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2012 Formula One season

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2012 FIA Formula One World Championship season
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Index: Races by country | Races by season

The 2012 Formula One season was a motor racing championship for Formula One cars, and was the 63rd Formula One season as recognised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The season started in Australia on 18 March and ended in Brazil on 25 November. It was being contested over twenty races – the most races in a season in the sport's history – and saw the return of the United States Grand Prix, held at the Circuit of the Americas, a purpose-built circuit in Austin, Texas.[1] After being canceled in 2011 due to civil protests,[2] the Bahrain Grand Prix returned to the calendar.[3]

In addition to having the greatest number of races in a championship year, the 2012 season broke several records. Six current or former World Drivers' ChampionsSebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Räikkönen, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher — started the season, breaking the record of five established in 1970.[4] The 2012 season was also the first time that the first seven championship races of a season were won by seven different drivers.[5]

Signed teams and driversEdit

The following twelve teams and twenty-four drivers competed in the 2012 Formula One World Championship.[6] The FIA published a provisional entry list on 30 November 2011,[7] and the grid was finalised on 17 February.[8]

Team Constructor Chassis Engine Tyre Car number Race Drivers Rounds Test/Reserve Driver(s)
22px-Flag of Austria Red Bull Racing Red Bull-Renault RB8 Renault RS27-2012 P 1 Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel[9] 1–14 20px-Flag of Switzerland Sébastien Buemi[10]
2 25px-AustraliaFLAG Mark Webber[11] 1–14
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren-Mercedes MP4-27 Mercedes FO 108Z P 3 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jenson Button[12] 1–14 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Gary Paffett[13]
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Oliver Turvey[14]
4 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton[15] 1–14
22px-Flag of Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari F2012 Ferrari Type 056 P 5 22px-Flag of Spain Fernando Alonso[16] 1–14 22px-Flag of Italy Davide Rigon[17]
22px-Flag of Italy Giancarlo Fisichella[18]
6 25px-Brazilflag Felipe Massa[19] 1–14
Flag of Germany Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 W03 Mercedes FO 108Z P 7 Flag of Germany Michael Schumacher[20] 1–14 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Sam Bird[21]
25px-Newzealand flag Brendon Hartley[22]
8 Flag of Germany Nico Rosberg[23] 1–14
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lotus F1 Team Lotus-Renault E20 Renault RS27-2012 P 9 22px-Flag of Finland Kimi Räikkönen[24] 1–14 22px-Flag of Belgium (civil) Jérôme d'Ambrosio[25]
22px-Flag of Estonia Kevin Korjus[26]
10 22px-Flag of France Romain Grosjean[27] 1–12, 14
22px-Flag of Belgium (civil) Jérôme d'Ambrosio[28] 13
22px-Flag of India Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India-Mercedes VJM05 Mercedes FO 108Z P 11 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Paul di Resta[29] 1–14 22px-Flag of France Jules Bianchi[30]
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Gary Paffett[31]
USAflagsmall Conor Daly[32]
12 Flag of Germany Nico Hülkenberg[29] 1–14
20px-Flag of Switzerland Sauber F1 Team Sauber-Ferrari C31 Ferrari Type 056 P 14 Flag-of-japansmall Kamui Kobayashi[33] 1–14 25px-Mexicoflag Esteban Gutiérrez[33]
15 25px-Mexicoflag Sergio Pérez[33] 1–14
22px-Flag of Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR7 Ferrari Type 056 P 16 25px-AustraliaFLAG Daniel Ricciardo[34] 1–14 20px-Flag of Switzerland Sébastien Buemi[35]
17 22px-Flag of France Jean-Éric Vergne[34] 1–14
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Williams F1 Team Williams-Renault FW34 Renault RS27-2012 P 18 22px-Flag of Venezuela Pastor Maldonado[36] 1–14 22px-Flag of Finland Valtteri Bottas[36]
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Susie Wolff[37]
19 25px-Brazilflag Bruno Senna[38] 1–14
22px-Flag of Malaysia.svg Caterham F1 Team Caterham-Renault CT01 Renault RS27-2012 P 20 22px-Flag of Finland Heikki Kovalainen[39] 1–14 22px-Flag of the Netherlands Giedo van der Garde[40]
USAflagsmall Alexander Rossi[41]
22px-Flag of Venezuela Rodolfo González[42]
21 25px-Flag of Russia Vitaly Petrov[8] 1–14
22px-Flag of Spain HRT F1 Team HRT-Cosworth F112 Cosworth CA2012 P 22 22px-Flag of Spain Pedro de la Rosa[43] 1–14 22px-Flag of Spain Dani Clos[44]
22px-Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Ma Qinghua[45]
22px-Flag of Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi[46]
23 22px-Flag of India Narain Karthikeyan[47] 1–14
25px-Flag of Russia Marussia F1 Team Marussia-Cosworth MR01 Cosworth CA2012 P 24 Flag of Germany Timo Glock[48] 1–14 22px-Flag of Spain María de Villota[49]

22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Max Chilton[50]

25 22px-Flag of France Charles Pic[51] 1–14

Notes:

  • Drivers in italics completed Friday testing programmes at selected events.

Team changesEdit

Template:Multiple image At the November 2011 meeting of the Formula One Commission in Geneva, several teams were given permission to change their constructor names — the name recognised by the FIA as the entity that effectively owns the team, and to which all results for that team are credited[52] — with final approval from the World Motorsports Council granted in December of that year:[53][54]

As a result of the name changes, Team Lotus and Lotus Renault GP declared that their ongoing dispute over the use of the Lotus name was over after they had reached an "amicable conclusion".[60] Although the exact terms of the settlement were kept confidential, the joint statement detailed the transfer of the rights to the Lotus and Team Lotus names to Group Lotus' ownership.[61]

Williams announced that they would be using Renault engines for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, with an option to use Renault engines again in 2014 under the next generation of engine regulations.[62] Renault had previously supplied engines to Williams from 1989 to 1997, when the team won four World Drivers' Championships and five World Constructors' Championships. Following their worst season in their thirty-year history[63] — in which they finished ninth in the World Constructors' Championship with just five points — the team underwent a technical review, employing former McLaren designer Mike Coughlan (having served his suspension for his role in the 2007 Formula One espionage controversy) as Chief Designer, and promoting Jason Somerville to Head of Aerodyamics.[64] Likewise, Marussia (then known as Virgin Racing) underwent a restructuring, splitting with Wirth Research mid-season after a technical review by Marussia Motors and the board of directors.[65] The team also announced a technical partnership with McLaren that granted them access to McLaren's testing facilities as well as the purchase of Wirth Research facilities.[66]

In the week before the 2011 Indian Grand Prix, Force India announced that the Sahara Group had purchased a 42.5% stake in the team, valued at US$100 million.[67] The investment gives the Sahara Group and team principal Vijay Mallya an equal stake in the team, with team director Michiel Mol controlling the remaining 15% of the team. Under the terms of the sale, the Sahara Group has become Force India's naming-rights sponsor. Mercedes GP also changed the name of their team announcing that they were to become known as Mercedes AMG.[68] The new name originates from AMG, Mercedes-Benz's performance and luxury road car brand.

HRT team principal Colin Kolles formally left his position, with the team citing the relocation of their headquarters to Spain as the reason for the separation.[69] Former Minardi driver Luis Pérez-Sala took Kolles' place as team principal.[70] In January 2012, the team relocated to a new facility in Valencia[71] before settling at a permanent facility in Caja Mágica, Madrid.[72]

Driver changesEdit

File:Räikkönen-Trier-2010.jpg

The 2012 season saw several driver changes. Lotus chose not to take up an option on Vitaly Petrov's contract,[27][73] and did not offer Bruno Senna a new contract.[27] Petrov and Senna were replaced by 2007 World Drivers' Champion Kimi Räikkönen — returning to the sport after two seasons competing in the World Rally Championship — and reigning GP2 Series champion Romain Grosjean, who also returned to the sport after a two-year absence.[27] Petrov later replaced Jarno Trulli at Caterham;[8] Trulli's replacement meant that the opening race of the season would be the first race since the 1973 German Grand Prix to take place without an Italian driver on the grid. Senna joined Williams,[38] the team having previously attempted to secure Räikkönen for the season.[74][75] Senna replaced Rubens Barrichello, who left Formula One after a record-breaking nineteen seasons. He later moved to IndyCar for the 2012 season, joining KV Racing Technology.[76]

