Hot fun in Summertime
Budapest 2014
Hungarian Grand Prix
Red Bull on top as Vettel aims for Suzuka repeat
News
Red Bull on top as Vettel aims for Suzuka repeat
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 Oct 2010   |  7:43 am GMT  |  79 comments

Sebastian Vettel dominated last year’s Japanese Grand Prix weekend and the signs are strong that he and his Red Bull team are set to repeat this weekend.

Vettel - Big in Japan (Getty)


Vettel topped the time sheets in both Friday practice sessions, ahead of team mate Mark Webber. The margins were big again, not quite Hungary big, but certainly enough to dismay the opposition. Vettel was 9/10ths ahead of championship rival Fernando Alonso who was fourth. Of course it is only Friday but the Ferrari doesn’t look a match for the Red Bull this weekend.

Robert Kubica looked very lively in the Renault, mixing it with the Ferraris when the runners did their performance runs on the soft tyre towards the end of the afternoon session.

There was a major setback for Lewis Hamilton, who crashed in the morning, losing a lot of track time as a result. He damaged the car badly in the process and although the McLaren mechanics put in a serious shift over lunchtime to repair his car, he had to run with an old wing when he managed to get out in the final minutes of second practice. This is quite a blow for him and the team as they lost the chance to get data from him on the new update package. It was left to Jenson Button to do all the evaluation work.

“I was only on my second fast lap, and was probably pushing too hard too soon,” said Hamilton. “I didn’t go that wide – it wasn’t that big an off – but the gravel was very slippery at that point. A couple of other drivers had moments there and got away with it. But that’s life.”

McLaren is now working flat out to get new parts ready to be flown out from the UK to Japan in time for tomorrow’s running. Logistically this is quite a challenge. With a 12 hour flight and a seven hour time difference.

The key to Suzuka is the first sector and the signs are that Red Bull, as predicted, are in a different league from their opponents – Vettel’s Sector 1 time was three tenths faster than the Ferrari and half a second better than the rest.

This is all about a strong front end and well balanced and efficient downforce. Interestingly Vettel set his fastest time on the third lap on a set of soft tyres, so the car is clearly looking good.

There was a lot of track action today, the runners getting as much set up work in as possible as the forecasters are calling for heavy rain later today and tomorrow.

Japanese Grand Prix, Suzuka, Friday practice 2
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:31.465 31
2. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:31.860 + 0.395 29
3. Kubica Renault 1:32.200 + 0.735 32
4. Alonso Ferrari 1:32.362 + 0.897 34
5. Massa Ferrari 1:32.519 + 1.054 35
6. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.533 + 1.068 28
7. Petrov Renault 1:32.703 + 1.238 32
8. Schumacher Mercedes 1:32.831 + 1.366 27
9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:32.842 + 1.377 26
10. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:32.851 + 1.386 26
11. Rosberg Mercedes 1:32.880 + 1.415 26
12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.471 + 2.006 31
13. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.481 + 2.016 8
14. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:33.564 + 2.099 16
15. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.697 + 2.232 33
16. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34.005 + 2.540 32
17. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34.055 + 2.590 37
18. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:34.310 + 2.845 33
19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:36.095 + 4.630 37
20. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:36.333 + 4.868 33
21. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:36.630 + 5.165 28
22. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:36.834 + 5.369 28
23. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:37.352 + 5.887 33
24. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:37.831 + 6.366 34

Featured News
MORE FROM JA ON F1...
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
79 Comments
    1. Rich says:

      I have said all a long that I don’t really think the flex is the issue. It looks more like RB have some method of softening or lowering the front suspension. Possibly some neat damper that has variable resistance so once the car is running with a little down force the internals of the damper pass through the least resistance material and starts to behave as a normal damper resulting in a lower front wing. Perhaps the FIA should introduce a test to check the ride height with a few hundred KGs applied to the front wing!

      1. BA says:

        In the pictures, the whole floor height were at the same level, front to back. But the wing dropped so low. So, It’s obvious that it’s not the suspension.

