The Interlagos circuit is one of the very best, and it delivered an enthralling climax to the most unpredictable and exciting season for many a year.
In betting terms, the race was green either way (obviously more so if you opted not to hedge). In fact, on a non-hedging basis it was the second best of the season.
The first few laps were probably the most breakneck and dramatic of the season (perhaps excluding Spa), and saw the McLarens retain the top slots, the Ferraris dive ahead of the Red Bulls and, most critically, Vettel get tagged from behind and spun. Senna and Perez ended their races before finishing the first lap and the title leader had an uncertain amount of damage on his car, and was reduced to 22nd of 22 running cars.
Hulkenberg had also a good start, and it certainly seems that his pole in Brazil for Williams was not an utter fluke but indicative of his real skills around the circuit.
The start was very slightly wet and the soft rain fell almost constantly, keeping the track too wet for easy driving but too dry to risk intermediates. Vettel scythed his way through the field, and the damage appeared minimal. However, the entire field was forced to pit for intermediate tyres, except Button and Hulkenberg. The pair were very evenly matched and built up a 44 second gap, but this was instantly destroyed when a lot of debris forced the safety car out. Before it emerged the young German had passed the Briton.
At the restart Button was left trailing by Hulkenberg and Hamilton passed his team mate and started to close on the German. Vettel was still some way back but high enough into the points that Alonso had his work cut out.
In the difficult first corner Hamilton was defending from Hulkenberg, who slid slightly on the wet circuit. This proved enough to send him off the track and to irreparably damage Hamilton's McLaren, sadly. Button, already miles ahead of Massa (then second), regained the lead.
Further down the field Vettel had advanced after Schumacher let him ease into sixth (a favour he did not offer Kobayashi later) and Alonso was obligingly let past by his team mate.
In the end, Button got the victory and the two Ferraris ended the season with a double podium finish for the first time this year. But the real triumph was Vettel's, who becomes the youngest ever triple world champion and only the third man, after Fangio and Schumacher, to do it consecutively.
Webber got fourth and Hulkenberg, having been a serious contender for the lead, was fifth. Vettel got sixth then came Schumacher, Vergne, Kobayashi and Raikkonen.
This means that Raikkonen keeps his third place, but had Hamilton finished he would've easily leapfrogged the Finn.
The Button tip was perhaps a little lucky. However, I've had some bad luck too in the latter half of the season and if luck must play a role I'll not complain about it being good.
It's been a mostly good year, but the time for looking back at the races and betting isn't now. I'll do a season review for each a little later.
I hope you enjoyed the 2012 F1 articles on pb2, and let's hope that 2013 is even better.