Posted on October 7, 2008
Off To Fuji | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

I’m off to Fuji tomorrow, full of anticipation. This has been a wonderful championship, where most of the races have been great and a minority dull. Last year’s Fuji race was very dramatic and had a big influence on the outcome of the championship, as Alonso lost the chance of points with an uncharacteristic crash. A couple of points that day would have made him champion at the end of the season. It just shows you that a split second error at this stage of the season is potentially disastrous, as Ferrari found in Singapore.

This year Lewis Hamilton again has the advantage going into these final races; seven points. But the McLaren team is also working far more effectively than it was at this stage last year and he is benefitting from that. The McLaren, as we have seen, is also a better car in the rain than the Ferrari and that could prove an important factor at Fuji. Against that Felipe Massa is driving with a lot of confidence at the moment and the Ferrari was half  a second quicker than the McLaren in Singapore, indicating that they’ve made some impressive steps in development. Massa was stronger than Hamilton in Singapore and was unlucky to lose another ten points (to add to those lost in Hungary) with the pit lane disaster. Massa has benefitted from the controversial penalties Hamilton has been handed this year, but there is no doubt that his bad luck has had a greater effect on the outcome. If he loses the title he will point to those two races as the cause and he’ll have plenty of justification for that.

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