        In Singapore, their wing flexed too, but not as much as Hungary and here (Japan). You can see it from onboard lap of Webber in formula1.com video.

    2. RickeeBoy says:

      The front suspension on the Red Bulls looks here at Japan to have even more camber thus providing the inner part of the tyre which can easily flex under load of the huge amount of pressure a front wing exerts –

      Have to agree with Stefmeister – that whole front wing looks like it’s scraping the ground !!

    3. frosty says:

      excuses, excuses, eh?
      can’t McLaren just develop their own flexwing system that operates within the rules??

      Ferrari seem be able to rise the challenge.

  1. I wonder who Mclaren should be calling “Crash Kid” now … :)

    Matt

      1. Rabbit Leader says:

        James,

        Instead of agreeing with the comments, one could also add balance to the comment by saying that Hamilton unlike many of the F1 drivers has been refreshingly honest about his mistakes when he has made them. It’s a shame that some choose to try and make anti Hamilton/McLaren cheap scoring points.

      2. Joe says:

        This is what happens when you call a driver the “crash kid”. Karma finds its ways to get even.

      3. malcolm.strachan says:

        Um, Vettel was also “refreshingly honest” about his crash at Spa.

        Fair is fair. ;)

      4. Kinkas says:

        Is not about James agreeing to comments. Is about karma my friend (Martin on Vettel: crash kid…).

      5. Galapago555 says:

        I hope you give James the right to agree or disagree with any comment we make here…

        Btw, your point is interesting. Lewis is being more self critical than the average F1 driver when regarding to his own mistakes.

        But I think that the comment is not focusing on Lewis but in somebody named Martin something and what he said after Spa.

      6. Rabbit Leader says:

        It was also Martin Whitmarsh who complimented Vettel highly by publicy admitting his interest in signing up Vettel to race for McLaren so I don’t understand the vitriol levelled at Martin Whitmarsh on this point.

      7. devilsadvocate says:

        I think it has generally been agreed or at least suggested that Martin’s comments were intended twofold to cause media attention to both draw away from his remarks after Spa when Hammy turned around and so eloquently binned his car on lap one at Monza and to try and knock Vettel off his game by getting him to start thinking of his future. Maybe when hell freezes over will Martin hire Vettel, that one gave me a good laugh. Hamilton better get his act together soon or the surgery is gonna be way too expensive to get Martin and Ron’s feet out of their mouths… Karma is a what?

    1. **Paul** says:

      LOL !

      Hamiltons comments suggest he was pushing too hard this morning in FP1, I think that’s a result of the pressure he’s under following his crashes in Singapore and Monza. It’s not too disimilar from when Rossi broke his leg actually, under masses of pressure from a very quick Lorenzo he felt under pressure to try and get on top of his rivals in practice and reverse some of that pressure, we all know what happened there.

      One good result and Hamilton will have the pressure off and be back in it, it’ll be interest to see how he reacts this weekend in comparison to all of his rivals given the pressure they’ve all come under this season.

    2. sender says:

      Of course there are some similarities but I think that Vettles and Hamiltons situations are a bit different.
      I do not think that anyone of them is a crash kid. I applaud that at Spa Vettel wanted to overtake because he was the only one who dared to do it (of course he had a faster car, but still).
      I also think that Hamilton did the right thing in the previous two races. Those were just racing incidents (although in the first case Massa was more at fault and in the second Hamilton was more to blame). But I do not think that now we need to criticize Hamilton. Some people are already claiming that this is a downward spiral. It is just bad luck. It is a serie of bad luck. At least in the races he often tries to overtake while some other drivers just wait for something.
      Although Vettel did not pull it off in Spa and Button paid for it, I can understand what he did and at least he tried.

      1. **Paul** says:

        I expect Hamilton to get some critism, will it be fair? Probably not, but I doubt it’ll be anywhere near as unfair as the frankly daft stuff levelled at Seb earlier this season.

        I’m sure like Seb did, Lewis will brush it off and get on with the job in hand.

      2. Steven says:

        Im an admitted Hamilton fan, shameless. So… I disagree, the crash at Monza was ALL Lewis’s fault, he had no reasn to put his car where he put it, he just had to finish ahead of Webber and he was going to have a good chance at attacking Felipe, it was a stupid move.

