The Japanese Grand Prix was not a thrilling race, by any means, but it had its moments of drama and looks like it may have reduced the championship contenders from five to three – certainly four at the most.
So who was your Driver of the Day?
Took pole for the eighth time this year and converted it into a win for only the second time. Never really threatened by team mate Webber he seemed to have the weekend under control from start to finish. He’s now back in the hunt and this win forces Webber to be more aggressive in the remaining three races.
Qualified just behind Vettel and followed him all the way, nicking the fastest lap right at the end. Grabbed a ninth podium in 16 races. Kept Alonso at arms length.
Qualified fifth but was promoted to fourth by Hamilton’s gearbox penalty. Picked up a place when Kubica’s wheel came off and then just kept the Red Bulls honest in case they broke. They didn’t but he got a podium and is still right in the hunt.
Had a good margin over Button on pace this weekend. Did a great lap in qualifying to take third, which became eighth with his penalty for changing gearbox. Great start to get up to sixth place, which became fifth once Kubica dropped out. Harried Button and beat him on strategy and pace. Then lost 3rd gear and had to nurse the car to the finish, dropping back behind Button in the process.
Another barnstorming race from the Japanese driver. Started 14th on the grid, outqualified by his team mate Heidfeld. But what a fight he put on in the race! 10th by lap two he steamed past Alguersuari (twice), Heidfeld and Barrichello – having started on the hard tyres, used his soft tyres in the final laps to go on the attack. Establishing himself as a real favourite with the fans.
All photos: Darren Heath (www.darrenheath.com)