Brazilian GP as it happened
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Last Updated: 25/11/12 8:52pm
That really was an extraordinary couple of hours - Vettel has been through the ringer in Brazil with a crash, time wasted in the pits and rain for much of the race. But at the end of the day it's a hat-trick for the German and a race victory for Button after Hamilton and Hulkenberg crashed while dicing for first spot. We'll be back, not in weeks this time, but in March 2013 for the start of a season that is going to have to be something special to match this season. Thanks for being with us in 2012!
VETTEL CHAMPION! Jenson Button wins the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix, ahead of Fernando Alonso, but Sebastian Vettel's topsy-turvy sixth place will be enough to secure a third straight title after a simply amazing race that saw him spin on the first lap, drop to last and make an unexpected extra pit stop.Di Resta crashes at the final turn and the safety car is coming out - that's going to be the end of the championship with Vettel taking the title. That was nasty for the Scot but he is climbing out of the carSchumacher has a coming together with Kobayashi - one last incident for the German legend before his retirementButton heading for victory but he has to keep his wits about him with cars going at markedly different speeds in these wet conditions you would think Bernie almost ordered for the final day of the seasonLooks like Vettel needs to get to the line where he is, but Red Bull are relying on that McLaren staying in front of Alonso as well - nerves are being wracked everywhere if that is possiblePetrov passes Pic for 12th place - that could be massive for both teams in terms of 2013 money...but back to the leaders as Vettel is told he is the fastest man out there in horrendous conditionsButton continues in the lead by more than 20 seconds on a very wet track but Ted Kravitz tells us the rain is starting to ease. Still making for a simply amazing finish to the season thoughVettel passes Schumacher for sixth place to increase his margin over Alonso to three points.Vettel being told his position is good enough, but that also depends on Alonso not catching Button or something happening to the leading McLarenAlonso cruises past Massa into second, still not quite enough as Vettel would win by one point as things stand, 279 to 278Hamilton gets a round of applause from the McLaren team as he trudges back to their pit - surely it was going to be a dream victory in his final race for the teamAlonso is coming up behind Massa, so that will be extra points for the Spaniard, but it's Webber ahead of Vettel on the track. The plot, if not already thick enough, thickens even further with the rain coming down heavier than it has throughout this amazing raceInteresting replay there of something either flying off Vettel's damaged car or him running over something - he is going to have some story to tell after this raceButton is leading Hulkenberg, who is yet to serve his penalty, with Vettel fighting his way past Kobayashi after running wide. Massa up to second and Alonso back in third again!Vettel up to ninth, which would be enough for him with Alonso having come into the pits for inters - he's fourth. Hulkenberg had a drive-through for causing a collision with HamiltonMiraculous save from Alonso who slows right down. He's desperately in need of some new tyres but won't want to come in from a podium placeVettel has been in again with an awful stop - no tyres ready, inters eventually come out and he is down ito 12th place. Alonso is in charge all of a sudden. Hamilton is outCRASH! Hulkenberg alongside Hamilton and through to the lead but they collide and the Briton is all but out. Button leads and more importantly Alonso is in second and would win the title if Vettel can't get into the top sixVettel in for mediums and back out in 10th placeIntermediate tyres on for Rosberg as the light rain continues to fall.Radio problems for Vettel - that won't help!Alonso's tyres look a proper mess but it looks as if a lot of teams are in the same boat. Still light rain falling and now pitstops look like they could be an issue before the endHamilton moves into the lead as Hulkenberg makes a hash of things with a spin in the same place Petrov had trouble. Heart-breaking for the German driver and Force IndiaPetrov has a spin back in the field, and just a word for Charles Pic who has moved up to 13th place - he looks to be a big talent for the futureLooks very grey in Brazil and there has to be a chance rain will play a big hand in the title nowHamilton taking time out of Hulkenberg as Vettel ponders (not too seriously) a move on Kobayashi after he locks his tyres and slidesRain on the camera lenses again as Webber slides but stays ahead of Ricciardo in eighthDare we say it seems to have settled down here now?Hulkenberg is doing a fantastic job out front here, matching both of the McLarens as the lap times tumble.Vettel will be happy to sit back in seventh for now, especially with a Toro Rosso and another Red Bull behind, but there is a threat of more rain to comeOnly just past halfway - can you imagine any more happening in the second part of the race?Great pass from Massa - round the outside of Kobayashi for fifth and catching team-mate Alonso.Hamilton flying in second place now, setting a new fastest lap and within a couple of seconds of leader HulkenbergVettel seems to let Massa past for sixth place - he knows Alonso can't trouble him as positions standAlonso has his revenge and takes fourth place back but Vettel stays adrift