F1 Brazilian Grand Prix – The Season Finale

First off, sorry for my absence of late. Since I work in retail and am a senior in college I’ve been busier than a fly on a carcass…  -Cody


After a long Formula One season of very much the same old thing, the Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday provided us with a bit of a change of pace.

Sebastian Vettel aced qualifying as usual, so the weekend started out pretty much as usual. Oh, except for the record breaking that is. Coming into the Brazilian GP, Vettel had gone P1 in qualifying 14 times this year, tying the record set by Nigel Mansell in 1992. Seb remarked simply, “Just call me Nigel,” after winning his 15th and final pole of the year on Saturday at Interlagos.  And he said he didn’t care about records… Ha!

The race set off to notices sent by race director Charlie Whiting that rain was possible by half-distance.  Steve Matchett on the SPEEDtv broadcast also remarked that the various teams’ weathermen were Tweeting updates on the rain movement nearing the circuit just 10 or so laps in. The first round of pit stops , for most teams, was being delayed as long as it could so teams would only have to change from the soft tire to wets (by rule negating the need to run the Prime hard tire).

Ferrari Tweeted that rain was 10 minutes out, then Alonso promptly pitted and changed onto Primes. Matchett was rather humorously flustered at the boneheaded decision, but the strategy worked out for the Scuderia as the rain never came.

Drama played out throughout the race starting from only 5 laps in when Vettel’s gearbox quickly began to lose oil.  Seb nursed the car home, taking each corner a gear higher than normal and short-shifting.  He let 2nd placed teammate Mark Webber by going into turn 1 so as to not screw up Red Bull’s chances of a good race.

Webber went on to score his first and only win of the season.  Red Bull team boss Christian Horner remarked after the race that Vettel’s gearbox was actually completely out of oil by the time the race had ended.  No one knows how he made it work, but Vettel finished 2nd anyway.

The World Championship was wrapped up with 4 races left in the season, but the battle for the remaining positions went down to the wire.  The biggest win of the Brazilian GP was Team Lotus’ (next year “Team Caterham”) placement in 10th of the Constructors’ World Championship. Placing 10th means that Team Lotus/Caterham goes from receiving around $8 million to nearly $30 million in Championship payouts.

Final Driver Point Standings

Final Constructor Point Standings

In other F1 news, silly season has now kicked into high gear. TodayPatrick Head, co-founder of Williams GP announced his retirement from F1. He will now be focused on Williams’ Hybrid Power division of the company.  The rumor mill is going crazy about Kimi Raikkonen being close to signing a deal to come back to Formula One next year with either Williams or Lotus-Renault GP.  LRGP boss Eric Boullier said over the weekend that their final announcement is imminent.  Adrian Sutil is most likely headed out to pasture as his contract with Force India F1 is over.  Jerome D’Ambrisio is out at Marussia Virgin Racing as the team has signed Charles Pic to drive alongside veteran Timo Glock in 2012.  Rubens Barrichello is hell bent on driving for Williams again in 2012, but we’re waiting to see what will become of that.

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