Sebastian Vettel’s drive to sixth position in yesterday’s dramatic Brazilian Grand Prix saw him crowned the 2012 FIA Formula One Drivers’ World Champion. It is the third consecutive title for Sebastian and comes just one week after Red Bull Racing-Renault secured the constructors’ title at the previous race of the season in Austin, USA. Renault has powered Sebastian to his three titles and all but one of his 26 career wins and 36 pole positions.
Sebastian’s title is the 10th drivers’ crown for a Renault-powered driver. Eight further drivers have won the title with a Renault-engined team; the first came in 1992 for Nigel Mansell (Williams), followed by Alain Prost (1993, Williams), Michael Schumacher (1995, Benetton), Damon Hill (1996, Williams), Jacques Villeneuve (1997, Williams) and Fernando Alonso (2005 and 2006, Renault). Sebastian then won in 2010, 2011 and now 2012 with Red Bull Racing.
Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus F1 Team) passed the flag in 10th overall, sealing third in the drivers’ championship and making him the only driver this season to have finished every single race this season. Teammate Romain Grosjean did not finish the race but finishes the season eighth in the drivers’ classification. The team secures fourth overall in the constructors’ championship with 303 points, one win and nine further podiums.
Williams F1 Team recorded a double DNF this race, but one win and 76 points place the team in eighth in the constructors’ championship in the first year of the latest incarnation of the Williams-Renault partnership. Pastor Maldonado recorded 45 points for 15th in the drivers’ championship and Bruno Senna 31 points for 16th.
The final race of the season also brought delight for Caterham F1 Team as Vitaly Petrov finished in 11th position, elevating the Anglo-Malaysian team to the crucial 10th position in the constructors’ championship for the second consecutive year. Vitaly finishes in 19th in the drivers’ classification and Heikki Kovalainen in 22nd.
Jean-François Caubet, managing director of Renaultsport F1, commented; ‘We would like to congratulate Sebastian on his superb performance today and for his third consecutive title. We are proud to see another title for a Renault-powered driver and of course for our partners Red Bull Racing. We would also like to extend our congratulations to our partners, Lotus F1 Team, Williams F1 Team and Caterham F1 Team. Across our four partners, we have scored nine wins and a total of 839 points. On the very last lap, we also finished with four teams in the top ten of the constructors’ championship. We are as pleased with this overall record as we are of becoming triple world champions. It’s been a hard year, but one that has produced some exceptional results.”