Button Tops Finale, Vettel Champ Again
SAO PAULO, Brazil – An utterly wild Brazilian Grand Prix saw Jenson Button inherit the lead when teammate Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg collided while battling for the lead, allowing the McLaren driver to score his third victory of the year at Autodrome Jose Carlos Pace.
While Button celebrated his victory, Sebastian Vettel managed to overcome a great deal of adversity to secure his third-straight Formula One World Championship.
The race started in wild fashion as Hamilton grabbed the lead ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, but behind them Vettel’s shot at the championship nearly ended. Going through the first series of turns Bruno Senna made contact with Vettel, sending Vettel around and to the rear of the field.
The race continued to get even wilder as rain threw a monkey wrench into the plans of many drivers. While Button moved into the lead on lap seven, the man on the move was Hulkenberg, who charged from his seventh starting position. On lap 19 Hulkenberg blew by Button to take the lead, the first time the German native had ever led laps in Formula One.
Hamilton was able to get the lead back on lap 48 when Hulkenberg nearly spun some laps later, but soon things changed dramatically for Hamilton and Hulkenberg. On lap 60 Hulkenberg tried to move under Hamilton entering the first corner, but Hulkenberg slipped up and into Hamilton. Both cars spun, with the front suspension on Hamilton’s car breaking and ending his day. Hulkenberg was able to continue, but his shot at victory was over.
That contact allowed Button to move into the lead, but at that point most were watching the battle for the Formula One World Championship. Vettel had managed to charge his way back up into the top 10 while his title rival Alonso was third behind Button and teammate Felipe Massa.
Massa, in an effort to help Alonso win the championship, allowed Alonso to pass him for second. However, Vettel had worked his way up to sixth and the only way Alonso could win the championship was to catch Button. When Paul di Resta crashed on lap 70 of 71, the safety car was called for and that eliminated any shot Alonso had of winning his third championship.
Vettel won the title by a scant three points over Alonso. Vettel’s sixth-place finish was also enough for Red Bull Racing to earn its third-straight Constructors’ Championship.