        In Singapore it was all Webber’s fault. I watched the video on Formula1.com and Hamilton took the corner correctly and gave Webber a lot of room, Webber instead cut into the line at a wierd angle and t-boned Lewis, Webber shold have been given a drive tru.

      3. Bayan says:

        You kidding right.. Massa was at fault in the first incident (you are talking about Italy right?)?? Watch the video again.. Hamilton ran into Massa (hamilton’s front wheel banged off Massa’s rear wheel)..

        and for me, Webber was more at fault in the second incident (Singapore). what races are you watching?

    3. Paul L says:

      Zing! Good one :)

    4. Steven says:

      Hamilton is not taking anybody out but himself, unlike Vettel. And if you watch the video on formula1.com he clearly leaves webber enough room, but webber cuts into the line and t-bones hami, I think its more like “crash team”.

    5. mtb says:

      I made that suggestion after the Italian Grand Prix, and, predictably, received a torrent of criticism from certain quarters.

      I have definitely been vindicated with this example of hubris!

      1. JF says:

        Agree. Ask Raikonnen who he would consider a “crash kid”

    6. Stephen W says:

      Naughty……but true!

  2. alper206 says:

    Ham started to shrink under pressure. Lots of mistakes in the last 3 races. Remember the final part of 2007 – isn’t it like a deja-vu to you as well?

  3. PaulL says:

    Hi James. Is a wet qualifying likely for tomorrow?

  4. jody says:

    i just want some rain!

  5. Richard M says:

    Red Bull’s front wing was flexing just as much as in Hungary, how are they doing that legally?

    1. James Allen says:

      By passing the tests.

      1. Ben says:

        I am not saying whether or not the wing is legal, but the argument that Red Bull use “it passes the tests so it is legal” is not actually a valid.

        The regulations are not “if it passes this test it means it is in full compliance of the regulations” – all the test serves is that if a car fails the test it is definitely illegal. The regulations are much more complex than the parameters of the test and it is possible to engineer cars to pass tests but still be illegal to the wording of the regulations.

        Therefore saying the Red Bull is legal simply because it passes the tests is not true. The trouble is that it is much more difficult to prove a breach of regulations without the involvement of a calibrated measuring instrument.

        For example, there is a regulation that says something along the lines of “any piece of bodywork that is designed to flex is illegal” – now arguably the Red Bull wing is designed to do that. However, trying to prove it is almost impossible as Red Bull can argue “it’s not designed to flex, it is just the properties of the material we have used and it just happens to give the car a massive advantage”

        Whereas proving a car is under the weight limit, a diffuser is too high, or the ride height too low – these things can instantly be proven legal or illegal with data that cannot be argued with semantics.

        I think the problem is with woolly wording in the regulations. By allowing ambiguous wordings it means two experts can read them and come up with five different meanings. We had it last year where lawyers argued over the semantics of what a hole was defined as to determine whether the double diffusers were illegal and instead of looking for technical innovation teams just consult lawyers over how they can subvert a wording in a court of law. And when it comes to wordings it is very difficult to come up with a definitive case one way of the other unless you can attach a number to it.

      2. JF says:

        The rules have to leave some room for interpretation by designers. Otherwise the FIA would essentially design and specify the car. Would only need a single car supplier to outfit the entire field. That would keep cost down but be dead boring. I would like to see much more room for innovation between designers and more open regulations as they talked about a few years ago when contemplating a strict budget cap with unfettered technical regulations. I am finding F1 a bit dry (I like the tech battles), if they keep clamping down on regs, will likely tune out.

      3. mtb says:

        http://www.formula1.com/news/technical/2010/836/782.html

        If the front wing flexes by no more than 20mm when a 100kg is applied to it, then the component is deemed legal.

        Admittedly, this test is not perfect as the nature of the load applied during the test is different to that applied on the circuit. A quasi-static, point load is applied during the test, whereas a distributed, dynamic load is applied on the wing when the car is in motion. However, replicating the type of load that the wing experiences on the circuit would be an extremely time-consuming process that would involve placing strain guages across the surface of the wing, and feeding these measurements into expensive material-testing machinery.

