Mark Webber won the final race of the season at the Brazilian Grand Prix to take his first win of the 2011 season.
Sebastian Vettel led the race from the start but had gearbox problems. He let Mark Webber pass him and managed to finish the race in second place.
Jenson Button driving the McLaren and Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari battled it out for third with Button passing Alonso with 10 laps remaining while Hamilton retired with gearbox failure.
Button managed to seal second place in the championship with his third placed finish, while Mark Webber finished third in the championship ahead of Alonso by a single point.
Webber had faced the prospect of finishing the season without a win in a season that was dominated by Sebastian Vettel who took 11 wins and a record breaking 15 pole positions.
“It would have been nice to have a race with Seb all the way through. He’s had a bit of a gearbox problem, that’s bad luck, but that’s how motorsport goes sometimes.” Webber went on to say “Very important win for the team and me to end the year on a high.”
Vettel appeared to have a good lead until his engineer issued warnings to his driver that he had a gearbox problem. He was told to “short-shift” to make sure that he finished the race.
Vettel eventually waved Webber past on lap 30. Despite the gearbox problem and with further warnings from the engineer, Vettel continued to push hard as if to not be ready to accept that he had lost out to Webber.
Vettle after setting some excellent lap times was once again warned by his engineer, Guillaume Rocquelin “Sebastian, we have a serious gearbox problem, you need to do everything you can to save the car. The objective is to stay ahead of Alonso.”
Vettel did finally manage to ease off and asked about the gap he had ahead of Alonso.
Vettel said he felt like Ayrton Senna in Brazil in 1991, when the Brazilian achieved one of his greatest victories while battling a damaged gearbox.
“The difference is Senna won” said Vettel “I had a good start and was able to pull a gap, but very early I got the call to manage the problem. It was getting worse through the race and I ended up using higher gears everywhere, that’s where the comparison came into my head.”
Alonso started the race in fifth place and passed Lewis Hamilton on the first lap around the outside of the second corner and then set about closing the gap on Button. He managed to pass him on the outside of turn five on lap 11. Button later said that there was debris on the track and had to back off allowing Alonso to pass. However Button took third spot again later on lap 62 in the race as Ferraris problems with tyres continued to trouble them.
Button’s team prompted him to have a go and try to pass Vettel as it was apparent that he had gearbox problems. However the Red Bull had enough power to fend off the challenge.
Hamilton, whose own gearbox failed on lap 46 forcing him to retire from the race.
“I’m just happy the season’s done. It’s been an interesting year. I gave it my all today. It’s unfortunate we were unable to get the extra points.”
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