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Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 a Season in Pictures

Jenson won in Melbourne while the season opener showed-up the relative strengths and weaknesses of Red Bull and Ferrari
Copyright Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

While Alonso won in Malaysia with a great drive Lap 42-Lap 49 was where the real drama unfolded with Perez cutting the gap to the Ferrari to only half-a second before running wide in Turn 14.  The Sauber driver took a great second place.
Copyright Sauber Motorsport AG
Mercedes won in China, Nico's maiden F1 win, but their double DRS system raised controversy throughout the grid, even though success proved fleeting.  While other teams copied the idea it was not the "step" that Mercedes anticipated.
Copyright: Mercedes AMG
Budayia Highway, Bahrain, Free Practice Friday.  The race went ahead anyway - A dark day for F1
Williams took the laurels in Spain, their first win in 8 years but the celebrations were marred when their Pit Garage went on fire. Four team members were injured.
Copyright: Williams F1/LAT Photographic

Webbo had another encounter with the Red Bull Swimming Pool in Monaco, but it was Schumi sneaking the Pole lap that got everyone talking, even though he then took a 5 place grid penalty.
Copyright: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

While Hamilton made it seven winners in seven races, it was Grosjean and Perez who taught the rest of the field a lesson in tyre management, overtaking everyone in the closing stages to take second and third on one-stop strategies
Copyright Lotus F1/LAT Photographic

Fernando triumphed for the second time in Valencia while Caterham got to grips with Toro Rosso (literally). Michael Schumacher stood on the podium, becoming the first 43 year old on an F1 podium since Jack Brabham in 1970
Courtesy: Pirelli F1

Stuck in traffic on Friday, A deluge of rain on Saturday and a beautiful warm and sunny Raceday and I loved every minute of Silverstone, including Webbo's brilliant pass on Fernando to take the victory with only a couple of laps remaining.
Copyright: Getty Images

Alonso took his third win at Hockenheim but the pre-race drama with regard to Red Bull's engine mapping became the primary discussion point of the weekend.
Courtesy: Pirelli F1

Lewis beat all-comers in Hungary but the two Lotus Driver's didn't make it a comfortable victory, Raikkonen showing strongly to push Grosjean wide after making his final pitstop.  He got to within a second of the leader but couldn't get any closer. Lotus took the bottom two steps of the podium in a strong showing.
Courtesy Pirelli F1
Button joined his team-mate on two wins after THAT accident left Alonso and Hamilton out of the race at Turn 1. Vettel took second in the race and second in the WDC, and Raikkonen continued the Lotus run of form to come third.  Grosjean was handed a one-race ban for instigating the first turn carnage
Courtesy Pirelli F1 

Monza might have seen Lewis Hamilton win for the third time but it also showed Sauber's in-race strategy working to perfection with Sergio Perez cahrging through the field to overtake Fernando Alonso for second. With increasing speculation linking Lewis to Mercedes in 2013, Martin Whitmarsh must have been watching this impressive performance closely.
Copyright: Sauber Motorsport AG

Vettel beat Button and Alonso in Singapore, the beginning of the Red Bull Asian whitewash.  Hamilton's move to Mercedes for 2013 is announced to an unsurprised public, Perez is announced as his replacement
Copyright: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Kamui Kobayashi put in a stunning drive to overtake Jenson Button and take third in Japan. Vettel wins again, with Massa second, Fernando goes out at Turn 1 after contact
Copyright: Sauber Motorsport AG

Three in a row for Vettel in Korea and this time he's followed home by Webbo in Second. Vettel took the lead in the WDC for the first time, Fernando racing for damage limitation
Copyright: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Alonso managed to take second in India but Vettel made it 4 in a row
Copyright Ker Robertson/Getty Images

"Leave me alone I know what I'm doing" Quote of the Season as Kimi brought Lotus a win in Abu Dhabi, but the story was all about Vettel's comeback to take third from a pitlane start due to a fuel infringement in Qualifying. The HRT troubles went very public
Copyright: Lotus F1/LAT Photographic 

I couldn't resist using this photo again! Breaking up is hard to do, but it's nice to get another win under your belt.  Lewis retained his US GP title when the circus returned after a 5 year absence. Ferrari broke Massa's gearbox - Legally - giving traction to Fernando on a very green track.  The result kept Alonso's hopes alive going to the final race of the season, Vettel second, Alonso third.  Massa drove spectacularly to 4th and Button, having failed to make Q3 started on Hard Compound tyres and drove a great, strategic race to come home 5th.
Copyright: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Vettel Finishes 6th in Brazil but take the WDC for the third year in a row.  The final race of the season was so eventful that I gave up trying to write a review.  In a condensed form:
1.  Michael's last F1 race
2.  Charge from Vettel through the pack after he collided with Senna
3.  Brilliant drive from Hulkenberg in wet/drying conditions up until he lost it under braking and took Lewis Hamilton out
4.  Great drive from Alonso from 9th on the grid to 2nd, but it wasn't enough
5.  Another masterclass in consistency saw Jenson Button to the top step of the podium.
And that is only a fraction of what went on!
Superlative inducing final race of the Season.
Copyright: Getty Images