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It rained on and off throughout the race at Interlagos, making conditions difficult and forcing drivers to come in and out of the pits several times.
It was dry at the start, but it was a chaotic first lap, and a perfect one for Alonso. The Spaniard moved from seventh to fifth after the first corner, while Vettel dropped from fourth to seventh. Vettel then was hit from behind by the Williams of Bruno Senna and spun at the end of the back straight, dropping to last place after sitting backward on the track with several cars having to go around him.
ALONSO FINIsHES SECOND
Moments later, Alonso passed Felipe Massa and Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber at the same time to move to third. Had they stayed in those positions, Alonso would have won the title.
But the Spaniard lost a position after locking his front tire and briefly running off the track at the first corner, while Vettel, without significant damage to his car, began making his way back to the front, easily passing the slower cars near the end of the pack. He was already sixth by lap 15.
Alonso was fourth and Vettel fifth when the safety car was deployed for debris on the track eight laps later. Vettel then dropped to seventh at the halfway point of the 71-lap race, which still would have been good enough to defend his 13-point lead and clinch the title.
Alonso briefly had the title in his hands again after more rain fell with 14 laps to go. Red Bull lost time while putting the wet tires on Vettel's car, dropping him to 11th place, while Alonso moved into third. But after all cars pitted, Vettel was in sixth place, enough to keep the title.
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