Kobayashi’s podium leads fans’ top moments of 2012

2012 F1 season review

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Kamui Kobayashi’s first ever podium appearance at his home race in Suzuka was picked as one of the best moments of the year by F1 Fanatic readers.

Here’s why plus more of your favourite moments of 2012.

Kobayashi’s first podium finish

Kobayashi was in great form at his home race. He lined up third on the grid and passed Mark Webber on the run to turn one. Although he was demoted by Felipe Massa during the race, he hung on to take third place ahead of Jenson Button. His first ever podium finish came in his home race, and was warmly received by the crowd.

Kobayashi’s podium in Japan was a fantastic moment. He has deserved a podium for so long, it was brilliant to see him finally get one. The fans chanting his name before the podium ceremony was amazing, and the podium itself was great. Kobayashi was a hero that day.

Kobayashi’s for me was the best, the crowd shouting “Kamui” gave me goosebumps.
TommyB (@TommyB89)

To hear the fans cheer like that was amazing. And then of cause Alonso’s win in Valencia which had the same vibes, but I felt that since it was Kobayashi’s first podium, to then do it in front of his home crowd takes it for me. Brilliant F1 moment.

A win for Williams – and Maldonado

Williams’ long-awaited return to winning ways was another favourite moment of the year for many readers.

It’s great to see sir Frank Williams celebrating his 70th birthday and Maldonado’s victory in Spain was the best gift for sir Frank.

And Maldonado – F1 needs such drivers as him. Somebody can think of him as a ‘hooligan’ but he’s a good racer. He’s quick, he doesn’t afraid of fighting at the track. It’s a funny coincidence but last time it’s Montoya who was such kind of driver, especially when he was at Williams.
Kirill Egorov (@Bigraces)

I was very pleased to see Maldonado take his first victory, not just because of its significance for Williams – who many of us probably believed would never win another GP – but also for the driver.

Having followed him through GP2, I had seen him show flashes of potential and great speed in his first three seasons, but also, in his title-winning season, the consistency that had previously been lacking. I was convinced he not only deserved to be in F1 on merit, but also had the potential to achieve decent results.

However, due to a variety of factors – his financial backing, the hopeless car he ended up in for 2011, and some controversial incidents – he received a lot of criticism, and the fact that he had matched up very respectably to the vastly-more-experienced Barrichello was largely ignored.

His drive in the Spanish Grand Prix proved that my faith in him was not misplaced. He didn’t crack under pressure from Alonso. He didn’t try to pull away from the Ferrari and destroy his tyres in the process. He didn’t crash out. He put in a performance of which few believed him capable and which begs the question of what he could achieve in a top team, with a little more consistency.

Maldonado winning in Spain and carrying his cousin during the fire.

The European Grand Prix

Valencia’s street circuit had failed to thrill F1 fans with its first four races. That changed this year, as Fernando Alonso made an inspired run to win at home from 11th on the grid, while Michael Schumacher scored the only podium of his comeback.

As I was watching Lap 19-ish at Valencia I had a pinch-myself moment, I looked at a line of cars right long all jostling across the track, many with different tyre life as some (Schumacher and Webber) had just come out of the pits while others (Senna) had just come out of the pits.

It looked like a lap one struggle for position, but it was a third of the way through the race, the complete antithesis of Monaco, and absolutely thrilling stuff.

Possibly my favourite ever race simply because of Alonso’s stunning drive.

I thought after qualifying ‘Vettel is going to walk this’ and while for the majority of the race he did but the midfield actions along with Raikkonen, Schumacher and Alonso charging through was great.

The best bit thought had to be Alonso stopping his car and celebrating the victory with the stewards and his fans. It must’ve been great to watch an be a part of such an emotional victory.

My favourite moment was seeing Alonso, Raikkonen and Schumacher in Valencia on the podium and the photos of them in ’05/’06 all in different colour overalls. After seven years the three remain class acts.
Broom (@Brum55)

More of your favourite moments of 2012

Among your other favourite moments of 2012 were Schumacher’s ‘phantom pole’ at Monaco, Nico Rosberg’s first victory, and Raikkonen’s comeback win in Abu Dhabi with his instantly memorable remarks on the radio.

I loved seeing Schumacher’s qualifying effort in Monaco, given the right equipment, he still has the pace over a lap. The old dog still has some tricks, but glad he hung up his helmet. Still going to miss him.

Rosberg’s win. Probably the most overdue and expected performance this season both for Rosberg and Mercedes, in a brilliant race. Too bad it came to nothing after all.
Antonio Nartea (@tony031r)

Raikkonen’s comeback victory at Abu Dhabi saying “Leave me alone I know what I’m doing” on the team radio – and doing it correctly.
Siva Jayanth (@Kimifan999)

Here’s what made the 2012 season great for me:

2012 F1 season review

Browse all 2012 F1 season review articles

Images © Sauber F1 Team, Williams/LAT, Red Bull/Getty images

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “Kobayashi’s podium leads fans’ top moments of 2012”

  1. Yeah, Kamui’s podium was a cool moment, I suppose…

  2. I’d add the Malaysian GP to that. I watched it again a couple of days ago and it was so brilliant. Such a relief for Ferrari with Alonso’s brilliant drive, and such a success for Perez and Sauber. You rarely see that much emotion after the chequered flag!