of Kobayashi in sixth, not willing to make a move that might threaten his title chancesKobayashi cares not a jot about the title race as he comes out from behind Alonso and takes fourth place - Massa and Ricciardo pass Di Resta as wellMassive lock-up from Button as Hamilton blasts pass into second place - he'll be chasing down Hulkenberg now as Vettel holds off Di Resta, Massa and othersWebber loses out big time at the first bend and Vettel loses a spot as well, seemingly caught unawaresWe'll be up and running again at the end of this lapStill under the safety car with all kinds of bits of car being picked up by the Interlagos marshals at the moment. You do have to wonder why that didn't happen earlier thoughUnder the safety car, we have time to breathe for the first time in 35 minutes or so. Bernie Ecclestone will be loving this season finale!Positions: 1 Hulkenberg, 2 Button, 3 Hamilton, 4 Alonso, 5 Vettel, 6 Kobayashi, 7 Webber, 8 Di Resta, 9 Ricciardo, 10 RaikkonenButton can't quite overtake Hulkenberg in the pits - they should be first and second when everything comes back togetherStill masses of debris on the track, almost certainly the cause of Rosberg's puncture, and the safety car finally comes out as Alonso complains about the situation over his radio. Button and Hulkenberg's lead gone just like thatRosberg heading for the pits after puncturing and his team-mate Schumacher having a nightmare on his final drive, way back in 18th placeVettel back out in fifth right behind Alonso and that's good enough for him. Hulkenberg and Button are more than 40 seconds ahead of third placed HamiltonVettel covers the tyre move at the end of the next lap and it was poetry in motion from Red Bull who also bring Webber in. They are on hard tyres nowHulkenberg all over the back of Button as they cross the line at the end of the lap and by the time they get to the Senna Esses, the German is leading a Grand Prix for the first time. Hamilton stops again as does Alonso, but Vettel stays outFront two are still lapping as quickly as those behind on the intermediate tyres as Alonso leads Vettel in fourth and fifth place respectivelyStill clearly damp out there as Hulkenberg challenges Button for the leadHulkenberg is right with Button and Hamilton complaining that his inters are already starting to go off. Alonso 6th Vettel 8th - what an amazing race!Rain seems to have stopped and it could be Button and Hulkenberg who have played this right...if of course the track dries out. Alonso ninth and Vettel 14th right nowButton and Hulkenberg have stayed out and the German is closing in on the leader - Vettel in amongst the Toro Rossos and a few places behind AlonsoHamilton in for inters and that was a slow stop as well. Vettel and Alonso in at the same time tooDebris all over the course at turn one and two, seems amazing that no-one has slowed the race to solve that. Raining even harderA few cars have been in for intermediates but Kobayashi's stop is for a broken wing. Teams gambling on tyres now with the forecast suggesting the rain won't be around much longerButton moves into the lead as Vettel catches Kobayashi, but he's nervy in trying to pass the Japanese driver and clearly sliding all over the shopNo safety car as yet, just yellows and slippery surface flags. Alonso fourth and the incredible Vettel up to eighth thanks to the carnage up aheadButton right alongside Hamilton again as the track conditions get more and more tricky. Webber has spun and there is debris on the track as wellVettel's Red Bull took a couple of really hefty hits in that opening lap clash - it will be amazing if there isn't some kind of serious damage, but he is already up to 12th as Grosjean crashes out.It's raining harder and Alonso goes straight on at the Esses, losing third to a storming Hulkenberg but holding off Webber...justVettel was seventh round the first bend and caught Senna at the end of the long straight, also appearing to collect Di Resta as he spun around. He's passing the back-markers and up to 16th right now.Thanks to the clear air, Vettel sets the fastest lap of the race, moving past Charles Pic into 19th. He needs to get at least 10th place points with Alonso in third at the momentWe lost a couple of cars on the opening lap as well by the looks of it, with Senna and Perez stopped on track. Hulkenberg moves past Webber into fourth - what a dreadful day for Red BullHamilton and Button cross the line first and second with Alonso moving up to third with a simply astounding move from fifth on Massa and Webber down the straight at the end of the lapAwful start from Vettel and he is spun in midfield, dropping all the way to last place with some fairly obvious damage as well.GO! GO! GO!Everyone's made it to the grid in one piece...Vettel knows a fourth place finish will be enough for him to secure a third straight drivers' championship with Alonso looking for his first since 2006 and first for FerrariDefinitely drizzing now in Sao Paulo - will anyone be brave and predict whether it will get any worse?In amongst the hype over the title contenders, take a minute to remember Michael Schumacher, a true legend of the sport who is readying himself for his final Grand Prix.Grid: 1 Hamilton, 2 Button, 3 Webber, 4 Vettel, 5 Massa, 6 Hulkenberg, 7 Alonso, 8 Raikkonen, 9 Rosberg 10 Di RestaSpots of rain according to Martin Brundle on the grid, but McLaren's Sam Michael says there is no significant rain expected...wonder what Michael Fish is predicting?Only just over 20 minutes until the start of the last race of the season - Vettel or Alonso? Who will be crowned champion?