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

  1. RobertoLarcos (@robertolarcos) said on 26th November 2012, 14:37

    Lewis Hamilton was the only driver to make Q3 in every race this season.

    Last season this was achieved by Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso and Massa.

  2. Thabiso (@blograider) said on 26th November 2012, 15:14

    Button may be trashing Hamilton in terms of points since they became teammates, but Hamilton rules the trophies cabinet in terms of wins at 10-8 (stands to be corrected)

  3. Wow, only 15 points between JB and LH! Gosh, Barcelona, Abu Dhabi, Singapore have sure taken their toll

    • Tom (@newdecade) said on 26th November 2012, 16:20

      I find it deeply, deeply depressing, especially this year as performance-wise lewis thrashed jenson, but had almost no points difference to show for it. The worst part is this will be taken for years to come as “evidence” that Jenson is better than lewis by fans on certain forums…

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 26th November 2012, 17:10

        Well I think that JB did outperform LH last year, so maybe the ‘evidence’ is not that far off. JB continues to get big accolades for making and succeeding at his own decisions during races that have variable conditions such as yesterday’s. JB is a WDC and is no slouch and I think it’s going to be exciting to see him next year with Perez as his teammate and LH no longer on ‘his’ team.

      • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 26th November 2012, 17:20

        I don’t take this as evidence that Jenson is better than Lewis, even though I prefer Jenson. What I do take it as is vindication of Mclaren’s signing of Button and proof that he isn’t in an altogether inferior category of driver and is fully deserving of his place in history as a world drivers champion.

        It’s easy to pick out particular races which affected Lewis this year, but one of the most notable features of that chart is Button’s slump in form during the year (although this was no-one else’s fault but his). Other than that the lines are pretty much on a similar trajectory most of the time and when you measure over 58 grand prix with both drivers in identical cars it is safe to say that most elements of luck are likely to be averaged out.

        The conclusion which can be safely drawn is that there is no significant difference in ability between the drivers – for me I’d put Hamilton a touch ahead.

      • sorin (@) said on 26th November 2012, 21:36

        I don’t think the history will rememeber that LH beated this year Button by 2 points diff. Do you know how many pilots won WC by 1 point difference. Many, but I don’t remember them, and I don’t care of this. But I’ll rememember that Hamilton beated Button at Mclaren. 2-1, 3-2, …21-20…doesn’t matter. In seassons I’m reffering.

      • N7 (@m77) said on 26th November 2012, 21:58

        I don’t see it as evidence that Button is better, even as a fan of the guy. I see it as hugely impressive though, silencing the huge majority who, 3 years ago, claimed that JB would get ‘destroyed’ at Mclaren and embarrass himself and so on.

        even if you take into account outright pace, and Hamilton’s misfortune, Button has done well to even come close – I don’t think many of Lewis’ future teammates will! Yes Lewis has been quicker, and deserved more, but it wasn’t the ‘destruction’ that so many predicted and JB should be pleased about that.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th November 2012, 1:27

          I think JB has shown that he is fully capable of taking the fight to anybody. He’s a proven WDC and even if you want to dissect his win as coming down to the double diffuser, is that any different than SV benefitting from the blown diffuser last year? Only SV seemed to have the upper hand on the field including MW for the whole season and JB seemed to have his advantage for half that. Even if one wanted to say JB’s WDC was not as solid as some others’ in the annals of F1, he will have gained much from it nonetheless and is a better racer for it, of that I have no doubt.

          I think it’s a tough year to pick on drivers’ performances, given the lottery that became the tires for at least the first half of the year. They accounted for the variation and unpredictability of that of a record number of different winners and we talked about that ad infinitum. JB had a great year last year, and had some great showings this year, and he also struggled with the car….just as last year and this he and LH both did at times for various reasons. As did many drivers like the Merc guys, and FM, etc etc. They’ve all had highs and lows this year.

          I don’t see JB as any less capable of another WDC as long as the same ingredients come together for him again, like all WDC winners need. Pretty much the best car, and Mac’s was 3rd this year, pretty darn good reliability although SV proved it doesn’t have to be perfect, and if the competitiion is close it might come down to that spin in the first corner, or that blown engine, through no fault of the driver and of the same ilk as the F1 insiders are now bemoaning on their drivers’ behalf in the post-season comments.

          LH is also a proven WDC, but has also proven to run ragged and rattled at times, in amongst some stellar wins. He threw away a few WDC’s that were his to lose, and last year he admitted he was less than fully focused on F1 at times and it hurt him on the track. I personally think that was the beginning of the end for LH at Mac, since JB was also doing very well for them last year anyway. So I think LH HAD to outperform JB this year. I think he put unnecessary added pressure on himself to do that with last year’s off track behaviour. He couldn’t be beat two years running by JB. And he did perform very well but with the car and the team letting him down some times. That’s racing, and one never knows if LH had less reliability whether he would have taken himself into the fight and won, or he or the team thrown away another one.

          LH has only been with one team, the one that ‘birthed’ him, so it’s going to be fascinating to see what he does in such a different environment. But I think it is good and healthy for him and it’s going to be a blast. I want to see how Mac does, and I think they’ll be fine. And I think JB will be strong. I want to see how NR does too.

  4. Cryptowillem (@cryptowillem) said on 26th November 2012, 16:06

    That stat about Kimi completing all but one lap in the whole season is almost disheartening. One mistake (and the subsequent backtracking) cost him the consistency stat of finishing every lap of every race in the season.

    Out of sheer curiosity, can anyone tell me when the last time someone did complete every lap of every race of a season?

