Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2012

Schumacher finishes his F1 career as he started it

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix stats and factsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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

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  1. ” 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 !!

      1. @f190 Nice stats.

        As Button won in Brazil, I won’t be betting on him to win in Australia next year !!

        As hamilton wins are preceded by DNF’s, and if the sequence continues we can see him win in Australia ’13. Sad for Button though. :)

        1. No because he is no longer at Macca.

    1. And there’s still more: This streak started at the last races of 2011.

      Abu Dhabi: Hamilton wins
      Brazil: Hamilton DNF

      1. Drop Valencia!
        26th November 2012, 23:25

        Next year it may go like this – Button wins, Perez no score, Button wins, Perez no score, Button wins, Perez no score :)

  2. 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.

    1. From that sequence the next driver to win three consecutive titles will be around 15 years old when he does it (so will have to win his first championship at 13) :P

      1. @jerseyf1 – haha! Imagine that, a driver who has one 3 titles at the top tier in motorsport but isn’t allowed a driver’s licence!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. @chicanef1 – wow, that really puts into context both how competitive this season had been and how well Alonso has driven throughout the year!

      1. @vettel1 – This season has also been strikingly statistically similar to 2003 as last season had to 2002. Which makes me wonder-will 2013 be like 2004? Where Vettel and Red Bull dominate? It could happen, with not many rule changes in next year, with their closest rivals in rebuilding mode, it’ll take some form of genius to stop the Bulls.
        I don’t

        1. I forgot to end my comment: I don’t think there is any genius who can topple the Vettel-Horner-Newey combo.

  5. Still no HAM-ALO-VET podium….

    …without silly hats.

    1. 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.

      1. Oh just read the second part of your comment , My bad.

  6. 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).

    1. 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.

      1. It would be enough for a pole sitter to stall on the grid, or on the getaway from the warmup lap.

  7. 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

    1. @jimmyt – for Fagioli and Clark it also happened to be their last race in Formula 1. Sadly for Clark, that record was caused by his untimely death.

    2. @jimmyt And, of course, Ayrton Senna for McLaren in 1993.

  8. 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!

    1. Another one I’ve just though of, 2012 was the first season since 1990 in which the world champion won neither the first race nor the last race.

      So if not for Massa gifting Brazil 2007 to Raikkonen, it would be the case that every season from 2003 to 2011 had the world champion win either the first or last race, but not both!

      1. Actually scratch that, Schumacher won neither the 1st nor the last race in 2003.

      2. Except that Hamilton would have won the title in 2007 if Massa had not let Raikkonen through.

  9. 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?

    1. 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.

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

    1. The “where he started it” text is a link to an article which makes the answer to that question pretty clear…

  11. 3rd year in a row that Kobayashi has finished 12th overall.

    de la Rosa has finished 17th 4 times this year without finishing higher.

    Massa has finished in every points-scoring finish other than 1st this year.

    Marussia have at least succeeded where Virgin failed in both 2010 and 2011 – they beat HRT.

    Williams became only the third team this year to manage a double DNF (neither car classified) – after Caterham in Australia and HRT in Canada.

    With his 7th place finish, Schumacher avoided the ignominy of finishing lower in the championship than he did in 1991 (when he only competed in 6 races).

  12. Riccardo and Kovalainen used all 4 available compounds during the race, the first time any driver has done that since Vettel in Malaysia.

  13. on lap 11, 5 of 6 drivers of the new teams were in the points

    6º KOV
    7º PET
    8º GLO
    9º DLR
    10º PIC

    1. @erivaldonin I hadn’t noticed that but, sure enough, you can see it here:

      2012 Brazilian Grand Prix lap charts

  14. Caterham had both cars finish for the 11th race in a row, the most for any team (next is Ferrari with 10)
    Webber was 4th for the sixth time, the most frequent driver-position combination (next is Vettel – 5 wins/Alonso – 5 3rds/Perez – 5 11ths)
    2nd is Ferrari’s highest constructor’s position since 2008
    All of JEV’s points came from 8th place finishes
    Since Belgium Force India have scored in every race though that was the last time both were in the points

  15. One bonus fact: Alonso beats Prost with more podiums starting behind P3 in a season.

  16. From 2006-2012, every alternate years, Ferrari has lost the WDC in the final round

    1. I presume you are meaning either a) one of their drivers was still in contention in the final round or b) they placed second after still being mathematically being able to win. I think “lost” is slightly misleading as it suggests that the driver would have been leading going into the final round which of course hasn’t always been the case.

      Although, technically you could say that a driver who didn’t win lost the championship!

  17. First time since 2006 that Ferrari have beaten McLaren but not won the Constructors’ Championship.

    And a few more that I discovered on magnetimarelli.com/focus-on-racing/F1/20120020:

    Both McLarens have had 4 2nd-place starts in 2012 – both of them were always behind the same driver (Button behind Hamilton, Hamilton behind Vettel).
    None of the drivers who led the race had previously led laps at Interlagos (same note re Hulkenberg applies as above).
    On both the last 2 occasions that 2 Ferraris have been on the podium (this race and Korea 2010) they were both outqualified by both Red Bulls (both of which missed the podium).
    First season since 1994 without a fastest lap for Ferrari.
    Webber 6th 4th-place finish this year (first 4 races + Valencia) – equals his record from last year.
    Perez has crashed at some point duing the weekend in every race since his last podium in Monza.

  18. Vettel was the third driver to win the triple championship at the first attempt.
    Fangio and Senna were the other two who did.

    Alonso failed for the 6th time the tri championship
    Only G.Hill failed more than him.

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