Brazilian Grand Prix as it happened

Text and video highlights of the title-deciding Brazilian GP, where Sebastian Vettel has won the world championship.

25 November 2012 Last updated at 20:08 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1932: 

    So for the final time this season, and before I get emotional, it's a very good night from me. Take it easy over the winter and I'll see you back here for pre-season testing and then first race of brand spanking new season, kicking off in Melbourne, Australia with first practice on 15 March 2013. It'll be here before you know it so I'll see you there. Night.

  2. 1930: 

    Thanks also to Matt Warwick, who has run the desk here sensationally all season, plus all those who have worked on the output throughout the season. And a special thanks to our chief F1 writer Andrew Benson who is hopefully heading out for a well earned drink with the rest of the F1 fraternity in Sao Paulo.

  3. 1928: 

    So the curtain falls on a truly remarkable season. Doesn't Melbourne seem like such a long time ago? It has been an an absolute privilege to have been a part of it. Thank you for putting up with me and for your company and contributions throughout the year, you've never let me down.

  4. 1927: 

    Emotional scenes as the BBC F1 Forum comes to an end and Jake Humphrey says a final goodbye after four years fronting our coverage. Top job, son.


    One last word from McLaren's Jenson Button: "It feels amazing and it feels great to end the season like this. I'm looking forward to the season already. I want to wish Lewis well in the future as well."


    Riad Asmat, CEO of Caterham who finished 10th in the constructors championship: "To finish 10th today was the most emotional day I could have asked for. It's a significant amount of money to a team like us when you finish there but we'll have to go back and discuss the exact amount. Nothing is impossible as we haven't confirmed anyone for the other drive. Heikki [Kovalainen] is still a good driver but it's one of those things we have to review."


    Michael Schumacher: "I think it's a nice ending I'm finishing off and he's [Sebastian Vettel] clinching his third title. I'm very proud of him and he's a good friend of mine and lets see what happens in his future."

    As for his own future, Schumacher adds: "My emotions are under control at the moment, maybe later having a drink and hugging the mechanics it'll become more sentimental but I'm looking forward to life after Formula 1 now."

  8. 1925: 

    A nice moment on the circuit in today's race was the retiring Michael Schumacher conceding sixth place to his compatriot Sebastian Vettel. He has had some nice words to say about Vettel, here they are...

  9. 1921: 

    Jake Humphrey cannot escape being soaked in champagne. He is caught by a couple of celebrating Red Bull team members as he searches for Sebastian Vettel. Jake, of course, is covering his last race for the BBC and there have already been plenty of nice compliments paid to him by F1 personalities up and down the paddock.


    Lee McKenzie has caught up with Brazilian GP winner Jenson Button. Here is what he has to say: "I'm feeling great. But congratulations need to go to everyone who took part in that race, it was crazy. It wasn't just about driving the car around - it just felt wrong out there - but I had a lot of fun. It's a pity Lewis wasn't there at the end though. It started to clear up and the pace lifted and then the rain came down and it was just about nursing the car until the end. I'm glad in a way the safety car came out."

  11. 1915: 

    Vettel is currently sitting on the champagne-drenched shoulders of two members of the Red Bull team as they all celebrate this season's achievement. All the team are wearing tee-shirts with 'Vettel' written across them, the first 'e' replaced by a '3' in recognition of the young German's outstanding achievement.

  12. 1912: 

    Bit more on our three-time World Champion Vettel. In 2010, he also became the youngest champion at the age of 23 and 135 days. The previous youngest was McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in 2008, aged 23 and 301 days. While he was also the youngest driver to score a point when he came eighth in the United States Grand Prix on debut for BMW-Sauber in 2007. Hard to believe he is still only 25...

  13. 1910: 

    Jake Humphrey, Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard are still prowling the paddock on the F1 Forum on Red Button and also at the top of this very page, dodging their way past various forklift trucks and moving vehicles as teams pack up. This season is not quite over just yet as they sweep up all the reaction, so tune in.

  14. 1905: 

    Vettel is no stranger to breaking records. His extraordinary win at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix at Monza from pole position in a winless Toro Rosso made him the youngest driver to start on pole (21 years and 72 days) and the youngest ever winner (21 years and 73 days).

  15. 1903: 

    This world championship victory means Sebastian Vettel becomes only the third driver to win three titles in a row, joining Michael Schumacher (2000-04) and Juan-Manuel Fangio (1954-57) in the history books.


    Fernando Alonso: "I feel satisfied with the job and I feel proud of myself and the team. I think we gained so much respect from everybody this season. It was a good season. It was 20 races close to perfection, but we missed a little bit of performance through lack of ideas but we enjoyed it and fought until the end. We have to feel proud. We finished second today but it just wasn't enough."

  17. 1858: 

    Time to hear a few more words from Fernando Alonso, who has been talking to Lee McKenzie...


    Roger on Twitter: "Alonso may have lost by 3 points but I'm impressed on what he's done this year with the car he's got."

  19. 1855: 

    Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso hug in the TV pen. Nice to see. The two have been fantastic protagonists in one of the most thrilling seasons in Formula 1.

  20. 1851: 

    Hamilton, though, was still clearly not impressed with Nico Hulkenburg with regards to the clash between the two that ended Hamilton's race. "The dude did not even come and say sorry," he said. "That is what happens when you are racing with the less experienced."


    McLaren's Lewis Hamilton who retired late on in the race: "A big congratulations to Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel. They did a fantastic job. I feel OK. I am happy for the team that we got a win and feeling good for the future. I feel numb, a little bit like I did in 2007, it is mixed emotions at the moment. Sad that we were leading and I didn't get to see through the race and also that I am leaving. But I am excited for the future and hopefully I will have a little bit of luck at some stage."

  22. 1843: 

    Lee McKenzie has found Britain's Lewis Hamilton who retired from his final race with McLaren after getting hit by Force India's Nico Hulkenberg....

    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "Mark Webber has played a hugely important role. He has almost become forgotten but he has played an important role as a team-mate and he needs to be complimented."

  24. 1837: 

    And the constructors' standings:

    1) Red Bull 460

    2) Ferrari 400

    3) McLaren 378

    4) Lotus 303

    5) Mercedes 142

    6) Sauber 126

  25. 1834: 

    Here's the final positions in the drivers' standings:

    1) Vettel 281

    2) Alonso 278

    3) Raikkonen 207

    4) Hamilton 190

    5) Button 188

    6) Webber 179

    7) Massa 122

    8) Grosjean 96


    And a final word from Vettel: "For all of us in the team and also myself it is unreal. To win that third title here, where one of my greatest idols Ayrton Senna was from. It is very difficult to imagine I join him and other great names. My radio was not working, I was crying and you didn't hear that and I am very happy about that. I just can't find the right words to describe how I feel right now."

  27. 1832: 

    Sebastian Vettel starts to well up a bit when he's asked to consider his achievements alongside greats such as Schumacher, Senna and Prost, but he holds it together. Not sure that'll be the case when we get the video footage out later on in the forum so he can have look!


    More from Vettel: "It is unbelievable but the most important thing is that throughout the season we always kept believing in ourselves. A lot of people tried to play dirty tricks but we did not get distracted by that and kept going our way and all the guys gave a big push right to the end. We stepped up our game in the second half of the season which allowed us to come back in this championship. I have to thank all the team because there is no-one in our team more important than the next person. We are all a group and fighting next to each other and not against each other. I am very proud of that. It is unbelievable."


    World champion Sebastian Vettel: "It is difficult to imagine what goes through my head now even for myself! I am full of adrenaline and if you poke me now I wouldn't feel it. It was an incredible race. When you get turned around at Turn Four for no reason and it becomes like heading the wrong way down the M25 it is not the most comfortable feeling. I was lucky no-one hit me but the car was damaged and we lost a lot of speed, especially when it dried up. Fortunately it started to rain again and I felt so much happier. People try to push us in a certain direction when they talk about how we perform when it rains but I think we have proven across the season we like rain conditions as well as dry."

