver on the 2012 grid is able to break Vettel’s record of youngest triple champion unless Vergne somehow wins 2013 and 2014 and then takes 2015 title at Monza.

  12. Carlitox (@carlitox) said on 26th November 2012, 14:08

    A totally different but interesting fact, this has been the first season with no drivers replaced. The only driver swap was forced by a penalty (D’Ambrosio for Grosjean @ Monza) The only other year in which that happened was 2008, excluding Super Aguri’s withdrawal @ Spain, but as long as they made the start, they had the same drivers.

  13. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 26th November 2012, 14:08

    Great bonus stats so far, guys. Keep ‘em coming!

  14. andae23 (@andae23) said on 26th November 2012, 14:09

    This is what I noticed:

    – Jenson Button has won two races this year: the first and the last. The last time a driver only managed to win those two races was Alan Jones in 1981.

    – It was the first time that both Ferrari drivers finished on the podium since the 2010 Korean GP. In the meantime, the Ferrari drivers picked up 24 podiums individually, of which 23 by Alonso. (ouch…)

    – Kimi Raikkonen completed every single lap of the 2012 season, bar one: today’s final lap. But because he did finish the race, he now holds the record for most race finished in one year (taking over the record from Tiago Monteiro 2005). He also took over the record for most kms raced in one year (6083 km) from Fernando Alonso 2010 (5735 km ) and most laps raced (1191 laps) from Tiago Monteiro 2005 (1125 laps)

    – 11th by Vitaly Petrov was the best position for any of the ‘new teams’ since they entered F1 in 2010.

    – Michael Schumacher has scored 49 points this season: his lowest amount of points in a full season (though he had 44 in 1999 and 4 in 1991). Also, with an age of 43 years old, Michael Schumacher was the oldest driver to compete in a Grand Prix since Graham Hill at the 1975 Brazil GP (McLaren’s 100th GP, for those interested).

    – This was Renault’s 500th Grand Prix. But unfortunately no Renault-powered car finished in the top three, just like Ford-Cosworth’s 500th GP (Australia 2001) and Ferrari’s 500th GP (Britain 1992).

    – Lewis Hamilton was the 12th driver to set fastest lap this year, which brings the record we already had for this season even higher.

    – With Hamilton moving to Mercedes next year, Mercedes will maintain their record of starting every race with a World Champion in their line-up.

    – The championship was mathematically decided when the driver in sixth place (Vettel himself) crossed the finish line. That is the highest position in which the championship was decided, at least since 1991 (maybe someone can pick up on this?).

  15. first time the opening and closing race is won by the same driver who is not the champion or runner-up.

    Maldonado ended the year fifteenth in the drivers’ championship, worst position of a rider who won a race at all times.

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