Webber wins Brazilian GP as Vettel suffers gearbox woes!

Mark Webber has won the Brazilian Grand Prix in what many consider to be a stage managed Red Bull 1 – 2, under the guise of Sebastian Vettel suffering from gearbox issues. I am not so convinced that there is any conspiracy, yes it looks bad especially as Vettel had a brand new gearbox (according to the BBC’s Ted Kravitz) for this race because of his retirement in Abu Dhabi and given Vettel’s drive to chase as many records as possible, I can’t see him voluntarily deferring to his Australian team-mate. Although saying that Vettel couldn’t beat or equal Michael Schumacher’s 2004 record of 13 race wins in a single season after his Abu Dhabi retirement so it’s a possibility that he’d hand Webber his only 2011 win! But flipping the coin again, there is no need to use such cloak and dagger methods given that team orders are 100% legal from 2011 onwards.

Moving away from the conspiracy theories, Jenson Button who was caught out by debris left over from the Schumacher/Senna collision allowing Fernando Alonso to breeze around the outside of turn six on lap 11, finished the race on the final step of the podium after closing down and passing Alonso on lap 62 using his KERS to close up into turn one and using DRS to make the pass stick into turn four. Button’s McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton who was also suffering from gearbox issues retired on lap 47 with a box full of neutrals, which is a shame as I would have liked to see a decent battle between the McLaren pair in this race but technical problems ruined that prospect!

The Ferrari’s finished line-astern, Alonso finishing fourth and Felipe Massa fifth, the highlight of Massa’s race was a brief battle with his arch nemesis Hamilton before the Briton ran out of gears. It was a good race for Force India who finished in sixth and eighth, Adrian Sutil leading his rookie team-mate Paul di Resta home. Nico Rosberg was the Mercedes’ meat in a Force India sandwich while team mate Schumacher finished in 15th behind former Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello after the German had his coming together with Lotus Renault driver Bruno Senna. The Brazilian was unfairly given a drive-through penalty for “causing an avoidable accident” when in reality it was a racing incident, but as I tweeted to the BBCF1 team earlier in reply to DC saying that the incident was a racing incident, “there is no such thing as a racing incident anymore in F1“.

Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi and Lotus Renault’s Vitaly Petrov round out the points in ninth and tenth respectively. This ninth place secures seventh place for Peter Sauber’s team ahead of Toro Rosso in the constructors championship which means a few million extra euros for the Swiss team! Rubens Barrichello finished what could be his last race in F1 in 14th after starting 12th, as things stand, he does not have a contract for next season, which would be his 20th continuous season in Formula 1 should he secure a drive! His only hope in my opinion is a pay drive with a back of the grid team, which is where he finished 2011 sadly, Williams finished ninth in the constructors championship with only five points, that’ll be a hard pill to swallow for Sir Frank Williams!

Final Drivers Standings:
(1) Sebastian Vettel 392, (2) Jenson Button 270, (3) Mark Webber 258, (4) Fernando Alonso 257, (5) Lewis Hamilton 227, (6) Felipe Massa 118, (7) Nico Rosberg 89, (8) Michael Schumacher 76, (9) Adrian Sutil 42, (10) Vitaly Petrov 37, (11) Nick Heidfeld 34, (12) Kamui Kobayashi 30.

Final Constructors Standings:
(1) RBR – Renault 650, (2) McLaren – Mercedes 497, (3) Ferrari 375, (4) Mercedes 165, (5) Renault 73, (6) Force India – Mercedes 69, (7) Sauber – Ferrari 44, (8) STR – Ferrari 41, (9) Williams – Cosworth 5, (10) Lotus – Renault 0, (11) HRT – Cosworth 0, (12) Virgin – Cosworth 0.

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