  30. 1824: 

    The new world champion says that his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber actually squeezed him towards the wall at the start which is why he dropped so far back.

  31. 1822: 

    The BBC F1 forum is up and running on the red button and Lee McKenzie has found our new world champion Sebastian Vettel. Here's what he has to say...

  32. 1819: 

    There have been some suggestions that Sebastian Vettel may have passed Kamui Kobayashi when yellow lights were flashing. Ferrari technical director Pat Fry says it appears they were yellow and red slippery track flags and not yellows. Therefore, no penalty required.


    Lucy James on Twitter: "Bernie Ecclestone? I am speechless."

  34. 1814: 

    Jake promises to reveal who will be his replacement on the BBC F1 coverage next season and then the camera spins round to focus on F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone who says: "See you next year with F1 on the BBC". Now that would be quite something...if it were true!

  35. 1812: 

    And on that note, the coverage ends on BBC One but we're not done yet. There's still the F1 Forum to look forward to...

    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "It was so unpredictable. If I was to use one word for this season it is that, culminating with probably one of the greatest races I have ever seen in my life."


    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner: "It was such an eventful start and Sebastian Vettel got turned around at the start. Then the rain came and the radio stopped working and we couldn't really communicate with him. But he stuck at it and he has driven with such determination this year. He thoroughly deserves this World Championship because he has never given up. Congratulations to Fernando Alonso too, he has been brilliant this year. That is what makes this championship so worthy because he has been up against the best."

  38. 1809: 

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner can barely contain his excitement. Here's what he has to say...


    Sauber on Twitter: "time to say goodbye: to @kamui_kobayashi - thank you for the great results and your podium at #Suzuka - what an emotional moment."

    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "Michael Schumacher has been such a selfish driver in the right way through his career but today he was magnanimous. He wanted to give the young pretender the chance to celebrate."


    Daniel Jenks on Twitter: "Well done Sebastian Vettel, the fastest driver in the world for a third year in a row and a true gentleman of the sport."


    Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who finished third: "The second part of the year was preparation for next year. It was so emotional to race here and I think the race was fantastic. For sure, it could have been a better position than I finished but I don't know what to say or feel. I just started crying, it is so amazing."


    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who finished second: "First of all I'm very proud of the team. We lost the championship before today, not in Brazil, this is a sport after all. When you do something with your heart and do it 100% you have to be proud of yourself and your team and we'll try again next year."


    Brazilian GP winner Jenson Button: "First of all I want to congratulate the whole team. This is the perfect way to end the season. We have had ups and downs and to end on a high bodes well for 2013."

  45. 1805: 

    Three-time world champion Nelson Piquet is in charge of the podium interviews. His questions are quite long, but eventually, the top three get to give an answer...

  46. 1803: 

    Tony Fernandes is referring to Vitaly Petrov's brilliant drive to 11th. Because neither Caterham or Marussia scored points this season, their constructors' championship position is determined by the team's best race finish. That's 11th from this race and sees the green and yellow liveried team climb above Marussia into 10th in the championship which is vital in terms of prize money.


    Caterham owner Tony Fernandes on Twitter: "We have done it. We have done it. We have have done it. Came 11th and got back to 10th. Worth a lot of money to us. Well done everyone at Caterham."

  48. 1800: 

    Time for the champagne with Jenson Button covering Fernando Alonso is the fizzy stuff. Meanwhile, down in the Red Bull garage, Sebastian Vettel soaks up the moment and embraces his colleagues. It's chaos down there.


    Race: Vettel 6th, Alonso 2nd

    Title points: Vettel 281, Alonso 278 - Vettel wins world title


    Lee Bass on Twitter: "Gutted for Hamilton! Great drive with a smashed car from Vettel & Alonso did everything he needed but that's racing as Coulthard would say."

  51. 1757: 

    Super scenes as Sebastian Vettel runs out onto the track to salute the fan as Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa walk out onto the podium. Massa is in tears, while Button can't stop smiling as he listens to the British national anthem.

  52. 1756: 

    Ferrari take second in the constructors' championship, holding off a charging McLaren.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "I know from when I scored points for Red Bull in Melbourne when Christian Horner hugs you it takes the wind out of your lungs. he has quite a hug on him when he lets the emotions come through."

  54. 1755: 

    "You've done it, you've done it," says Red Bull boss Christian Horner as he slaps his charge on the back. There's then time for a quick picture of Schumacher, Vettel and Glock - a trio of Germans.

  55. 1753: 

    Fernando Alonso embraces his Ferrari team and then pats team-mate Felipe Massa on the back but his disappointment is clear. The Spaniard looks understandably heartbroken.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "There is Michael Schumacher with Sebastian Vettel. One incredible racing driver retires, another celebrates a third world title."

  57. 1752: 

    Sebastian Vettel parks his Red Bull up in the pit lane and is surrounded by a gang of snappers. The German is embraced by Michael Schumacher, it's like the handing over of the baton. Vettel then climbs on top of his Red Bull and throws his hair up in celebration before sitting on the engine cover and riding his car like a horse.

  58. 1751: 

    Mark Webber was fourth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Jean-Eric Vergne, Kamui Kobayashi and Kimi Raikkonen complete the top 10 as the rain continues fall.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Whoever was going to win the World Championship this afternoon would have been fully deserved to do so. It has been a remarkable season - the nerves and tension throughout this whole year."

  60. 1750: 

    "You're a triple world champion. You're the man. You are a triple world champion," says Red Bull team boss Christian Horner over the radio as Sebastian Vettel punches the air.

  61. 1749: 

    Jenson Button leads the field across the line in a procession to take his third win of the season, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa completing the podium.


    Matt Blanckley on Twitter: "Great race. Shame about the result. Looking forward to next season already."





    LAP 71

    A bit of an anticlimax as everyone backs off and it looks like this race will finish under the safety car.

    LAP 70

    Paul di Resta has lost control at the final corner and smashed into the wall. The yellow flags are out, the safety car is out and that basically means Sebastian Vettel is world champion as no overtaking is allowed.

    LAP 70

    Kamui Kobayashi chucks his Sauber down the inside of Michael Schumacher. They make contact but it's Kobayashi who loses out, spinning round and dropping down to 10th. Two laps to go.

    LAP 69

    Looks like Sebastian Vettel has got this in the bag, then. The German is comfortable in sixth place with his rival Fernando Alonso second.


    Race as it stands: Vettel 6th, Alonso 2nd

    Title points haul as it stands: Vettel 281, Alonso 278 - Vettel will win title

    LAP 68

    Sebastian Vettel is the fastest man on the circuit, lapping at least one second quicker than anyone else. His team inform him of the statistic, adding "just keep it on the black stuff".

    LAP 67

    Significant move further back as Vitaly Petrov passes Charles Pic for 12th as they both get lapped. That will move Caterham up to 10th in the championship which is important in terms of prize money. Four laps remaining.


    Becca Louise Jones on Twitter: "Michael Schumacher you absolute gentleman."

    LAP 65

    Jenson Button won the first race of the season in Melbourne, Australia. It looks like he's going to win the last, too. The Briton holds a 21.2 second lead over Fernando Alonso in second.


    McLaren on Twitter: "Lewis returns to the McLaren pit garage and gets a standing ovation from everyone. RESPECT."

    LAP 64

    Michael Schumacher pulls over and lets Sebastian Vettel past for sixth. It's a parting gift.


    Conita on Twitter: "Such a good race! This is how to end the year! Such a shame for Hamilton, had a good one!"


    Action and incident all over the place. Button leads over Alonso. Hamilton out following contact with Hulkenberg. Vettel hit on lap 1 by Senna and goes last, but now 6th. Grosjean crashes out. Senna, Maldonado and Perez out. 1 Button 2 Alonso 3 Massa 4 Webber 5 Hulkenberg 6 Schumacher 7 Vettel 8 Kobayashi 9 Vergne 10 Di Resta

    LAP 63

    Fernando Alonso is lapping around eight tenths slower than race leader Jenson Button. If he wants to win this title, he needs to catch and pass Button. If Vettel stays in seventh, Alonso would then be champion.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Will Michael Schumacher give up a position to help Sebastian Vettel win this title? They are going to be team-mates at the Race of Champions so they do have a close bond..."