Like Räikkönen and Grosjean, Nico Hülkenberg also returned to Formula One, joining Force India alongside Paul di Resta.[29] Adrian Sutil left the team, having spent six years with both Force India and its previous incarnations, Spyker and Midland.[29] He initially sought a drive with Williams, before negotiations collapsed in December 2011.[77] Sutil was later the subject of criminal action, charged with grievous bodily harm after allegedly assaulting a senior Renault team member with a glass in a Shanghai nightclub following the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix.[78] Sutil was found guilty, and was sentenced to an eighteen-month suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay a €200,000 fine.[79]

Scuderia Toro Rosso did not retain Jaime Alguersuari or Sébastien Buemi, instead choosing to replace them with Daniel Ricciardo and 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 Series runner-up Jean-Éric Vergne.[34] Ricciardo had previously served as the team's test and reserve driver before being placed at HRT for the 2011 British Grand Prix, while Vergne had completed a limited testing schedule for the team in the second half of the 2011 season. Sébastien Buemi became Red Bull Racing's testing and reserve driver and will contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Toyota, driving a TS030 Hybrid.[80][81] Alguersuari was offered a seat at HRT, but turned it down[82] and instead joined tyre supplier Pirelli as their test driver, developing tyre compounds for use in racing alongside former Virgin Racing driver Lucas di Grassi.[83]

Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan returned to Formula One with HRT.[43][47] De la Rosa had been without a full-time drive since the 2010 Italian Grand Prix, having spent the majority of the 2011 season as a test driver for McLaren and making one appearance racing for Sauber; Karthikeyan was dropped by the team before the 2011 British Grand Prix in favour of Ricciardo. He, too, made a one-race appearance at the Indian Grand Prix, before leaving the team until the 2012 season began. Vitantonio Liuzzi, who drove for HRT in 2011, joined the Indian i1 Super Series.[84] The series was later postponed until 2013,[85] but Liuzzi was unable to retain his seat with the team. At the launch of the HRT F112 in March, Liuzzi was confirmed as one of the team's testing and reserve drivers alongside former GP2 Series driver Dani Clos.[44][46]

Jérôme d'Ambrosio left Marussia (then known as Virgin Racing) after the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix.[51] He later joined Lotus F1 as their third driver.[25] Charles Pic — who placed fourth in the 2011 GP2 Series driving for Addax — joined Marussia, replacing d'Ambrosio.[51]

Mid-season changesEdit

Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was found by race stewards to be responsible for causing a multi-car pile-up at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix. He was given a one-race ban and a €50,000 fine for his role in the collision, forcing him to miss the Italian Grand Prix.[86] He was replaced by the team's testing and reserve driver, Jérôme d'Ambrosio.[28] Grosjean returned to the team in Singapore.[87]

2012 calendarEdit

Bernie Ecclestone expressed a desire to see the calendar expand to a record twenty rounds, the maximum he felt was viable. However, a provisional calendar was announced in June 2011, with a record twenty-one races.[88] FIA President Jean Todt later clarified this position, stating that the 2012 calendar would have no more than twenty races,[89] but gave no indication as to which race would be removed from the calendar. On 29 July 2011, a second provisional calendar was released, confirming that the Turkish Grand Prix would be discontinued.[90] The final calendar was released on 7 December 2011.[3]

Round Race Title Grand Prix Circuit Date
1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix Australian GP 25px-AustraliaFLAG Albert Park, Melbourne 18 March
2 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix Malaysian GP 22px-Flag of Malaysia.svg Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur 25 March
3 UBS Chinese Grand Prix Chinese GP 22px-Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai 15 April
4 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain GP 22px-Flag of Bahrain.svg Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir 22 April
5 Gran Premio de España Santander Spanish GP 22px-Flag of Spain Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona 13 May
6 Grand Prix de Monaco Monaco GP 25px-Monacoflag Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo 27 May
7 Grand Prix du Canada Canadian GP 25px-Canadaflag Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal 10 June
8 Grand Prix of Europe European GP 22px-Flag of Spain Valencia Street Circuit, Valencia 24 June
9 Santander British Grand Prix British GP 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone 8 July
10 Großer Preis Santander von Deutschland German GP Flag of Germany Hockenheimring, Hockenheim 22 July
11 Eni Magyar Nagydíj Hungarian GP 22px-Flag of Hungary Hungaroring, Budapest 29 July
12 Shell Belgian Grand Prix Belgian GP 22px-Flag of Belgium (civil) Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa 2 September
13 Gran Premio Santander d'Italia Italian GP 22px-Flag of Italy Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza 9 September
14 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix Singapore GP 22px-Flag of Singapore.svg Marina Bay Street Circuit, Marina Bay 23 September
15 Japanese Grand Prix Japanese GP Flag-of-japansmall Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka 7 October
16 Korean Grand Prix Korean GP 22px-Flag of South Korea Korea International Circuit, Yeongam 14 October
17 Airtel Indian Grand Prix Indian GP 22px-Flag of India Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida 28 October
18 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Abu Dhabi GP 22px-Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi 4 November
19 United States Grand Prix United States GP USAflagsmall Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas 18 November
20 Grande Prêmio do Brasil Brazilian GP 25px-Brazilflag Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo 25 November

Calendar changesEdit

Austin Formula One circuit.svg

Formula One will return to the United States in 2012, with the race to be held at the Circuit of the Americas near Austin, Texas.

  • After the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix was canceled,[91] the race was reinstated for the 2012 season with a provisional date in October.[90] The final version of the calendar brought the race forward to April.[3]
  • The German Grand Prix will return to Hockenheim after the 2011 German Grand Prix was held at the Nürburgring, in line with the event's policy of alternating between venues.
  • The Turkish Grand Prix was removed from the calendar after Formula One Management and the event organisers could not agree on a renewed contract. In August 2011, organisers of the race revealed that they were negotiating with Bernie Ecclestone to resume their place on the calendar.[92] However, the race was removed from the calendar later that month.
  • In May 2010, it was announced that Austin, Texas would host the return of the United States Grand Prix, the first since Indianapolis in 2007. Known as the Circuit of the Americas, the venue will be a brand-new, purpose-built permanent circuit designed by event promoter Tavo Hellmund and 1993 Grand Prix Motorcycle World Champion Kevin Schwantz[93] with the assistance of German architect and circuit designer Hermann Tilke.[94] In November 2011, Bernie Ecclestone expressed "minor" doubt over the race going ahead after what he described as "disagreements inside the [management] company"[95] and gave the circuit owners and race organisers a deadline of 7 December[96] — coinciding with the meeting of the FIA World Motorsports Council and the release of the final 2012 calendar — to sort out their differences or else risk losing the event entirely.[97] The final calendar included the race,[3] with Ecclestone confirming that a new arrangement had been made, and that the event organisers had paid their circuit sanctioning fees for 2012.[98] The race was originally scheduled to be held in June, but was moved back to become the penultimate event of the season in response to concerns over the heat of the Texas summer and its effects on teams, drivers and spectators.[99]

ChangesEdit

Rule changesEdit

Technical regulationsEdit

F1 2012 Jerez test - McLaren exhaust

The banning of exhaust-blown diffusers has meant all teams had to redevelop the exit of the exhaust.