  5. Seanus said on 26th November 2012, 16:43

    Jenson Button won both Jake Humphrey’s first and last races as presenter of the BBC F1 coverage

  6. D (@f190) said on 26th November 2012, 16:52

    ” Hamilton’s last three victories have all been preceded and succeeded by no-scores.”

    Keith , there’s more to it than that !! This season has been the curse of the winning McLaren !

    Here’s the stats :
    Australia – button wins – next race – Malaysia – button finished 14th = No points
    Canada – Hamilton wins – Next race – Europe – Hamilton DNF – No points
    Hungary – Hamilton wins – Next race -Spa – Hamilton DNF – No points
    Spa – Button wins – Next race- Italy – Button DNF – No points
    Italy – Hamilton wins – Next race – Singapore – Hamilton DNF – No points
    USA – Hamilton wins – Next race – Brazil – Hamilton DNF – No points

    A really crazy stat ! I noticed it around Italy and thought nah, it can’t continue ! But it did. As Button won in Brazil, I won’t be betting on him to win in Australia next year !!

  7. Out of the two other drivers to have won 3 world titles consecutively; Schumacher had competed in 172 Grand Prix when he won his 5th title, Fangio had competed in 42 and Vettel had competed in 101. The age variation is significant though: Schumacher was 36 years 198 days old, Fangio was 45 years 39 days old and Vettel was 25 years 145 days!

    Also of course he is the only driver to have gone on to win 2 more consecutive titles after winning his first.

  8. I started crying when Schumi did a farewell lap before the race. I was also really touched to see how genuinely happy he seemed for Vettel. I know that Schumacher has always been a big inspiration for Vettel and I am sure he was happy to be congratulated by such an excellent driver.

  9. This was Fernando Alonso’s 13th podium of the season, more than any other driver in 2012. Alonso got the most number of podium finishes for a non-champion-winning driver since Rubens Barrichello in 2004, who got 14. However, Alonso’s tally of 13 podiums is the most for a non-championship-winning driver driving for a team that did not win the Constructors’ Championships, beating the previous records of Kimi Raikkonen(McLaren-Mercedes, 2005), Michael Schumacher(Ferrari, 2006), Alonso and Lewis Hamilton(McLaren-Mercedes, 2007) and Jenson Button(McLaren-Mercedes, 2011)-12 podiums.

  10. Gridl0k said on 26th November 2012, 17:55

    Still no HAM-ALO-VET podium….

    …without silly hats.

    • brny666 said on 26th November 2012, 23:36

      I don’t know about that, I seem to recall there was a race in the USA, around Austin or some such place, although it was a while back. If you look at the results I’m convinced you’ll find them on the podium.

  11. paulgilb (@paulgilb) said on 26th November 2012, 18:37

    No mechanical DNFs during the race – all were crashes/collisions.

    Last fastest lap by a non-scorer – Hulkenberg in Singapore 2012
    Last fastest lap by a non-finisher – Hamilton in Spain 2010
    Last fastest lap by a non-classified-finisher – Raikkonen in Canada 2008 (he was rear-ended by Hamilton early on in that race, but IIRC the track disintegrated during the race)

    Button’s career points total: 999

    7th podium for Alonso in Brazil without a win – is this a record for one circuit?

    5 different drivers led laps for the first time in 2012 (Perez, di Resta, Grosjean, Maldonado, Hulkenberg) – the first time this has happened since 1982 (de Cesaris, K Rosberg, Tambay, de Angelis, Alboreto). Note that Hulkenberg did not lead a lap in Brazil 2010 (he lost the lead on lap 1 after starting from pole).

    • Dave (@davea86) said on 27th November 2012, 3:00

      I did a bit of a double take when I read the article because it said that it’s the first time Hulkenberg “led the race” rather “than led a lap”. I guess since they don’t record position changes over a lap, only as they cross the line, they’re pretty much the same thing for stats purposes.

      It got me thinking about how a driver could start from pole and not lead the race at any point. The only thing I could think of is if a driver jumped the start and was past the pole sitter before the lights went out, then the offending driver either got away with it (unlikely) or the pole sitter dropped below 2nd place before the jump starter got a penalty.

  12. Jimmyt (@jimmyt) said on 26th November 2012, 20:00

    Hamilton failed to join the club of racers that won their last race for a team. The select few that have achieved this are:

    Mansell williams 94
    Clark lotus 68
    Fangio Alfa Romeo 51
    Fangio Mercedez 55
    Damon Hill Williams 96
    Moss Vanwall 57
    Jones Williams 81
    Berger McLaren 92
    Montoya Williams 2004
    Surtess Ferrari 66
    Surtees Cooper 66
    Keke Rosberg Williams 85
    Fagioli Alfa Romeo 51
    Ginther Honda 65
    Baghetti FISA 61
    Ireland Lotus 61

  13. Racer (@racer) said on 26th November 2012, 20:48

    Button became the 1st driver since Raikkonen in 2007 to win both the 1st and last races of a season, but if it hadn’t been for Ferrari’s team orders on Massa in Brazil that year, he would have been the first since Schumacher in 2002!

    Button became the first driver to win the 1st and last races but not the championship since Prost in 1988!

  14. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 26th November 2012, 21:19

    When Jenson Button joined McLaren, who would have believed that by the time he or Hamilton left the team, Button would have out-scored him?

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th November 2012, 1:40

      Yeah true. I suppose most thought it was LH’s team so JB would struggle. But then again, JB is a WDC, and kudos to Mac for hiring a WDC to partner LH. He held his own so it should be great to see how he does next year.

  15. sorry to nitpick but didnt schumi retire in his first race with clutch failure rather than finish 7th?

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