Webber wins season finale at Brazil
Mark Webber has finally won a race this season as he crossed the finish line of the Brazil GP first. Sebastian Vettel ended second and struggled all the way with a gearbox issue. Jenson Button finished third and secured second place in the world championship.
As the lights went out under sunny skies, the Red Bulls easily kept their first and second starting places. Button keeps third as well while Alonso gets alongside Hamilton to move up to 4th. Massa had a great start as well and moves up to 6th as he passes Rosberg.
There were surprisingly no coming togethers at all during the first lap. Even in the second lap, despite fighting still going on there weren't any problems. Michael Schumacher, even without DRS however managed to pass Adrian Sutil in a very clean pass into turn 1.
By lap 7 Sebastian Vettel has already pulled a gap of 3s to his teammate. Webber himself built a margin to the cars behind him, while Button, Alonso and Hamilton are very closely together, but so far were unable to pass each other.
Note that DRS at Interlagos is active between turns 3 and 4, that is on the back straight, which so far seems to be too short to be effective for a passing attempt. Even Michael Schumacher, very close to the Renault ahead of him cannot get close enough on the back straight.
On lap 11 Schumacher finally attempts to overtake Senna, but he does so on the main straight. Schumacher easily went by the Renault, but when he turned left, Senna was still marginally aside, causing them to collide slightly, but enough to cut a Senna's front wing endplate and to cause a left rear puncture on the Mercedes GP car.
At the same time Alonso got past Button after turn 5.
On lap 14 Vettel is told there is a gearbox problem on his car, and therefore he will have to short shift in second and third gear. It is unlikely to be a big problem quickly, because only Webber is close. Third placed man Alonso is already 10 seconds behind.
On lap 16 Button is the first of the front runners to make stop, while Alonso and Hamilton do the same just one lap later. Positions between them didn't change, but Ferrari's stop did seem to be faster then both McLaren's stops.
One lap later it's Vettel who pits, followed by Webber another lap further down. During these stops, Webber has lost time on Vettel and is 3.5s behind his teammate. Alonso on the other hand gained time and is now just 8s behind Vettel.
Massa meanwhile inherited the lead as he is still going on his first set of tyres, but by lap 21 he gets passed by Vettel on the back straight.
The Brazilians are not fairing very well here today. Senna fell back as he got penalised for the coming together with Schumacher, while Barrichello had an awful start and lost 7 places during the first lap. By lap 24 he moved back up to 15th, but it could've been so much better, considering his 12th starting position.
On lap 28 Maldonado is in the barriers in turn 7 after having passed Senna one lap earlier.
Meanwhile Vettel is ordered time and time again to short shift in the lower gears. His pace is clearly suffering from that, and by lap 29 Webber has caught up. In turn 1 of lap 30, Vettel eventually decided it would be better to let Webber go and not put the Australian's position in danger because of his own car problem.
Glock at that time is already walking back to the pitlane. On his first stop, his left rear tyre fell off his car already at the end of the pitlane. Obviously this was a pitcrew mistake, and Glock consequently parked his car at the first marshall post.
On lap 32 Button pits to take on the prime tyre, while Hamilton chooses another stint on options as of lap 34.
Alonso pits on lap 36 and maintains his third place. Massa is now 4th again and looks set for a two stopper, whereas the other front runners seemingly choose a three stopper.
3 laps later Webber makes his second stop as well, also changing for to a new set of softer tyres. Vettel does the same one lap later.
By lap 42, Webber leads by 4 seconds over his teammate. Alonso is 7s behind Vettel and 6s ahead of Button. Massa is 5th, still able to fend off Hamilton, despite having older tyres. Possibly this has to do with Hamilton's gear shifting problem.
On lap 45 Hamilton and McLaren decide they have had enough of that and make a pitstop for Lewis, changing his soft tyres to mediums. That means he will either have to complete 26 laps on the slower tyre or stop again. Ferrari though decide to react one lap later, keeping Massa ahead of Hamilton.
On lap 48, as Vettel is ordered to save his gearbox, Hamilton's box finally lets go, requiring him to park the car a little bit further up the track as he slowly comes to a halt without drive.
Sutil then is right behind Rosberg and is looking to get 6th place. He makes his second passing attempt through turn 1 stick . The speed difference is absolutely stunning.
On lap 53 Button pits for another new set of medium tyres, followed by Alonso who takes on a similar set of tyres after having run the soft Pirellis up to now. Button immediately sets fastest lap of the race, alerting Alonso that there is no time to waste in order to secure a podium finish.
6 laps later, Button has reduced the gap to Alonso to 1 second and therefore is now within the DRS window. 3 laps later Button easily steams past Alonso on the back straight after coming side by side through turn 1. It shows yet again that the Ferrari is a handful on the harder tyres as Alonso was struggling and oversteering everywhere he got the throttle down.
Button however keeps on fighting and tries to reduce the gap to Vettel. 7 laps from the end that is 10 seconds, but Vettel is still struggling with that gearbox issue.
Tonio Liuzzi meanwhile is out of the race, parking his car with an obvious technical issue.
Webber did set fastest lap on the final lap, ignoring his race engineer's request, similar to what Sebastian Vettel has done repeatedly this year.
Image by Red Bull Racing
|2||1||Sebastian Vettel||RBR-Renault||71||+16.9 secs||1||18|
|3||4||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||71||+27.6 secs||3||15|
|4||5||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||71||+35.0 secs||5||12|
|5||6||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||71||+66.7 secs||7||10|
|6||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||70||+1 Lap||8||8|
|7||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||70||+1 Lap||6||6|
|8||15||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||70||+1 Lap||11||4|
|9||16||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||70||+1 Lap||16||2|
|10||10||Vitaly Petrov||Renault||70||+1 Lap||15||1|
|11||19||Jaime Alguersuari||STR-Ferrari||70||+1 Lap||13|
|12||18||Sebastien Buemi||STR-Ferrari||70||+1 Lap||14|
|13||17||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||70||+1 Lap||17|
|14||11||Rubens Barrichello||Williams-Cosworth||70||+1 Lap||12|
|15||7||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG||70||+1 Lap||10|
|16||20||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus-Renault||69||+2 Laps||19|
|17||9||Bruno Senna||Renault||69||+2 Laps||9|
|18||21||Jarno Trulli||Lotus-Renault||69||+2 Laps||20|
|19||25||Jerome d'Ambrosio||Virgin-Cosworth||68||+3 Laps||23|
|20||22||Daniel Ricciardo||HRT-Cosworth||68||+3 Laps||22|