  • The 2011 season saw teams running "off-throttle blown diffusers", which created downforce by forcing fuel through the engine to produce exhaust gases and directing it over the diffuser when the driver was not applying the throttle. This concept was originally banned in incremental phases, with increasingly restrictive rules on what teams could and could not do, with a full ban to be applied from the 2011 British Grand Prix onwards. However, the incremental ban was controversial, with several teams applying for and receiving permission to circumvent the total ban. After discussion between the FIA and engine manufacturers, the original regulations were restored, with the full ban delayed until 2012. The regulations in 2012 will govern the design of the exhaust with the teams agreeing to strict constraints on the position of the exhaust tailpipe. This will result in the exhaust exiting the bodywork much higher up than in 2011, and no longer in the vicinity of the diffuser.[100] Several teams, including Williams[101] and Mercedes[102] used the Young Driver Tests in Abu Dhabi as an opportunity to test parts for the 2012 season in the face of the ban. In October 2011, a clarification to the amended rules was issued, effectively banning "exotic" engine maps;[103] in November, further amendments were introduced, completely banning the practice of blowing exhaust gasses over parts of the car to improve downforce, following a bid by several teams to allow it under certain conditions.[104] Further amendments were made in February 2012 when Mercedes alerted the FIA to a loophole in the regulations that would allow teams to continue using a partially blown diffuser.[105] The FIA responded by re-writing the software governing the engine's Electronic Control Unit to close the loophole.
  • At the German Grand Prix in July, Red Bull Racing were referred to race stewards after FIA Technical Delegate Jo Bauer noted that their engine maps had the potential to violate the technical regulations.[106] Red Bull stood accused of manipulating the relationship between the torque produced by the Red Bull RB8 and the degree to which the throttle was open — particularly in medium-speed corners — thereby allowing more air to pass through the exhaust and over the diffuser, generating more downforce. Red Bull were cleared of wrongdoing, as, in the stewards' words, they had not technically broken any rules, but the FIA announced plans to rewrite the regulations governing throttle mapping so as to outlaw the practice entirely ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix one week later.[107] The rule changes required teams to submit an engine map used during one of the first four races of the season, which became known as the "reference map". Any subsequent changes to the throttle map would require the approval of the FIA, provided that the torque output above 6,000 rpm was within two percent of the output specified on the reference map.[108] Further changes would be allowed at races with "exceptional atmospheric conditions", as designated by the FIA.[108]
  • In January 2012, the FIA banned the use of "reactive ride-height".[109] The system, first proposed by Lotus in 2010 (but not applied until 2012),[110] used hydraulic cylinders located in the brake calipers and suspension push-rods to make minute adjustments to the ride height of the car, thereby keeping the ride height at an optimal level throughout the race and providing stability during braking.[111] The FIA initially approved the device as being legal,[112] and several teams, including Ferrari[113] and Williams,[114] submitted plans to the FIA for their own versions of the device before it was banned one week later. The FIA later confirmed that the reactive ride-height systems violated Article 3.15 of the technical regulations, which states that "any aerodynamic effect created by the suspension should be incidental to its primary function" and "any device that influences the car's aerodynamics must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car"[115] and further noted that the system's primary purpose was achieving aerodynamic gains as opposed to providing stability under braking, and that the use of reactive ride-heights could also be challenged under Article 10.2 of the technical regulations, which govern suspension systems.[116]
F1 2012 McLaren and Force India nose

The reduction in the height of the nose led to several teams using a "platypus" nose design, as seen in the Force India VJM05 (top). However, McLaren did not use this design, as evidenced in the McLaren MP4-27 (bottom).

  • Technical regulations for 2012 include the reprofiling of the car's nose. The pre-2012 regulations allow the nose to be as high as Template:Convert/cm above ground, but the revisions to the sporting code lower the maximum allowable height to Template:Convert/cm 150mm ahead of the front bulkhead.[117] This resulted in cars being launched with a "platypus" nose, as teams designed cars with a visible change in height along the nose assembly of the car.[118] Mercedes AMG team principal Ross Brawn explained the distinctive nose shape as having come about from "several teams" wanting to use their 2011 chassis as the basis for their 2012 cars.[119]
  • Drivers will no longer have a "joker" gearbox change. Prior to 2012, drivers were entitled to change their gearboxes once over the course of the season without incurring a five-place grid penalty. This system was abandoned for 2012, with drivers only being allowed to change gearboxes once every five races.[120]
  • All cars must now pass their mandatory FIA crash tests before being allowed to take part in pre-season testing.[121] Previously, passing the crash tests was only a requirement prior to the first race of the season. Crash tests for the 2012 season will also be more rigorous than in previous years.[122]
  • At the meeting for the Formula One Commission in Geneva in November 2011, the use of helium in air guns used to change tyres during pit stops was banned.[123] Despite increasing the rotation speed of the air guns by up to 30%, the practice of using helium was deemed to be too expensive to continue for the competitive gains it offered.

Sporting regulationsEdit

  • After being banned in 2009, in-season testing will return in 2012, with plans for a test to be held at Mugello on 1 May ahead of the European leg of the 2012 championship.[124] As teams will only be permitted to do fifteen days of testing over the course of the season, the pre-season winter testing schedule has been cut back to accommodate the Mugello test.[125]
  • At the September 2011 meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, representatives of the member organisations voted to amend the rules for double-waved yellow flags in all FIA-sanctioned championships. The amendment means that double-waved flags will be shown when a track marshall is working on or beside the circuit.[126]
  • Tyre supplier Pirelli revised their tyre compounds for the 2012 season in an effort to encourage teams to use each of the compounds supplied for individual races.[127] Pirelli predicted that the changes would translate into 0.7 seconds' difference per lap between the harder and softer compounds, down from 1.5 seconds per lap in 2011.[128] According to Pirelli, the hardest tyre compound available is just 31% harder than the softest compound on offer; by comparison, the hardest tyres used in 2011 were 70% harder than the softest.[129]
  • Faced with several constructors applying for name changes,[130][131] teams requested a clearer definition of what constitutes a "constructor".[132] Under the rules set out in the Sixth Concorde Agreement, several teams have been forced to compete under names that do not necessarily reflect their ownership – such as Sauber competing as "BMW Sauber" in 2010, despite BMW withdrawing from the sport at the end of the 2009 season – in order to preserve their status as a current constructor and their claim to a share of the television rights paid to teams that placed in the top ten in the final World Constructors' Championship standings.
  • At the final meeting of the World Motorsports Commission in December 2011, a series of amendments to the sporting regulations were published. Chief among these is the re-introduction of a rule that will allow all lapped traffic under the safety car to be released from the queue before the car returns to pit lane, allowing the drivers to unlap themselves and to ensure a clean re-start.[133]
  • Drivers will not be permitted to leave the confines of the circuit without a justifiable reason, following a spate of incidents in 2011 when drivers were sighted using access roads around the circuit to shorten their reconnaissance and in-laps in order to preserve their fuel and tyres.[121] Similarly, drivers will not be allowed to return to the normal racing line should they choose a defensive line going into a corner.[134]
  • Races will have a maximum four-hour time limit to prevent the indefinite suspension of a race. This will stop the theoretical possibility of a race lasting more than eight hours. This rule was introduced in response to the rain-interrupted 2011 Canadian Grand Prix, which set a record for the longest race in Formula One history, at four hours, four minutes and thirty-nine seconds.[134]
  • Any driver in the pit lane when a race is suspended will be permitted to return to the circuit and take up the position on the grid that they were running in at the time of the suspension.[121]
  • At the 2012 British Grand Prix in July, the FIA disabled the use of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) during a race while yellow flags were being shown in the same sector as the DRS zone.[135] The move followed an incident at the European Grand Prix in which Michael Schumacher was observed to activate his DRS while yellow flags were being shown.[136]

Other changesEdit

  • In July 2011, a joint broadcasting deal for Formula One in the United Kingdom was announced between Sky Sports and the BBC.[137][138] The announcement was controversial, being met with highly negative reactions from fans and observers[139][140] as it had previously been believed that the terms of the Concorde Agreement prevented Formula One from being broadcast exclusively on pay-per-view, but the Agreement did not prevent a shared broadcast such as the proposal made by Sky Sports and the BBC.[141] The controversial nature of the broadcast deal led to the House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sport Committee calling Bernie Ecclestone and "senior BBC figures" including director-general Mark Thompson to answer questions over the details of the broadcasting arrangement.[142]
  • In December 2011, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari exited FOTA, the Formula One Teams Association, following prolonged debate over the implementation of the controversial Resource Restriction Agreement,[143][144] though Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reaffirmed his team's commitment to cost-cutting measures and highlighting the team's concerns over certain loopholes in the Resource Restriction Agreement that they felt teams and manufacturers would willingly exploit.[145] One week later, Sauber also left the organisation, though the Swiss team did not publicly give a reason for ending their membership.[146] In February 2012, Red Bull Racing's sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso was also reported as having left the organisation since the first schism in December.[147]

Race summariesEdit

Pre-season testing — Jerez de la Frontera and BarcelonaEdit

The 2012 season was preceded by three test sessions; one at Jerez de la Frontera and two in Barcelona. These sessions gave the teams and drivers the opportunity to familiarise themselves with their cars, though the teams downplayed the accuracy of testing times as being representative of the running order for the season.[148] At the second test in Barcelona, Lotus F1 discovered a critical fault in the build of their chassis that forced them to miss four days of running,[149] while both HRT and Marussia were unable to complete any mileage with their 2012 cars after both the HRT F112 and Marussia MR01 failed their crash tests, though both teams were able to complete shakedowns of their cars.[150][151]

"We are all terrified that somebody will unlock the secret and win everything.
Unless, of course, that's us!" 2009 World Drivers' Champion Jenson Button on the
competitive nature of the 2012 season.[152]

