Formula One Review 2012 (Part 1)
Well, the dust has now settled after an epic finale to the 2012 Formula One season. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel on an outstanding achievement of winning three consecutive Drivers Championships, and on becoming the youngest triple champ. Congratulations also to Red Bull Racing for winning the Constructors title at the same time. It was the car to beat again, especially in the run-in.
Interlagos HAS to be kept as the season finale. Whether its dry, wet or mixed like this year, it always throws up good racing. If any circuit owners in Brazil have common sense, they won’t bid for a race while Interlagos is around. I don’t think a race on another track will have the same action.
Jenson Button once again proved he’s the master when it comes to the mixed conditions, leading on dry tyres while all around him jumped to Intermediates, which after a few laps needed to be changed again. But Jenson wasn’t the only one to star in the mixed conditions this time. Step forward Nico Hulkenberg. He was keeping up with, and overtaking Jenson on track, leading a grand prix for the first time in his career. This kid is a superstar in the making, I’m just surprised he’s jumping ship from Force India to Sauber. It was unfortunate that he spun into Lewis Hamilton while trying to re-take the lead, and in no way did he deserve a drive-through for it. The stewards got that one completely wrong.
Fernando Alonso did all he could to take the title away from Vettel, but despite help from his teammate Felipe Massa, he came up short. Still, the car he was driving didn’t deserve to be challenging anyway. He worked his magic all year round, and in the end came three points short. Sebastian Vettel had a nightmare start to the race. Punted into a spin by Bruno Senna, before losing the ability to talk to his pitwall as his radio broke. But despite a damaged car, he dragged it back into the points and into Championship winning position. He was helped by the Toro Rosso’s and by Michael Schumacher, none of which put up any resistance to him.
Even the aftermath of alleged passing under yellow flags (later proved to be legal overtakes) by Vettel cannot diminish his achievement. He is slowly turning into the driver of his generation. Can he make it four in four in 2013? Only Schumacher and Fangio have achieved four in a row, can he be the third?
As for 2012 as a whole. What can I say?
8 different winners from 6 different teams. Only Red Bull (Vettel & Mark Webber) & McLaren (Hamilton & Button) saw both their drivers win races, while Ferrari (Alons0), Mercedes (Nico Rosberg), Lotus (Kimi Raikkonen) and Williams (Pastor Maldonado) all saw the chequered flag first.
We saw some great races, Brazil obviously, Canada, Belgium, Italy… but Valencia & Abu Dhabi threw up good races when everyone thought they would be dull. Alonso’s win from 11th in Valencia was perhaps the performance of the season, though Vettel was dominating before alternator failure.
We also saw both Sauber drivers (Kamui Kobayashi & Sergio Perez) grab podium finishes, as well as Romain Grosjean in his Lotus, Michael Schumacher in his Mercedes, and Massa’s Ferrari. We saw Daniel Ricciardo & Jean-Eric Vergne score their first F1 points. Hulkenberg & Paul di Resta for Force India both raced well and scored points, as did Bruno Senna for Williams.
Talking of Grosjean, once he calms down on the first lap, he’ll win races for sure. He did cause some unneccesary crashes and scrapes this year, but showed some great talent too, especially Valencia, where he was doing great before another Renault alternator failure. I hope Lotus take him on for another year, but I fear for his F1 career the longer it doesn’t get announced.
We had an epic battle for 10th place in the Constructors Championship between Caterham & Marussia. Timo Glock’s 12th place finish in Singapore was winning it for Marussia until the last few laps of Brazil, when Vitaly Petrov overtook Charles Pic to take 12th, which became 11th when di Resta crashed. Both teams however have outlasted HRT, who look to have raced their last race.
Talking of last races, Michael Schumacher has finally retired for a second time, this time probably for good. Thank you Michael for all the special moments you’ve given us through the years. We might have also seen Vitaly Petrov, Heikki Kovalainen, Kamui Kobayashi & Bruno Senna for the last time (for a while at least) but there are still seats available for 2013, so its not sure for those four yet.
All I finish on is by saying… roll on 2013!
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