The Brazilian Grand Prix brought the curtain down on an astonishing F1 season as Sebastian Vettel beat Fernando Alonso to the crown – becoming the youngest triple champion in the history of the sport in the process.
takes a race-by-race look at how Red Bull's German racer overturned a 44 point deficit at the half-way stage of the season to take the title away from Alonso and Ferrari…
Jenson Button wins the season opener for McLaren with Vettel making the most of a Safety Car period to make his final pit-stop under caution – allowing him to jump ahead of Lewis Hamilton to finish second. The podium comes after Vettel can only qualify in sixth after mistake on his final flying lap in the session.
Alonso meanwhile fails to make it past Q2 after spinning into the gravel at turn one after his first timed run and he admits Ferrari has work to do, despite battling his way to fifth place in the race.
Alonso secures a stunning victory at a sodden Sepang in a race that has to be halted for nearly an hour due to the extreme conditions on track. Making the most of the conditions, Alonso comes from ninth on the grid (having suffered KERS failure in qualifying) to earn his first success of the season but warns Ferrari that nothing had changed in terms of how much Ferrari has to do.
Vettel starts from fifth place and is on course to finish just off the podium until a late clash with the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan causes a puncture that drops him down to eleventh – and means he leaves Malaysia having failed to score.
Nico Rosberg takes his first F1 win for Mercedes in a race where both Vettel and Alonso fail to make any sort of impression on the end result. In a close qualifying session, Vettel fails to make Q3 for the first time since Brazil 2009 and can only qualify eleventh - dropping further places with a slow start when the lights go out. A two-stop strategy sees him run as high as second but fading tyres see him shuffled back to fifth at the finish.
Alonso meanwhile starts from ninth spot and spends the entire race dealing with traffic and also runs off track while trying to pass the Williams of Pastor Maldonado; meaning he takes the chequered flag in the same position in which he started.
Vettel opens his account for the 2012 season as the German qualifies on pole position and then takes victory in the race having managed to see off the challenge of a charging Kimi Raikkonen as Lotus impress in the Gulf state.