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History in the making - Vettel’s route to the 2012 title 25 Nov 2012

World Champion Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 18 March 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 23 March 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix Practice, Shanghai, China, Friday, 13 April 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix Practice, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 20 April 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 11 May 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 26 May 2012 (L to R): Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari in the Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd7, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, Saturday, 9 June 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, European Grand Prix, Practice, Valencia, Spain, Friday, 22 June 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Practice, Silverstone, England, Friday, 6 July 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing finished third.
Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 8 July 2012 (L to R): Race winner Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Race, Hockenheim, Germany, Sunday, 22 July 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20 he start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 1 September 2012 The car of Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 is bought back to the pits on a truck.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 8 September 2012 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd14, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore, Sunday, 23 September 2012 Race winner Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 celebrates.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 7 October 2012 (L to R): Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing, PSY and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing do the Gangnam Style Dance.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Race, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Sunday, 14 October 20 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Qualifying, Saturday, 27 October 2012 Podium and results:
1st Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1, centre.
2nd Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari, left.
3rd Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, right.
Eric Boullier (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Principal, far left.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dha Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19 United States Grand Prix, Race, Austin, Texas, 18 November 2012 World Champion Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates with Guillaume Rocquelin (FRA) Red Bull Racing Race Engineer.
Formula One World Championship, Rd20 Brazilian Grand Prix, Race, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012

Five race wins, five further podiums, six poles, 17 points finishes, two DNFs and six fastest laps. Those are the stats behind Sebastian Vettel’s historic 2012 campaign, a campaign that saw him become the youngest triple champion in F1 history, aged just 25. Here’s how he ultimately beat arch rival Fernando Alonso to the title...

Australia
Vettel: Q - 6; R - 2
Alonso: Q - 12; R - 5

Red Bull’s Melbourne qualifying speed is poor, but race form is better, though even Vettel is unable to challenge the race-winning McLaren of Jenson Button. Alonso starts the season in a Ferrari that’s a second off the pace.
Post-race standings: 1 Button 25; 2 Vettel 18; 3 Hamilton 15; 4 Webber 12; 5 Alonso 10

Malaysia
Vettel: Q - 6; R - 11
Alonso: Q - 9; R - 1

Vettel endures a frustrating Sepang weekend and any hope of points ends when his left-rear tyre is sliced on the front wing of Narain Karthikeyan’s HRT as he laps it. The infamous Malaysian weather, meanwhile, negates Ferrari’s car disadvantage and allows Alonso to shine.
Post-race standings: 1 Alonso 35; 2 Hamilton 30; 3 Button 25; 4 Webber 24; 5 Perez 22; 6 Vettel 18

China
Vettel: Q - 11; R - 5
Alonso: Q - 9; R - 9

As Mercedes and Nico Rosberg dominate, Vettel is running second in Shanghai as late as lap 52, despite a disappointing qualifying. But on a two-stop strategy, his tyres fall ‘over the cliff’, after which he goes rapidly backwards. With poor straight-line speed, Alonso spends much of his afternoon in traffic in a still uncompetitive F2012.
Post-race standings: 1 Hamilton 45; 2 Button 43; 3 Alonso 37; 4 Webber 36; 5 Vettel 28

Bahrain
Vettel: Q - 1; R - 1
Alonso: Q - 9; R - 7

Red Bull finally get their act together and Vettel runs away with the Sakhir weekend in his revitalised RB8, leapfrogging to the top of the standings. Alonso has to battle hard even to achieve seventh, as Ferrari again trail in the straight-line speed stakes.
Post-race standings: 1 Vettel 53; 2 Hamilton 49; 3 Webber 48; 4 Button 43; 5 Alonso 43

Spain
Vettel: Q - 8; R - 6
Alonso: Q - 3; R - 2

Vettel and Alonso leave Barcelona locked at the top of the table after very different races. The German fights back to sixth after an early nose change and a drive-through penalty for ignoring yellow flags, while a lightning start for the Spaniard isn’t quite enough to stop a maiden win for Williams’ Pastor Maldonado.
Post-race standings: 1 Vettel 61; 2 Alonso 61; 3 Hamilton 53; 4 Raikkonen 49; 5 Webber 48

Monaco
Vettel: Q - 10; R - 4
Alonso: Q - 6; R - 3

Red Bull’s patchy qualifying form continues and it takes some strategic magic to lift Vettel to fourth around the Monte Carlo streets, as team mate Mark Webber triumphs. Another measured but aggressive drive from Alonso gives him back the title lead.
Post-race standings: 1 Alonso 76; 2 Vettel 73; 3 Webber 73; 4 Hamilton 63; 5 Rosberg 59

Canada
Vettel: Q - 1; R - 4
Alonso: Q - 3; R - 5

Vettel and Alonso both gamble on race strategy - and lose. The former wanted to stop once, but tyre degradation forces another late pit visit and pole ultimately becomes fourth. The latter also goes for a one-stopper and similarly loses places on his starting position, as Lewis Hamilton takes the Montreal win for McLaren.
Post-race standings: 1 Hamilton 88; 2 Alonso 86; 3 Vettel 85; 4 Webber 79; 5 Rosberg 67

Europe
Vettel: Q - 1; R - DNF
Alonso: Q - 11; R - 1

Vettel is imperious in Valencia until an alternator failure robs him of certain victory. Alonso puts in a scintillating performance, grabbing every possible opportunity as his rivals falter, to secure a highly unexpected win in the ever-improving Ferrari.
Post-race standings: 1 Alonso 111; 2 Webber 91; 3 Hamilton 88; 4 Vettel 85; 5 Rosberg 75