        The FIA has neither the time, nor presumably the budget, to carry out such tests.

        The Red Bull front wing complies with the requirements of the tests that it is subjected to. Unless it can be demonstrated that the team is using surreptitious means to comply with the test (as a certain manufacturer did in rallying in the 1990s), the wing should be accepted as legal.

      4. Ben says:

        @JF Clamping down on people who cheat regulation tests does not mean standard Formula racing. In fact, if the regulation was just “If the wing passes the test it is legal” I would have no problem with what Red Bull.

        I am quite happy for innovation and different designs, I even listed examples in a post on James’ next blog entry.

        In fact, I think we probably have the same point of view – I would welcome more open regulation to allow interesting new technology.

        However, what the flexiwings (and the F-Duct) are is an example of clever engineering to cheat a regulation/ scrutineering test, NOT clever engineering to get around the physical limitations of making a car go faster.

        @mtb That article does not say “if they pass the test the wing is legal” it just describes the new scrutineering check that the cars are not allowed to fail.

        At best, it says “the degree of vertical flex in the wing is legal” but bearing in mind there are a host of other regulations covering the height of the wing passing this one test under that understanding would not make the wing legal.

        I actually think Red Bull are guilty of what you describe, albeit not as sinister as the rallying incident, I believe the wing has been designed to flex far beyond what is legally allowed in race conditions, but when subjected to the conditions of the test it does not flex more than the scrutineering tests allow. I believe it is a passive system (ie not something they turn on after races) and as such is a very clever piece of engineering. But it is just impossible to prove in a court of law and as such Red Bull know they can get away with it.

    2. **Paul** says:

      Newey & Co. have out foxed pretty much everyone on the grid with that this season. It’s good to see, and exactly what F1 development is about. I’d love to know how they’re doing it once the season comes to an end.

      1. Richard M says:

        Or cheating the tests which i guess equates to the same thing.

      2. JF says:

        Nope. If it passes its legal. I for one like that Newey and team are finding innovation within the rules. F1 is getting rather sterile otherwise. Indycar is better racing if you like “stock” cars.

      3. **Paul** says:

        I’m sure they all bend the rules on those fronts, even ‘Daz Whiter than White’ Whitmarsh ;)

      4. mtb says:

        The ‘flexing’ of components on F1 cars is usually accomplished by varying the orientation of the carbon fibres. the properties of a carbon-fibre component vary according to the orientation of the carbon fibres. Presumably Red Bull and Ferrari have varied the fibre alignment across the span of the wing. ‘Cheating the tests’ would be very difficult, unless some sort of mechanism was hidden within the wings – highly unlikely.

      5. Richard M says:

        What I meant by cheating the test was that they found a way to pass the test but the wing still does not conform to the rules. The tests are a method of inforcing the rules and regulations but by passing the test that in itself does not make the wing legal, otherwise they would of not changed the tests after hungary because that would of been changing the rules, they changed the test to try and better inforce the rules. So just because Red Bull has passed the test does not make their wing legal because according to pictures and videos it is clearly flexing more than the rules allow. However they are obviously being very innovative which F1 is all about.

      6. Kinkas says:

        I second Paul. It’s good to see engineers do battle.

    3. giorgio says:

      There is the well-known rule in F1: everything not forbidden is ‘legal’, tribute to RB’s improvisation..

  6. Ryan Eckford says:

    Red Bull are looking very strong yet again, way ahead of the rest it seems. Here are my prediction for Qualifying.

    1. S. Vettel
    2. M. Webber
    3. L. Hamilton
    4. R. Kubica
    5. F. Alonso
    6. F. Massa
    7. J. Button
    8. M. Schumacher
    9. A. Sutil
    10. N. Hulkenberg
    11. R. Barrichello
    12. N. Rosberg
    13. V. Petrov
    14. K. Kobayashi
    15. N. Heidfeld
    16. S. Buemi
    17. J. Alguersuari
    18. V. Liuzzi
    19. H. Kovalainen
    20. T. Glock
    21. J. Trulli
    22. L. di Grassi
    23. B. Senna
    24. S. Yamamoto

    I think Hamilton despite his crash in FP1 was the closest to challenging the Red Bull’s of Vettel and Webber in my opinion.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      I would put my money on Vettel – Alonso – Webber – Kubica as final standings.

