Sebastian Vettel claimed his third consecutive drivers' championship, as the 2012 Formula One season came to a close in style last Sunday with arguably one of the most exciting races of the year!
The Brazilian Grand Prix saw Jenson Button take the top of the podium spot but his victory was somewhat overshadowed by Sebastian Vettel, who pipped Fernando Alonso to the post to win the drivers' championship.
2012 saw several F1 records broken. The most impressive of those was seeing seven different drivers win the first seven races of the season. Alonso became the first driver to win a second race by taking the first place at the European grand prix on June 24th, placing him as one of the first contenders for the title. The season also saw twenty races, a record number, as the United States and Bahrain races returned to the calendar.
Looking back at some of the most memorable races of the year, the Spanish grand prix was drama filled, to say the least. Pastor Maldonaldo took his first win in eight years but the celebrations for the Williams team were cut short when an explosion caused a fire to break out in their pit lane garage, injuring nine mechanics. The British Grand Prix also saw Kamui Kobayashi injure three of his crew when he failed to brake in time when entering the pit lane, resulting in him running his crew over. Button labeled Kobayashi as “absolutely crazy” and he has developed a reputation amongst his fellow drivers as being a dangerous driver after being involved with several racing incidents over the season.
2012 saw the return of the United States Grand Prix that was held at a purpose built track in Texas. This race saw Red Bull Racing take the World Constructors Championship title for the third time when Vettel finished in second place.
The final race of the season saw Vettel finish in sixth place to take the drivers' championship, a result that seemed doubtful after the first lap of the race, which saw Vettel collide with Bruno Senna, and his engineers pronounce his car as “unfixable.” Vettel performed what seemed to be a minor Formula One miracle and made his way back up the pack to finish the race in sixth place.
The Brazilian grand prix also saw the emotional retirement of Michael Schumacher. Schumacher made his formula one debut in 1991, won the world championship seven times and in 2009, Autosport magazine named Schumacher as the second greatest F1 driver of all time, behind Aryton Senna.