    McLaren team radio to Jenson Button: "It is raining very, very hard are you happy on this tyre?" Button responds: "Roger."

    LAP 62

    Felipe Massa eases off the throttle on the back straight to allow Fernando Alonso to take second place. Problem is, Jenson Button is 20 seconds up the road in P1.

    LAP 61

    First celeb spot of the weekend is Owen Wilson of Hollywood fame. The Marley and Me actor is under cover and enjoying the hospitality of Ferrari.

    LAP 60

    We're hearing that teams are getting the full wet tyre ready as the rain continues to fall. We could have one more twist yet. Meanwhile, a downbeat Lewis Hamilton receives a round of applause as he heads back into the McLaren garage. You've got to feel for him.

    LAP 59

    Nico Hulkenberg takes his drive-through penalty which drops him down to fifth, one place behind Mark Webber. Incredibly, Michael Schumacher finds himself sixth, one place ahead of championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

    LAP 58

    Weather radar says new rain has developed and will fall for the next 20 minutes, while out on track, replays show a bit of Red Bull bodywork flying off Sebastian Vettel's car. Fernando Alonso is up to third, behind team-mate Felipe Massa. Looks like Ferrari will employ team orders if it helps the Spaniard's title hopes.


    Race as it stands: Vettel 7th, Alonso 3th

    Title points haul as it stands: Vettel 279, Alonso 275 - Vettel will win title


    Gemma Louise Walker on Twitter: "Just when i thought this race couldn't get anymore interesting...."

    LAP 57

    Fernando Alonso has made it back to the pits and bolted on a set of intermediate tyres as the rain gets heavier. Meanwhile, Jenson Button is leading this race ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, but the German has just been handed a drive-through penalty for hitting Hamilton.

    LAP 56

    Sebastian Vettel has pitted again, this time for a set of intermediate tyres. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso has a huge moment at Turn Three. Crikey. My heart is in my mouth. He saves it, though, and keeps that Ferrari pointing forward.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "It is a damp track and into a difficult Turn One, Hulkenburg lost control on the turn and slams into Hamilton. He was on the damp inner part of the track. Hamilton was giving him space and it was just an unfortunate incident."

    LAP 54


    LAP 54

    Nico Hulkenberg makes a right hash of it down at Turn One. The German commits to the inside line as he tries to pass leader Lewis Hamilton but he loses control and slides on a damp patch, straight into the McLaren driver. There's nothing they Hamilton can do.

    LAP 53

    Sebastian Vettel rejoins in 11th, behind Michael Schumacher. Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen gets lost, sliding off track and heading down an escape road. Unfortunately, it's a dead end, so he has to spin the car around and drive back down what looks like part of the old track, and back onto track at Turn 12.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "The microphone is stitched into the balaclava - it sits right in front of the mouth of the driver. If the balaclava has been pulled down slightly he will have microphone in front of his chin."

    LAP 52

    Next time around Red Bull tell Sebastian Vettel he is doing the same times as Fernando Alonso and that everyone is struggling before telling him to box for the option slick tyres.

    LAP 51

    Red Bull tell Sebastian Vettel that they can't hear him over the radio. Meanwhile, Nico Rosberg, who is down in 19th, has decided to bolt on a set of intermediate tyres.


    Sergio Perez, who has retired in his last race for Sauber: "A very sad end. I had a really good start but suddenly I was on the inside and everybody came into me. I have very big damage on my car. Sad to end the season like that but I hope Kamui Kobayashi continues to do a good job."

    LAP 50

    Drops of light rain are falling with 21 laps remaining, but the drivers are insisting on sticking to slick tyres.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "It is up over the rise at Turn Six as Nico Hulkenburg gets on the white line, spins and Lewis Hamilton says 'thank you very much, I'll take this.'"

    LAP 49

    Nico Hulkenberg makes a mistake, getting on the white line and braking at Turn Six. That sends the rear of the car spinning around. He saves the slide, but the loss of momentum allows Lewis Hamilton to sneak through.

    LAP 49


    LAP 48

    Nico Hulkenberg has given himself some breathing space and extended his lead to 1.4 seconds. Meanwhile, Red Bull offer Sebastian Vettel some advice on how to get past Kamui Kobayashi, telling him to use all his Kers in one go towards the end of the lap.


    Melissa Robertson on Twitter: "Can't cope with this....."

    LAP 46

    Gap down to 1.2 seconds at the front with Lewis Hamilton sensing a chance to taking the lead from Nico Hulkenberg. Kamui Kobayashi's tyres look awful, which would explain why he's struggling he get that car slowed down.

    LAP 45

    Rosberg has been told the team expect the rain to end shortly while Vettel has been told more rain is coming. No one really has a clue what is going to happen.


    Race as it stands: Vettel 7th, Alonso 4th

    Title points haul as it stands: Vettel 279, Alonso 272 - Vettel will win title

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "We are hearing on our pit tracker that Nico Hulkenburg is complaining about the downshifts on his Force India. The last thing you want is when you go down the gear is that shunting feeling."

    LAP 44

    Lewis Hamilton taking a bit of time out of Nico Hulkenberg each lap at the front of the race, while Mark Webber has a big moment when he gets on the white line and brakes. Elementary error there Mark. He continues, but has dropped back quite a way from team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "We are starting to get that little mist again. I wouldn't be surprised to have a little more rain before the end of this race."

    LAP 43

    So Nico Hulkenberg leads by 1.9 seconds from Lewis Hamilton with Jenson Button a further 2.3 seconds back in third. Fernando Alonso trails Button by 4.6 seconds and isn't making any impression on the McLaren.


    McLaren on Twitter: "Official weather forecast: "no more than drops on Interlagos at the moment."

    LAP 41

    Mark Webber is now running shotgun for Sebastian Vettel now in seventh and eighth while Nico Hulkenberg reports that he doesn't think he'll get to the end of the race on his current set of tyres.


    Bruno Senna, who has retired in his home race on the first lasp: "I had a good start and everything was going well. Sebastian Vettel went straight across the track from his position and hit me, and there was nothing that could be done - damaged the car too much."

    LAP 39

    Michael Schumacher loses that point as Kimi Raikkonen fights his way past through the Senna S. There's a paper thin gap between the two as they fly through three corners side-by-side. That's how racing should be done. Romain Grosjean take note.


    Martin Niro on Twitter: "Great race so far capped with Sebastian Vettel's charge up the field #bbcf1 A fitting finale to a very entertaining season."

    LAP 38

    Michael Schumacher is in the points. He was a lap down, but he now finds himself 10th. Still not great but at least he'd have something to show for his final race of an spectacular career.

    LAP 37

    Felipe Massa makes a move around the outside of Kamui Kobayashi for fifth place. Tasty stuff from the Brazilian. Next up the road is team-mate Fernando Alonso. May the Spaniard let his team-mate go so he can make progress and then back the field into Alonso muses commentator Ben Edwards.


    Race as it stands: Vettel 7th, Alonso 4th

    Title points haul as it stands: Vettel 279, Alonso 272 - Vettel will win title

    LAP 36

    Sebastian Vettel is lapping around half a second slower than both Ferraris at the moment. Fernando Alonso isn't making any impression on Jenson Button in third. Felipe Massa is catching Kamui Kobayashi, though, and could be coming to the rescue. Let's not forget the Brazilian has won twice here.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "The Red Bull is vulnerable on the straight line but thankfully he now has a Toro Rosso behind him and that will make him feel a bit more comfortable. At the front, Force India have been quick throughout practice and this is going to be a difficult situation for the McLarens to overtake Nico Hulkenburg."

    LAP 35

    Nico Hulkenberg is flying at the front, setting fastest lap after fastest lap to extend his lead the front to 2.6 seconds over Lewis Hamilton. Jenson Button is third, with Fernando Alonso fourth and Kamui Kobayashi fifth.


    Action and incident all over the place as light rain falls. Hulkenberg leads by 2.6secs over Hamilton in second. Vettel hit on lap 1 by Senna and goes last, but now 7th. Alonso up to 4th after a great start. Grosjean crashes out. Senna, Maldonado and Perez out. 1 Hulkenberg 2 Hamilton 3 Button 4 Alonso 5 Kobayashi 6 Massa 7 Vettel 8 Ricciardo 9 Di Resta 10 Schumacher

    LAP 34

    Felipe Massa is having the race of his life here. Bold, bold move around the outside of Sebastian Vettel at Turn Four. The Brazilian is doing everything he can to help Fernando and perform in front of his home crowd. Huge round of applause for that move in the Ferrari garage.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Sebastian Vettel has got his mirrors full of Felipe Massa now. That will make him feel uncomfortable."

    LAP 33

    Fernando Alonso doesn't waste any time in reclaiming that place, catapulting his Ferrari down the inside at Turn One. The Spaniard is back in fourth with Vettel sixth but being hunted down for Felipe Massa.

    LAP 32

    Fernando Alonso is definitely catching Jenson Button in the battle for third. Alonso needs to get third at least to have any shot at the title. But hang on, Kamui Kobayashi uses his DRS to get past the double world champion. Wow, where did that come from? Alonso now fifth, one place ahead of Vettel. Massa is coming to help, though. He passes Paul di Resta and is now right behind Vettel.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Fernando Alonso is now under pressure from Kamui Kobayashi, who is driving for his career, he does not have a seat next season."

    LAP 31

    Lots of drivers locking up at Turn One as they struggle to slow the car down. Jenson Button is struggling here and loses a place to Lewis Hamilton at Turn Four. Good move from the 2008 world champion.


    Race as it stands: Vettel 6th, Alonso 4th

    Title points haul as it stands: Vettel 281, Alonso 272 - Vettel will win title

    LAP 30

    Nico Hulkenberg has never led the field away at a restart, and he locks his wheels at the third to last corner, but he gets it right out of the final corner and storms away at the front. More amazingly, Sebastian Vettel loses a place to Kamui Kobayashi at Turn One as Mark Webber flies off the track. What was the Australian doing trying to put a move on his team-mate around the outside of Turn One?


    Lotus on Twitter: "No plastic chair for Romain Grosjean to sit on, he's out on track somewhere watching the action."

    LAP 29

    The weather radars say rain is intermittent with consistent rain expected in 15 minutes time. This race is far from over, folks. Safety car still out there at the moment but it is peeling off at the end of this lap.

    LAP 28

    Sensation stuff from race control here. They are translating Fernando Alonso's Italian radio messages for the fans. Alonso reports that it is "starting to rain again in Turn 4".

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "We have contrasting tyres on the two title contenders with Fernando Alonso on the medium and Sebastian Vettel on the hard. Suspected to be two or three tenths difference in outright pace in normal conditions between the two but of course, we don't have that."

    LAP 27

    Lapped cars are now being allowed to overtake the safety car - Vergne, Glock, Petrov, Schumacher, Kovalainen, Pic, De la Rosa, Karthikeyan and Rosberg. That means we should be back under racing conditions shortly.


    Kay on Twitter: "Never write Vettel off. He is too good a driver."

    Tom Bowker on Twitter: "Well that was one hell of a start to a grand prix. A fitting finale to a classic season already."

    LAP 26

    Adrian Newey is still having a good look at that photo of the damage on the rear of Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull. It was quite an impact from the Williams of Bruno Senna, but the car looks to have the pace for now.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "The safety car has changed the dynamic of the race and closed it all back up again. All Sebastian Vettel needs to do is keep Fernando Alonso in sight and the championship is his. You can see the floor damage on his Red Bull, though, and whether that affects the temperatures. Only time will tell."

    LAP 24

    The safety car provides a chance for us all to catch our breath. What a start and we've still go just under 50 laps to go. Nico Hulkenberg leads from Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Kamui Kobayashi, Mark Webber and Paul di Resta.

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "What an incredible end to this 2012 season. It does seem that Charlie Whiting is very tuned into Ferrari's radio, responding to Fernando Alonso's radio there."

    LAP 23

    The safety car has been called into action, probably to clear the debris up. Nightmare for Nico Hulkenberg and Jenson Button whose bold choice to stay out on the slick tyres and not pit had given them a 47-second advantage over the field. That will now disappear.

    LAP 22

    Fernando Alonso reports that there is so much debris on the track and he's not wrong. There's stacks of it down at Turn Four and around Turn 10. Drivers will need to be careful not to pick up a puncture.

    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "It is enthralling isn't it? You only need a sprinkling of rain to boost the excitement and that is what we have had. I am bit concerned that Red Bull seem to be mirroring each other with that they do with the cars. You want Mark Webber to be out in front to collect the information so that Sebastian Vettel has the best information possible to win this Championship. At the moment that is not what they are doing."

    LAP 21

    Nico Rosberg is cruising round the track with a puncture. It's turning out to be a miserable race for Mercedes with Michael Schumacher 20th and last and a lap down while Rosberg is dropping down the field as he limps towards the pits.


    Race as it stands: Vettel 5th, Alonso 4th

    Title points haul as it stands: Vettel 283, Alonso 272 - Vettel will win title

    LAP 20

    Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber are in the pits in quick succession for a set of the slick tyres. Great work from the Red Bull crew who service both cars super quickly. Interestingly, Vettel rejoins the track just a few car lengths behind Fernando Alonso. Looking good for Vettel.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Expect to see all the main contenders coming in now as this track opens up to the slick tyres. Interesting that Hamilton has gone onto the harder tyres."

    LAP 20

    Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have dived into the pits for a set of slick tyres. Both will have to be super careful on what is still a very slippery track.


    Race as it stands: Vettel 5th, Alonso 4th

    Title points haul as it stands: Vettel 283, Alonso 272 - Vettel will win title

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "The rain is at its lightest now. The two guys up front could have made the right decision."

    LAP 19

    Yes, you read that right. The German uses his Kers sensibly to pass Jenson Button around the outside into Turn One.

    LAP 19


    LAP 18

    Sebastian Vettel is told that he's the fastest car on intermediate tyres. The German is 3.4 seconds behind Fernando Alonso in fifth. Sensational performance from the young German here.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Adrian Newey is taking a look at the rear of Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull to see where the damage is. He has had a photograph printed out so he can evaluate the damage to the car."


    Race as it stands: Vettel 6th, Alonso 4th

    Title points haul as it stands: Vettel 281, Alonso 272 - Vettel will win title

    LAP 17

    Nico Hulkenberg is having the race of his life here. The Force India driver is all over the back of McLaren's Jenson Button in the battle for the lead. Tremendous. What a leaving present this would be if Sauber-bound Hulkenberg could give Force India their first win...

    LAP 16

    Kamui Kobayashi gets well out of the way and basically lets Sebastian Vettel have sixth place at Turn One. Meanwhile, Felipe Massa is in for a set of inters. Those slicks were no good.


    Marussia on Twitter: "Rain is abating. Massively tricky dilemma."

    LAP 15

    Fernando Alonso sweeps past Jean-Eric Vergne and Felipe Massa to climb up into fourth place, with Sebastian Vettel chasing Kamui Kobayashi for seventh.


    James Telfer on Twitter: "This race is turning out to be a 'classic', one that will go down in history."

    LAP 14

    Sebastian Vettel is fighting tooth and nail to get past Nico Rosberg in the battle for 13th, but the Mercedes is holding strong. But Vettel has much better traction out of the second-to-last corner and easily takes the place through the final corner. Vettel P13, Alonso P6.


    Ferrari on Twitter: "Rain developing just over Interlagos. No movement. No forecast images available. Duration estimated around 15mins, may be more."

