Despite finishing sixth behind the victorious Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel won the points he needed to clinch the 2102 Formula One Driver's Championship. In the end there were just three points between the German driver and is two-time Champion rival, Fernando Alonso.
Vettel leads Hamilton at Interlagos Image: Leandro Ciuffo
A dramatic race saw treacherous conditions at Brazil's Interlagos circuit, with the race finishing behind the safety car. The race was nearly over as soon as it began for Vettel, whose Red Bull car collided with Williams’ Bruno Senna, sending Vettel to the back of the field but a 13-point, pre-race lead and a superb comeback to sixth place was enough, even though Alonso finished on the second step of the podium after the gruelling race.
Vettel's triple championship follows those of the great Argentine driver, Juan Manuel Fangio and childhood idol Michael Schumacher, who finished seventh for Mercedes in his final race before retiring.
Meanwhile, the FIA World Championship saw Sebastien Loeb bow out of full time rallying arter lifting his ninth World Championship title by winning in Alsace in October, followed by a 76th career victory on RACC-Rally de Espana. Loeb's win gave Citroen its eight successive manufacturers’ title.
Both the FI and rally Champion clearly have mutual respect and admiration for one another. At the annual Autosport Awards event in London, Vettel described Loeb's talents as "really exceptional". Loeb acknowledged Vettel's determination to overcome a hard start to the season and a challenging final race.
Elsewhere, the 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship saw Britain's Rob Huff take the trophy after finishing second to Alain Menu in the final race of the season in Macau. Huff beat his fellow Chevrolet teammates Menu and Yvan Muller.
Published 7th December, 2012
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