Round 1 — AustraliaEdit

Main article: 2012 Australian Grand Prix
File:2012 Canadian Grand Prix Narain Karthikeyan HRT F112.jpg

The season began in Australia. Jenson Button took an early lead from pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton and the Red Bull cars while the rest of the field was bottle-necked by contact in the first corner. Button remained unchallenged throughout, even after a mid-race safety car to retrieve the stricken Caterham of Vitaly Petrov. Button went on to take his third victory at the Melbourne circuit, ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who profited from the safety car to pass Hamilton.[153] McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh later admitted that Button was "more than marginal" on fuel after the team made a mistake in calculating their fuel loads for the race, forcing Button to use a "severe fuel-saving mode" from the eighth lap of the race.[154] Hamilton came under threat from Mark Webber in the late stages of the race, but held on to secure third place. Webber finished fourth – his best result in his home Grand Prix – while Fernando Alonso finished fifth, having endured pressure from Pastor Maldonado for the last half of the race. Maldonado's race ended when he crossed onto the astroturf on the final lap and spun into the wall.[155] Kimi Räikkönen finished seventh after a poor qualifying session saw him start the race seventeenth, taking advantage of a chaotic final lap to make up two places, while Felipe Massa and Bruno Senna both retired after a bizarre collision that saw their cars tangled up in one another.[156] HRT failed to qualify for the race for the second consecutive season after drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan failed to set a lap time within 107% of the fastest qualifying time.[157]

File:Fernando Alonso 2012 Bahrain.jpg
Sergio Perez runner-up 2012 Malaysia

Sergio Pérez took the first podium of his career in Malaysia.

Round 2 — MalaysiaEdit

Main article: 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

McLaren locked out the front row of the grid for the second race in succession, with Lewis Hamilton once again on pole. Both HRT cars qualified for the race, but filled out the final row of the grid almost two seconds behind Marussia's Charles Pic in twenty-second position.[159] In the race, Hamilton made a better start than Jenson Button, but his lead was short-lived; heavy rain interrupted the race, forcing the suspension of the Grand Prix.[160] When the race re-started an hour later, Button was involved in contact with Narain Karthikeyan that forced him to make an unscheduled stop for a new front wing, while Hamilton was slow onto the rear-jack during his stop and was held in the lane while other cars passed. Fernando Alonso inherited the lead, with Sauber's Sergio Pérez a surprise second, having made an early stop for extreme wet weather tyres and then taking advantage of a rush to the pit lane to position himself in third at the restart. As the race wore on, Pérez began to quickly catch Alonso on a drying track. Daniel Ricciardo was the first driver to pit for dry-weather tyres on lap 38, triggering another round of stops. Sauber and Pérez initially looked as if they had left their stop too late when Pérez emerged from the pits five seconds behind Alonso, but he began catching the two-time World Champion at the same rate as he had before. Pérez closed to within half a second with seven laps to go, but ran wide at turn 14 and lost five seconds, later admitting that it was his mistake.[161] He was unable to close the gap, and Alonso went on to win the race by two seconds, the win giving him a five-point lead in the championship.[162] Pérez was second, taking his first podium and Sauber's best ever result as an independent team.[163] Hamilton finished third ahead of Mark Webber and Kimi Räikkönen, while Button had to settle for fourteenth. Bruno Senna finished in sixth, scoring more points in a single race than his team scored in 2011.[164] Sebastian Vettel finished outside the points after making contact with Karthikeyan and developing a puncture.[165]

Round 3 — ChinaEdit

Main article: 2012 Chinese Grand Prix
Michael Schumacher pole lap monaco 2012

The legality of the Mercedes F1 W03's rear wing was an ongoing issue early in the season.

The championship resumed three weeks later in China, with the lead-in period to the race marked by Lotus F1 protesting the legality of Mercedes' rear wing design.[166] The FIA rejected the protest, and with Mercedes allowed to continue racing with their car unchanged,[167] Nico Rosberg took his — and the team's — first pole position since their return to Formula One in 2010,[168] while a penalty to Lewis Hamilton for a gearbox change promoted Michael Schumacher to second on the grid.[169] Schumacher would ultimtely retire from the race after the first round of stops when it was discovered that one of his wheels had not been attached properly. Rosberg took an early lead in the race, and while his attempt to complete the race with only two pit stops came under threat from second-placed Jenson Button, a mistake by Button's pit crew during his final stop handed Rosberg a nineteen-second advantage over Kimi Räikkönen.[170] Räikkönen was attempting a similar two-stop strategy, but his tyres wore out seven laps from the end of the race, and he lost eleven positions in a single lap. This forced Rosberg to drive conservatively to preserve his tyres while Button recovered from his disastrous pit stop to pass Sebastian Vettel for second. Button was held up by the incumbent World Champion long enough for Rosberg to preserve his tyres, and he became the 103rd person to win a Grand Prix.[171] The result was also Mercedes' first win as a constructor since Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1955 Italian Grand Prix. Button was second, with Hamilton scoring his third consecutive third place, giving him a two-point championship lead over Button; Fernando Alonso, who had been leading the championship before the race, finished ninth. After two retirements in the opening rounds of the championship, Romain Grosjean scored his first points in Formula One by finishing sixth.[172]

File:Two protesters holding Anti-F1 sign.jpg

Round 4 — BahrainEdit

Main article: 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

Template:Further In the face of ongoing media speculation and public pressure to cancel the race due to ongoing political instability in Bahrain,[173][174] the FIA released a statement at the Chinese Grand Prix confirming that the Bahrain Grand Prix would go ahead as planned.[175] The week preceding the Grand Prix saw a renewed wave of protests against the government's attempts use the race to "tell the outside world that the whole thing is back to normal",[176][177] while human rights organisations including Amnesty International criticised the decision to hold the race amid the violent crackdowns.[178] Three days before the race, a group of Force India mechanics traveling in an unmarked hire car were involved in a petrol bombing incident at an impromptu roadblock and were briefly exposed to tear gas fired by security forces.[179] There were no injuries or damage, but two of the mechanics involved chose to leave the country.[180] The team later announced their intentions to race despite the incident.[181]

Sebastian Vettel qualified on pole, his first since the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix. Heikki Kovalainen qualified sixteenth, the second time Caterham (and its predecessor, Team Lotus) advanced beyond the first qualifying period in dry conditions.[182] Vettel went on to win the race[183] — becoming the fourth winner in as many races — after spending much of the race defending against Kimi Räikkönen. Having started eleventh, Räikkönen used an extra set of soft tyres to move up through the field. His team-mate, Romain Grosjean, finished third. Grosjean had initially shown the pace to challenge Vettel's lead, but unlike Räikkönen, he did not have an extra set of fresh tyres, and lost touch with the reigning World Champion after the first set of stops. Lewis Hamilton finished eighth, once again hampered by slow pit stops.[184] He was later involved in an altercation with Nico Rosberg that saw Rosberg referred to the stewards for forcing Hamilton beyond the boundary of the circuit while defending his position, but he escaped without penalty.[185] Hamilton went on to finish eighth, while team-mate Jenson Button was forced to retire two laps from the end of the race after reporting an unusual vibration from the differential. Daniel Ricciardo was involved in early contact that saw the Australian driver slide down the order from sixth at the start to fifteenth by the end of the race, having spent most of the Grand Prix caught behind Vitaly Petrov. Vettel's win gave him a four-point lead in the championship over Hamilton, while Mark Webber's fourth consecutive fourth place secured third overall.[186] Red Bull Racing took the lead from McLaren in the World Constructors' Championship, while Lotus' double podium moved them into third overall.[186]

File:Sebastian Vettel 2012 Bahrain.jpg

The decision to hold the race despite the ongoing protests made it one of the most controversial Grands Prix in the sport's sixty-year history.[187][188][189][190]

Mid-season test — MugelloEdit

Starting on 1 May, the teams conducted a three-day test at the Mugello Circuit in Italy ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. The test gave teams the opportunity to assess major aerodynamic upgrades before racing them.[191][192] HRT elected not to take part in the test, instead choosing to concentrate on establishing themselves at their new headquarters in Madrid.[72] Both Lotus' trackside operations director Alan Permane and Red Bull Racing driver Mark Webber questioned the value of testing at the Mugello circuit as the characteristics of the circuit were unlike any of the circuits the championship was due to visit after the test,[193][194] while Caterham driver Vitaly Petrov was critical of the choice of Mugello as a testing venue as he felt it was not safe enough for Formula One.[195] Petrov's comments came shortly after Fernando Alonso crashed on the final morning of the test.[196] Red Bull Racing and Lotus team principals Christian Horner and Éric Boullier were also critical of the test as they felt that the costs of conducting in-season testing outweighed any benefits, with Horner stating his opposition to continuing mid-season testing in the future.[194][197]

