Wow, what a race that was, had a little bit of everything, we even had Kimi Räikkönen getting lost off track. Nico Hülkenberg led a race for the first ever time, looking good for a win, a podium at least until he made a mistake at turn 1 forcing Lewis Hamilton to retire and getting a drive through for himself.
Jenson Button won the race, his 15th race win, 8th while driving for McLaren, leaving him with a total of 999 points at the end of the season. Fernando Alonso finished in second, but did not win the title as Vettel was in sixth, leaving Alonso just 3 points behind. Felipe Massa was the final driver on the podium, his 35th and the first race since the 2010 Korean Grand Prix with both Ferrari drivers on the podium.
Lower down on the grid Vitaly Petrov and Caterham managed to finish 11th, the best ever finish for one of the new teams, promoting them back up to 10th in the Constructors’. Marussia held the 10th position since Timo Glock finished 12th in Singapore. Speaking of the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull completed a “double triple” today, winning both championships for three consecutive years, only ever previously done by Ferrari (2000-2004) and McLaren (1988-1991).
Quite a lot of pit stops today, mostly because of the rain, 68 in total, the third most of the season, behind Bahrain with 71 and Malaysia with 76. Only Hamilton’s first fastest lap of the season, which surprised me as he’s had the most poles, however it was the 200th fastest lap for a British driver and his 12th. Vettel won his third Drivers’ Championship, the first driver to win his first three in consecutive years, which Red Bull also did in the Constructors’. The 10th Drivers’ Championship for a German driver, 7 from Schumacher, 3 from Vettel and possibly more to come.
A few movements in the Drivers’ Championship today, lots of action towards the rear but closer to the top Jenson Button passed Mark Webber after his win, slightly further down Nico Hülkenberg passed Kamui Kobayashi to finish 11th, the highest he’s been all season. In his last ever GP Michael Schumacher jumped both Paul di Resta and Pastor Maldonado to grab 13th, which is the lowest he has ever finished in the Drivers’ Championship while competing in the whole season.
One quite incredible statistic I’ve noticed today is that, including retirements, Lewis Hamilton has dropped 106 places from his qualifying positions, that is around four wins and 100 points lost, which would have put him and McLaren in a very good position for, potentially, both titles. Removing all retirements in the season Hamilton has gained just 6 positions on his qualifying, an average on 0.4 positions gained in each race he finishes.
We all know who he is, that German guy, won everything at the start of the century, has the most of virtually everything in F1. 308 races, 306 starts, 91 wins, 68 poles, 77 fastest laps, 155 podiums, 1566 points, 39 wins from pole and 7 World Drivers’ Championships. Best of all time? Probably, certainly has the best statistics.