• Brazilian Grand Prix

Driver-by-driver run down

Chris Medland and Laurence Edmondson
November 27, 2011
No surprises to see Red Bull dominate in Brazil, but for the first time this season it was Mark Webber who won the race © Sutton Images
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Mark Webber - 1st The best way to end a season in which he has been dominated by his team-mate, and in no way was it a lucky victory. Has had his fair share of KERS issues this season, but his car ran perfectly and his relentless pace compared to the rest of the field was the sort of performance we became used to in 2010. After being so close to Vettel in qualifying and setting the fastest lap, it was a number of encouraging signs for Webber looking to next season.

Sebastian Vettel - 2nd Displayed that even when the car wants to fail him he can still be quicker than the majority of the field. His gearbox was losing oil and he nursed it expertly throughout the race, even managing to maintain the gap to Button late on when all of the oil had gone. The fact that Red Bull didn't expect him to last beyond half distance shows what an impressive performance it was to end a remarkable year.

Jenson Button - 3rd Ends the season with a clear example that he was Red Bull's biggest threat. Struggled on the soft tyre and lost out to Alonso , but still managed to keep his team-mate behind him comfortably until putting on the medium tyre. Despite being known for his smooth driving style he got the harder compound working much better than anyone else, and reeled in Alonso before showing all of his awareness inside the cockpit to cleverly pass and secure his 12th podium of the season.

Fernando Alonso - 4th Once again outperformed his car to challenge for a podium that his car should not have been able to deliver. His start was impressive and his pass on Button spectacular, but ultimately the lack of pace on the medium tyre undermined his class and left him powerless to hold off Button in the final stint.

Felipe Massa - 5th Fifth is becoming a familiar finishing position for Massa, who has now finished there six times but never higher this season. The 30 second gap to Alonso was not a fair reflection of his performance, however, as a puncture discovered after qualifying forced him in to a two-stop strategy, costing him time both at the end of stints and on the medium tyre. Good to see a clean battle with Hamilton though, and a post-race hug that should draw a line under their 2011 troubles.

Adrian Sutil - 6th One of the drives of the day, the Force India really had the pace to match Mercedes today and Sutil took full advantage. Needing to pass Rosberg in the final stint he took two goes to do so but clearly had the speed and eased away in the closing laps to eventually beat the Mercedes by nearly nine seconds and secure a fully deserved ninth place in the standings. That he has not got a confirmed drive for 2012 is a travesty on recent performances.

Nico Rosberg - 7th Made his customary solid start to hold position but struggled with overheating tyres due to the high track temperature. It was a problem that befell Mercedes earlier this season and forced Rosberg to be conservative, and ultimately cost him any chance of defending position late on against the quick Sutil.

Paul di Resta - 8th A strong points finish to end an impressive rookie season, at one point he even looked like catching Rosberg and really giving Force India a chance of overhauling Renault in the constructors'. Unfortunately a gearbox issue prevented him putting real pressure on, but he eased the car home to overhaul Alguersuari in the drivers' standings.

Kamui Kobayashi - 9th An impressive performance to ensure Sauber finished ahead of Toro Rosso in seventh place in the constructors' championship, especially after the poor qualifying performance. Did benefit from Senna and Schumacher clashing, as well as Hamilton dropping out, but his race was ultimately decided by a strong first few laps that saw him up to 13th and in the best position to benefit.

Vitaly Petrov - 10th After a disappointing qualifying, did well to rescue a point which could have proved crucial to the constructors' championship had there been one more retirement ahead. Bemoaned being stuck behind the Toro Rossos as he finished less than three seconds behind Kobayashi and could have taken ninth, but sensibly had kind words for his pit crew after the race.

Jaime Alguersuari - 11th A frustrating result as Sauber just held on to seventh in the constructors', Alguersuari bemoaned a lack of pace on the soft tyre as the main reason for his failure to secure points. Poor traction hurt his tyre life, and a two-stop strategy just accentuated the problem.

Sebastien Buemi - 12th Ended up over 10 seconds adrift of his team-mate, and three no-scores to end the season will not help his chances for 2012. The decision to gamble with a setup with the chance of rain in mind ultimately cost him.

The Brazilian Grand Prix brought another F1 season to an end © Sutton Images

Sergio Perez - 13th Sauber split its drivers on dry and wet setups and Perez ended up pulling the short straw. As a result he overworked his rear tyres and that threw his two-stop strategy out of the window. A spin at mid-distance prevented any chance of a decent finish.

Rubens Barrichello - 14th After a valiant qualifying effort all of his hard work came to nothing with a terrible start. As part of his wet setup he was running a longer-than-usual first gear to minimise wheelspin, but in the end it only served to amplify his poor start. From that point onwards he was always fighting a difficult battle, but can take some solace from beating Michael Schumacher in what looks likely to be his last ever grand prix.

Michael Schumacher - 15th His race was ruined when he tangled with Bruno Senna in turn one and suffered a puncture. He put the incident down to Senna's inexperience and the stewards agreed, but several observers felt it was a textbook racing incident. Schumacher attempted to fight back but only a rainstorm or safety car could have put him back in the points.

Heikki Kovalainen - 16th A very solid performance to round off a very solid season. He got a flying start and was up to 15th by the end of the final lap. He didn't have the pace to maintain that position but crept back up the standings and finished ahead of one of the Renaults.

Bruno Senna - 17th He got a solid start and looked as though he had the pace to challenge for points up until his collision with Schumacher. The drive-through penalty seemed harsh and then his gearbox started playing up and cost him even more time. Add to the mix a disintegrating front wing and Senna had no chance of living up to the promise he showed in qualifying.

Jarno Trulli - 18th Solid but unspectacular - it was a performance that summed up his 2011 season. He got the job done but couldn't match the heroics of team-mate Kovalainen and after the race admitted: "For me it was a pretty standard."

Jerome d'Ambrosio - 19th In his last race for Virgin d'Ambrosio put in a solid performance and managed to get ahead of the HRTs he qualified behind on Saturday. But no matter what he did during the race, there was no changing his circumstances for next year and a season on the sidelines beckons.

Daniel Ricciardo - 20th His race pace appeared to fluctuate throughout the race as he struggled to manage his tyres in the misbehaving HRT. Overall it was another decent performance as he looks to move to a more competitive team next year.

Tonio Liuzzi - DNF An alternator failure brought an end to a decent race for Liuzzi as he managed to stay in touch with d'Ambrosio's Virgin. He also had a strong qualifying, but whether it will be enough to convince HRT to keep him in 2012 remains to be seen.

Lewis Hamilton - DNF A gearbox failure forced him into retirement just as he was lining up his old rival Felipe Massa. He looked a little bit off colour all weekend, but the good news is he seems to have a positive mental attitude heading into the winter break. He even took the time to hug and make up with Massa at the end of the race.

Pastor Maldonado - DNF He started the race with a wet setup and struggled with his balance as a result. He lost the rear on lap 27 and ended his season in the barriers.

Timo Glock - DNF He was hugely disappointed to end his season on three wheels after his Virgin mechanics released him from his first pit stop without all his wheel nuts attached. He'd had a pretty difficult weekend up to that point but was set for a good fight with the HRTs.