      And I also wish it, btw…

    2. Kinkas says:

      Hamilton top 3?? Are you serious? No Macca will be top 4.

      1. Steven says:

        I agree, but there’s rain coming!!

      2. Galapago555 says:

        So, monies on Jenson??

  7. Galapago555 says:

    James, that’s what I’ve read on Twitter:

    “Today long run were more important as tomorrow rain is expected in Q so Sunday, if there will be dry track, you can choose the type of tyres” (http://twitter.com/#!/InsideFerrari)

    If it rains, do you think that they have any chance, maybe to put Fernando between Mark and Seb on the grid, or will we have a clear RBR 1-2 tomorrow for pole? Any info on a trust worthy weather forecast for the weekend?

  8. Unique says:

    Hi,
    I really enjoy the style and confident attidude of Robert Kubica. He is one of those drivers who you know puts 110% no matter what. Seeing him 3rd in the 1st and 2nd is just overwhelming.

    On the other matter. The chapionship fighters are all far far away from Mark. I myself do not consider Vettel as a champion material just jet. He is too green but now we can see what will happen when Sebastian is ahead. Alonso is close but not closer than Hamilton so there might be intriguing outcome.

    But true you can’t judge the race trough practise but it will give u a clue on the power levels.

    Off the topic I have never commented before Mr. Allen but I’m really clad I found your site. Best of luck and keep this up!
    Cheers from Estonia

  9. **Paul** says:

    James,

    Jonathan Neale was commenting about limited amounts of new components recently. Will Hamiltons crash see him having to run older versions of parts than JB in Qually and therefore the race? I know the front wing was mentioned as new… any ideas on that front?

    I think his crash, clipping the wall, shows exactly how a small clip to the wall can damage an F1 car, and how incredibly lucky he was in Spa not to do the same…hence he didn’t get DOD in my eyes that day!

    With heavy rain forecast for 24hrs it’ll be interesting to see when P3 and Qually take place, or ‘if’ they take place. P2 times used for the grid instead? It’s a possibility with 2″ of rain forecast in the next 24hrs!

    Sunday should prove interesting. Oh and a quick mention for Schumacher, out-pacing his team mate in P1 and P2, interesting given his comments earlier about a driver being able to make a difference @ Suzuka.

    1. James Allen says:

      THey say they are getting new parts flown out

  10. Rich says:

    When will Hamilton learn not to keep chucking it all away?

  11. gn23 says:

    James,
    When Lewis crashed he had set the fastest sector time at that point. Surely that is significant. What do you make of that?

    1. James Allen says:

      That is very common…

    2. Galapago555 says:

      I bet he crashed just because he was overdriving… there you have the best sector time.

  12. sender says:

    It might all change though. Sometimes those who start the weekend well end it badly. And those who start badly end it on a high note.
    I think that the weather will play a big part. If tomorrow the qualifying will be wet I see no reason to already predict a Red Bull dominance.
    Hamilton can still challenge and Alonso will be there as well.
    It is also possible that Webber was not showing everything that he’s got – we have seen it happening a couple of times.

  13. BMG says:

    Gee guy’s it’s only practise. Remember Alonso would be nursing his engine and would not push to hard at this point.

    1. Galapago555 says:

      Fully agree.

      It’s funny if you look back to Singapore. This were the results on Friday practices:

      FP1: Alonso 11th, 1.5 secs behind leader Webber
      FP2: Alonso 4th, 1.058 secs behin leader Vettel

      Very similar to today’s results, aren’t they?

