F1 Fanatic’s 50 article highlights of 2012

2012 F1 season review

Posted on

| Written by

The biggest stories, the best features and the most compelling debates. Here are F1 Fanatic’s 50 most interesting articles of 2012.

Talking points

Is Mercedes the right move for Hamilton?

The big move on the driver market this year was Lewis Hamilton’s switch to Mercedes for 2013.

Why covered cockpits and wheels may be F1???s future

Could the desire to improve safety and the search for more efficient performance lead to cockpits and wheels on F1 cars being enclosed?

Will F1 make a success of its return to America?

“The teams are doing what they can and COTA are straining every sinew to make the event a success, but I don’t see a fraction of that effort from the sport’s governing body or commercial rights holder.”

Alonso moves forward as Massa takes penalty

Ferrari’s controversial tactics in America provoked considerable discussion…

Ferrari accepts FIA view on Vettel dispute

…as did their request that the FIA ‘clarify’ whether Vettel broke the rules in Brazil.

Vettel proud Red Bull not distracted by “dirty tricks”

After clinching his third championship Vettel alluded to rumours about him joining Ferrari being spread to destabilise his relationship with Red Bull.

Hamilton penalty hands Maldonado first pole position

A dramatic decision by the stewards in Spain provided the subject of the most-commented article of the year.

Polls show fans more concerned about DRS than tyres

The lengths F1 is going to create exciting races using the Drag Reductions System and more rapidly degrading tyres comes up again and again in the comments.

Ferrari has “run out of patience” with F1 rules

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo hit out at Bernie Ecclestone, saying “old age is clearly incompatible with certain roles and responsibilities”.

HRT missing from FIA’s 2013 F1 entry list

One of F1’s newest teams died at the end of the season.

Grosjean ban ‘not just for affecting the championship’

Part of the reasoning given by the stewards for Grosjean’s ban after the Belgian Grand Prix was the consequences it had for the championship, which many readers objected to.

Caterham CT01 images revealed early

Caterham hoped to gain some attention by being the first to reveal their 2012 car in a magazine and they got exactly that, though perhaps not as they intended. First the pictures were leaked online a day early and much of the ensuing discussion was about how ugly the stepped noses had made the 2012 generation cars.


The Bahrain Grand Prix: A matter of conscience

“Those who go along quietly with what is happening, or chime in with another naive chorus of ‘sport should not be political’, are giving tacit endorsement to F1???s support for Bahraini oppression.”

Why Ferrari would do better with "two roosters"

Luca di Montezemolo said he doesn’t want “two roosters in the same hen house”. What does that say about Felipe Massa?

McLaren’s mistake costs Hamilton too dearly

An error by McLaren meant Hamilton started last instead of first in Spain.

Rubens Barrichello: Sometimes nice guys finish first

On the end of Rubens Barrichello’s F1 career after he lost his seat to Bruno Senna.

Schumacher’s second swansong will be his last

Thoughts on Michael Schumacher’s return to retirement.

The FOTA Fans Forum needs to ask the questions that matter

“It’s easy to dismiss the FOTA Fans Forum as merely a talking shop – but talking is important when you’re speaking to the people who matter.”

Williams should give Senna his fair share of track time

It looked inevitable Valtteri Bottas would replace Bruno Senna at Williams in 2013 from the moment the team stated Bottas would drive Senna’s car in most of the first practice sessions this year.

F1 finally cracks down on track limits abuse

The stewards finally got tough on drivers going off the track to gain an advantage, but track design should also discourage it from happening.

F1 should fix flawed rules before changing tyres

Early in the season there was much discussion over whether tyre degradation had made racing too unpredictable.

Top tens

2002 to 2012: Ten ways F1 has improved in ten years

Is F1 better now than it was ten years ago? Definitely – here’s why.

Top ten Suzuka showdowns

A selection of Suzuka’s great championship-deciding moments.

F1???s brushes with disaster: Top ten lucky escapes

Astonishing near-misses and brushes with disaster from the annals of Formula One.


Red Bull reveal interactive 360-degree video of their F1 car in action

Amazing interactive video of Sebastien Buemi driving at Rudskogen Motorsenter in Norway.

Adrian Newey drives two F1 cars he designed

Red Bull’s celebrated designer Adrian Newey at the wheel of his own Red Bull RB6 and the earlier Leyton-House CG901B.

Kimi Raikkonen laps the Nurburgring Nordschleife with Kim Dotcom

Slightly odd F1 driver video of the year number one.

Sebastian Vettel appears in Melanie Fiona music video

Slightly odd F1 driver video of the year number two.


McLaren MP4-13: McLaren’s last constructors’ title-winner

It wasn’t unlucky 13 for McLaren in 1998: The MP4-13 won the constructors’ championship and Mika Hakkinen claimed the drivers’ title.

Three cars, 18 tyres: F1 six-wheelers at Goodwood

Three six-wheeled F1 cars appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed: the Williams FW08B, March 2-4-0 and Tyrrell P34.

Williams FW08C: Ayrton Senna’s first F1 test car

Ayrton Senna tested for Williams in 1983, eleven years before he joined the team as a race driver.

Renault RE40: Alain Prost drives car he almost won the title in

Alain Prost lost the 1983 drivers’ championship in the final round driving the Renault RE40. It was also the first car to feature an exhaust-blown diffuser.

Porsche 804: Porsche’s only F1 race-winner

Porsche left F1 50 years ago after finally winning a Grand Prix with the boxer-engined 804.


“Poetry in Motion” – Tony Brooks’ autobiography

Really good autobiographies are rare but this long overdue book from fifties F1 racer Tony Brooks was definitely worth the wait.

“Team Lotus: My view from the pit wall” by Peter Warr – review

Unfortunately unfinished, but still essential reading.

“Grand Prix Who’s Who” fourth edition

Want to know everything about every F1 driver ever? Start here.

“I Just Made the Tea”

A candid and refreshingly funny read about life in the Formula One paddock.

“F1 Race Stars” by Codemasters

A different take on the usual F1 racing game from Codemasters.

Your questions

How many drivers have raced in F1?

This proved a surprisingly tricky question to answer.

How many first-lap crashes has Grosjean caused?

Romain Grosjean was accused of causing seven first-lap crashes after the pile-up in the Belgian Grand Prix. But was that figure accurate?

Black flags, unlapping and British Grand Prix refunds

Also, why Alonso didn’t get a penalty in Valencia as Hamilton did at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Grand Prix flashbacks


The turbulent 1982 season was the focus of three Grand Prix flashbacks this year:

1992 Hungarian Grand Prix: Mansell finally wins the title

After being runner-up on three occasions, Nigel Mansell finally lifted the crown 20 years ago at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

1962 Belgian Grand Prix: The Clark-Lotus era begins at Spa

Lotus and Jim Clark smashed the opposition with the Lotus 25 at Spa, the precursor to several years of success.

1992 Mexican Grand Prix: Schumacher’s first podium and Mexico’s last race

Mexico enjoyed F1 success again this year thanks to Sergio Perez. Their last Grand Prix took place 20 years ago.

1987 British Grand Prix: Mansell defeats Piquet at Silverstone

One of F1’s great battles took place 25 years ago at Silverstone.

More features

Italy left without an F1 driver in 2012

For the first time in over 40 years there were no Italian drivers on the grid during the whole of the season.

Over 100 ideas in the 2012 F1 Fanatic Gift Guide

Need to buy a present for an F1 fan? Look no further.

Become an F1 Fanatic supporter

The F1 Fanatic Supporter programme launched during 2012 and I’m very pleased with the response so far.

Contributions from F1 Fanatic readers help cover the cost of hosting, running and developing F1 Fanatic. And, of course, producing articles such as these.

By contributing 1 per month to F1 Fanatic you can browse the site free of advertisements. You can pay per month or per year. See below for more information and to sign up.

2012 F1 season review

Browse all 2012 F1 season review articles

Images © Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Red Bull/Getty images, HRT F1 Team, Red Bull/Getty images, Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, F1 Fanatic, Williams/Sutton, Williams/Sutton

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

6 comments on “F1 Fanatic’s 50 article highlights of 2012”

  1. The Bahrain article is brilliant, Keith. I remember thinking so at the time and it’s even better with the benefit of hindsight and detachment.

    On that issue, will we get a repeat in a few month’s time? There has been little reform or progress of any kind that I can find evidence of, and a lot of people in the country are still very angry, just type Bahrain into google.

    If the regime attempts to use the race as a political tool once again then the same protests must be made, we cannot allow a sense of deja vu or, dare I say it, boredom, to diminish the calls for responsibility from the FIA.

    I predict some arguments to the tune of: ‘you only care about Bahrain when the grand prix comes around’, as if inconsistency on our behalf has any bearing on the matter, but even that is not the case. The point remains that the race is important to the regime, infinitely more so than in China, and that to allow the race to be used as a political tool is unacceptable.

    Sadly, the race will almost certainly go ahead under the same depressing conditions as it did this year.

    1. +1
      I didn’t watch the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix and will not watch the 2013 one.

    2. @iamdanthomas @francorchamps17 Thanks guys! It does seem likely there’ll be a repeat of the same next year.

  2. There is no mention of the Sauber cutaway video?

    1. It’s included in this article

  3. Great summmary of the year Keith. Watching Adrian Newey drive the RB6 and the Leyton-House CG901B was a highlight of the year for me…Horner’s reaction to hearing he wasn’t holding back in the RB6 the beans was priceless!

Comments are closed.