"We drive like on raw eggs and I don't want to stress the tires at all. Otherwise
you just overdo it and you go nowhere." Michael Schumacher's criticism
of tyre supplier Pirelli's 2012 tyre compounds.[198]

Round 5 — SpainEdit

Main article: 2012 Spanish Grand Prix

Template:Multiple image Following criticism over the sensitivity of their tyre compounds,[198][199][200] tyre supplier Pirelli announced changes to their tyre allocation for the Spanish Grand Prix, making pit strategy the focal point of the Grand Prix.[201] Pirelli would later diagnose the problems with the tyre compounds as originating from developing them on a testing chassis that was two years out-of-date at the time.[202] Lewis Hamilton took his third pole of the season, edging out Williams driver Pastor Maldonado by half a second, while Maldonado's team-mate Bruno Senna was eliminated early when he spun.[203] Hamilton was later excluded from the qualifying results after his car did not have enough fuel to return to the pits for scrutineering, promoting Maldonado to pole position[204] and moving Hamilton to the back of the grid.[205] Fernando Alonso took the lead of the race at the first corner, but Maldonado reclaimed it during the second round of pit stops when his team forced Ferrari to pit early while Alonso was held up by the Marussia of Charles Pic.[206] Maldonado secured a seven-second lead over Alonso, but a mistake from his pit crew at the third stop cost him time and left him vulnerable to the Ferrari driver in the final stint of the race. Meanwhile, third-placed Kimi Räikkönen moved to an ambitious strategy that would see him attempt to force Maldonado and Alonso to race beyond the life expectancy of their tyres, allowing him to swoop in at the last minute to steal first place. Räikkönen's strategy failed as Maldonado withstood pressure from Alonso for fifteen laps, winning the race by three seconds.[207] It was Williams' first win in one hundred and thirty Grand Prix starts; their previous race win was Juan Pablo Montoya's victory at the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix.[208] Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez declared a national holiday to celebrate Maldonado's victory.[209] Lewis Hamilton recovered from twenty-fourth on the grid to finish eighth, while Sebastian Vettel overcame a drive-through penalty and an unscheduled stop for a technical fault that forced his team to replace his front wing[210] to make a late move on Nico Rosberg for sixth place that would preserve his championship lead.[211]

Round 6 — MonacoEdit

Main article: 2012 Monaco Grand Prix

For the second consecutive race, the fastest driver in qualifying did not start the race from pole. Michael Schumacher set the fastest time, but a five-place grid penalty[212] left him sixth overall. Two hours before the race, protests against parts introduced onto the floor of the Red Bull RB8[213] left team principal Christian Horner with a choice: to change the offending parts and start both cars from the pit lane, guaranteeing that any result the team recorded would be preserved; or to leave the parts on the car, allowing both drivers to start the race from the positions they qualified in, but risking a post-race exclusion. Horner ultimately chose the latter option, and Mark Webber started from pole,[214] establishing an early lead over Nico Rosberg as a first-corner accident eliminated four cars.[215] The race was run under the constant threat of rain, with drivers trying to extend the life of their tyres to avoid being forced to make an additional stop and falling down the order. The rain never materialised, though Jean-Éric Vergne was observed using a set of intermediate tyres late in the race.[216] The variety of strategies used by the front-runners resulted in the last ten laps being contested with the top six cars running nose-to-tail. Webber visibly faded in the final laps, but held on when the following cars were momentarily pinned behind the slow-moving Heikki Kovalainen. Webber won the race — his second on the streets of Monaco — with Rosberg second and Fernando Alonso third,[217] the result giving Alonso a three-point lead in the championship. Red Bull Racing maintained their lead in the Constructors' championship as rival teams chose not to follow through on the threat of their pre-race protest,[218] while Kovalainen finished thirteenth to see Caterham overtake Marussia for tenth place.[219] Elsewhere, Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado was given a ten-place grid penalty for an incident that saw him clip Sergio Pérez.[220][221] Combined with a five-place penalty for changing his gearbox, Maldonado started from the back row of the grid[222] where he was eliminated in the first-corner accident.

"It really pisses me off, to be honest, because the car has passed every single
technical regulation after the race. All of the teams that were against it did
not make any protest after Monaco. The car passed the test after Bahrain, the
car passed the test after Monaco, and now there has been a clarification on the
rule. And the rule now is different. We had a car which was legal for the first
part of the season. And now the rule has been changed and we’ll start again."

Mark Webber's response to claims he won the Monaco Grand Prix with an "illegal car".[223]

Round 7 — CanadaEdit

Main article: 2012 Canadian Grand Prix
2012 Canadian GP - Lewis Hamilton MP4-27 01

Lewis Hamilton became the seventh winner of the season when he won the Canadian Grand Prix.[5]

One week before the Canadian Grand Prix, the FIA declared the floor used by Red Bull in Monaco to be illegal, forcing the team to change the offending parts for the Canadian Grand Prix.[224] Despite the ruling, the team's results were kept intact.[225] The team was also forced to change the design of their axles, after FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting felt that holes in the axles contravened the technical regulations.[226] Nevertheless, Sebastian Vettel comfortably took pole position by three-tenths of a second.[227] Vettel controlled the early phase of the race, but was caught and passed by Lewis Hamilton before the first round of stops, while Fernando Alonso slipped through shortly afterwards. All three drivers were using a two-stop strategy at the time, but as Hamilton made his second stop, both Alonso and Vettel shifted to a one-stop strategy,[228][229] with Alonso's team resorting to discussing strategy options in his native Spanish to prevent their rivals from overhearing their plans. Hamilton had twenty laps to make up a twelve-second deficit, and he easily reeled Vettel in; in response, Red Bull pitted the reigning World Champion, and Vettel fell to fifth. Hamilton's next target was Alonso, whose tyres lost all grip and he fell victim to Hamilton, Romain Grosjean, Sergio Pérez and Vettel in quick succession. Hamilton won the race, becoming the seventh winner in seven races and taking a two-point lead in the championship.[5] Grosjean's second place saw Lotus take third place in the Constructors' Championship from Ferrari.[230] Both Grosjean and Pérez expressed surprise at finishing on the podium,[231][232] while 2011 winner Jenson Button finished sixteenth in what he described as his "worst race in years"[233] and Michael Schumacher suffered a hydraulics failure that left his drag reduction system (DRS) device jammed in the open position.[234]

Round 8 — EuropeEdit

Main article: 2012 European Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso became the first man to win two races in 2012 at the European Grand Prix in Valencia,[235] scoring his first home win since the 2006 Spanish Grand Prix. Starting eleventh,[236] he was forced to navigate his way through traffic, narrowly avoiding early contact between Bruno Senna and Kamui Kobayashi as Sebastian Vettel broke free of the field to establish a twenty-second lead by the first round of stops. Vettel's lead was quashed when Heikki Kovalainen and Jean-Éric Vergne made contact, triggering the deployment of the safety car to clear debris from the circuit. Alonso found himself third at the restart and pounced on a mistake by second-placed Romain Grosjean to lead the chase against Vettel. Vettel pulled away once more, but his lead was short-lived as he lost drive and his engine shut down on lap 33.[237] Grosjean attempted to challenge Alonso, but was forced out of the race with an alternator problem seven laps later,[238] leaving Alonso in the lead, four seconds clear of Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Räikkönen. As the race entered the final laps, Räikkönen forced his way past Hamilton to secure second place, but Pastor Maldonado's attempts to take third place ended with Hamilton in the barrier and a broken nose for the Williams driver. Maldonado finished tenth, but was given a post-race drive-through penalty and was classified twelfth.[239] Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber had started to carve their way through the field by virtue of a late pit stop and easily picked off the minor points positions and taking advantage of the Maldonado—Hamilton collision to finish third and fourth behind Alonso and Räikkönen. It was Schumacher's first podium since the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix. Alonso's win cemented a twenty-point lead in the championship, whilst Vettel's retirement relegated him to fourth overall, twenty-six points behind Alonso.[240]

2012 British GP - Lotus

Heavy rain forced the suspension of qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

Round 9 — Great BritainEdit

Main article: 2012 British Grand Prix

Difficult conditions greeted the teams upon their arrival at the Silverstone Circuit,[241] as parts of the Midlands received a month's rainfall in the space of two days.[242] The torrential rain lasted throughout the weekend, forcing qualifying to be suspended for ninety minutes,[243] before race day dawned clear. The circuit was declared dry, allowing the drivers to start on the tyre compound of their choice, with Alonso on the harder tyre streaking away at the start while Paul di Resta crashed at Aintree on the first lap after making contact with Romain Grosjean.[244] As the leaders settled into a rhythm, Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Pérez collided at Brooklands, prompting an angry response from the Mexican driver.[245] Perez's team mate Kamui Kobayashi also ran into trouble, locking his tyres as he entered his pit box and hitting three members of his pit crew, though none were seriously injured.[246] The race was ultimately decided by the choice of tyre in the first stint as Alonso moved onto the softer option and Webber onto the harder prime for the final phase of the race. Webber caught Alonso with five laps to go, passing him on the Wellington Straight. Webber held on for his second win of the season, with Vettel third and Felipe Massa in fourth, his best result since achieving a podium in South Korea in 2010.[247] The result meant Webber closed to within thirteen points of Alonso's championship lead, with both drivers breaking away from third-placed Vettel. After showing early promise in the wet conditions, McLaren went backwards in the dry, losing second place in the Constructors' Championship to Ferrari and third to Lotus.[248]

Round 10 — GermanyEdit

Main article: 2012 German Grand Prix
2012 German GP - Vettel

Reigning World Constructors' Champions Red Bull were involved in several technical disputes that challenged the legality of their car.[224][249][250][251]

Limited running in practice and a wet qualifying session meant that teams had to improvise their strategies at the Hockenheimring. Fernando Alonso controlled much of the race from pole position, only reliquishing the lead when he pitted, and he went on to take his third victory of the season.[252] Lewis Hamilton's one hundredth Grand Prix started with a disaster when he picked up a puncture on the third lap and spent most of the race at the tail end of the field before retiring on lap 56 with a suspension problem. Confusion briefly reigned when Hamilton, in seventeenth place at the time, began lapping faster than the leaders and sought to unlap himself. This was a ploy by McLaren to force Alonso and Sebastian Vettel to drive defensively against Hamilton, slowing them down enough to allow team-mate Jenson Button to leap-frog Vettel at the second round of stops, a move which raised Vettel's ire;[253] Alonso was unaffected, as Ferrari pitted him before Hamilton could interfere with his race. Button briefly looked as if he had the pace to pass Alonso for the race lead, but the race was deadlocked in the final twenty laps, and Button began to fade in the final five laps of the race. The race was marked by another technical dispute regarding Red Bull Racing, who were referred to the stewards by FIA Technical Delegate Jo Bauer for what he felt was an illegal engine map in use on the Red Bull RB8.[249] The stewards elected to take no action against Red Bull, stating that the team had not violated any of the technical regulations, but noted that they did not accept all of the arguments presented by the team when asked to explain.[254] The stewards were less forgiving of Vettel, who ran wide at the hairpin while trying to pass Button and could only complete the pass outside the limits of the circuit. Vettel had twenty seconds added to his race time as a penalty, demoting him to fifth overall.[255] With Button promoted to second, Kimi Räikkönen inherited third place and Kamui Kobayashi was classified a career-best fourth.

Round 11 — HungaryEdit

Main article: 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix
2012 Canadian Grand Prix Felipe Massa Ferrari F2012

Following the mid-season break, Ferrari's Felipe Massa was in fourtheenth place in the championship, 139 points behind team-mate and championship leader Fernando Alonso.

As the championship moved into the second half of the season, Fernando Alonso maintained a thirty-four point lead over his nearest rival, Mark Webber, with Sebastian Vettel a further ten points behind.[256] Alonso's outlook for the race was dour, qualifying sixth and pinning his hopes on a wet race[257] as Lewis Hamilton continued McLaren's mid-season resurgence, returning to pole position for the first time since the Malaysian Grand Prix.[258] Following an aborted start triggered by Michael Schumacher lining up in the wrong grid position and then shutting his engine off in the confusion,[259][260] Hamilton and Grosjean lead the field away. After prematurely moving Jenson Button onto a three-stop strategy, McLaren gave Hamilton the order to hold position as the tight confines of the Hungaroring circuit forced the teams to try to make up positions in the pits. This was evidenced by Kimi Räikkönen, who inherited the lead after the first set of stops and produced a series of fast laps that allowed him to rejoin in second, coming dangerously close to team-mate Grosjean under brakes as he emerged from the pit lane.[261] Despite taking two seconds out of Hamilton's lead within five laps of rejoining the race, Räikkönen was powerless to reel Hamilton in any further. Hamilton won the race, the nineteenth of his career, with Räikkönen second and Grosjean in third.[262] Hamilton's victory brought with it twenty-five points that put him back in championship contention, while a late decision by Red Bull to move Mark Webber onto a three-stop strategy saw the Australian slip further behind Fernando Alonso, as the Spaniard extended his championship lead to forty points.[263]

Round 12 — BelgiumEdit

Main article: 2012 Belgian Grand Prix
2012 Italian GP - Lewis

Lewis Hamilton's future was a source of ongoing speculation during the second half of the season, amid contract negotiations with McLaren and Mercedes.[264][265]

The championship resumed one month later in Belgium.[3] Jenson Button qualified on pole[266] and broke away at the start while a four-car pile-up started behind him when Romain Grosjean made contact with Lewis Hamilton and they both slammed into Fernando Alonso and Sergio Pérez, eliminating all four on the spot and triggering the safety car. Kamui Kobayashi's car was also damaged, and Pastor Maldonado was spun around amidst the chaos. Grosjean was later given a one-race ban for causing the collision,[86] becoming the first driver in eighteen years to be banned from racing.[267] Maldonado retired shortly after the restart with a broken front wing after making contact with Timo Glock,[268] while Narain Karthikeyan spun off at Stavelot mid-way through the race when his wheel came loose.[269] Button controlled the race from the front and was unchallenged throughout, while Sebastian Vettel clawed his way up to second from tenth on the grid. Kimi Räikkönen started and finished third, let down by a conservative pit strategy that forced him to make a second stop late in the race in order to use both compounds of tyre as per the rules — even when it became apparent that Button and Vettel were racing on a one-stop strategy — and Nico Hülkenberg finished in a career-best fourth place.[270] Button's win allowed him to regain precious ground on the championship fight, while Alonso's retirement from the race and Vettel's second place moved the reigning World Champion to within twenty-four points of the championship lead.[271] Scuderia Toro Rosso scored their first points since the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Jean-Éric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo finishing eighth and ninth respectively. Further down the order, Caterham was summoned to the stewards on charges of an unsafe pit release when Heikki Kovalainen was released directly into the path of Karthikeyan and the team was given a €10,000 fine for the incident.[272]

"When you love racing this is very hard. I accept my mistake. We know that La
Source is a very tough corner. [...] I did a mistake [sic] and I misjudged the
gap with Lewis [Hamilton]. I was sure I was in front of him. So a small mistake
made a big incident. I didn't change my line, I went from left to right. I was
not really wanting to put anyone in the wall — I'm not here to stop the race in
the first corner. I'm very, very sorry and I'm glad that nobody is hurt. But I
have to say it is a very, very hard decision to hear." Romain Grosjean's
response to being given a one-race ban for causing a multi-car pile-up at the
start of the Belgian Grand Prix.[273]
File:DAmbrosio marussia monaco 2011 cropped version.jpg

Round 13 — ItalyEdit

Main article: 2012 Italian Grand Prix

The final race in Europe took place at Monza. Ferrari's early bid to put Fernando Alonso on pole position by way of using Felipe Massa to offer him a slipstream ended in disaster when Alonso's rear anti-roll bar failed in the final period of qualifying,[274] leaving the championship leader marooned in tenth while Lewis Hamilton took pole.[275] Hamilton asserted early control over the race, and while Ferrari made significant ground early on to be running second and third — despite losing the data uplink between their cars and the pit wall that provided them with telemetry[276] — it was Sergio Pérez who proved to be Hamilton's biggest challenge.[277] Starting outside the top ten, Pérez elected to start on the harder compound tyres and complete one stop, producing fastest lap after fastest lap as McLaren's confidence was broken when Jenson Button's car was paralysed by a fuel pressure problem.[278] Hamilton would ultimately prevail, but he was forced to push in the final few laps to maintain his lead, and won the race by four seconds as Pérez claimed his third podium of the season with second place. Alonso went on to finish third, benefiting from Button's retrirement and a drive-through penalty for Sebastian Vettel when the reigning World Champion forced him so wide through the Curva Grande that Alonso was forced off the circuit.[279] Bruno Senna later criticised the race stewards for not penalising Paul di Resta for a similar altercation on the approach to the Variante della Roggia early in the race.[280] Meanwhile, with Romain Grosjean serving his suspension, Lotus enlisted Jérôme d'Ambrosio as their second driver for the weekend.[28] He qualified sixteenth, and went on to finish thirteenth overall.[281]