      I keep my fingers crossed for the rest of the weekend following the same pattern as in Singapore… :-D

      1. morlee says:

        in singapore vettels practice times were 1.5 seconds slower than his quali time, so whats your point?

        he isnt pushing it either.

        and no one seems to want to mention vettel again whiping the floor with webber with the same car. how people can favor webber, a clearly weaker driver (who had more pure luck in many races than vettel) is beyond any reason. all fanboy emotions.

        signed, button supporter (just in case i get accused of being a vettel fanboy).

      2. Galapago555 says:

        My point is that today we have a similar situation to that in Singapore on Friday. As simple as that. And, being a typical Spanish pro-Alonso fanboy (wow, I would like to be called “fanboy” at the early age of 44 :-D), I would like the rest of the weekend to evolve in the same terms, with Fernando scoring pole, first from lights to flag, and fastest lap (I learnt this is called “Grand Chelem”, btw, precisely a fornite ago).

        I thought it was clear on my previous comment…

      3. slydare says:

        Webber the clearly weaker driver? I don’t suppose you care to look back at Spain or Monaco?

        If you were leading the world championship would you push it to the limit on Friday at this stage of the season? Why risk suffering the same fate as Hamilton?

        3 tenths on a Friday is lovely for Seb’s ego, but its hardly wiping the floor with Webber. Saturday and Sunday are where it counts.

        I think we are seeing a good, measured weekend from Mark which is precisely what he needs to be doing.

    2. Kinkas says:

      Definitely Alonso was not pushing too hard. But the RBR’s weren’t either (Vettel’s last year Q3 time was 1:30:7? and today his fastest was 1:31.4)! I think that the qualy difference between these two teams is somewhere around 6 tenths.
      If there will be a dry qualy, the RBR duo will top the sheets (no mistakes being made though).
      In any case, race pace shown by Ferrari were a couple of tenths shy of RBR, which means that if Alonso can jump start one RBR he can still finish top 2.

      1. mtb says:

        Presumably Alonso was in engine conservation mode today.

      2. johnpierre rivera says:

        good point, no one has touched on that one yet. for sure must be a factor. although i don’t think it will erase the advantage that red bull have. it will however get fernando closer and if there is any mistakes he will be in a good position to take advantage of it. this of course might all be for not if it rain as predicted.

    3. Stephen W says:

      Ferrari have no need to destroy an engine in FP,and yes Alonso will almost certainly have some reserve,you can bet on it.

  14. Look, im sure Lewis more than anyone knows the situation and pressure he is under, and no doubt this is adding, (please Lewis just keep it on the road from now on) but I have to admire the pushing at 110%.

    Fair enough the ‘thinker’ will play safe, and just bag the points and hope at the end of the season they have enough points to win a championship, but Lewis isn’t like that. OK, so it’s not great to have this many crashes at this stage of the championship, but if he didn’t push as hard, do the overtakes, we’d all complaining about how boring F1 would be and the Lewis fans, wouldn’t be his fans because we like the 110% limit. Maybe if the like’s of massa (who I do admire) pushed that bit harder and made the daring overtakes etc then his stock value would increase, his competitors would take him more seriously and Ferrari would put him in contention for winning the WDC

    1. Canuck says:

      “Fair enough the ‘thinker’ will play safe, and just bag the points and hope at the end of the season they have enough points to win a championship, but Lewis isn’t like that”.
      are you advocating for thinking less or saying that Lewis doesn’t think? Either way, terrible points to make…

      1. Chris Crawford says:

        No no not at all, sorry. Looking back at what I wrote it doesn’t sound good. I’m not saying that Lewis isn’t intelligent. What I was trying to say is Lewis is more a racer. I might be wrong but do you not think that if Lewis sees a gap or opportunity he will go for it rather than think of the risks if the move goes wrong, and just keep position and take the points?

        I’m I digging myself a hole here lol?

  15. Mr Squiggle says:

    James,

    It may be too early to ask, but are the Red Bulls running new engines here?

    1. Jacob says:

      If they were they probably wouldnt have then in until Saturday.

  16. Max says:

    My first time at a grand prix! I am not looking forward to sitting in the rain tomorrow/Sunday, but it will definitely make for an interesting race.