    LAP 13

    Lewis Hamilton passes Felipe Massa for third place. Hamilton is on the inters, Massa on the slicks. Jenson Button leads by 1.8 seconds from Nico Hulkenberg. Red Bull say "Thank you Mark" to Webber after he moved over for team-mate Vettel.

    LAP 12

    Look at this. Heikki Kovalainen is up in sixth place for Caterham. Super stuff from the Finn who might not have a drive next season. Meanwhile, Vettel puts a move on team-mate Webber for 14th place.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Sebastian Vettel has his World Championship contender in his sights. All he has to do is keep him there. If both cars finish in the points this championship goes to Vettel."

    LAP 11

    Both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso head into the pits for a set of the intermediate tyres. Alonso comes out in clear air. Vettel rejoins behind Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber. That's handy. Jenson Button reports that it's stopped raining and has decided to stay out on the slick tyres.

    LAP 10

    Fernando Alonso is off the track again at Turn One. The conditions are so tricky out there. Looks like the safest choice is the intermediate tyre. Lewis Hamilton agrees as he heads in for the inters.


    Red Bull over team radio to Sebastian Vettel: "Felipe Massa ahead, be careful. He has been blocking for Fernando Alonso ahead."


    Mark Webber has headed in for the intermediate tyres. He'll act as a guinea pig to see if it's worth using them before making the call for Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Kimi Raikkonen came in and put on intermediates, Michael Schumacher came in and put on hards for some reason."


    Red Bull over team radio to Sebastian Vettel: "It is a long race, keep your car on the back stuff, that is all we need."


    McLaren over team radio to race leader Jenson Button: "You are on the right tyre."


    Race as it stands: Vettel 7th, Alonso 4th

    Title as it stands: Vettel 279, Alonso 272 - Vettel will win title


    Jenson Button leads the Brazilian Grand Prix, putting a brilliant move on Lewis Hamilton. Sensational tussling between the two McLaren team-mates. Sebastian Vettel is up to sixth now. Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso are the next two cars up the road. A remarkable fight back. Game on in the title fight.


    Can you believe this? Sebastian Vettel is seventh position, having fought his way up through the field. Meanwhile, Senna has retired from his first lap shunt, as has Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado.


    Jenson Button passes Lewis Hamilton down the back straight for the lead, but Hamilton fights back and reclaims P1 with a bold move down the inside at Turn One.


    Elizabeth Inwards on Twitter: "5 laps in... and so so dramatic! If you are trying to win a world championship then don't fall of the track!"

    Ben Olive on Twitter: "Crazy that the whole championship could well depend on how Massa and Webber race. What a sport."


    What is going on here? Romain Grosjean has slid off track at Turn 11 and then Mark Webber goes off at Turn One. He gets hit by the Sauber of Kobayashi. This is unbelievable.


    Fernando Alonso is holding the field up here. He's so slow. But he's lucky because he's got Felipe Massa, his wing man, riding shot gun. There's a real train of cars forming now. The conditions are seriously slippery.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "I thought that had accident written over it. That Turn 6 is such a tricky corner. Fernando Alonso was fighting to keep that car on the track, fighting to keep in the World Championship. The advantage was with Fernando Alonso but that has swung back to Mark Webber."


    FERNANDO ALONSO IS OFF THE TRACK AT TURN ONE. The Spaniard gets it all wrong with his braking at Turn One and runs off onto the now tarmaced run-off. Nico Hulkenberg gets through but Alonso just about rejoins in front of Webber. Alonso takes the inside line on the straight and maintains position. Brilliant.


    And breathe. Lewis Hamilton leads from Jenson Button with Fernando Alonso third. A great move by Nico Hulkenberg to take fourth from Mark Webber. Wow.


    Red Bull over team radio to Sebastian Vettel: "Data looks OK."


    Fernando Alonso puts a brilliant move on Mark Webber and Felipe Massa down the inside of Turn One to take third! Incredible. Great supportive driving from Massa in aid of his Ferrari team-mate.


    Race as it stands: Vettel 22nd, Alonso 3rd

    Title as it stands: Vettel 273, Alonso 275 - Alonso winning


    Jenson Button gets past Felipe Massa for second, as Lewis Hamilton maintains the lead but Sebastian Vettel is at the back of the field.


    Red Bull team radio to Sebastian Vettel: "There is visible damage. It is not front wing, we cannot fix it."



    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull is damaged! He has been hit on the left side."


    Sebastian Vettel has a horrendous start and has dropped back into the pack! Incredible scenes! Lewis Hamilton cuts across to defend the lead from Jenson Button but here comes Felipe Massa to take second.


    Pirelli on Twitter: "Starting on the P Zero silver hard are: MSC, GRO, MSC. Everybody else is on the white medium."

  192. 1603: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The final race of the season is go, go, go!


    Chadders on Twitter: "I'm getting all emotional and the race hasn't even started!"

  194. 1603: 

    Along with live TV coverage of the race above on desktops, desktop users get On Board, Driver Tracker and Live Pit lane cameras, as well as Alternative Commentary (from 5 live) plus Live Timing. You might have to refresh though. Live video is available for mobile users on the BBC Sport mobile F1 page.

  195. 1602: 

    Everyone is on the slick tyre, with the top 10 on the option tyre which the qualified on.

  196. 1600: 

    The lights go out and the grid, led by Lewis Hamilton, begin the formation lap. Oh the tension. I can barely breathe. And we've still go 71 laps to get through....


    McLaren on Twitter: Everyone on the grid is on dry tyres and it's now too late to change them, so everyone is in the same boat."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "There is a light mist here now. Some big decisions are going to happen. I think it will stay with this light mist for a while but we just have to wait and see."


    Mercedes on Twitter: "Light drizzle now actually..."


    McLaren on Twitter: "Weather update: this light rain will continue for 15 minutes."

  201. 1557: 

    Sebastian Vettel's engineer tells him that they will stick to the tyres they are on at the moment so he'll have to be wary of the greasy conditions. The team add that they expect the race to be dry.

  202. 1555: 

    The light drizzle means it's game on, folks. A slight mistake on a damp patch and it could all be over. What a start this could be. Five minutes to go. I'm shivering with excitement.


    McLaren on Twitter: "The official weather forecast reads as follows: a few drops possible in the next 30 mins, then dry."


    Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher: "I am feeling pretty good. The flag was [his manager] Sabine [Kehm's] idea and a very good one. Great emotions and sharing my passion, that was basically my motto and that's what I wanted to say."

  205. 1552: 

    It's raining at Interlagos. Up spring the umbrellas on the grid.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "Strategy is a suck-it-and-see matter for the final race of the season. During the race-simulation runs in Friday practice, the indications were that teams would have to make two or three pit stops. But it's much cooler on race day, which will reduce tyre wear and degradation and could make it a two-stop, or even a one. A lot will depend on track temperature - but the teams don't know to what extent. Engineers predict a mix of strategies, although the most likely one is for the front-runners to switch from their 'option' or 'medium' tyres to 'hard' or 'prime' rubber for the second stint, leaving the third choice open. But Ferrari have more fresher 'medium' tyres than they do 'hard' so may choose to use them in the middle stint. A two-stop strategy would mean a first stop anywhere from lap 18 to lap 25."

  207. 1550: 

    We are very, very, very, very close now. How are you feeling? My teeth are chattering, legs shaking, hands are trembling. And I'm not even in a cockpit about to embark on the race of my life. How must the drivers be feeling right now?

  208. 1547: 

    Ferrari's Felipe Massa says he hopes he can help Fernando and do the best race he can.


    McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh: "The fans want something exciting to happen out there. Fernando Alonso has had his best year of his career and deserves to win it but no-one can say Sebastian doesn't deserve it. At the moment you have to say Sebastian Vettel is in pole position to regain the World Championship but in these conditions anything can happen. I want a boring race, but I am sure we will not be getting one of those."


    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner: "The spots of rain adds to the tension. It is going to be an interesting finale. If you believe the forecast it says it is going to blow over, but it is looking pretty dark out there."


    Sauber on Twitter: "Michael Schumacher is having a flag on his car saying thank you to the fans. Special moment. thank you Michael. it was great to have you in #F1. #neverforget #truelegend."

  212. 1544: 

    Spots of rain on the grid. That is all.

  213. 1543: 

    DC tries to get the waterworks going early by asking Lewis Hamilton if he wants to send a message out to his fans before he leaves for McLaren: "To all the fans, I hope they will still support McLaren because it's the best team," he said. "And I hope in time they will support me." Easy DC, don't push the poor man over the edge before he's even started his final race for McLaren.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "While the focus is on the title battle, spare a thought for the minnows at the back, where a fight of significant importance is taking place. Tenth place in the constructors' championship means millions to the team that takes it rather than finish 11th and right now Marussia hold it on account of Timo Glock's 12th place in Singapore. But Caterham, who have finished 10th for the last two years, only need to match that result to snatch it back. The tension is all the greater because it has been announced this weekend that Marussia's Charles Pic will move to Caterham next season. Marussia are a bit nervous about that, but the Frenchman insists he will give 100% for his current team."


    Danny Gathercole on Twitter: "Nervous about this race. Strange feeling haven't been this up for a F1 race in months!"

  216. 1540: 

    Michael Schumacher pulls into his grid slot and the team affix a flag to the car which says "Thank you" - a tribute from the seven-time world champion to the fans. The German is cruising around the track to a huge round of applause. Lovely touch.

  217. 1538: 

    The grid is heaving with an assortment of team personnel, media, VIP guests, former F1 world champions and a few drivers. Just over 20 minutes until the formation lap for the final race of the season begins...

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "The chances of Michael Schumacher making an impact at his final grand prix are receding with the chances of wet weather. The German had a poor qualifying - he is only 14th and was well off the pace of team-mate Nico Rosberg. He said he had set the car up for the expected rain on Sunday and that had affected his pace. In a dry race, therefore, things do not look good for him."


    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner: "The atmosphere is very good in the team. A big part of this year was dealt with last weekend with the Constructors Championship. We treat this race the same as any other and the preparation is the same as previous 19 races so far. Regarding the weather, they are covering themselves at the moment saying 50-50 chance of rain. we have spotters out around the circuit, the rain is going to come at some point it is just about being able to react quickly and have the right tyres at the right time."


    Williams on Twitter: "Temperature has dropped here in Brazil #Interlagos and rain is threatening."

  221. 1534: 

    Sebastian Vettel gets the BBC F1 Drive of the Year award for his performance in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when he started in the pit lane but fought his way through the field to finish on the podium in third. "It's very heavy," said Vettel. "Thanks for that."

  222. 1532: 

    Force India's Nico Hulkenberg has been awarded the BBC F1 Overtake of the Year award for his brilliant move on Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean in the same move in Korea. "I had a big smile on my face," he said. "It was a cool moment."

  223. 1530: 

    The Brazilian Grand Prix is live across the BBC this weekend. All of the coverage - that's TV, radio and live text commentary - is, as always, available here online. The race is on BBC One now and Radio 5 live sports extra from 1545. There's TV highlights of the race on BBC Three and BBC HD at 1900 GMT.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "Primarily, this grand prix is about Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, but it is also a race of farewells. Michael Schumacher is taking part in the last grand prix of his illustrious career; Heikki Kovalainen, Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa are all without a drive next year and may well be bidding goodbye too; De la Rosa's HRT team are extremely unlikely to survive the winter; and Lewis Hamilton is racing for McLaren for the final time. There will be some emotional moments later on, that's for sure."


    More from Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali: "Fernando Alonso says he got nine hours sleep but I got a bit less than that! Hopefully enough to be awake and rational. We all had a dinner together at Felipe [Massa's] house last night. No trembling legs today, we will just do the best job we can. We know it may not be enough but we can be proud of what we are doing."

  226. 1525: 

    Just over five minutes to go until the pit lane opens and the drivers are clear to leave the garage and make their way to the grid. We're around 35 minutes away from lights out.


    Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali: "The last check we had says clouds, but not rain so we shall see. I don't know [what we want weather-wise] when you ask for something that you think is the best for you it sometimes doesn't work that way, so whatever will be, will be."


    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel: "We have a great car, we have been quite competitive all weekend. If there is a chance to win we will go for victory."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "There are some rumours that former Ferrari and Williams driver Rubens Barrichello may make F1 return (with Caterham). I asked him if chance and he shook his head and made "very small" sign with his fingers."

    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "One championship is a mighty haul for someone so young. Don't forget Lewis Hamilton effectively should have won the World Championship in his first year and he can leave with pride here for what he has done for McLaren."


    Stuart Carr on Twitter: "'Do not disturb'. This is going to be an epic race."


    Chief F1 writer Andrew Benson on Twitter: "Felipe Massa sounds rough - some kind of throat infection: 'I was expecting a shower. We need to be ready for everything.'"

  233. 1521: 

    So, we have challengers, one title. Vettel holds a 13-point lead over Alonso with 25 on the table. Alonso must finish on the podium to have any chance of getting his hands on the championship trophy. A win for the Spaniard requires Vettel to finish outside the top four. Second means Vettel must fails to make the top seven. Third would require Vettel to finish 10th or lower. For Vettel, fourth would be enough, regardless of where Alonso finishes. It's simple for Vettel - fourth will guarantee his third successive title.


    McLaren on Twitter: "After Austin, Lewis Hamilton has won more GPs for McLaren (21) than anyone bar Ayrton Senna (35) & Alain Prost (30). Can he make it 22?"

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "Force India's Nico Hulkenberg has continued his impressive late-season form here in Brazil. For the first 15 races of the season, the qualifying record between the German and team-mate Paul di Resta was 10-5 in the Scot's favour, although the margins were usually very small. But since the Korean Grand Prix Hulkenberg seems to have upped his game - and has out-qualified the Scot five times in a row, often by a significant margin. Hulkenberg, who is moving to Sauber next season, said qualifying seventh behind the two McLarens, two Red Bulls and one Ferrari - which has become sixth on the grid following a 10-place grid penalty for Williams driver Pastor Maldonado - was 'as good as it gets' Hulkenberg is pretty good in the wet, too, so he could feature strongly in the race. And the same goes if it's dry, too. He showed good pace in the race-simulation runs in second practice, so as he said, he should 'race strongly'."


    Sauber on Twitter: "There are more and more dark clouds ... Track temperature is 25 degrees, air temp is 20 with increasing humidity (63 %). Will it rain?"

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "Fernando Alonso has been exceptional all year, he has kept Ferrari in this championship when, you could argue in terms of pace, they should not be there."


    Chief F1 writer Andrew Benson ‏on Twitter reports that during the drivers parade, Lewis Hamilton said: "It is the first time I've been here [Interlagos] and they are not booing me, they are booing Alonso."

  239. 1517: 

    The weather predictions are changing all the time. Teams arrived at the circuit under bright blue skies, but Interlagos is now covered by clouds, with some pretty dark ones looming in the distance. It'll all depend on the wind direction and whether they'll glide their way over to the track...


    Fernando Alonso on Twitter: "For some reason we are fighting the world championship that logic would say was impossible. Enjoy today and whatever happens.. Thank you all."

  241. 1515: 

    There's only 50 minutes until the race begins and one would think title contender Fernando Alonso is fully focused on the job in hand. Oh no. The Spaniard is super relaxed and tweeting to his beloved fans...

    BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard

    "Today confirms Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso's status as greats in the sport, there should be no doubts about that. Three World Championships, whoever does it will be quite remarkable."

  243. 1512: 

    And for the final time this season, here are Lawro's Podium Predictions. I'm going for a Lewis Hamilton victory with Fernando Alonso second and Jenson Button third. As for Vettel, I think he'll be battling for around fourth or fifth. Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put F1 and your name at the start of those messages.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "The focus of this weekend in Brazil has obviously been the title battle but there were notable performances in qualifying that are worth mentioning. Among them was Ferrari's Felipe Massa qualifying three places ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso. For Massa, it was a confirmation of his return to form since the season reconvened following the August break, after finally getting his head around the 2012 Ferrari. 'I did a fantastic qualifying,' he said. 'Looking (at) how strong are McLaren and Red Bull, better than what I did was impossible. (I'm) very happy driving the car in the way I want and that is positive. I was struggling so much with the car before August but when I have the car I want I know I can be very competitive.'"

