Last season was an one sided affair but 2012 was very special as not only the title once again went down to the wire but also Vettel become the youngest 3 time Champion and has become the 3rd driver after Fangio & Schumacher to win 3 straight titles. Also this year we had 8 different drivers winning the race while 6 constructors won the races with them. 2 other constructors even led the races and had realistic chance of winning.
As always many drivers do leave F1 for a variety of reasons but Schumacher has retired for good. The legendary German driver may not have had the most successful comeback but he did have fun and finally did the podium at Valencia. Maybe he trusted Brawn too much or maybe he is not that good but again everyone does agree that for 3 years the car was never as good as the front running cars and this year there was atleast 6 cars which were better than the Mercedes.
Kimi made a very good comeback to F1 as he finished 3rd in the driver’s championship and helped Lotus achieve 4th in the constructors battle. If only he had a better teammate Lotus could have even finished runner-up in the constructor’s battle. Kimi has done well and another good season will only see the likes of Red Bull & McLaren courting him once again.
US made a return to F1 and the grand prix at Austin was a big success. Good to see F1 back in the US and all now is needed is a good American driver to race but one can only hope for a miracle to see Danica Patrick in F1 but alas it may never happen.
Among the teams, McLaren despite having one of the best cars of the season was the biggest disappointment that the team just could not challenge for the drivers title for a variety of reasons while Hamilton has made a high profile move to Mercedes and despite he having a chance to earn more, not sure if this is a right career more as Mercedes has failed to produce a good car. The outfit apart from one season as BAR and one season as Brawn has a history of producing bad cars only.
Red Bull apart from the Asian leg never really had the fastest car on the grid but Vettel showed great maturity and proved that he is truly one of the best ever as the way the won the title in a not so fast car is remarkable. Alonso can whine all he want and has proved that he is a very bad loser but Ferrari in reality never had such a bad car and in the end it was good to see Massa being faster than Alonso and team orders has to be ensured that Alonso stays ahead.
The mid-field pack was very tight but despite having a very good car Sauber & Williams could have done better had they had better drivers while Force India needs some investment if it needs to move out of this pack. Realistically these 3 teams can and should target Mercedes while Lotus can also be overhauled but again all depends on their budgets. McLaren can be target as now without Hamilton, Button is the new leader and despite being one of the most consistent drivers on the grid but with Perez as a teammate, there will be too much pressure on him and the team to challenge RBR & Ferrari.
Toro Rosso had a very lacklustre season as the teams was not fast as the mid-field pack but was well ahead of the 3 teams which joined in 2010. Caterham is lucky to finish ahead of Maurussuia as the team despite all the talk is still on par with Caterham while HRT will leave F1 after this season as they just do not have any money left.
Over the Club Awards for 2012 Season:
Driver of the Season – Sebastian Vettel & Fernando Alonso
Team of the Season – Red Bull Racing
The Next Big Thing – Nico Hulkenberg
Most Improved Driver – Sebastian Vettel
Most Improved Team – Sauber & Williams
Race of the Season – European Grand Prix
Best Grand Prix – United States Grand Prix
Worst Grand Prix – Chinese Grand Prix
Rookie of the season – Jean-Éric Vergn
Most disappointing driver of the Season – Kamui Kobayashi
Most disappointing team of the Season – Mercedes
Lucky to be in F1 (for the season) - Narain Karthikeyan
Veteran of the Season – Kimi Räikkönen
Comeback of the Season – Kimi Räikkönen
Most entertaining driver of the season – Sebastian Vettel
Most boring driver of the season – Nico Rosberg
JV of the Season – Fernando Alonso
(For the driver who talks utter nonsense like how JV used to do it in his racing days)
Whiner of the season - Fernando Alonso
Most missed Driver – Nick Heidfeld
Least missed Driver - Rubens Barrichello