Great Britain
Vettel: Q - 4; R - 3
Alonso: Q - 1; R - 2

Vettel damages his front wing early on in a fight with Felipe Massa, but a great strategic call of an early first pit stop sets him on the road to a solid podium finish. Alonso drives superbly on the prime tyres initially and looks a certain winner, but the Ferrari lacks pace on the options in its final stint and eventually he cannot contain Webber, who takes the Silverstone victory.
Post-race standings: 1 Alonso 129; 2 Webber 116; 3 Vettel 100; 4 Hamilton 92; 5 Raikkonen 83

Germany
Vettel: Q - 2; R - 5
Alonso: Q - 1; R - 1

Vettel can’t quite pass Alonso early on and then gets trapped behind Button before overtaking the McLaren with a lap to go. Unfortunately he does so by exceeding track limits and a post-race penalty drops him from second to fifth on his home ground. Alonso does a brilliant job to keep Vettel and then Button at bay, never once putting a wheel wrong under intense pressure throughout.
Post-race standings: 1 Alonso 154; 2 Webber 120; 3 Vettel 110; 4 Raikkonen 98; 5 Hamilton 92

Hungary
Vettel: Q - 3; R - 4
Alonso: Q - 6; R - 5

Neither Ferrari nor Red Bull - the latter with revised engine mapping after an FIA rule clarification - has the pace to match McLaren or Lotus in Budapest, but both Vettel and Alonso maximise their machinery’s potential.
Post-race standings: 1 Alonso 164; 2 Webber 124; 3 Vettel 122; 4 Hamilton 117; 5 Raikkonen 116

Belgium
Vettel: Q - 11; R - 2
Alonso: Q - 6; R - DNF

Alonso is an innocent victim in the first-corner carnage triggered by Lotus’s Romain Grosjean - carnage that helps Vettel recover from a dismal qualifying to finish on the podium and move ahead of Webber in the driver standings.
Post-race standings: 1 Alonso 164; 2 Vettel 140; 3 Webber 132; 4 Raikkonen 131; 5 Hamilton 117

Italy
Vettel: Q - 6; R - DNF
Alonso: Q - 10; R - 3

A disastrous race for Vettel, who had seemed set for a decent points haul. First he gets a drive-through penalty for putting Alonso off the road in Curva Grande; then he is halted permanently by more alternator issues. Alonso makes the most of other’s misfortune to go from tenth to third, as Hamilton wins in front of the tifosi. Vettel drops to fourth in title chase.
Post-race standings: 1 Alonso 179; 2 Hamilton 142; 3 Raikkonen 141; 4 Vettel 140; 5 Webber 132

Singapore
Vettel: Q - 3; R - 1
Alonso: Q - 5; R - 3

Once Hamilton retires, Vettel owns the night race. Alonso and Ferrari fail to even approach the pace of McLaren or Red Bull, but a mixture of luck and the Spaniard’s dogged determination land them another podium.
Post-race standings: 1 Alonso 194; 2 Vettel 165; 3 Raikkonen 149; 4 Hamilton 142; 5 Webber 132

Japan
Vettel: Q - 1; R - 1
Alonso: Q - 7; R - DNF

A dream weekend for Vettel, who wins as he pleases at Suzuka. As an added bonus for the reigning champion, Alonso’s is a nightmare - he is taken out at the first corner after contact with Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus, slashing his championship lead to just four points over Vettel.
Post-race standings: 1 Alonso 194; 2 Vettel 190; 3 Raikkonen 157; 4 Hamilton 152; 5 Webber 134

Korea
Vettel: Q - 2; R - 1
Alonso: Q - 4; R - 3

Red Bull are untouchable at Yeongam. Vettel never looks back after getting the jump on pole-sitting team mate Webber off the line and regains the title lead for the first time since May. Alonso limits the damage in third, despite Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari seeming to have superior speed to his illustrious colleague.
Post-race standings: 1 Vettel 215; 2 Alonso 209; 3 Raikkonen 167; 4 Hamilton 153; 5 Webber 152

India
Vettel: Q - 1; R - 1
Alonso: Q - 5; R - 2

Vettel extends his lead with another imperious performance. Ferrari’s excellent straight-line speed helps Alonso to recover from fifth on the grid and pass an ailing Webber for second in the closing stages in New Delhi.
Post-race standings: 1 Vettel 240; 2 Alonso 227; 3 Raikkonen 173; 4 Webber 167; 5 Hamilton 165

Abu Dhabi
Vettel: Q - DSQ; R - 3
Alonso: Q - 7; R - 2

Vettel starts from the pit lane after Red Bull are unable to supply the required fuel sample after qualifying, but rides his luck with safety-car timings to stage a remarkable comeback. Alonso does his best to capitalise on his rival’s misfortune, but is unable to stop Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen taking the first win of his F1 comeback. Result leaves just Vettel and Alonso in the title race.
Post-race standings: 1 Vettel 255; 2 Alonso 245

United States
Vettel: Q - 1; R - 2
Alonso: Q - 9; R - 3

Vettel is unbeatable in practice and qualifying around the stunning new Circuit of The Americas, but Hamilton edges him to the win. Another blinding salvage job sees Alonso on the podium after Ferrari deliberately land Massa with a gearbox penalty to lift the Spaniard up the grid after a dismal Saturday showing. Result sets up title showdown at final round in Brazil.
Post-race standings: 1 Vettel 273; 2 Alonso 260

Brazil
Vettel: Q - 4; R - 6
Alonso: Q - 8; R - 2

A chaotic wet-dry race starts in the worst possible fashion for Vettel as contact with Bruno Senna spins him to the back of the pack before he claws his way back through the field to a title-clinching sixth place, as Alonso does almost enough to deprive him with second.
Post-race standings: 1 Vettel 281; 2 Alonso 278

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