    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "We were told we would have a deluge, we now know it is currently dry but anything can happen at Interlagos. We will have rain at some stage during this race, I think."

  246. 1508: 

    A trip down memory lane on BBC One right now, as we look back at the eight men who have managed to win three titles or more from Michael Schumacher - who hangs up his helmet today - to Juan Manuel Fangio, Ayrton Senna to Niki Lauda. Either Fernando Alonso or Sebastian Vettel is on the verge of joining that very exclusive club.


    Alexander Jones on Twitter: "F1 today should be insane. Hamilton deserves a goodbye victory, and Alonso deserves the title..."

    Anthony Bubb on Twitter: "I so hope Fernando Alonso takes the world title today. It should be a great race nonetheless."

    BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan

    "Today I feel really privileged. This is going to be the end of the 63rd World Championship and we will have a new world champion. It is the climax of an unbelievable season and this is probably the greatest season in my recollection in F1."

  249. 1505: 

    BBC co-commentator David Coulthard says he's "as nervous as he's ever been" ahead of the title decider. "I was never involved in a title decider, so this is more nerve-wracking than any time when I was in the car."

  250. 1503: 

    Impeccable timing as Red Bull pump out The Chain as Jake, EJ and DC open the show.


    Lotus on Twitter: "Of course, today we bid a fond farewell to one of the sports greatest; 7xF1 World Champion Michael Schumacher."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "This race marks the final grand prix in the long relationship between Lewis Hamilton and McLaren - he is moving to Mercedes next year. He has been asked about it all weekend, and by Saturday afternoon was understandably getting a little fed up of the constant questions. In a revealing BBC interview with pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie, though, he came close to tears as he discussed the subject, his years with McLaren and girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger. He said he might 'need to keep my helmet on' after the race. However it finishes, there is a good chance those tears will flow properly by the end of the afternoon."

  253. 1500: 

    What a tune, Fleetwood Mac's The Chain. It gets me every time. Sends shivers down my spine. Why? Because it means BBC One's final race broadcast of the season is under way and we are one hour from the lights going out in the title-decider.


    BBC Radio 5 live pit lane reporter Jennie Gow on Twitter: "Wattie [John Watson] reckons the rain is on it's way!!! He can feel it apparently ;)"

  255. 1455: 

    Jake, EJ and DC are putting the finish touches to their intro in the pit lane as we approach the start of the programme. Jake looking dapper in a pink number while Eddie has gone for a sensational two-tone black polka dot effort...

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "In a dry race, as it looks like being, McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button can be expected to be the strongest candidates for victory, with the Red Bulls pushing them hard. The silver cars have looked super-competitive all weekend and they have locked out the front row, with Lewis Hamilton just sneaking ahead of Jenson Button. McLaren have their eyes on separating Ferrari from second place in the constructors' championship, and a one-two would do it regardless of Ferrari's result."


    Ferrari on Twitter: "No rain expected during the race. After one week of unanimous forecasts for a rainy Sunday we will have a dry race."

  258. 1451: 

    Ferrari have just sent out a tweet I'm sure they were hoping not to have to write....

  259. 1448: 

    Just a reminder about the title maths. Vettel has a 13-point lead over Alonso with 25 on the table in the season finale. Put simply, Alonso must finish on the podium to have any chance of getting his hands on the championship trophy - and even then it needs a bad performance from Vettel.

    A win for the Spaniard requires Vettel to finish outside the top four. Second means Vettel must fails to make the top seven. Third would require Vettel to finish 10th or lower. For Vettel, fourth would be enough, regardless of where Alonso finishes.

  260. 1444: 

    Sensational scenes in the BBC Sport office today as my colleague Karen Fazackerley has baked a selection of car-inspired chocolate cupcakes to celebrate this super occasion. Can anyone top these tasty treats? Tweet us using the #bbcf1 or text 81111 (UK only).


    Laura Tansley on Twitter: "Slouchies, check. Sofa & duvet, check. Drinks & snacks, check. Nerves? Completely shot to pieces. Tense afternoon."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "There is a lot of talk about a wet race being a big chance for Fernando Alonso to beat Sebastian Vettel to the championship. Some might wonder why. After all, it's not as if Vettel is not good in the wet - he is. He won his first race at a wet Italian Grand Prix in Monza in 2008 and his second in similar conditions in China in 2009. And although Alonso has been on pole at both wet races this year, each time the Red Bulls were right behind him. The point, though, is that the rain reduces the performance gap between the Red Bull and the Ferrari - and raises the possibility of mistakes, incidents and so on. All of which can happen either of the title contenders, of course."


    Ferrari on Twitter: "Less than 90 minutes and then the race will start! Be sure that we will do 120% to help Fernando to win!"

  264. 1441: 

    Lewis Hamilton has just pointed out a dark grey cloud approaching Interlagos. The weather radar says the chance of rain is decreasing but you never know with this place. Anything can happen.


    Neil Steele on Twitter: "Would be great if Lewis could sign off from McLaren with another win, but today is all about the WDC really. Go Fernando!!"


    Pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton of McLaren: "We just did a team photo. I'm so proud to be associated with them. It's quite an emotional end to the year. I'd love to go out there and win it for the team. Jenson won't make it easy, neither will the Red Bulls."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "As we consider the pressure on the shoulders of both Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, there is the slightest suspicion that both slightly under-performed in qualifying. In Vettel's case, Lewis Hamilton came right out and said it. Vettel denied it, of course. Alonso, meanwhile, was out-qualified by team-mate Felipe Massa for only the second time this year - but the second time in as many races. And the margin was quite large for such a short lap - 0.266 seconds. He had no explanation for that. How will they both cope in the race?"


    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso: "Wet races are more unpredictable. We need that kind of race. We will do our race and we will enjoy. When we cross the line, we see what positions we are in."

  269. 1438: 


    1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 273

    2. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 260


    3. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 206

    4. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 190

    5. Mark Webber (Red Bull) 167

    6. Jenson Button (McLaren) 153


    Nico Rosberg on Twitter: "Very funny, normally the mechanics have heavy metal music in the garage. At the moment there are pre-race Christmas songs..."

  271. 1435: 

    The 2012 roll of honour:

    Australia - Jenson Button (McLaren) Malaysia - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) China - Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) Bahrain - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Spain - Pastor Maldonado (Williams) Monaco - Mark Webber (Red Bull) Canada - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Europe - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) Britain - Mark Webber (Red Bull) Germany - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) Hungary - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Belgium - Jenson Button (McLaren) Italy - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Singapore - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Japan - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) India - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Abu Dhabi - Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) United States - Lewis Hamilton (Lotus)


    Mercedes's Michael Schumacher: "We are not really in a position to offer a lot of fireworks in this last race, but I wish to do. Rain would be welcome from my side to mix it up. Nevertheless, it's been a pleasure to come back. I enjoyed most of it. Not as successful as we wanted it to be. I learned a lot. Now is a good time to go and go back to the life I had."

  273. 1432: 

    Here's a quick word from the legendary seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher...

  274. 1430: 

    Bit of excitement on the grid right now as the drivers take their place for the traditional end of season photo. Michael Schumacher has got in there nice and early and secured himself a prime seat front-centre for his swansong race. He's flanked by Fernando Alonso on one side and Sebastian Vettel on the other. No tears yet from the legendary German.


