Mark Webber finally ended his winless streak for the season by taking the chequered flag at the last race – the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in Sao Paolo. He was followed home by teammate Sebastian Vettel in a Red Bull one-two – their fourth of the season and first time with Webber in front. Jenson Button capped off a fine season by finishing third and this consolidating his second-place finish in the Drivers’ Championship Standings.
Fernando Alonso drove a valiant race but could only manage fourth place as tyre degradation and a DRS-failure allowed Button to pass him during the closing stages of the race. Felipe Massa finished fifth in his home grand prix, with Adrian Sutil sixth, Nico Rosberg seventh and Paul Di Resta eighth. Kamui Kobayashi and Vitaly Petrov took the last points places in ninth and tenth respectively. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton had to retire due to a gearbox problem.
Some might argue that Webber was only handed the win due to a gearbox problem for pole-sitter Vettel, who had no 2nd gear and had to nurse his car using short shifts – which allowed Webber to take the lead – but still had enough pace to keep him out of the clutches of Button/Alonso behind him. Alonso might have had the third place after a good start saw him overtake Hamilton into the first corner and then pass Button on lap eleven, but Button clawed back the position towards the fag end of the race as the Ferrari’s tyre degradation made it tough for the Spaniard to hold fort.
It was a disappointing end of the season for Lewis Hamilton as well, who retired on lap sixty eight due to a gearbox failure. He was having a good battle with (who else!) Felipe Massa for fifth place and even after the second round of pit stops found himself behind the Ferrari and was lining up a DRS move before having to retire. Another driver who had a disappointing race was Michael Schumacher, who suffered a left-rear puncture as he closed the door on Bruno Senna’s Renault – a move which incredulously saw the Renault driver get a drive-thru penalty – and could only finish fifteenth.
Sebastian Vettel set a new record of 15 pole positions in a single season as he set the fastest time for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in the last Qualifying Session of the season. Despite insisting that the record was not in his thoughts, it surely would have felt good for the Champion driver – if only as something to aim for having wrapped up the title sometime earlier! Red Bull locked out the front row of the grid for the seventh time this year as Mark Webber was second fastest, ahead of the McLaren of Jenson Button in P3.
Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest, ahead of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso in fifth and Mercedes of Nico Rosberg in sixth. Felipe Massa starts seventh in his home grand prix with the Force India of Adrian Sutil beside him in eighth. Bruno Senna was ninth fastest for Renault and rounding off the top ten was Michael Schumacher, who did not set a time in Q3.
Full Qualifying Report here.
He was pipped to the Pole position by Sebastian Vettel on Saturday but Lewis Hamilton still managed to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit as a Vettel had to retire on the first lap itself due to a right-rear tyre puncture suffered as a result of clipping a kerb at the start. Vettel limped back to the pits but there was too much damage on his tyre drum & suspension to continue and thus had his first DNF of this season.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished second having passed Jenson Button at the start and though he stayed close to Hamilton and even led the race after Hamilton’s second pit stop but dropped back after his own stop for a tyre change. Jenson Button took third place as he battled a failed KERS System on his McLaren and wasn’t able to mount as serious a challenge as he would have liked.
Mark Webber finished in fourth place (the first time no Red Bull driver was on the podium) as he followed a three-stop strategy and had to change to the harder compound tyre at the last lap of the race, allowing Button to move ahead. Felipe Massa finished fifth, ahead of Nico Rosberg in sixth and Michael Schumacher in seventh. Adrian Sutil finished eighth in his Sahara Force India and teammate Paul Di Resta used a one-stop strategy to finish ninth. Kamui Kobayashi in the Sauber took the last point in tenth place.
The McLarens were quick on Friday and on Saturday’s practice sessions and many were of the opinion that Lewis Hamilton was a shoo-in for pole position. Pah! said Sebastian Vettel as he wheeled around in his Red Bull around the Yas Marina circuit as fast as he could and took Pole Position for Sunday’s race. Lewis Hamilton had to settle for second position, 0.141 seconds slower than Vettel with Jenson Button a teeny weensy 0.009 seconds behind in third.
Mark Webber starts from fourth with the two Ferraris of Fernando Alonso in fifth & Felipe Massa in sixth. Mercedes have Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher seventh and eight with the two Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta completing the top ten.
It was a thrilling finale to Q3 as first Button took provisional pole as the Chequered Flag fell on the session but Hamilton came steaming in behind to usurp his teammate by the slenderest of margins – 0.009 seconds to be exact! Vettel was running the last and he beat Hamilton’s time quite effortlessly, equalling Nigel Mansell’s most-pole-positions-in-a-year record in the process.
Not on Pole position, so what? He’ll still take the victory. Sebastian Vettel celebrated winning the 2011 WDC by notching up victory at the Korean Grand Prix as he made an excellent start off P2 position at the start of the race to slot into the lead and held onto it all throughout. Lewis Hamilton finished second having started from pole, ahead of Mark Webber who was all over the McLaren towards the final laps and even passed it twice but couldn’t make the move stick as Lewis fought back to retake his position after each move.
Jenson Button finished fourth, hounded all the way to the chequered flag by the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso who ultimately settled for fifth place. Felipe Massa finished sixth, ahead of Jaime Algersuari in seventh, Nico Rosberg in eighth, Sebastian Buemi in ninth and Paul di Resta in tenth. The race had three retirements – Pastor Maldonado with mechanical failure and Vitaly Petrov & Michael Schumacher as a result of Petrov ploughing into the back of Schumacher and taking out the front and back wings of the Renault & the Mercedes respectively.
The start of the race was where it was all won as Vettel had a clean start off the dirty side of the track but still got the power down as he passed the McLaren of Hamilton into turn four. Mark Webber also had a decent start and slotted into third position as Jenson Button slipped back, allowing the two Ferraris to get ahead of him. There was a bit of passing and re-passing between the lead pack but as it shook down, Vettel had the lead with Hamilton & Webber behind – the order staying the same till the end.
Finally! We have a car that is not a Red Bull at the head of the order for a Sunday Race as McLaren and Lewis Hamilton broke the sequence of 15 consecutive pole positions from Red Bull. Lewis Hamilton will start the Korean Grand Prix from pole position while Sebastian Vettel could only manage second fastest time. Jenson Button will start from P3 with Mark Webber P4.
Ferrari lockout the third row as Felipe Massa will start fifth ahead of Fernando Alonso in sixth, Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg seventh & Renault’s Vitaly Petrov in eighth. Force India’s Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil will start from ninth and tenth position respectively.
With the Drivers’ Championship sealed up, the Constructors Crown can also be done n’ dusted with as Red Bull need only a point to take that out. The other teams are just racing for pride and wins and with the sort of tumultuous season that Hamilton has had, he’d like to really get it back on track and show’em all with a win.
Ahem, not if Vettel or Button have anything to do to change that! Vettel to win with Hamilton second & Webber third.
Jenson Button won the Japanese Grand Prix but it will be Sebastian Vettel who will be celebrating his second Drivers’ Championship as he finished third and ensured that he has an unassailable lead in the drivers’ tally. Fernando Alonso finished second in the race and managed to hold off Vettel behind him for the best part of the latter laps.
Mark Webber finished fourth ahead of Lewis Hamilton in fifth, Michael Schumacher in sixth & Felipe Massa in seventh. Sergio Perez finished eighth ahead of Vitaly Petrov in ninth and Nico Rosberg took the last point in tenth, having started from the back of the grid!
It was never in doubt coming into Suzuka that barring a DNF, Vettel would sew up the WDC and the question was that whether he would do that with a resounding win or a careful points finish. At the start it surely seemed like the former as, having made a slower start as compared to Button, Vettel gradually eased Button towards the right of the track and onto the grass whilst maintaining his lead. As Button was seemingly forced off-track, Hamilton eased into second place and starting to hustle Vettel. BTW, Vettel was not penalised for his actions!
Hamilton was soon passed by Button and he further slipped down the order as a right-rear puncture meant an early pit stop for the McLaren. The order remained the same as the first round of pit stops shook down but at the second window of stops, Button managed to leap frog Vettel into the lead and held it till the end.
Sebastian Vettel continued his pole position dominance as he set the fastest time in the Saturday Qualifying session for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Jenson Button tried hard to match or better Vettel’s time but he could only manage second fastest for McLaren whilst Lewis Hamilton failed to set a time in his second running but his initial time was good enough for him to finish third fastest.
Felipe Massa was P4 ahead of teammate Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber. Michael Schumacher was P7 with Bruno Senna P8, Vitaly Petrov P9 and Kamui Kobayashi rounding off the top ten.
Pole position seemed going McLaren’s way as Hamilton had set the fastest time in the initial stages of Q1 and when the cars trundled out for their second stints on newer tyres, Hamilton dallied on his in-lap and couldn’t cross the start/finish line ahead of the chequered flag and hence could not better his initial time. That meant Vettel only had Button as a realistic competitor for the fastest time and as they finished their laps, the gap between them was only nine-thousandths of a second. Vettel had did it again…it was his fifteenth pole position this season.
Q1 had the local hero Kamui Kobayashi topping the timesheets for Sauber with Force India’s Adrian Sutil second – both of them on the faster soft tyre compound. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third fastest ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Vitaly Petrov. Jenson Button was sixth fastest with Vettel just behind him. But the name of the game in Q1 is to make it to the next session and the biggest casualty of that was Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, who failed to notch a time due to a hydraulics problem and will start 23rd. Joining him at the tail end of the grid were the two Lotuses of Heikki Kovalainen & Jarno Trulli, the two Virgins of Timo Glock & Jerome d’Ambrosio and the two HRTs of Vitantonio Liuzzi and Daniel Ricciardo.