It came down to the final race of the season to crown the Formula One World Championship winner.
It came down to the final race of the season to crown the Formula One World Championship winner as all eyes were on Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.With the McLaren drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button locking out the front row, it was drama from the start as championship leader, Vettel was sent into a spin going into Turn Four which dropped him all the way down to 22nd place. Felipe Massa was doing his best to hound Mark Webber and into the first corner Alonso got past them both in a well executed move, assisted by his team-mate. On lap five Alonso ran off the track at Turn One, fighting to keep his car on the wet circuit. Romain Grosjean was the next driver to go off, this time at Turn Eleven and then Webber got hit by out of contract Sauber driver, Kamui Kobayashi at Turn One. Back at the front, Button passed his team-mate for the lead down the back straight, meanwhile Vettel was climbing his way back into the points and by lap eight was in 7th. Early retirements from the race were Bruno Senna, Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado. With the weather conditions not improving, drivers headed in to the pits from lap nine and intermediates were the choice. Button continued to stay out on slicks as he led the way. Heikki Kovalainen in his Caterham had moved up to 6th place, his best drive of the season and what could possibly be his last race. Button was not going to have an easy race in the lead, and Nico Hulkenberg was all over the back of the Brit in a battle for the front. On lap 19, the young German got past around the outside into Turn One as he raced one last time for the Force India Team. This was the first time he had ever lead a Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg had a race to forget and with a puncture limped around the circuit, before bringing out the safety car due to debris on the track. The 45-second gap the leaders had disappeared as the field bunched up. A stunning drive from Vettel saw him just behind 4th placed Alonso in what was a dramatic race to end the season. At the race restart on lap 30, Hulkenberg kept his lead as Webber tried an overtaking sandwich with his team-mate and Kobayashi, which resulted in the Australian running off track at Turn One. Hamilton overtook Button to move up to 2nd, while Massa was trying to keep Vettel’s mirrors filled with a Ferrari as he tried to help Alonso in the battle for the title. Disposing of the German, he then got past Kobayashi to move up to 5th, one place behind his team-mate. With the rain playing a big factor during the race, Hulkenberg got on the white line and spun at Turn Six, resulting in him losing the lead to Hamilton. A few laps later and an ambitious manoeuvre by Hulkenberg into Turn One cost Hamilton a win as he lost control on the slippery track and took out the McLaren driver, in what was a disappointing end to Hamilton’s career at the team. With the rain falling heavily, Alonso had a bit of a scare at Turn Three as he struggled in the conditions on slick tyres. He pitted on lap 57 to change to intermediates as Hulkenberg also made a dash via the pit lane, due to a drive-through penalty for hitting Hamilton. With 10 laps remaining, Button was leading with Alonso now up to 2nd, having been let past by Massa. Vettel was back in 7th, but with Button leading by 20 seconds, it was looking unlikely that Alonso could win the title. Paul di Resta had a huge shunt on the penultimate lap of the race as he lost control at the final corner bringing out a safety car to the finish line. Jenson Button won the last race of the 2012 season as Sebastian Vettel became the youngest driver ever to take the World Championship title for the third time in his career. Jenson Button
Pedro de la Rosa
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