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. paulgilb (@paulgilb) said on 26th November 2012, 22:23

    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).

  2. Guelph (@guelph) said on 27th November 2012, 2:35

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

  3. 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

  4. Ben (@benchuiii) said on 27th November 2012, 15:02

    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

  5. Gabriel (@naylamp) said on 27th November 2012, 15:54

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

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

    • 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!

  7. paulgilb (@paulgilb) said on 27th November 2012, 22:29

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

    And a few more that I discovered on

    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.

  8. 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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