  17. momo says:

    guy’s i think the mclaren car are just so off the pace the upgrade they will be using will not make a difference, i am a big macca fan but i have to say its almost over,alonso and the bulls will be taking the fight to the end mclaren have to start working on next yr car very fast before its too late,this car will not win this title i dont see how its possible

    1. hesus says:

      You never know, maybe if it rains Button can once again outsmart them all. But in normal conditions Mc is just too slow. Hamiltons crash is similar to the Alonsos in Monaco – he knew his car is slower an was overdriving.
      WDC is between Alonso and two RB now in my view.
      Button is just too slow, and Hammy has 3 DNF already (since 2001 nobody has won the championship with more than 2 DNF).
      Alonso has experience and teammate behind him, but lacks engines. Webber has point advantage and has been lucky all season long (but everything ends finally) and Vettel … you never know but in my opinion he will find his momentum in the last part of the season.
      sorry for my grammar:).

  18. VicWeir says:

    Alonso, pragmatic as ever, has commented that the RBs are, as predicted, very fast at Suzuka, no surprise. Also,given the good chance of rain for quali, he is looking at being in the top 5 on the grid, not the necessarily the front row, and then seeing how things pan out durng the race.

    What will be interesting is to see if there’s a Renault in front of the Ferraris on the grid.

  19. Richard Mee says:

    Re: Red-bull front wing height.

    I’m a Maclaren fan 100% – Whilst I do grudgingly applaud RB’s ingeniousness, and accept that all teams could’ve theoretically developed similar if they’d been clever enough – I’d still like the FIA to actually uphold the rules they themselves set for the sport.

    This is not a new feature like double-diffusers or F-ducts that have not been regulated for because they had never been seen before.

    This is a rule about the required gap between the wing and the track and it has been in place for several seasons.

    There is massive photo evidence to prove it is being broken by several teams.

    Applying weights to the end of the wing as a ‘test’ is therefore evidently unfit for purpose.

    They ensure a certain ride height by checking the abrasion on a wooden plank under the car.

    Why can’t they ensure a certain front wing height by fixing carbon or wooden fins to the underside of the wing end-plates. These will register consistent contact with the track and will enable the FIA to enforce its regulation regarding the minimum height of the wing above the track regardless of whether the obvious transgression we’re seeing is due to the wing or the nose or the suspension.

    Too straightforward for the FIA?

  20. cliff says:

    Calm down guys,its only practice.The spoils are shared on sunday.

  21. Brace says:

    James, are they flying in new kitchen sink too?
    Although I suppose that kitchen sink might be the very cause for Hamilton’s crash, what with all the rear end instability and stuff… :D

  22. Taib says:

    The Ferrari, Alonso more specifically, was more then a second down in Singapore after the second practice session. Then in qualifying they came back strongly. The same story in Monza where Alonso was slower then Vettel after second practice sesssion. Ferrari always this season have held a lot back on Fiday especially compared to the Red Bulls. Kubica is even ahead of Alonso. Ferrari are holding back. They are the best of the rest on these high downforce tracks after the Red Bull as Spain and Silverstone showed.

    1. johnpierre rivera says:

      i hope your right.

  23. Ashish Sharma says:

    James,

    In the Friday conference, Robert Frenley (Force India) spoke about setting up a driver’s academy in India which is a much welcome step for the sport-crazy in that nation.

    However in the light of the errors by both Hamilton and Vettel has there been any talk of rethinking bloodying drivers directly in the deep end rather than give them a few years in less competitive cars. While i like both the drivers, one must admit that their record of handling pressure has not been the best:contrast Hamilton in early 2007 to the mistakes he made in the second half under pressure to deliver this title, and again overachieving throughout the season (3 races ago he was my pick of the driver of the year) to three races with errors and poor finishes. Even Vettel who while unlucky has made serious errors especially since he is in the fastest car of the season.

    In this light it is interesting that Ferrari which always seemed to be of the philosophy of hire the best rather than develop them, seems to be falling, but one wonders if it is the right step going forward

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
MTS
Industry-Leading Testing and Sensing Solutions
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer