Raikkonen jumps Button after Brazilian finale
Kimi Raikkonen jumped ahead of Jenson Button and into sixth in the Castrol EDGE Rankings following Formula 1’s wild 2012 finale in Brazil.
The Iceman’s return to the sport has brought about a seismic change in his Rankings position, resulting in him ending the year ahead of Button and fifth highest in the F1 standings.
It is the first time since 2010 that Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have not locked out the top positions in the F1 order.
Raikkonen has been irrepressible in his F1 comeback.
He started the season 373rd in the Rankings, but by the third race was already back inside the top 200.
The trend continued unabated: after Monaco he had broken back into the top 100; after Hockenheim, he was back inside the top 50 for the first time in almost two years.
The Finn stabilised inside the top 30 for several weeks, but his breakthrough victory in Abu Dhabi – combined with very low totals to defend under the rollover system – launched him into the top 10 in the final rounds of 2012.
His journey back to the top was completed when he finished 10th in Brazil, enough to carry him above racewinner Button.
Though Button scored more points, he also defended more as a result of finishing third in last year’s corresponding race.
Raikkonen, in contrast, did not have to defend any points and his gains were therefore unrestricted.
He eventually finished the season third in the championship, ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Button and Mark Webber.
Hamilton and Webber managed to stay ahead of him in the Rankings due largely to the combination of better qualifying records and promising races which only went awry due to bad luck or retirements.
Button however could not keep the Iceman at bay and, on the final round of the year, surrendered fifth place in the F1 Rankings.
Victory in Brazil was however enough to move the Briton ahead of 2012 IndyCar runner-up Will Power.
Button ends the season in seventh, meaning six of the top-ranked drivers come from F1 this year.
Only nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb was able to break in, finishing second.