Red Bull Racing suffered a double retirement, with Vettel falling victim to another alternator failure and Mark Webber spinning violently at the Ascari chicane, with the resultant damage to his tyres sending vibrations through the car that forced him to retire. This allowed Hamilton to leapfrog both drivers and Kimi Räikkönen — who finished the race fifth — to take second place in the World Drivers' Championship, with the result enabling McLaren to close the gap to Red Bull in the World Constructors' Championship.[282]

Round 14 — SingaporeEdit

Main article: 2012 Singapore Grand Prix
File:2012 Singapore GP - Paul di Resta.jpg

As the teams returned to Asia, the focus shifted to the championship race. Lewis Hamilton put himself in the ideal position to take the fight to Fernando Alonso, qualifying on pole whilst Alonso could only manage fifth place.[283] In the most physically-demanding race of the year, the teams jostled for position through the first phase of the Grand Prix, trying to position themselves for the final ten laps. Just as the drivers established a rhythm, Hamilton's gearbox failed, forcing him out of the race and handing the lead to Sebastian Vettel.[284] The race was shortened by two laps to fit the two-hour time limit for a Grand Prix following a pair of lengthy safety car interventions; first, Narain Karthikeyan understeered into the barriers under the grandstands on lap 30, forcing the safety car to be deployed. The drivers had little opportunity to get comfortable on the restart, as Michael Schumacher misjudged his braking point at the end of the Esplanade Bridge, careening into the back of Jean-Éric Vergne and triggering the safety car for the second time in an accident that was a near mirror-image of his collision with Sergio Pérez in 2011. He was later given a ten-place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix.[285] Vettel controlled the race from the second restart, beating Jenson Button to the line, for his second win of the season and his first since the Bahrain Grand Prix five months previously.[286] Alonso completed the podium, retaining his championship lead after defending from Paul di Resta late in the race.[287] Elsewhere, a string of retirements — including a late engine problem for Bruno Senna, which left the Brazilian with minor burns to his back[288] — and a series of altercations involving Mark Webber, Nico Hülkenberg, Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez as they fought over the minor points positions allowed Timo Glock to finish twelfth, the result seeing Marussia retake tenth position in the World Constructors' Championship from Caterham.[289]

Results and standingsEdit

Grands PrixEdit

Round Grand Prix Pole position Fastest lap Winning driver Winning constructor Race report
1 Australian Grand Prix 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jenson Button 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jenson Button 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
2 Malaysian Grand Prix 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 22px-Flag of Finland Kimi Räikkönen 22px-Flag of Spain Fernando Alonso 22px-Flag of Italy Ferrari Report
3 Chinese Grand Prix Flag of Germany Nico Rosberg Flag-of-japansmall Kamui Kobayashi Flag of Germany Nico Rosberg Flag of Germany Mercedes Report
4 Bahrain Grand Prix Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel 22px-Flag of Austria Red Bull-Renault Report
5 Spanish Grand Prix 22px-Flag of Venezuela Pastor Maldonado 22px-Flag of France Romain Grosjean 22px-Flag of Venezuela Pastor Maldonado 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Williams-Renault Report
6 Monaco Grand Prix 25px-AustraliaFLAG Mark Webber 25px-Mexicoflag Sergio Pérez 25px-AustraliaFLAG Mark Webber 22px-Flag of Austria Red Bull-Renault Report
7 Canadian Grand Prix Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
8 European Grand Prix Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel Flag of Germany Nico Rosberg 22px-Flag of Spain Fernando Alonso 22px-Flag of Italy Ferrari Report
9 British Grand Prix 22px-Flag of Spain Fernando Alonso 22px-Flag of Finland Kimi Räikkönen 25px-AustraliaFLAG Mark Webber 22px-Flag of Austria Red Bull-Renault Report
10 German Grand Prix 22px-Flag of Spain Fernando Alonso Flag of Germany Michael Schumacher 22px-Flag of Spain Fernando Alonso 22px-Flag of Italy Ferrari Report
11 Hungarian Grand Prix 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
12 Belgian Grand Prix 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jenson Button 25px-Brazilflag Bruno Senna 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jenson Button 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
13 Italian Grand Prix 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Flag of Germany Nico Rosberg 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
14 Singapore Grand Prix 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Flag of Germany Nico Hülkenberg Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel 22px-Flag of Austria Red Bull-Renault Report
15 Japanese Grand Prix Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel 22px-Flag of Austria Red Bull-Renault Report
16 Korean Grand Prix 25px-AustraliaFLAG Mark Webber 25px-AustraliaFLAG Mark Webber Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel 22px-Flag of Austria Red Bull-Renault Report
17 Indian Grand Prix Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jenson Button Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel 22px-Flag of Austria Red Bull-Renault Report
18 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel 22px-Flag of Finland Kimi Räikkönen 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lotus-Renault Report
19 United States Grand Prix Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report
20 Brazilian Grand Prix 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jenson Button 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes Report

Drivers' standingsEdit

Points are awarded to the top 10 classified finishers.

Position  1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th   8th   9th   10th 
Points 25 18 15 12 10 8 6 4 2 1
Pos. Driver AUS
25px-AustraliaFLAG
MAL
22px-Flag of Malaysia.svg
CHN
22px-Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
BHR
22px-Flag of Bahrain.svg
ESP
22px-Flag of Spain
MON
25px-Monacoflag
CAN
25px-Canadaflag
EUR
22px-Flag of Spain
GBR
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom
GER
Flag of Germany
HUN
22px-Flag of Hungary
BEL
22px-Flag of Belgium (civil)
ITA
22px-Flag of Italy
SIN
22px-Flag of Singapore.svg
JPN
Flag-of-japansmall
KOR
22px-Flag of South Korea
IND
22px-Flag of India
ABU
22px-Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg
USA
USAflagsmall
BRA
25px-Brazilflag
Points
1 Flag of Germany Sebastian Vettel 2 11 5 1 6 4 4 Ret 3 5 4 2 22† 1 1 1 1 3 2 6 281
2 22px-Flag of Spain Fernando Alonso 5 1 9 7 2 3 5 1 2 1 5 Ret 3 3 Ret 3 2 2 3 2 278
3 22px-Flag of Finland Kimi Räikkönen 7 5 14 2 3 9 8 2 5 3 2 3 5 6 6 5 7 1 6 10 207
4 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 3 3 3 8 8 5 1 19† 8 Ret 1 Ret 1 Ret 5 10 4 Ret 1 Ret 190
5 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Jenson Button 1 14 2 18† 9 16† 16 8 10 2 6 1 Ret 2 4 Ret 5 4 5 1 188
6 25px-AustraliaFLAG Mark Webber 4 4 4 4 11 1 7 4 1 8 8 6 20† 11 9 2 3 Ret Ret 4 179
7 25px-Brazilflag Felipe Massa Ret 15 13 9 15 6 10 16 4 12 9 5 4 8 2 4 6 7 4 3 122
8 22px-Flag of France Romain Grosjean Ret Ret 6 3 4 Ret 2 Ret 6 18 3 Ret 7 19† 7 9 Ret 7 Ret 96
9 Flag of Germany Nico Rosberg 12 13 1 5 7 2 6 6 15 10 10 11 7 5 Ret Ret 11 Ret 13 15 93
10 25px-Mexicoflag Sergio Pérez 8 2 11 11 Ret 11 3 9 Ret 6 14 Ret 2 10 Ret 11 Ret 15 11 Ret 66
11 Flag of Germany Nico Hülkenberg Ret 9 15 12 10 8 12 5 12 9 11 4 21† 14 7 6 8 Ret 8 5 63
12 Flag-of-japansmall Kamui Kobayashi 6 Ret 10 13 5 Ret 9 Ret 11 4 18† 13 9 13 3 Ret 14 6 14 9 60
13 Flag of Germany Michael Schumacher Ret 10 Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 3 7 7 Ret 7 6 Ret 11 13 22† 11 16 7 49
14 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Paul di Resta 10 7 12 6 14 7 11 7 Ret 11 12 10 8 4 12 12 12 9 15 19† 46
15 22px-Flag of Venezuela Pastor Maldonado 13† 19† 8 Ret 1 Ret 13 12 16 15 13 Ret 11 Ret 8 14 16 5 9 Ret 45
16 25px-Brazilflag Bruno Senna 16† 6 7 22† Ret 10 17 10 9 17 7 12 10 18† 14 15 10 8 10 Ret 31
17 22px-Flag of France Jean-Éric Vergne 11 8 16 14 12 12 15 Ret 14 14 16 8 Ret Ret 13 8 15 12 Ret 8 16
18 25px-AustraliaFLAG Daniel Ricciardo 9 12 17 15 13 Ret 14 11 13 13 15 9 12 9 10 9 13 10 12 13 10
19 25px-Flag of Russia Vitaly Petrov Ret 16 18 16 17 Ret 19 13 DNS 16 19 14 15 19 17 16 17 16 17 11 0
20 Flag of Germany Timo Glock 14 17 19 19 18 14 Ret DNS 18 22 21 15 17 12 16 18 20 14 19 16 0
21 22px-Flag of France Charles Pic 15† 20 20 Ret Ret Ret 20 15 19 20 20 16 16 16 Ret 19 19 Ret 20 12 0
22 22px-Flag of Finland Heikki Kovalainen Ret 18 23 17 16 13 18 14 17 19 17 17 14 15 15 17 18 13 18 14 0
23 22px-Flag of Belgium (civil) Jérôme d'Ambrosio 13 0
24 22px-Flag of India Narain Karthikeyan DNQ 22 22 21 Ret 15 Ret 18 21 23 Ret Ret 19 Ret Ret 20 21 Ret 22 18 0
25 22px-Flag of Spain Pedro de la Rosa DNQ 21 21 20 19 Ret Ret 17 20 21 22 18 18 17 18 Ret Ret 17 21 17 0
Pos. Driver AUS
25px-AustraliaFLAG
MAL
22px-Flag of Malaysia.svg
CHN
22px-Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
BHR
22px-Flag of Bahrain.svg
ESP
22px-Flag of Spain
MON
25px-Monacoflag
CAN
25px-Canadaflag
EUR
22px-Flag of Spain
GBR
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom
GER
Flag of Germany
HUN
22px-Flag of Hungary
BEL
22px-Flag of Belgium (civil)
ITA
22px-Flag of Italy
SIN
22px-Flag of Singapore.svg
JPN
Flag-of-japansmall
KOR
22px-Flag of South Korea
IND
22px-Flag of India
ABU
22px-Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg
USA
USAflagsmall
BRA
25px-Brazilflag
Points
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish, inc. non-classified finish
Purple Did not finish (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Light blue Practiced only (PO)
Friday test driver (TD) - 2003-2007 only
Blank Did not practice (DNP)
Injured or ill (Inj)
Excluded (EX)
Did not arrive (DNA)


