As I write this on Friday evening in the dark at Fuji, it is starting to rain. Only lightly, but enough to remind you that the weather here can be very unpredictable and that rain is never very far away.
This morning the sky was blue and the view of Mount Fuji was spectacular. The two practice sessions took place in perfect conditions, but the locals are talking about rain tomorrow and a dry race on Sunday.
McLaren and Ferrari look pretty well matched again. I was interested in Ferrari’s performance advantage in Singapore over McLaren as it looked like they had taken a big step and if that proved to be the case this might carry them through to the end of the season.
But in fact I think Lewis wasn’t really at his best in Singapore and that masks the true performance picture. We will see this weekend. There is no doubt that after a run of races through the summer where the McLaren was the fastest car in qualifying, it now seems that the Ferrari is slightly stronger and Massa is really in the zone on the single lap qualifying run.
McLaren as a team are working very well, much better than last year and there is a calmness about them. Ferrari have had that for ages, but it seemed to slip a bit in Singapore when they had that pit stop cock-up and I would not be surprised if they were a little edgy here as a result. They have been so successful for so long and their processes are so good that the confidence will surely return quickly.