  3. “Leave me alone I know what I’m doing” is on my skin as I got the hoodie to remember how much fun I had that day, and how much I enjoyed the Iceman comeback’s win.

    Thank you Formula 1, you make me proud to be a fan of such an intelligent sport which allies physical, mental, respect, adrenaline and so much more… Comparing you with football (for instance) it’s day and night.

    I respect every drivers, every teams, every fans and every opinion.

    1. Normally I don’t do this but:


    2. Thats COTD stuff right here

    3. +99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999

      I think it’s clearly visible I completely agree with you…

    4. @verstappen thank you, I don’t do the +1 thing aswell so I’m proud to receive one mate!
      @johnniewalker thank you, but COTD are sadly novels rather than straight quote, aren’t they mate?
      @joao-pedro-cq thank you, you made me laugh out mate!

  4. Kobayashi’s podium is very high on my list, particularly for the reception by the fans. Their chanting was absolutely awesome.

    Also high on my list is Valencia’s pre-podium chat where all three drivers met up with Stella and all three were happy to see him and from the looks, each other as well. Genuine respect between all four of them and a sense of being pleased for one another’s results on that day.

    As a Raikkonen fan, I’m happy he had a good comeback. But to me, the best part of his year was his second stint in Hungary where he decided when and how much of his tyres to save to the point where the team came on the radio to ask him if something was wrong because they were worried about how slowly he was going. And then he timed pretty much to perfection when to really put the hammer down to overtake everyone bar Hamilton. Those, what… 20-odd laps were magical.

    Hamilton nailing qualifying in Spain was awesome as well. He really put everyone in their place in Q3 and it was absolutely horrible to have to see him lose it through no fault of his own. But the way he then managed to salvage a very respectable 8th place from last on the grid, ahead of Button, ironically by managing his tyres really made him a standout performer in that weekend to me.

    I have to say also, I loved all of the Austin GP. Simply a disgrace that they weren’t awarded the best F1 promoters this year.

  5. Yes Kamui’s first podium, followed by Perez’ first podium in Malaysia were my highlights of the year. Lowest point for me was Spa first corner crash as it robbed so many drivers including Kobayashi of an epic battle at the front.

    1. Ahh but if the lowest point in your year hadn’t occurred then Kobayashi would’ve probably got a podium there so your highest point wouldnt have happened – Kobayashi getting his first podium at his home race..
      Although tbh I think the crash in spa did make that race quite dull after that, and potentially lost Alonso the championship, I wouldn’t change anything that happened in the last season. It was thoroughly excellent and everything happens for a reason

  6. For me was Perez getting the second place in Malaysia. The happiness in the Sauber team, and Perez itself, I still have it pictured in my eyes. I respect a lot Sauber, because they look a more down to earth team.
    I like to mention the videos of Sauber as well, although these are out of track moments, but those cut in half cars videos, were beautiful to watch.
    Oh, and Lewis unlapping Vettel was a nice one, now that I am on Lewis, it was also that moment when his mechanics changed his steering wheel during a pit stop, I can’t remember which race though :(.

    1. Yep the steering wheel change was damn impressive.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxiV5WPCyLU Indian GP.

  7. For me it was the Valencia GP being awesome as usual. And Kimi’s comments on the radio, and when he got lost, of course

  8. From Japan, I’m very glad to see that many people also think Kamui’s podium was one of special moments in 2012.
    As a big fan of him, I struggle when he is struggling, I am excited and rejoiced when he shows many overtakes. In that race, the latter half of laps when he was attacked by Button was the longest moment I ever felt in this year. Although I was watching it on TV, I shouted and cried in front of television and LT as he passed across the checkered flag. I believe that he will show more of epic moments for us and never stop supporting him!!!

  9. CarnivorousPope (@)
    15th December 2012, 23:19

    Felipe’s return to form in the second half of the season was the best part for me. After being almost certain he’d have no drive for 2013 from his starting performances it was even better when he achieved those two podiums towards the end.

    1. it was good to see. Tho in reality he just started doing his job, just about.

  10. For me it was the supreme unity of all the teams in fighting the fire in the Williams garage. That moment reminded me what a great sport F1 truly is better than anything else this season.

  11. I’m Japanese Formula 1 Fan. I’m glad to choose Kamui’s poduim top moments.
    But I think top moments in this year, Massa’s podium finished in Japanese Grand Prix.

  12. Schumacher holding off a line of cars on old tyres, and only one driver being able to get through, with precision and smooth control. No one else passed before he pitted.

    That driver was Fernando Alonso. It summed up the day, the race and the championship.

    And if my memory serves me right it wasnt included in the BBC highlights……

  13. Kamui’s podium is an excellent choice!!! I also agree with Jacobson’s opinion. The fire in Williams garage and what followed, represent the real spirit of F1.

  14. I voted Kamui too, I follow him after his debut in those awesome 2 last races for Toyota. Eddie Jordan nailed it everytime he talked how exciting is to see him overpass. With his ups and downs, I was expecting to see him at least once in a podium. When practice start and the numbers where not bad and his pole was up there, I though to myself. This could be the one time he could make history for Japan not just himself. I wanted a solid 2, but a 3rd and the chanting through loudspeakers and stuff, got me choked for a little bit.

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