Bold - Pole position
Italics - Fastest lap

Notes:

  • † — Drivers did not finish the Grand Prix, but were classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.

Constructors' standingsEdit

Pos. Constructor Car number AUS
25px-AustraliaFLAG
MAL
22px-Flag of Malaysia.svg
CHN
22px-Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
BHR
22px-Flag of Bahrain.svg
ESP
22px-Flag of Spain
MON
25px-Monacoflag
CAN
25px-Canadaflag
EUR
22px-Flag of Spain
GBR
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom
GER
Flag of Germany
HUN
22px-Flag of Hungary
BEL
22px-Flag of Belgium (civil)
ITA
22px-Flag of Italy
SIN
22px-Flag of Singapore.svg
JPN
Flag-of-japansmall
KOR
22px-Flag of South Korea
IND
22px-Flag of India
ABU
22px-Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg
USA
USAflagsmall
BRA
25px-Brazilflag
Points
1 22px-Flag of Austria Red Bull-Renault 1 2 11 5 1 6 4 4 Ret 3 5 4 2 22† 1 1 1 1 3 2 6 460
2 4 4 4 4 11 1 7 4 1 8 8 6 20† 11 9 2 3 Ret Ret 4
2 22px-Flag of Italy Ferrari 5 5 1 9 7 2 3 5 1 2 1 5 Ret 3 3 Ret 3 2 2 3 2 400
6 Ret 15 13 9 15 6 10 16 4 12 9 5 4 8 2 4 6 7 4 3
3 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 3 1 14 2 18† 9 16† 16 8 10 2 6 1 Ret 2 4 Ret 5 4 5 1 378
4 3 3 3 8 8 5 1 19† 8 Ret 1 Ret 1 Ret 5 10 4 Ret 1 Ret
4 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Lotus-Renault 9 7 5 14 2 3 9 8 2 5 3 2 3 5 6 6 5 7 1 6 10 303
10 Ret Ret 6 3 4 Ret 2 Ret 6 18 3 Ret 13 7 19† 7 9 Ret 7 Ret
5 Flag of Germany Mercedes 7 Ret 10 Ret 10 Ret Ret Ret 3 7 7 Ret 7 6 Ret 11 13 22† 11 16 7 142
8 12 13 1 5 7 2 6 6 15 10 10 11 7 5 Ret Ret 11 Ret 13 15
6 20px-Flag of Switzerland Sauber-Ferrari 14 6 Ret 10 13 5 Ret 9 Ret 11 4 18† 13 9 13 3 Ret 14 6 14 9 126
15 8 2 11 11 Ret 11 3 9 Ret 6 14 Ret 2 10 Ret 11 Ret 15 11 Ret
7 22px-Flag of India Force India-Mercedes 11 10 7 12 6 14 7 11 7 Ret 11 12 10 8 4 12 12 12 9 15 19† 109
12 Ret 9 15 12 10 8 12 5 12 9 11 4 21† 14 7 6 8 Ret 8 5
8 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Williams-Renault 18 13† 19† 8 Ret 1 Ret 13 12 16 15 13 Ret 11 Ret 8 14 16 5 9 Ret 76
19 16† 6 7 22† Ret 10 17 10 9 17 7 12 10 18† 14 15 10 8 10 Ret
9 22px-Flag of Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 16 9 12 17 15 13 Ret 14 11 13 13 15 9 12 9 10 9 13 10 12 13 26
17 11 8 16 14 12 12 15 Ret 14 14 16 8 Ret Ret 13 8 15 12 Ret 8
10 22px-Flag of Malaysia.svg Caterham-Renault 20 Ret 18 23 17 16 13 18 14 17 19 17 17 14 15 15 17 18 13 18 14 0
21 Ret 16 18 16 17 Ret 19 13 DNS 16 19 14 15 19 17 16 17 16 17 11
11 25px-Flag of Russia Marussia-Cosworth 24 14 17 19 19 18 14 Ret DNS 18 22 21 15 17 12 16 18 20 14 19 16 0
25 15† 20 20 Ret Ret Ret 20 15 19 20 20 16 16 16 Ret 19 19 Ret 20 12
12 22px-Flag of Spain HRT-Cosworth 22 DNQ 21 21 20 19 Ret Ret 17 20 21 22 18 18 17 18 Ret Ret 17 21 17 0
23 DNQ 22 22 21 Ret 15 Ret 18 21 23 Ret Ret 19 Ret Ret 20 21 Ret 22 18
Pos. Constructor Car number AUS
25px-AustraliaFLAG
MAL
22px-Flag of Malaysia.svg
CHN
22px-Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg
BHR
22px-Flag of Bahrain.svg
ESP
22px-Flag of Spain
MON
25px-Monacoflag
CAN
25px-Canadaflag
EUR
22px-Flag of Spain
GBR
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom
GER
Flag of Germany
HUN
22px-Flag of Hungary
BEL
22px-Flag of Belgium (civil)
ITA
22px-Flag of Italy
SIN
22px-Flag of Singapore.svg
JPN
Flag-of-japansmall
KOR
22px-Flag of South Korea
IND
22px-Flag of India
ABU
22px-Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg
USA
USAflagsmall
BRA
25px-Brazilflag
Points
Colour Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green Points finish
Blue Non-points finish, inc. non-classified finish
Purple Did not finish (Ret)
Red Did not qualify (DNQ)
Black Disqualified (DSQ)
White Did not start (DNS)
Light blue Practiced only (PO)
Friday test driver (TD) - 2003-2007 only
Blank Did not practice (DNP)
Injured or ill (Inj)
Excluded (EX)
Did not arrive (DNA)


Bold – Pole position
Italics – Fastest Lap

Notes:

  • † — Cars did not finish the Grand Prix, but were classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.

ReferencesEdit

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