    Alex on Twitter: " rain, well, I'm still hoping for rain and in #Interlagos weather reports are meaningless."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "Watch out for some action from Williams's Pastor Maldonado and Lotus's Romain Grosjean, who starts out of position in 16th and 18th places. Maldonado missed a weight check during second qualifying, for which he was given a reprimand. The problem was that it was his third of the season - which means a mandatory 10-place grid penalty. Williams held their hands up and said he simply did not see the light - it is unusual to be called in the middle of second qualifying as he was. They say time is tight in Q2 and now they know it's a possibility they will have to adjust their programme to take that into account. As for Grosjean, he only has himself to blame, after completely misjudging an on-track situation for the umpteenth time this year and running into the back of Pedro de la Rosa's HRT in first qualifying. The number of times he has made an error of judgement on track this season is causing concern up and down the pit lane - he seems to have some kind of mental blind spot."

  277. 1427: 

    1) Hamilton 2) Button 3) Webber 4) Vettel 5) Massa 6) Hulkenberg 7) Alonso 8) Raikkonen 9) Rosberg 10) Di Resta

    11) Senna 12) Perez 13) Schumacher 14) Kobayashi 15) Ricciardo 16) Maldonado* 17) Vergne

    18) Grosjean 19) Petrov 20) Kovalainen 21) Glock 22) Pic 23) Karthikeyan 24) De la Rosa

    *Pastor Maldonado demoted 10 places to sixth after picking up his third reprimand

  278. 1424: 

    All this chat about the drivers' championship and I've not had chance to mention our pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton who produced a stunning lap in qualifying to line up on P1 for the first time in Brazil. Jenson Button made it a perfect day for McLaren by lining up in second to lock-out the front row.


    Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne on Twitter: "Please let it rain in Interlagos...!"

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "Of the two title contenders, Sebastian Vettel has by far the easiest job. He has the faster car, he starts ahead of Fernando Alonso and mathematically things are stacked hugely in his favour. If Alonso wins, the German needs only to be fourth or higher to be champion. If Alonso is second, Vettel needs only to be seventh, and if Alonso is third, only ninth. But Vettel says he has no intention of driving a careful race into the points. 'We don't come here to finish second, fourth, fifth, 10th,' he said. 'We finished fourth in qualifying which is maybe not the best position we could have got but it is not a disaster; there are more people behind us than in front. I am happy with fourth and there are plenty of opportunities in terms of tactics. The most important thing is we are ready to attack and hungry.'"


    Jonathan Jones on Twitter: "Can't wait for the Brazilian Grand Prix - feeling the tension!"

  282. 1421: 

    Venue: Interlagos Laps: 71 Circuit length: 4.309km Race distance: 305.909km Number of corners: 15 (10 left and 5 right) Average lap speed: 205kph Full throttle per lap: 70% Lap record: Juan Pablo Montoya (2004) 1:11.473.


    Force India on Twitter: "Time 4 Paul & Nico to have their lunch. Coming up we have the drivers' end-of-season photo followed by their parade. Then it's time to race."

  284. 1418: 

    This is the 27th time in which there has been a championship decider at the last race, I'm told. Of the previous 26, the championship leader going into the race has won the title on 15 occasions. The odds, then, are stacked in Mr Vettel's favour.


    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso on Twitter: "Good morning! Slept 9h and now arriving at the circuit. Now strategy meetings and normal preparations before every race."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "If you're in the UK, make sure you catch the start of the BBC One Brazilian Grand Prix coverage at 1500 GMT. One of BBC Sport's award-winning film-makers has produced an 'opener' based on the premise that more men have been in space than stood on the top step of the Formula 1 podium. That really brings home just how special it is to be a leading grand prix driver."

  287. 1415: 

    So this is the plan for the BIGGEST race of the season (Yes, I'm excited). Jake, EJ and DC will hit your screens at 1500 GMT to begin an hour long build to the race, which I suspect will involve several updates about the weather systems around Interlagos. Then at around 1535, DC will begin his grid walk with the lights going out at 1600. Around 90 minutes later, we should have a new champion.

  288. 1412: 

    So who do you think deserves to win this year's title? Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard who has dragged a sluggish Ferrari to three victory and nine podiums in one of the most sensational performances in recent memory. Or Sebastian Vettel, the reigning world champion, who bounced back from a disappointing start to the season to win four races on the bounce and assume the championship lead. The choice is yours. Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put F1 and your name on those texts.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "The threat of rain has been receding all the time. On Saturday, the forecast was for a 90% chance of rain, now it's down to 40% or less and the teams are saying they expect a dry race, with light showers afterwards - or perhaps at the end. Looking at the amount of understeer - lack of front grip - in Fernando Alonso's car during qualifying, more than a few people wondered whether the team had made a few concessions to wet weather in its set-up - gambling on it being their best chance of beating Sebastian Vettel, and knowing that in a dry race they are helpless to beat him unless the Red Bull fails. I asked Alonso directly after qualifying whether that had been Ferrari's approach, and he said: 'No, not really,' before explaining that these days there is not much difference between a wet and dry set-up. But it was noticeable that he did not once look me in the eye as he talked, with is unusual. Make of that what you will."

  290. 1408: 

    In just over three and a half hours time, Formula 1 will have crowned a new champion - either Fernando Alonso or Sebastian Vettel. German Vettel is in the driving seat, holding a 13-point lead with 25 remaining and lining up fourth on the grid with Alonso back in seventh. But there is one thing in Alonso's favour - the weather. Rain was expected to unload itself on the historic Interlagos track come the race - and we all know how good the Spaniard is in slippery conditions - just think of this year's Malaysian Grand Prix. But it appears things have changed.


    McLaren's Jenson Button on Twitter: "Morning from a surprisingly sunny São Paulo. Where's the rain?! Always love Sunday mornings."

  292. 1405: 

    Welcome, one and all, to our live coverage of the Brazilian Grand Prix - the finale of a truly remarkable season which has had everything.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson at Interlagos

    "The expectations are that this could be a classic race. It's certainly beautifully poised. Title rivals Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are fourth and seventh on the grid, and the pressure on both is immense. At stake is the honour of being a three-time world champion, something only eight people in history have managed. Not only that, but whoever does it will become the youngest person to achieve it. The odds are heavily in Vettel's favour, with a 13-point advantage that means Alonso has to finish on the podium to even have a chance of becoming champion. In the last nine Brazilian Grands Prix, Alonso has only failed to finish in the top three positions three times. This year, he has been on the podium 12 times in 19 races. So realistically Vettel must be going into the race thinking that he has to finish. Mouth-watering."

  294. 1403: 

    The driver which comes out on top will become the youngest ever triple world champion. If Vettel does it, he will become the first to win his first three titles titles in consecutive world titles.

    The winner will join a prestigious list of champions who have won more than three: Michael Schumacher (7), Juan Manuel Fangio (5), Alain Prost (4), Jack Brabham (3), Jackie Stewart (3), Niki Lauda (3), Nelson Piquet (3), Ayrton Senna (3). Fine company indeed.

  295. 1400: 

    In 2010, Sebastian Vettel arrived at the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi having never led the World Championship at any point that season and trailing Fernando Alonso by 15 points. Come the chequered flag, the young German was world champion for the first time in his career.

    Fast forward to Brazil and the positions are reversed. It's Alonso who trails Vettel, this time by 13 points, with 25 points left on the table. Vettel simply needs to finish fourth to win his third successive title. For Alonso, he needs to win with Vettel outside the top four, come second with Vettel outside the top seven, come third with Vettel 10th or lower.

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FIA Formula 1 World Championsh 2015

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 43
2 Germany S Vettel Ferrari 40
3 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 33
4 Brazil F Massa Williams 20
5 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 12
6 Brazil F Nasr Sauber 10
7 Finland V Bottas Williams 10
8 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 9
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 6
10 M Verstappen Toro Rosso 6
11 C Sainz Toro Rosso 6
12 Sweden M Ericsson Sauber 4
13 Russia D Kvyat Red Bull 2
14 Mexico S Perez Force India 1
15 France R Grosjean Lotus 0
16 Great Britain J Button McLaren 0
17 R Merhi Manor Marussia F1 0
18 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 0
20 Spain F Alonso McLaren 0
21 W Stevens Manor Marussia F1 0


After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham