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Sebastian Vettel cruises to Japanese Grand Prix win and blows championship open
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Posted By: James Allen  |  07 Oct 2012   |  8:34 am GMT  |  358 comments

Sebastian Vettel became the first back to back race winner in 2012 at the Japanese Grand Prix, cruising to an easy win after a start line accident eliminated championship leader Fernando Alonso for the second time in four races.

A separate incident also dropped Mark Webber down the order, Romain Grosjean once again the culprit in triggering an accident at the start. Webber recovered to finish 9th.

Felipe Massa scored a potentially vital second place, as far as his Ferrari career is concerned, from 10th place. It was his first podium for two years, although Ferrari celebrations will be muted as their hopes of winning the drivers’ championship took a massive blow today.

Kamui Kobayashi finished third, his first F1 podium, to the delight of the Japanese fans, the first home podium for a Japanese driver for 22 years.

It was Vettel’s third win of the season and the 24th of his career. It was also his third Japanese GP in the last four years and it means that he cut Alonso’s championship lead to just four points with five races to go. His winning margin was a massive 20 seconds and several times he had to be told to slow down by his engineer.

And with Red Bull hitting peak form in its car development and rumours of a double DRS device on the car this weekend, there is a momentum about Vettel’s campaign which Alonso will find extremely hard to halt.

“We had a good start which was important because there was a crash,” said Vettel. “I saw a Ferrari was out and I worked out it must have been Fernando. When you dream at night you dream about being able to drive a car like this.

“It was an important step today. We don’t know what happens in the next race, but it was good to take the points today.”

Kimi Raikkonen moved into third place in the championship on 157 points, amazingly just 37 off the front, thanks to his sixth place, with Hamilton five points behind the Finn.

Pre-race expectations were that tyre degradation could be a decisive factor, with the front tyres the limitation. In the end everyone was able to make it in a conventional two stop strategy, although Webber effectively did a one-stop after pitting on the first lap.

The start was explosive; Fernando Alonso was eliminated by an incident into Turn 1, as he squeezed across to the left and tagged Raikkonen, getting a puncture which put him into a spin. He was out for the second time in four races, so too Nico Rosberg.

Alonso questioned why Raikkonen had not lifted off, but accepted that it was a racing incident. Raikkonen had been involved in hurting him for the second time in the weekend, after the Lotus driver’s spin in qualifying had ruined his chances of starting on the front two rows.

Meanwhile Webber’s race was ruined by Grosjean driving into the back of him into Turn 2. Webber had to pit on the first lap and switched to the hard tyre and a one-stop strategy from there, as a Safety Car was sent out.

The race was restarted before Webber had rejoined the tail of the pack, he was 20 seconds off the back of them at the restart.

Grosjean was given a 10 second stop/go penalty by the stewards, which he served on lap 8. It was a suitably tough penalty for Grosjean, the stewards clearly sending him a message that they were unhappy he had not learned from the one race ban after Spa.

Webber called Grosjean a “first lap nutcase” and added, “The rest of us are trying to fight for decent results. Maybe he needs another holiday. He needs to have a look at himself, how many times can you make the same error. It’s embarrassing at this level.”

It was a dream scenario for Vettel from a race and championship point of view, with two of his main rivals taken out of contention and Kobayashi in second place as a buffer to hold up the cars behind him.

At the restart Raikkonen made a bold pass on Perez into Turn 1, for fifth place.

Perez and Hamilton battled, with the Mexican ambushing the man he will replace at McLaren next season.

After 10 laps Vettel led by almost 6 seconds from Kobayashi, with Button up to third from 8th on the grid, Massa fourth, Raikkonen fifth, Perez sixth, Hamilton seventh, Hulkenberg eighth, Maldonado ninth and Riccardo 10th. Heikki Kovalainen was up to 11th.

The first stops came on lap 14 with Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Button pitting for hard tyres. Kobayashi came in a lap later.

Kobayashi and Button were held up by Riccardo, as Massa took his chance to pit and rejoined ahead of the pair of them, up to second place, clever strategy giving him a chance to make a big gain.

Sergio Perez was eliminated on lap 20, as he came out of the kink too quickly and almost collided with Hamilton in sixth place. Hamilton had got ahead in the pit stops.

Button meanwhile was struggling with a gearbox issue, ironic given that he had been forced into a change before this race and a 5 place penalty as a result. It stabilised and he was able to continue pushing.

At the half way stage the order was Vettel ten seconds clear of Massa, with Kobayashi third four seconds ahead of Button, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Webber in ninth and Ricciardo 10th.

Webber had done 25 laps on a set of hard tyres when he pitted on lap 26, taking a second set of hards. This told all the strategists that the hard tyres were easily good for a two stop strategy.


Felipe Massa was running well in second place, the Ferrari lapping consistently and with Kobayashi not making any ground on him, the top three looked fairly static.

Raikkonen pitted on lap 31, Hamilton a lap later and he rejoined alongside the Lotus, holding his line into Turn 1 and taking the seventh place.

Button stayed out longer than Kobayashi trying to jump him, but his pitstop wasn’t fast enough due to the right rear wheel taking longer than usual to go on, so Button came out behind Kobayashi.

Massa pitted on lap 37, with Vettel a lap later, the race completely under control.

Vettel had a 17 second lead over Massa by lap 40 but had to be told to slow down by his engineer, who was worried about him overheating his tyres.

The main interest of the end of the race was whether Jenson Button could catch and pass Kobayashi. McLaren had managed the strategy so that Button would have the fresher tyres for the end of the race. He closed right up on the final lap but couldn’t pass him. It was Sauber’s fourth podium of the season.

Lewis Hamilton was fifth, ahead of Raikkonen and Hulkenberg.

Mercedes ended up without any points again, Rosberg out at the start and Schumacher unable to pass Ricciardo for tenth place at the end of the race.

JAPANESE GRAND PRIX, Suzuka, 53 laps
1. Vettel Red Bull 1h28:56.242
2. Massa Ferrari + 20.639
3. Kobayashi Sauber + 24.538
4. Button McLaren + 25.098
5. Hamilton McLaren + 46.490
6. Raikkonen Lotus + 50.424
7. Hulkenberg Force India + 51.159
8. Maldonado Williams + 52.364
9. Webber Red Bull + 54.675
10. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 1:06.919
11. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:07.769
12. Di Resta Force India + 1:23.400
13. Vergne Toro Rosso + 1:28.600
14. Senna Williams + 1:28.700
15. Grosjean Lotus + 1 lap
16. Kovalainen Caterham + 1 lap
17. Glock Marussia + 1 lap
18. Petrov Caterham + 1 lap
19. De la Rosa HRT + 1 lap

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358 Comments
  1. Jesus says:

    “The start was explosive; Fernando Alonso was eliminated by an incident into Turn 1, as he squeezed across to the left and tagged Raikkonen”

    Check the images again James, it was Kimi losing control of the car putting the car on the grass, then rejoined and punctured Alonso´s rear tyre.

    Amateur hour from Kimi again.

    1. Peter says:

      Kimi lost control? Alonso pushed him onto the grass, what did you expect from Kimi park his car and give way for Alonso? He kept his control brilliantly.

      1. Wayne says:

        I don’t think this was Kimi’s fault in any way at all. NOt really Alonso’s fault either in that start scrum. Was a racing incident.

        Yet more short sightedness from McLaren, any LOGICAL reason why Button could not have slowed on the straight and let Hamilton past for the 2 points? McLaren continue to be their own worst enemy season and season out. Still who cares, looking forward to wearing Merc silver next season.

      2. Andrew M says:

        Given how far Hamilton is away from the title I don’t think it will matter at all, but yes, if Hamilton somehow gets to within a point of the winner it will look like a poor decision.

      3. Peter C says:

        Slowed on the straight and let Hamilton past……..? Slow down by 21 sec.?

        Will that be better for Hamilton when he goes off to 11th place Mercedes?

        LH could win this Championship if the top three don’t win any more races.

      4. Jimbob says:

        I don’t see how Button slowing for Hamilton would’ve been logical given Button was miles faster today.

        Hamilton wouldn’t have even caught Kobayashi let alone pass him. At least Button had a realistic shot at a podium which would = much better points for constructors.

        Button would’ve just been stuck to Hamilton’s gearbox for the rest of the race… right up until the last chicane Button had a shot at the podium so slowing for Hamilton would’ve been frustrating for Button and embarrassing for Hamilton.

      5. Craig D says:

        If Hamilton was a lot closer to the points leader than perhaps. But logic says this is really a two horse race now between Alonso and Vettel. You could say from a pure mathematical point of view, the chance to win the Drivers’ Championship would be higher by letting Lewis have the 4th, but there are many other factors why they wouldn’t do it, not least team morale and harmony.

        For example, you also have to think of the importance of the Constructors’ Championship. Hamilton’s car was not performing following his engineers poor setup choice. Button had a strong chance of beating Kobayashi for 3rd and those team points could also be useful. Though, in a similar vein to Hamilton’s championship hopes, Red Bull are looking strong for the Constructors’ again too.

        Another point is that with Lewis leaving and Jenson being ‘their man’ next year, it wouldn’t really sit well if they got on the radio and said “Yo Jenson, forget about that 3rd place, drop back 10 seconds and let Lewis by”.

        Ultimately it’s a moot point as Lewis isn’t really in the game anymore. There’s just too much to be done and the competition too close.

        Personally I prefer a team being equal and letting the best man win. Everyone was up in arms when Massa had to concede the win in 2010. If Lewis won it be 1 point there’d be many saying ‘he was gifted it’.

      6. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Lewis can do for exemple 43 points in two races, and from there he can do more points in the last 3 races, why not?

        It was exactly what happens today with Vettel winning and the other contenders just doing poorly, in just 1 race Vettel gain was amazing.

      7. Cliff says:

        Only time will tell if it was a bad call by McLaren, but with Hamilton somewhere between 15 and 20 seconds behind there was no point! As a McLaren fan who likes the drivers to race, I would conceede that had Hamilton won in Singapore my answer may well have been different!

        Agree with your comments on the KR-FA first corner incident.

      8. Wayne says:

        I think some of you are missing the point. It’s not a case of ‘time will tell’ – you can’t second guess what may happen all you can do is respond to the facts as they are presented to you. Fact is Hamilton and the team would be 2 points closer to the WDC right now if they had made the same call that Ferrari would have done. This is why McLaren have such a shocking championship record in the last 20 years.

        Want to ‘go racing’ McLaren? Well bully for you. Why even enter the bloody thing if you are not going to do everything you can to win within the rules? ‘we exist to win’ my bum!

        Enjoy your success record – One of ther most well funded teams on the grid and you’re doing as well as Brawn in terms of championships. Very well done. Great! Super! Bet your sponsors love you – personally were I vodaphone I might want to sponsor a team that gives themselves a chance of winning the damn championship rather than who spends my millions desperately trying to extract .2 of a second and then throws it all away on track on a priciple that isn’t even backed up by the rules!!

      9. Scott D says:

        I would agree with you if Button had not been racing for a potential podium. McLaren did the right thing.

      10. PDiddly says:

        Of course, how dare any driver get anywhere near Santo Alonso, let alone question his Highness’ Supreme Magician skills…

        [mod]

        Fabulous.

      11. zx6dude says:

        Racing incident. At the most you could say Alonso was at fault for moving over and not leaving enough space but, personaly I think it was a racing incident and as such neither Kimi nor Alonso should be penalised.

      12. Sebastian says:

        “We know we can count on the strongest driver around at the moment and it’s only mistakes from others at Spa and again at Suzuka, that have prevented him from having a more comfortable lead over his rivals,” Luca di Montezemolo said.

        Hmmm… LdM has been smoking the ol’ crack pipe again…

    2. Sebastian says:

      From what I could see Kimi held his line and got pushed slightly off track by Alonso moving over. Then Alonso sverved left, possibly trying to keep distance to a McLaren on his inside. You can’t move sideways to the edge of the track and expect other drivers to back off in the start even if you’re gunning for the WDC… fortunately he only took himself out.

    3. Dave says:

      Alonso’s fault. Squeezed Kimi out and had space to not to. Kimi had nowhere to go

      1. KRB says:

        Totally concur, it was Alonso’s fault. He started on the inside part of the grid, then swung to the outside, and failed to leave a car’s width for any car behind and alongside. Kimi went on the grass, but then had to correct, and Alonso’s left rear got clipped. Alonso can have no complaints.

        RBR might have a DDRS?! Oh man, if that’s true, then it’s bad news for the rest. That was a dominant win.

        Grosjean is a nutcase, and yes, another ban seems necessary. Feel horrible for Webber and Rosberg, whose races were ruined as a result of the Grosjean-initiated chaos. Rosberg’s run of 20 straight race finishes comes to and end. Nick Heidfeld (the record holder at 33 straight race finishes) can again sleep at night! lol

        Great race for Massa and Kobayashi, and Pastor finally got the no-points monkey off his back. Didn’t hear anything about him the whole race, which is good news for him.

        Kimi’s now scored points in the last 12 races, and is the only driver to finish every race this season. Felipe now has the second-best points-finish streak after Kimi, at 5.

        Stats to date
        =============
        Wins: FA3,SV3,LH3,MW2,JB2,NR1,PM1

        Podiums:
        FA8,SV6,KR6,LH6,JB5,RG3,SP3,
        MW2,NR2,FM1,KK1,MS1,PM1

        T5 Finishes (3+):
        FA11,SV11,KR9,LH8,MW7,JB6,
        NR4,RG4,FM4,SP3,KK3

        Pts Finishes (7+):
        KR14,FA13,SV12,MW12,LH11,JB10,NR10,
        FM9,PdR8,RG7,SP7,KK7,MS7,NH7,BS7

        Longest podium streaks (2+):
        FA3,KR3,LH3,FA2(2x),SV2,KR2

        Current podium streak: SV2,FM1,KK1

        Longest T5 streaks (2+):
        FA7,KR6,SV4,MW4,LH3,FA2(2x),SV2(3x),
        KR2,LH2,MW2,JB2,NR2,RG2,FM2

        Current T5 streak:
        SV2,JB2,FM1,KK1,LH1

        Longest pts finish streaks (3+):
        KR12,FA11,LH7,MW7,NR6,SV5,JB5,FM5,
        SV4,MW4,RG3,PdR3,MS3

        Current pts finish streak:
        KR12,FM5,SV2,JB2,DR2,LH1,MW1,KK1,NH1,PM1

        Retirements (not classified)(3+):
        MS7,NK6,RG5,CP4,SP4,PM4,JV3,LH3,KK3

        T8-DWC Race Finishes:
        KR15,MW14,NR14,FA13,SV13,JB12,LH11,RG8

      2. KRB says:

        Forgot about Vettel joining the ’3x winner at the same GP’ club today. Same GP and same circuit too (’09,’10,’12).

        I guess it’s a function of this group of drivers being around sufficiently long enough to see it happen, but we’ve see it seven times this year that someone wins a GP for their 3rd time:

        AUS Button
        MLY Alonso
        CAN Hamilton
        EUR Alonso (1 at Valencia, 2 at Nurburgring)
        GER Alonso
        HUN Hamilton
        JAP Vettel

    4. Brad says:

      Excuse me!!!! Alonso forced Kimi onto the grass. Are u seeing only what you WANT TO SEE!!!!!!

      1. Peter C says:

        Yes.

    5. Scott says:

      Actually i think Alonso was at fault, you cannot squeeze a driver onto the grass. Everyone else has to give a car width, why not Alonso? More to the point squeezing someone space is not Alonso style; did we just see him get tight under the pressure of the championship?

      Very happy for kamui & massa, both deserved there results.

      1. W Johnson says:

        Spot on.

        I wonder if Alonso is cracking under the pressure resulting in his slightly disrespectful comments about his team mate’s second place after his own DNF.

        If Lewis had said the same about Button, there would have been many with plenty to say.

      2. Dave C says:

        Dont worry Lewis had plenty to say about Jenson disrespecting him for unfollowing him on twitter, then embarrasingly realised Button was never following him on twitter in the first place.

    6. Seán Craddock says:

      Where was Kimi to go? Alonso squeezed him off the track. Why did Alonso go to the left? Amateur hour for Fernando if anybody, it was a similar incident to Grosjean in Spa

      1. azac21 says:

        Guys,
        you are missing the point. How can a driver squeeze an other car which is not even alongside him? Kimi was barely along the rear wheel on Alonso’s car? If Kimi was half way up along Alonso, yes… but he was nowhere near.

      2. Seán Craddock says:

        watch again mate, when they’re at the white line that runs across the track Kimi’s front wheels are beside Alonso’s car. You should also remember that you must leave a gap when there’s a “significant portion” alongside. And as Charlie Whiting clarified:

        “For the avoidance of doubt, if any part of the front wing of the car attempting to pass is alongside the rear wheel of the car in front this will be deemed to be a ’significant portion’.”

      3. azac21 says:

        Don’t treat this like an ordinary overtake maneouver during the race where only 2 drivers, with set speeds and trajectories, are involved. I dont think this the cirumstances that CW’s carification would apply.

        In this case you have multiple drivers and speed differentials and trajectories that change constantly. Alonso could not possible be sure where Kimi’s car was. He had to watch for another 2-3 drivers in front and on his right. It is a racing incidence yes, but Kimi is the driver who could had the ooportunity to prevent it not Alonso.

      4. Sebastian says:

        Kimi did prevent the first incident by running off the track, if he hadn’t he could have passed Alonso into turn 1. The second move by Alonso was more sudden, Kimi had to have gone off the track and would have had a big shunt. Anybody moving sideways at the start takes a gamble. This time it cost Alonso a DNF.

      5. KRB says:

        azac21, Alonso had the opportunity to prevent it … simply leave a car’s width at that side of the track! Otherwise he’s leaving himself open to an event like what happened.

      6. azac21 says:

        I dont think Kimi had anywhere to go on the outside of Alonso. He should had given up the overtaking move in the first instance. It was pointless. Alonso could had prevented the collision too but to his defense he could barely see where Kimi’s car was and had to also deal with traffic at front and right.

        Again I dont disagree that it was a racing incident….

      7. rad_g says:

        Aren’t the starts of the races under “everyone’s on their own” rule? I though that was the case?

      8. Erik says:

        Kimi was alongside Alonso until he was forced out on the grass by the same Alonso. He lost speed there but was still not passed by Alonso.

        Alonso then makes another distinctive push out cutting his own tyres and probably Ferraris championship hopes into pieces.

        He’s too hotheaded at times and blows points down the drain. He knows you can’t back out of a situation like that at Suzuka, then you will get smashed from behind.

      9. Galapago555 says:

        “…similar incident to Grosjean in Spa.”

        Are you serious?

      10. Seán Craddock says:

        similar in terms of moving across the track resulting in contact yes.

      11. Carlos says:

        I think Alonso saw Button jink to the left, so he did the same. Still his fault because it’s up to him to be sure he’s far enough in front of Raikkonen, but I think that’s why he swerved left.

    7. KK says:

      watch it again with your specs on. Alonso squeezed Raikkonen on the grass for no reason, when he had plenty of room to the right. Raikkonen lost control and tagged Alonso ever so slightly. Completely Alonso’s mistake. Amateurish

    8. Mac says:

      Check the videos again Jesus, it was Alonso’s own fault. He did almost same move like GJ to Hamilton in SPA. He didn’t left any room for Kimi.

    9. Curro says:

      Looking at the images, Alonso looks pretty “linear” in the way he approaches turn 1. Kimi was really close and not prepared for any unexpected movement, given the very short distance he kept with Alonso. Driver behind is always at fault unless driver in front swerves dramatically, which is not the case here.

      1. Andrew M says:

        That’s not true at all, he makes two sudden moves towards Kimi, the latter of which results in Kimi touching his rear wing (after Fernando had already run him off the track).

    10. Elie says:

      Amateur comment ! Kimi was squeezed off the track by Fernando and the slight loss of grip resulted in the Ferrari getting clipped. Most drivers would have been in the wall or completely took out Fernando.. How silly to say “again ” also Kimi is the only driver to finish every lap this year and most people ( incl Ferrari/ Mclaren Bosses) regard him as the driver who makes the least mistakes. He keeps proving that he is truly the best !

      1. Lars J says:

        Well, Kimi is good. But in this case started behind Alonso, and was behind when they touched (Kimi’s front wing, Alonso’s rear tyre), so he should be able to keep distance. Still, it is what happens in racing.
        Kimi doesn’t make many mistakes, however he did ruin qualifying – and as a consequence the race because Vettel didn’t get opposition – with a spin in Q3.

      2. Andrew M says:

        He was behind when they touched because Fernando pushed him onto the grass.

      3. Elie says:

        Are you for real ?? Do you think ANY driver enjoys spinning and loosing THEIR. Qualifying place- how many times do you think Sebastian or a Fernando would have spin this year in qualifying . Keep in mind Kimi was fighting for 3rd position. THAT is what qualifying is all about finding the limit & I must say I was pleased that Kimi was pushing so hard to find the limit– since so many stupid people have questioned his quali effort.. It’s absolutely no different if an HRT, or Caterham or A Ferrari spun & put an end to to qualifying – get over it people that what qualifying is About!!

      4. Salvo says:

        If you never raced you shouldnt comment. The guy behind is at fault! You dont drive at those speeds while looking in the mirror! Kimi’s fault but its a racing incident.

      5. Elie says:

        How can it be “Kimis fault but its a racing incident” if its Kimis fault the stewards would have fined him. If its a “racing incident ” it’s left alone. Obviously it’s the latter as the stewards did nothing.. To use your words if “you’ve never raced you shouldn’t comment”. Which year did you drive in F1 ? Rhetorical question

      6. Ahmed says:

        “You always have to leave the space” – Alonso in Bahrain. Pure double standards from Alonso, he aggressively moved to the left when there was a football field on the right, Kimi was literally pushed onto the grass and it was thanks to Kimi that they both didnt end up in the wall. I would like to see Alonso try that move on either Grosjean or Maldonado at the start. Kimi is by far the most fair and respected driver when it comes to overtaking, ask Perez and Hamilton(in recent memory).

        Ahmed

    11. Vantro says:

      This must be about the most stupid statement I have ever heard. Kimi did absolutely nothing wrong.

    12. ruthvin says:

      no way. kimi was clearly going to overtake alonso. see properly

      1. Sid says:

        He could have never overtaken him on the outside as turn 1 was a right hander and kimi was behind alo. There was simply no space for the cars there.

    13. quest says:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-WjG0cZgw0

      Look at this video. Alonso pushed Kimi wide 3 separate times. Kimi tried his best to avoid him. Completely Alonso’s fault.

    14. Vantro says:

      Here it can be seen how much space Alonso had towards Button:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZoESZe0mCs

      Alonso squezed Kimi unnecessarily and should have a grid penalty in the next race. Blaming Kimi for this incident is just completely ridicolous.

    15. AlexD says:

      I am very surprised, if not to say more, to hear from James that it was Alonso’s fault. His driving was crystal clean and it was Kimi who made a mistake unfortunately. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but he did one today and eliminated Alonso.

      I needed a break from F1 – too much personal engagement from my side. So Vettel taking the title is a strong enough incentive to free up the place in my heart and mind and spend it more wisely.

      1. Brad says:

        Crystal clean… Exactly what move have u been watching????? We’re talking about the Kimi/Alonso incident at the start of the Suzuka 2012 race

      2. AlexD says:

        Sorry, I though you were talking about the race in Mars. My fault…now that I know which race you have in mind, this is what I think:
        1. Was Kimi ahead of Alonso at any point in time? – NO
        2. Was Kimi behind Alonso right before the collision? – YES
        3. Could have Kimi avoid the collision by lifting off as he was behind? – YES

        Thoughts?

      3. Sebastian says:

        Thoughts…!? Hamilton was behind Grosjean at Spa… doesn’t make it his fault… case closed.

      4. F1fan4life says:

        In my opinion it is a racing incident but one that was brought on mainly because Kimi didn’t lift off. I know half the comments blame Alonso but we must understand half the commenters are dont know much or are biased. Kimi was certainly not ahead of Alonso, but he should have lifted off in case of contact… he didn’t so when Alonso took the line they touched. Its a racing incident but I would have liked Kimi to suffer equally, Kimi could never have taken Alonso through the corner from the outside, so he should have avoided a shunt. Anyway Kimi is generally a fair racer and he would never intentionally do such. Sadly the real problem is Grosjean. Many many sites and people said this was the year Grosjean showed his talent.

        How can anyone say Schumacher is too old when compared to the idiotic shunts this guy has been in. And I like Grosjean! I like Kimi too but his remarks about how he doesn’t care about other cars or about anything are tiresome. I think since Ferrari can’t apparently be fastest ever, maybe try sharpening their front wings and diffuser edges and have a couple of friendly clips to RB and McLaren tyres… don’t worry, if it’s a small clip who can blame you, no penalty just another racing incident. If their tyres puncture it isn’t your fault.

      5. Andrew M says:

        “I know half the comments blame Alonso but we must understand half the commenters are dont know much or are biased.”

        Who are you to say people here are either of those things compared to yourself?

      6. SomethingBlue says:

        [mod]

        Have to say this race was quite dull. Wish Schumacher had taken a point, but i guess it is pointless now for him anyway. Hope he changes his mind somehow, there might be a spare seat in a Lotus. He and Kimi could form the retiree team.

      7. Sebastian says:

        It is crystal clear that Alonso made the mistake. Very similar to what Grosjean did at Spa, but fortunately Kimi avoided a crash.

        A side note is that Alonso did the same to Grosjean at Monaco.

      8. KRB says:

        AlexD, we know you’re an Alonso supporter. But try to be objective, and watch it again. It was a mistake from Alonso, his first big one of the year. A costly one too. Kimi bears no fault, he was the squeezee.

      9. Elie says:

        Too much personal involvement or too much “emotional” involvement ??? . A bit like Fernando today- as soon as things don’t go quite his way he questions somebody else -Sulk,SulkSulk–unlike Raikkonen who says “I made a mistake”- the very few times he ever does and gets on with the job. He made No Mistake today and drove another determined drive in a slow Lotus. Oh & by the way the officials watching the incident said the same thing.

      10. ida says:

        Let me guess….your a Kimi fan and you dont like Fernando.

        When it comes to most things in life (including posting) less is more.

      11. Elie says:

        Why are you replying then. Think you have more than 1 post here too Ida.

      12. Andrew M says:

        “I am very surprised, if not to say more, to hear from James that it was Alonso’s fault.”

        The truth surprises you?

      13. AlexD says:

        was Kimi ahead of Alonso at any point in time?

    16. Sri says:

      Oh Jesus (not you, the real one)! Alonso moved from right of the grid (he is #6 on the right-side of the grid) to the left to push Kimi out into the grass who held his line from the starting position (#7 on left). He expected Kimi to lift off at this point, which is ridiculous. I think Alonso was over ambitious in covering Raikkonen and Hamilton (both were left-side on the grid) as they were Championship contenders. He therefore let Button nicely pass from behind him on the right as he is of no consequence to him in WDC. Alonso paid his price for this tactic.

    17. Stuart Harrison says:

      By that logic, Hamilton was at fault in Spa too!

      1. Laurence H says:

        I seem to remember that some people on here did try and blame Hamilton for Spa…
        Probably Alonso fans…

    18. Michael S says:

      Kimi is not to blame at all, that is all on Alonso. I think Alonso is craking under the pressure. He even blasted Massa’s second as “lucky”

      1. KRB says:

        Alonso really said that about Massa’s result?!? Why? Massa pushed Alonso’s other WDC rivals (JB,LH,KR,MW) each down one spot by taking 2nd. If he really said that, and said it in the tone your post suggests, then that’s a very petty comment.

      2. Ahmed says:

        Alonso just stopped short of saying Massa didnt deserve that podium, you can read it on F1.com.

      3. Sid says:

        Sorry, but i think u misunderstood his comments. He was not criticizing Massa in any way. Quite the contrary in fact. He wanted to say that the pace of the car was not good in his comments and that the various circumstances helped felipe to get the podium even though the pace of the car wasnt that gd.

      4. KRB says:

        Yeah, I couldn’t find anything that sounded as bad as what was implied. I saw his comment about how circumstance favoured Felipe yesterday, and that it sometimes happens that way.

    19. Rich B says:

      looks like not many people see it your way jesus, have you reviewed it and changed your mind?

    20. BB says:

      Alonso pushed Kimi onto the grass, which caused a collision. Exactly the same as RG pushing Hamilton onto the grass in Spa. 1 rac ban for Alonso now?

    21. Phill says:

      Typical replies to this comment. [mod]

      [This post was full of all the words we do not allow here - please don't post like that again here, it will be trashed - Thanks Mod]

  2. Quattro_T says:

    VET & Horner should go by the Lotus garage and thank them for the success. Standings would look very different had not Lotus and its’ two rookies robbed ALO of potentially 50 points.
    Bring on Korea!

    1. James Allen says:

      Grosjean didn’t hit Alonso, he hit Webber. Alonso was involved with Raikkonen

      1. Miha Bevc says:

        He was thinking about Grosjean in SPA, I think.

      2. paulK says:

        James, Quattro_T I believe is referring to Spa as well…
        the Lotus boys have taken out ALO twice in the last 4 races…
        maybe Kimi should “care”….

      3. Quattro_T says:

        I know James. I was referring to the GRO incident at the start of SPA.

      4. Ahmed says:

        James meant Alonso was at fault here :)

      5. Quattro_T says:

        @Ahmed
        I know, that’s why I explicitly pointed out which GRO incident I was refering to.

      6. DanielS says:

        I think he meant Grosjean at Spa.

      7. Irish con says:

        I think he is combining spa and this race tho James. But to think alonso would of win spa and here is foolish. 36 points lost due to lotus first laps tho.

      8. Quattro_T says:

        Optimistic yes, hence the word “potentially”.
        Not that it matters at all now but as you point out, 36 very realistic points lost, due to being taken out from behind by Lotus material.
        SPA – ALO was up to 3rd at first corner when taken out and given the pace 2nd was very possible at that race.
        Susuka – Massa finished 2nd. I think ALO would have at least pushed VET making him use his tyres harder.

      9. Simon Donald says:

        I think Quattro meant 25 points because of Grosjean in Spa and 25 points because of Raikkonen today, James. Championship is wide open now. Vettel is definately in the box seat tho!

      10. Andrew M says:

        I think it’s almost swung too far in Vettel’s favour for it to be called “wide open”.

      11. EM says:

        Isn’t that what he means? Gro put Alonso out at Spa and Kimi did the deed today

      12. Timmay says:

        Think she means Grosjean at Spa and Kimi at Suzuka.

      13. Chromatic says:

        James, with respect, Alonso was entirely the author of his crash here. He should be big enough to say so
        In contrast Raikkonen always owns up to his mistakes. Uniquely.

      14. James Allen says:

        Yes, Alo is at fault for not making sure he came through the start unscathed

        Got squeezed and Kimi did nothing wrong as far as I can see

        Race starts are chaotic and it’s about making ground and staying out if trouble in equal measure, especially on a very narrow track like Suzuka

      15. DK says:

        Well said.

    2. Sebastian says:

      It’s pathetic to say Alonso was robbed. He held the gun and pulled the trigger at Suzuka. You can’t push other cars off the track at the start and expect them to back off… He made a gamble and it cost him dearly.

      1. Sebee says:

        Seb is on a mission. Must feel sickening to have someone grab such chunks of points out of your lead. I feel a bit sorry for Alonso. It looks like third year a brides maid.

      2. ruthvin says:

        very true. raikkonen was going to overtake him

      3. Quattro_T says:

        In order to “push” anybody off the track, that anybody need to be somehow beside you going into the corner. RAI was nowhere beside ALO as proved by the fact that it was his FRONT wing that hit the REAR of ALO. RAI, being the car behind, should have had much better view of the situation than ALO and breaked earlier.

      4. MelB says:

        Have a good second look at that!

      5. Andrew M says:

        Kimi was alongside Fernando when he was pushed onto the grass. It was only after this when Fernando moved across for the second time that he was far enough behind for his front wing to hit Fernando’s rear.

        Bottom line, if Fernando had given him enough space (and there was enough space on his right) then the incident wouldn’t have happened.

      6. Ahmed says:

        Please watch the video, you can very clearly see Alonso moving over to push him off the track. Here, watch at the 0:03 mark
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-WjG0cZgw0&noredirect=1
        there were clearly wheel to wheel and Kimi would have overtaken him eventually.

        Ahmed

      7. Ahmed says:

        they were*

      8. Elie says:

        Sebastian and friends – ignore this guy Quattro t he just likes winding people up- doesn’t have a clue.

      9. NathanD says:

        Elie, who are you to be telling people who to ignore? Anyone looking at this current blog post alone can see your numerous comments disparaging Alonso’s behavior as whining and sulking, yet each of your comments is whiny in nature. Is saying something once not enough for you? In either case, I think anyone with common sense shouldn’t take objective advice from you given this fact.

        And for the record, I don’t think Kimi is a blameless angel in this. Many get pushed off track, they get on the grass, they lift, its simple. He was on the grass and didn’t lift, so the inevitable racing incident occured and his wing clipped Alonso’s rear. Was Alonso supposed to move aside because Kimi was planning on staying on his own magical line in the grass and holding position off track? Was he planning on overtaking Alonso on the grass? A little common sense here, most of the time the driver on the outside connecting in a corner suffers from a coming together. This time Kimi wasn’t even on side, so luckily he wasn’t damaged much. Had Alonso been slower or Kimi faster, Kimi would have suffered more in the contact. He just got lucky. A smarter driver would have lifted and avoided being knocked off track. But luck saw him through. Plus his team mate has taken out half the field, but probably takes extra care not to ram into his own team mate. Smart guy Grosjean.

        This was a racing incident but an avoidable one, and certainly Kimi has as much blame on him as Alonso. I’m not the only one who believes Alonso is not really at fault, there are many other journalists who agree.

      10. Elie says:

        Take it or leave it kid no pressure.

      11. Alexander says:

        [mod], Alonso and Raikkonen were alongside fithing by the postion and the rule states you have to leave room to the other car, Alonso didn’t Raikkonen went out of grass and after rejoining Alonso had the puncture, racing incident yes and luckily a little bit of justice for Alonso’s unfair movement.

      12. ida says:

        Im going to respond to every childish comment that you post belittling Alonso with one that returns the favour to Kimi….then you’ll see yourself in the mirror

    3. Jani says:

      So it’s always others fault. Never yours? And Kimi is not a rookie, far from it. Why should it always be others who should lift and never Alonso.

      In Bahrain he shouted in team radio that “you must always leave space” when Rosberg squeezed him of the track. Also in Monza he said that Vettel should get a penalty for forcing him off the road. But now when he did the exact same thing and doesn’t leave space, its not his fault?

      And why should Kimi have lifted, he was fighting for position agains he’s main rival and didn’t brake the rules.

      1. Elie says:

        Exactly ! Kimi was forced off the track albeit accidentally- if anything not leaving him room is the other cars fault !

      2. Quattro_T says:

        While I can see your point regarding Bahrain, it was a totally different story in Monza. ALO had his front wheels next to the middle of VETs car and VET kept moving to the left! By the rules, VET has to give space in that situation. Today RAI was never even close to be next to ALO, and ALO had nowhere to go.

        I believe he has performed like a rookie this GP. First ruining his and others final run in Q3, and then taking the championship leader out being overoptimistic at the start of the race.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7HhefopHzg

      3. Peter C says:

        Well done Jani. KR is almost alongside FA in the still photo, FA’s car is angled to its left, he kept moving to the left, which is when KR put his wheels on the grass.

        Q.E.D.

      4. Ahmed says:

        Thanks a lot Jani, that should put things into perspective for Quattro. How much more further did Kimi have to be for Alonso almighty to be benevolent enough and “leave the space”.

        Ahmed

      5. Quattro_T says:

        Guys, look at the onboard photage from Massa. It will give you first hand info on exactly how much RAI was “alongside” ALO, instead of a still photo taken from the front of the cars.

      6. Sebastian says:

        Quattro_T: The stewards didn’t even bother to investigate, 9/10 here see it as Alonsos mistake, many have looked at all the videos. I think you too have to accept that Alonso made a mistake… there is no conspiracy. Move on.

    4. Tom says:

      First things first. They both need to kneel down before Adrian Newey and thank him for the Red Bull double DRS.

    5. KRB says:

      Today was Alonso’s fault, can’t blame Kimi. Alonso should’ve been more cautious. It was a somewhat aggressive move.

    6. Rockie says:

      No need to thank Grosjean or Kimi as the points gained at spa was nullified by Vettel’s DNF at Monza

    7. Craig D says:

      Though it was a racing incident, I don’t think Kimi is to blame. Alonso had space on his right but squeezed Kimi. Maybe he didn’t see him but Kimi was entitled to be there alongside him. Alonso could have avoided it.

  3. CoB says:

    Delighted for both Kobayashi and Massa. That was a very nice podium ceremony.

  4. snailtrail says:

    So does anyone know whether Romain Grosjean had to get his running shoes on to run from Webber after the race??

    Romain Grosjean smashes are getting beyond a joke now – something must be done now

    1. exactly!!! how many starting incidents is it up to now? 10 second penalty is nothing, his crashes will be the single biggest factor on this years results…

      1. Chris says:

        Because he took Webber out today? I don’t think Webber’s in the fight to be fair!!!

    2. Dave says:

      Two have been his fault. You revisit them and you see how little you noticed them at the time as being serious

      1. tank says:

        Um, there were two at least you aren’t counting that I remember because they involved Schumacher: Malaysia and Monaco. Both Grosjean’s fault.

    3. Sebastian says:

      Beginning to look like 2009 again.

    4. Craig Baker says:

      You beat me to the punch there snailtrail. My money is on Webber he has the stride and reach advantage.

      1. tim clarke says:

        one site said that Mark’s right cross may not fare well against Grojean’s black belt.

      2. snailtrail says:

        Black belt or black eye? – come on there wouldnt be a contest between the two – the white surrender flag would be raised quickly…

        Either way Grosjean will have plenty of time to play black belt if he keeps this up…you would think he should have got the idea after being the only driver in the last few years to get a race ban for stupid driving – even the team will be asking whats going on mate?

  5. F1addicted says:

    If anyone believes that RB are quicker solely due to a front wing, they are naive!

    They have found extra pace from other places too.

    If McLaren cannot match pace then this title is another kind of ‘by default’ one, which is a pity for the sport as a whole if it’s merely the car which is the decider.

    1. Miha Bevc says:

      James hinted double DRS is already on the RB8. I didn’t know that too…

    2. Leo says:

      Agree the car has too much influence.
      Alonso is still the man, I am certain if he had a Red Bull now he would be unbeatable ?

      1. Peter C says:

        If Grosjean had a Sherman tank, he’d be unbeatable too.

    3. Hansb says:

      Don’t count Alonso out just yet…

    4. Jimbob says:

      By default? So the best car & driver combination winning a championship is a win by default?

      Please try to remember that this is a team sport. Alonso might well be the better package as a driver but his team obviously isn’t as good as RB – That doesn’t make a SV win a win by default, it just means that as a combination, SV & RB are the best as they have been since the second half of 2009.

      To be honest, given SV’s performances this year I’m not even sure that Alonso is better than him… It’s definitely close and I’d say Vettel is the faster of the two. Would love to see them in the same team to finally put the argument of how good Vettel is to bed!

      1. Jorge G says:

        Totally agree, +1

    5. Craig D says:

      By default? It’s unfair to simply say the car has won it for Vettel (if he does). But then, why wouldn’t the best car most likely win it?!!

      The competition has been so close this year with many teams having a performance advantage, that whichever driver wins the Championship will possibly have deserved it more than many if not any other Championship!

      In fact as McLaren has probably had the strongest car overall for the greatest proportion of the season, if Alonso or Vettel win it in non dominant cars (over the whole season), they will be very deserving indeed.

      1. KRB says:

        I would dispute your assertion that McLaren has had the strongest car overall this season. The RB8 has always had decent race pace at pretty much every race, except for maybe Monza. On the flipside, the McLaren has faltered on race pace at Bahrain, Valencia, and Silverstone. They didn’t concentrate enough on figuring out the tires, and it hurt them at a few races vis-a-vis the RB8, the E20 and F2012.

      2. Craig D says:

        Red Bull haven’t generally had good qualy pace though. McLaren has been better in that regard, and I think as an overall package has been stronger over more races. There have just been a lot of errors.

  6. r0ssj says:

    Can’t see anyone but Vettel winning championship now. Red Bull have come good at the right time and Vettel is certainly good enough to get the job done from here.

    A pity for Alonso, he’s being driving great all season, for the the last 2 and half seasons really, but Ferrari haven’t been able to produce a consistant front running car. Alonso was unlucky at the start again today, but I guess the bad luck is just evening itself out.

    Good to see Kamui get a home podium, drove well and held off Button at the end. And well done to Massa, for ending his podium drought with a good drive for second.

    1. James Clayton says:

      I think Vettel is looking like the favourite for sure.

      But it’s not all out for Hamilton just yet. He took 10 points out of the championship leader in Japan. If he does the same thing for all the remaining races, he’s the WDC.

    2. Sid says:

      Luck evens out over the course of the season. I feel that seb is due a retirement after this( they still have not fixed the alternator yet). The pace of the ferrari wasnt that bad in japan. If alo’s q3 lap had not been compromised by yellow flags, he could well have been fighting with vettel at the front in the race.
      With a decent car over the next five races, alo can win the championship.

      ” But it’s not all out for Hamilton just yet. He took 10 points out of the championship leader in Japan. If he does the same thing for all the remaining races, he’s the WDC.”

      Sorry but alonso will not be retiring in all of the next five races so thats not possible boss.

      1. KRB says:

        Well, I guess the r0ssj was more thinking of Hamilton winning races, and Alonso coming in 3rd or worse. That’s 10+ points.

        It’s harder when there’s two competitors ahead by a significant margin.

        McLaren need to get on top again with their car, Lewis has to be spot on with his set-up choices, and then the reliability has to be there. I’m not confident of him challenging, but it’s not an impossibility.

  7. Lars J says:

    Just viewed a boring grand prix hoping (which is a bad feeling) that Vettels alternator would burn off, because Vettel against Alonso is the battle between “predictable, processional racing” against “changing positions, great racing and excitement until last lap”. Could someone please give Alonso a racer that can qualify far away from those two black Alonso-smashers, Grosjean and Kimi, who are destroying an otherwise great season.

    1. Vantro says:

      Alonso is entirely to blame for what happend in the start. Kimi as usual did absolutely nothing wrong.

      1. Truth or Lies says:

        Yes, it a close call but Kimi didn’t do anything wrong, Fernando made a mistake and destroyed his own chances for the championship. I wrote yesterday he would need to get luckier if he is to win the title and well he didn’t did he?

        It’s racing and these things happen, Red Bull on a roll for sure. Ferrari cannot and do not deserve to win the championship with this car, they do not have outright race pace and haven’t had all season.

        You reap what you sow, simple.

      2. KRB says:

        Did they even investigate the Alonso-Kimi clash? Just shows you that it was an open-and-shut case, a racing incident at best.

      3. Ahmed says:

        Even if it was investigated it would have resulted in a penalty for Alonso for not “leaving the space”

  8. Sasa says:

    Grosjean strikes again.

  9. Tim says:

    Pleased as punch for Felipe.
    Looking like it’ll come down to a 1 GP (Brazil) Do or Die championship.
    Hang tough Felipe. Your first class.

    Tim

  10. Miha Bevc says:

    Not a classic race, but great for the championship. Vettel and Alonso both have 2 DNFs now (2 alternators, 2 crashes), so I guess we can call it even.

    James, you hinted Red Bull were sporting double DRS this weekend, could you tell us more about this?

    1. James Allen says:

      Will follow up tomorrow

      1. Miha Bevc says:

        Thanks, I’m hardly waiting…

      2. Sebastian says:

        ….my guess is that you are… ;)

      3. Elie says:

        RBR-DDRS devise detail just posted on F1 website.

        http://mobile.formula1.com/news/technical/2012/1012

        James ignore my previous request On the DDRS

  11. Matthew says:

    Alonso was incredibly lucky. Yeah, he retired. But the way he hit the gravel I thought for sure he was in for a nasty series of flips. And when he spun sideways back onto the track after that… I was having flashbacks to Zanardi’s horror accident. Alonso was incredibly lucky to walk away without injury today.

    1. Laurence H says:

      The speeds of the cars through that corner were nothing like that of Tagliani when he hit Zanardi. Still never nice to see a car coming sideways into traffic though…

  12. Dave says:

    Why is everyone being so hard on Grosjean? He hadn’t come onto my radar until Belgium as a dangerous driver. It was Maldonado and Hamilton who was doing that.

    Australia was really not anyones fault – more Maldonado for the late lunge and not giving any space
    Malaysia was wet and probably had no control over hitting Schumacher. Something Alonso, Button, Hamilton etc. have all done
    Spain was him being squeezed
    Monaco was Felipe’s fault as Grosjean took evasive action, plus it’s Monaco
    Silverstone was just a glance and anyone would have done that
    Hockenheim he was hit from behind and did well to avoid everyone else
    Belgium was dangerous – that’s plain to see
    Japan was just a misjudgment which even Perez alongside made as well but was on the right side to avoid Webber. Webber seemed to catch both of them out. However it was his fault

    All in all there were 8 incidents
    5 that should be considered
    1 was him being hit – don’t know why that counts – Germany
    2 can be blamed on the huge front wings – Spain, Silverstone

    Out of these 5

    2 can be directly blamed solely on Grosjean – Belgium, Japan
    2 can be blamed on other drivers – Australia, Monaco
    1 was a misjudgment I’ve seen many drivers do – Malaysia

    All in all this makes 2 out of 5 start line crashes coming solely down to him being dangerous – he’s just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    So when people are talking about how dangerous he is – he’s actually only had two start line incidents where he should be punished and he has for both of them. So when people say they are repeat dangerous acts, they aren’t – six of them can’t be blamed completely on him. He’s had as many as any other driver on the grid.

    1. shankar says:

      Good argument for Romain. But it would be interesting to see how other drivers have started so far.

      I beg to differ with you on Malaysia because all the other drivers did not do it during the start. So thats a big difference.

    2. Jimbob says:

      I don’t think it’s fair to say that he’s only had the same incidents as the other drivers. It’s the fact that he’s made the same kind of mistake several times so it looks like he’s not learning any lessons.

      The bottom line is that you don’t see any other drivers causing so many incidents do you? I agree about Maldonado though – He’s been lucky to get away with his antics without more severe punishment!

      1. Andrew M says:

        Exactly, of course everyone makes mistakes at the start over the course of their career, but I can’t remember anyone having so many incidents in such a short space of time (his first full season in F1). Only in Germany was he totally blameless, which leaves seven incidents, all of which have taken other drivers out of the race.

        Maldonado has made a lot of poor decisions, but he has taken a lot of penalties (I suspect more than Grosjean), and I can’t think of many incidents he’s been involved in that were particularly dangerous.

      2. Dave says:

        Many drivers have done the same thing over a similar space of time. de cesaris, Hunt Sheckter, Senna, Schumacher, Hill all had a series of crashes at the start of their career. I think Grosjean was just in the wrong place at the wrong time

      3. Andrew M says:

        @ Dave, I can’t speak for De Cesaris, Hunt or Scheckter as the start of their careers was before my time, but Senna, Schumacher and Hill had nowhere near as many startline incidents as this in such a short space of time.

    3. chris green says:

      people used to say the same thing about jody schektar when he first started in f1.

      even james hunt’s nickname was ‘hunt the shunt.’

      grosjean has shown glimpses of brilliance in 2012. he just needs time to settle down.

      1. James Allen says:

        And both of them went on to become world champions

    4. tank says:

      I am sorry mate, but I just watched the Monaco start again to reply to another post above.. At Monaco, first he nearly drove into Massa, then he weaved to avoid the Ferrari by almost a car width and subsequently pinched Schumacher into the barrier. I would describe his movements at the start as “delayed over-reactions”.

      1. Dave says:

        Massa pulled out in front of him and Grosjean pulls over instead of backing off which would cause someone to drive into the back of him – more dangerous

      2. Koka says:

        It was Alonso IMO

      3. KRB says:

        That was Alonso, not Massa. Alonso was wearing a special gold helmet in that GP.

      4. Tank says:

        fair enough, but doesn’t really matter.

    5. kbdavies says:

      I don’t see why Himilton’s name should be on the “dangerous” driver list.
      As far as i’m aware, Lewis has never taken out a car whilst it was trying to overtake him. He has always been fair – which cannot be said for other drivers when he is trying to overtake them. Massa and Webber especially come to mind.

      1. KRB says:

        I have always said this, that Lewis is perfectly able to “give it up” when he’s been passed. But as you say, others have taken the view that if they turn in early on him when he’s attempting to overtake, that there was a good chance that Lewis would get the penalty. Which I think did actually happen most of the time, until the stewards called Massa on it last year in India.

      2. kbdavies says:

        Very true. I remember Massa, and even a couple of commentators being shocked when Massa got the penalty. Due to precedence, it was always assumed Lewis would always draw the short end of the stick in any racing incident.

      3. Elie says:

        100% agree .

      4. ida says:

        THATS GOLD…Your a keeper. They were all shocked cos it was Hamiltons fault 100% (indian GP)….

  13. Joe B says:

    Dull, dull, dull race. Dull. Not worth getting up for, and certainly set to herald a massive anti-climax to what had beforehand been a great season.

    Machinery is most of what counts in F1 and I’m the first to admit I supported Damon Hill in ’96 (although at least JV was allowed to challenge him). This is different though; Vettel is setting records and taking wins and championships in a car clearly miles ahead of the competition; when he’s not clear fastest, he’s beaten by Alonso in a slower car.

    I know it might seem bitter, and I’m sure the RB fans will have plenty to say, but we’re in a golden era for drivers. Not saying Seb doesn’t deserve A title, but this is getting really frustrating now. And anybody who thinks this kind of team/driver domination of F1 is a good thing is deluding themselves.

    1. Jimbob says:

      Team sport… Overall Vettel & RB have been the best combination since second half of 2009. Of course they deserve it. The same as Schumi did.

      Prior to this season people moaned that Vettel only won from the front with a dominant car… He hasn’t had the dominant car this season and he’s up there with Alonso, who also hasn’t had a dominant car. People praise Alonso for his awesomeness yet still berate Vettel?

      And to be fair, the Ferrari is probably the quickest car in the wet and this is where Alonso has capitalised most this season so it could be argued that he’s a had a dominant car more often than Vettel.

      As a motorsport fan I’m getting tired of seeing the same old tripe being regurgitated by blinkered fans.

      Team sport… Whoever wins over a season deserves it, end of story. I can’t think of a single season where this hasn’t been the case apart from a couple of Senna\Prost tangles (which balanced eachother out) and Schumi’s questionable championship deciding ‘moves’.

      1. Joe B says:

        It is a team sport, indisputably, and it’s a strange thing that so many of us hang so much weight on the driver’s championship when it itself was an addendum to the constructor’s championship back in the day. But, we do, and I am getting frustrated that a driver I do not perceive to be the best, by no small margin, is clearing up.

        I know Red Bull has been doing a better job as a team than the rest of the field since 2009, and that McLaren, Ferrari (and almost Brawn as well) have managed to shoot themselves in the foot on several occassions; it doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

        Lastly, from one motorsport fan to another – do you not think the people you’re getting tired of might have a valid point?

      2. Jimbob says:

        No, I don’t think they have a point because the fact that it’s a team sport throws their point out completely.

        Also, and I’m no Vettel fan either, I think he probably is one of the best and if he’s not then it’s definitely by a small margin.

        People get hung up on Vettel having dominant cars and use this to justify their opinion that he’s no good. Schumi had an utterly dominant car for his championships, so did Alonso, Senna, Prost, Hill, Villenueve etc etc

        I would suggest that Webber, who was always considered a one lap specialist is much faster than Barrichello ever was and look what Vettel is doing to him.

        And no, I won’t take anyone seriously if they suggest that Webber is on anything but equal terms with Vettel at RB. I do think that Vettel is the favoured winner but in terms of equipment they have the same and that is clear. Webber would definitely make it known if that wasn’t the case and he would not keep signing new contracts with a team that doesn’t support him.

        As long as the racing’s good I don’t really care who wins provided they deserve it and so far Vettel hasn’t done anything to suggest that he doesn’t deserve his results. He’s got a tough team mate who he thoroughly dominates, he’s proven he can overtake and perform damage limitation when his car’s not up to it… What else do people want?!?

      3. Joe B says:

        So the point that F1 is a team sport throws out the point that Vettel is in a very good team? I don’t follow.

        Vettel is fast, but that’s definitely helped by having the fastest car on the grid. In the last year my opinion of him has risen because of his performances (despite swiping across Karthikeyan in Malaysia, and Hungary, where he shouted at his engineer to sort out his traffic issues) – Spa being a stand-out, and the team as a whole has operated very well, doing a better job than the rest. But, I still believe that he’s ‘only’ an above average F1 driver in the best team, and that’s what my frustration is borne out of. This is clearly a subjective question, but how would you honestly see a race between Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel in equal machinery finishing?

        You won’t take anyone seriously if they suggest Webber doesn’t get equal treatment? Well, there’s enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that it is the case Webber gets inferior strategy/equipment, in instances where Seb will benefit. As you’re not a self-proclaimed Vettel fan, it should be easy to admit he enjoys clear number one status within the Red Bull garage? And, before you counter, this was the case even during 2010, when neither driver had a WDC to their name.

        Furthermore, as you’ve said – this is a team sport. One of my biggest issues with Red Bull as a team is their lack of honesty about how they run their team. Ferrari make no bones that Alonso is number one; since strategy and team support (emotional and otherwise) goes Seb’s way, why not drop the charade and say you’re running a number one and number two?

        Of the drivers you list above Schumacher, Alonso and Villenueve all fought in very tightly contested championships, sometimes not enjoying a great car advantage at all. Hakkinen, Raikkonen and Hamilton the same. Vettel won one title that four other drivers threw away, and one in a car with an awesome performance advantage designed to his strengths.

        I’m not saying he wouldn’t deserve this year’s WDC should it go his way – it’s been so close and thrilling a championship that, as many have said, whoever takes it would be worthy – but I would be gutted if in the last quarter of this title fight it’s a sudden huge car advantage like the one displayed today that takes the title out of other (and in my opinion, superior) driver’s hands. Especially when it’s the same driver that’s enjoyed a car advantage for a substantial amount of the last three years.

        I know there are people out there that bash drivers for the sake of it, and I know that I’ve been at times outright rude about Seb’s achievements on here. But he’s walking away with titles and records that will see him recorded as one of the GOAT, when I’m sitting here watching it all happen now and believe, with decades of following F1 and reasonably sound judgement, that it’s really not the case.

      4. Nathan Jones says:

        Jimbob, just to pick up on your point that past champions have always won in dominant cars, Senna never won in a dominant car. In 1988, the MP4-4 was brilliant but any advantage he had was negated by the fact that his closest championship contender, Prost, had the same car.

        Prost faced the same problem in 1989 with the MP4-5 being shared with Senna (dubious conclusion, of course).

        Senna won in 1990 in the MP4-5B which whilst fast because of its Honda engine, had a chassis which was not a match for Prost’s Ferrari. The engine was the only really good thing in it (as demonstrated by McLaren’s calamitous decline when Honda left them).

        And Senna’s MP4-6, whilst being a gorgeous looking car was not a shadow of the Williams FW14. That was the car that established Newey as top dog, and rightly so because it would have panned everything in sight were it not for Senna.

        In addition there is no way anyone can say Hamilton’s car was the class of the field in 2008. It is widely regarded as being a step behind the Ferrari that year.

        Some champs can make the difference. I’d hasten a word that Seb can’t. We all know that Alonso can – take a look at this year. And Alonso feels that only Lewis can. They pointedly don’t mention Seb.

      5. Jimbob says:

        Joe B.. Wow! Long post ;)

        What I mean by their point thrown out is that it’s a pointless view. If it’s a team sport then supporting one driver and getting mad when he doesn’t win regardless of his machinery is just silly. If you must follow one driver then take his results in context? I quite like Kobayashi so was thrilled with his podium – That’s as good as a race win for Button right?

        How would I see a race between Alonso, Hamilto and Vettel in the same car? Very, very close. Couldn’t honestly pick a winner. Would love to see it though! Over a single lap I’d put money on Alonso coming last but that’s all I got on that one.

        In 2010 for sure Webber was treated as a number 2 at times… You remember the kick off don’t you!?!? I don’t think he’d sign more contracts if that was to continue.

        If you don’t like what RB say to the media then that’s fine… No argument from me. Point is that they can run that team how they like and it has to be said that from a performance point of view, which is surely the most important in F1, they’re doing a damn good job!

        On the close chamionships… 2010 – He was unlucky not to be leading that championship by 50+ pts come the last race due to unreliability. 2011 was very, very close. Look back at all the wins he just scraped – There were quite a few! The person with the most points at the end of the season ALWAYS deserves the title unless they cheated (Yes Schumi, I’m talking to you ;) ).

        You might not believe him to be a great but he is. I probably sound like I’m in love with the guy and I promise I’m not but I love motorsport as you obviously do and if you sit back and really disect (spelling?) his results and how he’s dominated Webber you must surely see? I race Karts and I’m by no means the best but I’m reasonably handy… I have so much respect for those who are consistently quickest. It doesn’t matter what car\kart you have – To consistently get the best of it lap after lap, race after race is unbelievably difficult. This is why I also think those that say Button didn’t deserve his championship are idiots lol if you got the most points over a season then you definitely deserve it. Especially in F1 where you’re up against the very best in the world.

      6. Jimbob says:

        Nathan Jones… I don’t know if I said it in the post you read – I’ve gone on with myself quite a lot on this one! Anyway, OK, I concede that not every driver to have won a championship had a dominant car but I guarantee 100% that if they didn’t have a dominant car they did get lucky – Their rival with the dominant car either being unlucky with mechanical failures or accidents etc.

        Also, your point that Senna was up against Prost in a dominant car – Surely every driver to ever have a dominant car has a team mate in the same car? Not sure I see your point on that one.

      7. Nathan Jones says:

        Jimbob, what I meant by the Senna/Prost/same car-thing is that (a) they are comparable talents, and (b) they have the same equipment.

        For Lewis to be in the same car as Heikki is one thing – ie. Lewis is clearly going to win that one irrespective of them having the same equipment and it’s just a question of who’s in the Ferrari/Red Bull/etc.

        For Senna to be in the same car as Prost is different. They are both brilliant and they could both easily win it. It ain’t about the McLaren dominating competitor cars, it’s about them having to go toe-to-toe with another great driver with no car advantage whatsoever.

        Let’s say this year’s Ferrari was the class of the field. Do you think there’d be any possibility whatsoever of Massa challenging Alonso? So it’s not a question of “every driver to ever have a dominant car has a team mate in the same car?”, sometimes that team mate just won’t be a factor and sometimes he’ll be able to push you just as hard as you push him, ie. there’s no such ‘dominant car’ effect.

      8. KRB says:

        The car was dominant today, and he did win from the front, easily. It was more dominant than Button’s win at Spa. Fact remains Vettel has only won one race starting off of the front row, and that was starting from 3rd. Plus then he was 1st heading into the first corner of that race (passing Webber).

      9. Jimbob says:

        Uh huh… Basically, if his car is quick enough Seb will stick it on pole on Saturday where a lot of drivers might not have the pace over a single lap.

        When his car isn’t quick enough to win\be on pole he puts it wherever he can and then gets the best of it in the race.

        I don’t see the problem… Saying that a driver can only win because he sticks his car on pole every single time it’s capable of being there and then goes on to win most of those races from the front to then imply that the driver in question isn’t any good is just stupid.

        Remember, Webber was always considered a single lap specialist and he’s being absolutely battered by Vettel over a single lap. If Webber is a single lap specialist then what does that make Vettel? Some kind of single lap god? But he’s still rubbish in sooo many F1 fans eyes… Seemingly just because he beats their faves constantly. Remember also that Webber who is no slouch is generally quite a way off Seb on points in the same car. Why is that? Oh, it’s because Seb out qualifies him constantly and not only that, he keeps in front in the races too. But he’s still rubbish obviously.

        The stats really don’t lie. His pole & win record is unbelievable and he’s hardly made any rookie mistakes either when you compare him to Hamilton last year, Maldonado, Grosjean etc

      10. KRB says:

        Is his pole & win record “unbelievable”? He’s had 34 poles, yet only won 18 of them. Alonso, Schumacher, Button and Massa (!) have better pole conversion rates.

      11. Jimbob says:

        His pole & win record is unbelievable in comparison to his number of race starts, not as a pole:win ratio.

        You obviously just think he’s rubbish despite masses of evidence to the contrary.

        Bottom line is he’s dominated F1 every year he’s been with RB apart from first half of ’09. If he’s not that good then why hasn’t Webber been closer to him or beat him over a season? I ask this because I & most motorsport fans rate Webber pretty highly. If an F1 driver’s main rival is his team mate then it has to be said that Vettel is doing pretty damn well.

      12. KRB says:

        JimBob, I do rate Vettel very highly. I would put him as the 3rd best driver out there, behind Alonso and Hamilton. Those three are a cut above the second tier of drivers, in which I’d put Button, Webber, and Kimi.

        He has a 25% win ratio, which is amazing. But to pretend that it doesn’t have a lot to do with the machinery at his disposal is just silly. He’s having a great spell at the moment; let’s see how he goes when RBR have an off-year.

    2. F1addicted says:

      Completely agree

    3. EBELGTV says:

      Could’nt agree more Joe B…and motorsport is perhaps the only sport which is more dependant on the equiptment than the sportsman.
      But it has always been this way. The difference is the risks vs reward of yesteryear vs present day F1. The incidents we have seen this year (plus many others) would seriously affect the mental state of driver. Their ability to overcome this, regroup and get back in the cockpit to take on eau-rouge…parabolica….Monaco…at speed is what created hero’s/legends.
      However..i do think the current F1 driver pushes harder, for longer at greater speeds and more consistantly than we have ever witnesssed and that makes them trully talented athletes.

      Just hate that the records of yesteryear are so easily beaten by the juniors of today.

      1. brny666 says:

        If you think its easy for RBR and Vettel to do what they do you are seriously mistaken.

      2. Nathan Jones says:

        No one is saying it’s easy for Red Bull. We’re saying it’s easy for Vettel.

      3. Joe B says:

        I’d never really considered the safety aspect, but the difference in driver psychology must be huge between, say, ‘pre-Schumacher’ and today. I agree that these men are hugely dedicated athletes in a way the sport hasn’t seen before, and maybe that means that records will continue to tumble; maybe it’s just testament to the increasing length of F1 history that the greats of yesteryear will be replaced and forgotten as we go. Certainly sad to see that happen though.

    4. Chris says:

      Vettels record: -

      Races 96 (96 starts)
      Championships 2 (2010, 2011)
      Wins 24
      Podiums 42
      Career points 963
      Pole positions 34
      Fastest laps 13

      Bet your record would be more respectful than a 25% win ratio, especially as with a season at Torro Rosso Joe B!!

      1. Joe B says:

        Ha, have you seen me drive? There’s a good reason I never progressed beyond Junior TKM…

        It’s an impressive record, and as much as I know why you’re saying it, it also backs up my view that he’s had an incredible car, designed and ran around him. When that’s not been the case, as happened earlier this year, he’s not been fantastic – he’s been beaten by Webber, in fact.

        And not to take anything away from the Torro Rosso season, but it’s often mentioned devoid of context – if I could race a Newey designed, Ferrari engined car around Monza, I’d fancy my chances.

        Well, supposing I was an actual racing driver…

      2. Chris says:

        Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel are the three best drivers on the grid, and drivers like Kimi, Button and Webber keep them more than honest.

        Of the top 3, Alonso is the most callus, the race fix, which I believe he was behind, the reason, the situation at Mclaren, a team he nearly ruined purely because they gave him a competitive team mate. The Fernando is faster than you comment, when it wasn’t in the rules for team orders (as crazy as that was, but another debate), the constant winning on radios (in English for Charlie’s benefit) over any 50-50 or any situation that he thinks won’t work for him. Maybe ruthless is a better word than callus, but either way, it makes him a sore looser (not a bad thing in my book btw). Lewis gets into to may nonsense situations (wish he wouldn’t), and Vettel picks up the pieces. They are 3 intriguing drivers – enjoy it I say!!

        This year I think Alonso has been immense, but Vettel has been unlucky to, the Valencia dnf, the incident with Button at Germany, borderline but great racing IMO (not yours I’m sure), Italy etc. Alonso has had one piece of bad luck, Spa, today was at best a racing incident (and best left at that).

        Your apparent bitterness of Vettel’s record is purely because you don’t like him(fair enough), but the figures say he’s an outstanding driver (25% win ratio just has to be admired). Just because you don’t like him doesn’t give you right the spout nonsense. Senna won the 1988 championship in a Mclaren that was on a different planet, does that make him any less of a driver. Mansell won a deserved championship in a scorcher of a Williams car, was that unfair? Schumi won championship after championship in a dominant Ferrari, was he wrong to do so? I would argue Vettel has never had a car as dominant as the 88 Mclaren, the 92 Williams or the 02 Ferrari.

        Vettel hasn’t always had the best car this year either, I’d say on the whole Mclaren have. How this year all end I don’t know, I’m sad Lewis isn’t in the hunt, but we have two cracking drivers going hammer and tong, the way it should be!!! Best man win I say!!!

        PS – you wouldn’t even qualify!!

      3. NathanD says:

        JoeB your opinion has definite merit. Some people just rather swallow what they’ve been fed, but objective fans tend to think otherwise. Good on you for speaking up objectively, I share the same opinion. We’re just watching a glorified young guy that is good backed by a truly great chief designer in Newey. They should give championships based on how fast a car is and how well a driver individually performs. I don’t think Vettel has been the best driver this year at all. At all.

      4. Joe B says:

        Chris – Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel are probably the three best drivers on the grid, in that order (imo), and very closely followed by Raikkonen. I would put Kimi right amongst it, but I’m still not 100% convinced either way about his comeback. Certainly though, if we’re talking about Kimi from ’01-’07 he deserves to be there, but then again Schumacher would be right up there at the top as well, so it’s kind of fruitless. I’d say Webber and Button both have races over a season where everything hooks up and they’re untouchable, but far too infrequently to challenge the other four.

        I agree that this season has been enjoyable, and that Vettel has done a good job of keeping in contention with a car that isn’t miles apart. But this is what I don’t get – Red Bull bring in updates to the front and rear wings and succesfully utilise double-DRS, qualify one-two and then Vettel romps away to a twenty second lead and easy win, and you’re happy that the promise of this season is wiped away in the closing stages by such an advantage? I’m not. I’ve watched Alonso drive stellar races in a car that has only maybe once been the class of the field and prove how key consistency is to a title challenge. I’ve watched McLaren’s unreliability and pit-stop blunders prove it on the other side of the coin. Vettel’s alternator problem in Valencia was cruel luck, and I actually think the penalty in Germany was harsh (but not Monza). Basically, we’ve seen over 14 races this season that on an almost-level playing field, Alonso can drag his car to the top. I honestly don’t think Vettel could do the same in this year’s Ferrari. We may never know, and I’d love to see him do it (or something equatable), even if he proves me wrong. But I don’t think he could.

        Nathan Jones, above, makes some pretty valid points about the car superiority points you bring up, and I would say that the RB7, in Vettel’s hands (due to his preference for the blown diffuser) did have a performance superiority over the rest of the field akin to the cars you mention, for at least half the season. And I agree with you fully that the stats don’t lie, but they don’t tell the whole story either.

        I’d also agree that on the whole (but not completely at all, and nowhere near comparable to RB last season) McLaren have had the strongest car; however their own unreliability, tactical errors and pit-stop cock ups have taken them out of the hunt. Yeah, it’s farcical but it’s led to a more entertaining season. Again, do you want to see that dashed at the end?

        P.S. – I’m actually pretty good at F1 2010. Can’t be too much of a step-up into the real thing, can it…?

  14. Galapago555 says:

    Nice to see Felipe back again at the podium an a big big thumbs up for Kamui’s first F1 podium.

    Driver of the day should be an open contest now… The three podium finishers performed superbly, and don’t miss the fantastic comeback by Mark from last to 9th…

    By the way, is it possible to ban out of the sport definitely the “1st lap nutcase” [WEB dixit]?

    1. KRB says:

      Agreed that there were many great drives today, but no one could lay a finger on Vettel today and this weekend. He won by 20 sec’s, yet could’ve gone faster!

  15. Fernando Cruz says:

    Anyone knows what happened with Rosberg and Senna in the first lap? Anyone knows why wasn’t Raikkonen penalised for the mistake that may have cost a championship to Alonso?

    1. ruthvin says:

      plz look at the start again . raikonnen was on course to overtake alonso. alonso pushed him out . simply his mistake ………….

      1. Fernando Cruz says:

        Ok, maybe I was wrong in my judgement. So what about the Rosberg/Senna incident? What happened there? It might be available on youtube but if not, can anyone say how it was or send a link for us to see it?

    2. shankar says:

      Because it was Alonso who is at fault of not giving enough room for another car at the start.

    3. Vantro says:

      Kimi should have a penalty, are you serious? If anyone was to blame it was Alonso himself for squezing Kimi. Alonso actually had some space towards Button.

      It seems that a vast majority is agreeing that Kimi did absolutely nothing wrong!!

    4. Andrew M says:

      Shy showed a very limited view of it from the overhead at the start, from what I saw the penalty looked very harsh, Senna seemed to run out of room in the aftermath of the Alonso/Grosjean incidents and hit Rosberg. He might have been on for some points today with the penalty.

      1. Fernando Cruz says:

        Thanks a lot. So, that explains why Rosberg criticized Grosjean and not Senna. Anyway it was not easy for Senna to get points even without the penalty, as he lost too much time with that incident in the first lap.

  16. Luke Potter says:

    That wasn’t a penalty for Grosjean – it makes no difference to have a 10-second stop-go when you’re at the back anyway. He needs another race ban.

    1. shankar says:

      I agree +1

  17. Lewis having probs with car set up? maybe Jenson not sharing his set up info any more ?

    1. Peter C says:

      Last time I heard, everybody on here was saying that Button had stolen Hamiltons settings!

      Another conspiracy theory gone west.

      We did better at primary school.

  18. PM says:

    Hopefully this will mark a turnaround for Massa and give him some confidence. No other driver would have handled the pressure and speculation as he has done with such dignity.

    1. Tim says:

      Great comment. He’s had 3 brutal setbacks to his psyche:
      1. 2008 Championship
      2. Hungary injury
      3. Hockenheim has to give up a well-earned “W”
      Treated like 2nd class citizen in own team yet has remained loyal.
      Felipe Massa – Grace under pressure

      Tim

      1. Truth or Lies says:

        Couldn’t agree more, the dignity of this man is simply amazing. Though part of the 2008 championship, I’d add the Singapore pit stop blunder to that list. 100% team fault and loss of a certain win.

        All season he’s had to endure a torrid time in the media and by many inside his team, because of their unprofessional bias toward Alonso. Since Alonso joined Ferrari I’ve lost count the number of times Massa’s race strategies have been compromised to ensure Alonso’s on track position.

        Yet he remains loyal to the team and is one of the very few drivers that to my mind, has never publicly criticised his team. In fairness Alonso’s kept his mouth shut at Ferrari, but his behaviour at McLaren was outrageous.

        Anyway Felipe is a great racer and deserves a good car and fair treatment from Ferrari if he continues with them.

        Super drive today, well done Felipe !!

      2. Andrew M says:

        “Since Alonso joined Ferrari I’ve lost count the number of times Massa’s race strategies have been compromised to ensure Alonso’s on track position.”

        I’ve noticed this aswell, how Massa is used as a guinea pig for Alonso, especially in the Pirelli era tyre data is at a premium and Massa’s races are routinely compromised by this. He clearly isn’t a match for Alonso (their respective qualifying speed shows that) but the disparity is amplified because he’s treated like a second class citizen.

    2. zx6dude says:

      +1 Well done Massa.

  19. Leo says:

    Firstly delighted for Kobayashi ! A great drive.
    Grojean has no business being there anymore, this is not the first time he has done this, and has had a dire effect on other drivers points
    Seb as always great from the front.
    Hopefully we have a close end to the title without any more interference from Grojean !!!

  20. Koby Fan says:

    Big shame about Fernando’s race. Vettel’s unreal pace is worrying (for Fernando – RB8 is looking untouchable for the last 5 races).

    Nerve racking race for Koby supporters. Relieved he finally got a good start off the line and survived the home GP pressure to secure his 1st podium with a conventional tyre strategy (however McLaren and Jenson were very generous today).

    1. shankar says:

      (however McLaren and Jenson were very generous today).

      I doubt it. because from the radio messages it was clear they were pushing to the limit.

      Kamui earned his first podium on his own!!!

      1. Peter C says:

        Perhaps generous in their attitude towards Koby.

        You may not see it like that – maybe it’s more fun to criticise a driver/team that isn’t your favourite.

  21. Bossy22 says:

    The momentum is all with Vettel now.
    RBR have found pace in the summer break somewhere.
    Ferrari just doesn’t have enough pace. If the Ferrari was faster, Alonso didn’t have to put up with the traffic in 5th or 6th place. Back there stuff happens..
    Domenicali has to go.. he doesn’t have it.

    And: Vettel is on top of his game. That may be not not much for a lot of people here in this blog, but its enough to probably win 3 consecutive DWCs..

    Regards

    Bossy

    1. Peter C says:

      Did Domenicali design the car……..& the upgrades?

      He did? Well, he’s got to go then.

  22. peter says:

    good performance from kobayashi. outperformed perez. and they started on the same tire.

    interesting to see what happens to him in 2013. its hard to say but hopefully he has a seat for next year.

  23. Rach says:

    Vettel or alonso then. Really pleased as both of them are clearly driving at the maximum. That Ferrari was quick today so alonso should not worry.

    Clearly mclaren are not interested in Hamilton’s championship anymore even if they tell us otherwise. Suppose you can’t blame them!

    1. Joe B says:

      That’s ridiculous – they still have interest in the constructors championship! Hamilton made a decent fist of it at a race where he struggled with his set up and qualified badly, no conspiracy here.

      1. Rach says:

        Sorry your right. Button finished in front of kobayashi………

      2. KRB says:

        Are you saying Button should’ve ceded position to Lewis? I’m a Lewis fan, and I don’t think he should’ve. If he was 5 sec’s back of Kamui and couldn’t catch him, then maybe he should’ve. But he had a chance to pass him, a chance that Button wasted. It would’ve been an extra 3 pts for McLaren in the Constructors’. But Button couldn’t get it done.

      3. Rach says:

        @ krb not exactly. He should have allowed Hamilton past at the line after it became clear that he wasn’t going to get kobayashi. Those 2 points could be the difference.

        As I said above I don’t blame mclaren especially as Hamilton is leaving. I’m looking forward to a great battle between alonso and vettel.

      4. Joe B says:

        Ah, I thought you meant in a more nefarious way. That’s the McLaren method though; no driver favouritism until one driver is mathematically out of it.

        Or you’re Mika Hakkinen.

      5. KRB says:

        Well, I assume that would mean until the Casio Triangle, on the final lap … how would the spectacle of Jenson crawling for 9 sec’s until Lewis could come past have looked??

        Lewis needs a double DNF from Vettel and Alonso one race, as those two have benefitted from double DNF’s. Alonso had it in Valencia (and scored 25), while Vettel had it in Belgium (scoring 18). Hamilton hasn’t had that luxury yet. While Alonso has outscored Hamilton by 65 points when Lewis has DNF’d, today was the first time Lewis profitted from Alonso not finishing (and only by 10).

      6. Peter C says:

        Rach

        ‘Those 2 points could be the difference’

        In what? If you mean Hamilton winning the WDC, I think there’s very little chance of that.

        However, it IS possible for McL to win the WCC so I’m sure they will keep trying……With both drivers.

  24. KK says:

    I also hope that the preview for the next race doesnt include the words “Lotus may be able to do one stop lesser because they are kinder than their tyres”. They are not and they havent done 1 fewer stop than all the other leading teams in the same race.

    1. Irish con says:

      I agree with you mate. Sauber and lotus early season tyre advantage had been wiped out. Not much to choose between all the teams now. Being in free air is still king for the tyres.

    2. DK says:

      +1.

      It is clear they no longer have that advantage after the summer break. I wonder if it is due to the development of ” the device” have cost them dear.

    3. Sebastian says:

      Maybe it is the result of improved tyre warm up. Kimi doesn’t seem to struggle with that any more.

  25. B Grylls says:

    A comment on Perez and the rookie display he made today…

    He has a good pace and manages a quite good overtake on Hamilton. Then his lack of routine prompts him to first run down his tires so that Hamilton manages to get past without having to overtake. Then his ruins it aml with going wide in the hairpin and gets DNF. And this guys was contracted by MCL for three yrs, give me a break…

    Good drive by Massa and Kamui. Grosjean again proves that he is fast but absolutely too inexperienced to carry a superlicense. Too bad for Webber…

    Womdeful race though, I like the close fight in the top for the next few races, too bad it’s not Kimi or Button though…

    BG

    1. tank says:

      Bear, I’m sure you get plenty of breaks in the wilderness ;)

      Yeah, it was a silly mistake which he admitted to. The guy has got some pace and he’s not an ego-maniac, so I like him for the Macca seat.

    2. dc says:

      Perez knew the car had potential and was overdriving. The fact that Kamui was in front also got better of him. Much more experienced drivers have had weekends like this. He’ll learn from it.

  26. johnston says:

    Alonso recently stated that you must always leave room,

    Kimi was right on the line/grass with nowhere to go.

    If he lifted off as Alonos suggested than that’s more risk of the cars behind crashing into Kimi.

    You can clearly see Alonso tap into Kimi’s tyres twice.

    Kimi’s car is consistent.

  27. Irish con says:

    Jenson Button and Mark Webber are always the best drivers to listen to being interviewed. I can see those guys having a future career in tv. Especially Mark doing what dc and Damon hill and jonny Herbert are doing now. Both seem decent likeable chaps.

  28. Val says:

    Are Alonso’s fans blind or something? I can understand failing to score no points is frustrating but why blame Kimi??? Alonso kept on moving left and gave Kimi no room…..infact Kimi was even on grass for a while…..if anyone remembers Bahrain….then you should know how quickly Alonso complained of Rosberg’s move in that it left no room for him….so just accept it to be a racing incident and thanks FIA for not penalizing Alonso as Kimi had a significant portion of his car alongside Alonso.

    Val

    1. Chromatic says:

      + 1
      Race ban for Alonso.

    2. Elie says:

      Agree Fernando only Kimi can avoid a complete and certain disaster being forced off like that and the fact that he went on to finish 6th is testament to his skill..

      & our friend Fernando shows his true temperament and illogical behaviour

      1. ida says:

        I suppose Kimi spinning in qualy and saying he doesnt care about ending the session shows us his true temperament and illogical thinking……………..
        Similar to most of his driving in 09…..singapore anyone????

      2. Elie says:

        Wow I guess you never considered he was going for a good qualifying time… And his last spin in 2009 – that’s pretty impressive given every driver spins several times a year. Brilliant !!

    3. Ahmed says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  29. Rafael says:

    It’s now Sebastian’s championship to lose: he’s (now)got the car and he’s got the speed, now it’s just a matter of stringing the right results together and keeping his nose clean.

    An unfortunate end to Fernando and Ferrari’s already troubled weekend – such are the risks and consequences when you start (somewhere) in the middle of the pack. But who knows, maybe things can still turn in their favor. This year could be like 2000 all over, when Hakkinen overtook Schumacher in the points table mid-to-late season courtesy of a faster car and the German’s string of misfortunes, but Ferrari still won both titles in the end. Although then again, they were much closer to the front at the time than they are now.

  30. Elie says:

    James you might want to correct Hamilton being “5 places behind ” to 5 points behind Kimi

    It would be great to know what Red Bull have put on that car- there’s some mention of a DDRS if so a credit to RBR for keeping the lid on it- unlike our friends at Lotus who have been talking it up for months ! Grosjean should start from the pit lane next race as a lesson and one more start like that & he should be banned from the sport permanently- he’s got no idea !

    It was fantastic result for Kamui and not this result is not entirely surprising. I sensed a 1st corner incident involving Ferrari and Red Bull. ( but it was Mark not Seb !!) Sauber finishing on the podium.I’m starting to spook myself.

    Kimi was incredible again with that Lotus and it was ridiculous for Fernando to question what Kimi was doing- when Fernando himself unwittingly pushed Kimi nto the grass- it was remarkable that Kimi maintained control and finished 6th. -Regathering 3rd in the driver standings. Are we starting to see the real Fernando Alonso with his temperamental behaviour & are we strarting to see the Old Felipe – Good to see but a little too late by my reckoning !

    1. ida says:

      Not too late for Massa. Ill tell you what was late thou….Kimi’s reactions in trying to save that spin in qualy!

  31. Matt2745 says:

    James, did you ever think that McLaren might have swapped their two drivers around given the standings at the moment?

  32. Chromatic says:

    ” Alonso questioned why Raikkonen had not lifted off, but accepted that it was a racing incident. Raikkonen had been involved in hurting him for the second time in the weekend, after the Lotus driver’s spin in qualifying had ruined his chances of starting on the front two rows. ”

    James I believe the truth here is that we are seeing the first signs of Alonso cracking under the pressure of the championship chase. His mind set was focused on KIMI SHALL NOT PASS because he knew his other rival Vettel was unstoppable today.

    1. Elie says:

      Yes he carried on like a kid that fell off his bike !

      1. ida says:

        And that kid was Kimi… when he tried to ride home drunk from school…….

  33. Andrew M says:

    I love the comments saying “Vettel is only winning because of a dominant car”, when two weeks ago the consensus is that McLaren was the fastest car in the field.

  34. olivier says:

    Wonderful! We’ll see a different Alonso next week!! :)

    Loved the podium as well: The Koba cheers gave me goose bumps. Welcome back Massa! And are we witnessing a new Legend in the making? Vettel as the youngest triple+ Champion?!?

  35. Don Farrell says:

    I’m gutted…. had recorded the race and sat down to enjoy a morning of F1. As soon as Alonso went off on the first corner I just fast forwarded to the end. :(

    Baahumbug!

    James… Your views on the Red Bull Double DRS please?

    1. Peter C says:

      Do you mean that you wouldn’t enjoy watching a race if Alonso wasn’t in it?

      I think you may be missing some enjoyment, as a ‘true racing enthusiast’.

      1. Don Farrell says:

        @ Peter C : I’ve been a loyal F1 fan for over 20 years…. I think even I am allowed feel deflated after Ferrari’s chance of winnings the Drivers Championship this year have been dealt a major blow. :)

        Don’t worry I watched the highlights… another Vettel wipeout… and Massa driving well becuase his contract is up for renewal. But on the plus side Massa’s 2nd place have given Ferrari valuable Constructors points keeping them in the hunt to overtake McLaren for 2nd place. :)

      2. Nathan Jones says:

        I would wet myself with laughter if Ferrari overtook McLaren for second in the Constructors. Ferrari have done a fabulous job this year in terms of managing race weekends, whilst McLaren have come bottom of the class. Again.

        To see the consistently quickest car taken down by a topsy-turvy car run by a much slicker team would be poetic justice, given how McLaren have squandered opportunities this year, and pee-d away points.

        As a bona fide Lewis follower, I’m naturally gutted for my man, but if Macca have messed up his WDC push operationally and been unable to extract performance through set-up dithering (I don’t only blame the driver for that, the team’s designers and engineers are also responsible) then they deserve to get taken down by Ferrari who have done a bang-up job every weekend.

        Ferrari coming #2 WCC = (ALO amazing) – (MAS being poor) + (superb FER operations) – (lightning MP4-27) + (HAM getting taken down by own team/car) + (BUT oversteer/understeer/overst…)

        What their design team is up to is another question, but Ferrari have pulled out every single stop on every single race weekend. Good on ‘em!

      3. ida says:

        Where did Don Farrell say he was a ‘true racing enthusiast”? He just said when Alonso retired he fast forwarded the race. Maybe hes an Alonso fan who only watches F1 because of Fernando!!!! Im sure thats allowed. Im sure there are some guys in India that only tune in to see how Narain is going….Not everyone can or wants to reach the upper levels of motorsport elitism that you yourself surely possess…the title of “true racing enthusiast”. While your there, add another title to yourself …”Dont like Alonso” to go with how you feel!

      4. Peter C says:

        Just leave it to Don Farrell.

  36. Quattro_T says:

    I cannot understand that people are arguing, let alone racing incident, but that ALO was at fault at the start. What is it that I am not seeing?

    I have not seen any onboard photage but here is one angle.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7HhefopHzg

    0:0-0:3 – Basically a drag race, RAI is unable to gain on ALO, and has whole car behind.
    0:4-0:5 – Right hander is approaching. Distance to PER infront is descreasing rapidly as cars infront are braking and BUT is very close on the right side. RAI is still WHOLE car behind and ALO is sandwitched between PER, BUT and RAI. Where should he go? Magically dissapear?
    - if you look at the pit exit white line – ALO maintains a fairly straight course. He does not turn in on RAI as some seem to imagine.
    - throughout the run to first turn the whole car of RAI is behind ALO – no squeezing. ALO has no obligation what so ever to open more space for RAI to use to overtake him. It should be up to the car behind to judge if the space available is sufficient for overtaking and the situation favourable- in this case it was not and he realized it too late.
    0:5 – RAI only now (too late) realizes the space available is not sufficient and probably sees that even if he gets by ALO, he has nowhere to go but into back of PER. Instead of backing off he puts two wheels on grass. Hits left rear of ALO in the process

    1. Vantro says:

      What we can coclude from this post is that you should monday morning visit a optometrist. You clearly need glasses.

      “RAI whole car car behind ALO” – ridicolous!

      1. Elie says:

        He needs the proctologist to visit him first to remove his head out of his arse first ! Then he might not need an optometrist ..lol

      2. SomethingBlue says:

        @Elie
        Maybe you should call the proctologist for yourself too. They might have a 2 for 1 deal. I can’t wait to hear all about it (and about how arrogant Alonso is) in your 1000th comment on this thread!

      3. Elie says:

        @Somethingblue you need to read the many other posts from those guys to understand why.. I don’t believe we’ve exchanged comments before or sadly again ( oops 1001)

    2. Sri says:

      If you observe 0.02 of this very video, Kimi’s car is almost half (if not more) of car-length beside Alonso. The rule states that then the car in the front has to give space. Alonso is focussed on Kimi and Hamilton as they are his WDC contenders and thus he moved from right of grid to left allowing Button and others to pass by from right as they are of no consequence for him. Alonso was a bit over ambitious here.

    3. quest says:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-WjG0cZgw0

      Watch this. Alonso pushed Kimi 3 times and Kimi did all he could to avoid a collision. Do you still feel the same way.

    4. moe says:

      Well said!!

    5. Quattro_T says:

      I have now watched what is to watch about this on youtube, in addition to replays from onboards of eg Massa. Arguments can be made but as I see it there is no way RAI was right to not back off in that situation – It was deemed to fail. in either case and the best outcome for him taking that line would be to end in the run off area (were he pushed PER in similar situation after the safety car restart).
      Moreover it looks as RAI cut tyre of ALO when he REJOINED the track (instead of backing off), as seen from MAS onboard, which I believe have previously resulted in penalties handed out (Maldonado got one in Valencia when he touched HAM after rejoining the track in an unsafe manner).
      Thanks for providing your reasoning. I will not argue more about this and bother James with moderating several posts/replies about same issue with same/similar content.

      1. quest says:

        He did back off to quite an extent. Cars dont drop to zero speed as soon as breaks are applied. Also at the start of the race you cannot indiscriminately slow down too much because run the risk of causing a chain reaction behind you.

        It is obvious from watching all angles that Kimi made quite an effort to avoid contact and Alonso was very aggresive. Any fault lies with Alonso.

        Still these things happen during race starts. But Alonso should not have been so hasty to blame Kimi.

    6. Peter C says:

      Look at Post #2 from Jani. Look at the still photo rather than the YouTube video.

      I was surprised to see that Raikkonen was alongside Alonso, as FA continued to move left, using all the remaining track.

      Perhaps you would see something different?

  37. sandy says:

    Great explanation about the Kimi-Alonso incident,James.A racing incident but i am surprised Alonso thought he could intimidate Kimi in giving a place given the amount of time they have raced together.By the way your BBC colleague Andrew Benson laid the whole blame on raikkonen in his report.

    1. dc says:

      ‘Alonso thought he could intimidate Kimi’ – I doubt you have time to think along those lines during start. Proper racing incident in my view. Hope Kamui keeps his place at Sauber after this result. Japanese have finally embraced their F1 driver, which may potentially help.

    2. Sri says:

      Benson is known to worship Alonso. An average F1 does better reporting than he does.

    3. Brad says:

      my opinion of course :-)

      1. Brad says:

        ok guys, this came out wrong, don’t know where my other post went…lol

    4. KK says:

      Andrew Benson’s view of the incident:

      “Alonso spun out at the first corner after his left-rear tyre was punctured by the front wing of Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus.

      It is the second time in four races that Alonso has been forced into retirement through no fault of his own – he was taken out by Raikkonen’s team-mate Romain Grosjean at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix last month. ”

      Rest of the world’s take on the incident:

      bit.ly/SUvWiF

    5. Andrew M says:

      “By the way your BBC colleague Andrew Benson laid the whole blame on raikkonen in his report.”

      Benson’s analysis is often misinformed and filled with flawed analysis, so this doesn’t surprise me one bit.

      1. NathanD says:

        @Andrew M Your 500 comments are often misinformed and filled with flawed analysis. The difference between you and him is Andrew Benson has earned his position as a journalist, and people actually want to read what he has to say.

      2. Andrew M says:

        I’m sure he gets paid with licence payers money to do what he does as well, which in my opinion he does pretty badly

        And if you feel any of my posts are misinformed or flawed, please feel free to point out specific factors and I’ll debate them, I’m more than happy to defend myself from criticism or agree with someone else if they convince me I’m wrong.

      3. NathanD says:

        Why don’t you expand on your criticism then. Half your comments here are aimed at others for not backing up what they say (its not up to you to decide who can say what) and yet you’ve posted about Andrew Benson being misinformed and filled with flawed analysis. I don’t see any explanation behind it, just a statement. Maybe you should start backing your own claims with facts rather than critiquing others also. By the way, I think Andrew Benson is no where near as biased as you are in your fact-based conclusions. I don’t need to cite anything, just look at your posts on this current article alone and anyone will figure it out.

      4. Andrew M says:

        I’ve never once said people aren’t free to post what they want or express whatever opinions they want. And I’m happy for people to critique my post and ask me to back up my arguments if they disagree with them.

        As for Benson, off the top of my head (I admit I don’t have time to search for exact quotes and timings):

        - In his write up of the Japan race and his blog, he states that Alonso was knocked out of the race through no fault of his own (and compares it to Spa) when Kimi hit him from behind, when clearly Fernando had a part to play in his downfall at Suzuka by squeezing Kimi wide. He doesn’t even acknowledge Alonso’s part in the incident at all.

        - I believe when Mark Webber signed a new deal he stated that Webber had been a match for Vettel “since August last year”, when Vettel continued to rack up more wins, poles and points from August last year until the end of the season.

        - In his write up after the Hungarian grand prix, he cites the fact that they set fastest laps as the Red Bulls having the fastest car in terms of race pace. This totally ignored the fact that both Red Bulls had made late stops and had fresh tyres for short stints at the end of the race, while Hamilton/Raikkonen/Grosjean et all were secure in their positions and all running on used rubber when their fuel loads were at their lightest.

        A few examples of the sort of thing that means I don’t regard his particular brand of journalism in high regard.

        “I don’t need to cite anything” – Fair enough, that’s your prerogative, but then I’m hardly going to take your criticisms seriously am I?

      5. SomethingBlue says:

        Unfortunately Andrew M you don’t provide actual citations of these accusations against Benson. I understand that takes a lot of time. For the same reason don’t expect other people to cite where they feel you are wrong, it isn’t worth their time. You might not take their criticism seriously, but you still have to take it. I think you are wrong, at no point did Benson blame the incident on Raikkonen, he simply stated the tyre puncture was a result of contact with Raikkonen’s wing. You may have been looking for him to lay blame on Alonso but he didn’t, and i don’t think its Alonso at fault anyway.

        There are lots of fans that are asking why Alonso wasn’t penalised for pushing Raikkonen, but that can be said on many occasions when Alonso himself was pushed on the grass in the past and didn’t benefit from a penalty. I remember this year Grosjean once crashed into the back of Alonso, there was some damage but Alonso drove on, and there was no penalty. Grosjean mistimed his braking under no pressure. Big whoop.

  38. Die Scuderia says:

    It’s a shame Alonso had a DNF. Racing incident…end of story there. I think we need to do something about the qualifying pace. So much has been said by SD about the pace of the car for a long time now. And this is the moment to cut the talk a little and actually do something major with significant gains. Because if Vettel qualifies ahead of us for the next two races…this championship is nearly over. This is a sad fact…otherwise heads must roll once again.

    DS

  39. KK says:

    This picture clearly shows who squeezed whom to the grass and then paid for it. Alonso!

    http://i4.aijaa.com/b/00645/11049587.jpg

    the Spaniard is cracking up!

    1. Koka says:

      Thx for that! Kimi is no Romain – he never does stupid maneuvers, and Alonso did same that he did in Monaco with Grosjean on start – cowardly squeezed him. Kimi just did it like “Ok, if you want – get a collision, I’m not the guy who will let you go like this”. In Monaco in the same situation Grosjean instead of hitting Alonso changed direction and hit Michael.
      It’s fair result for Alonso – non-sportive he is, and tries to cowardly mask his doubtful moves.
      Also, Alonso should have been penalized after Monaco.

    2. Vantro says:

      Looking at this I think actually Alonso is lucky to not have a grid penalty for the next race. No doubt he squeezed Kimi onto to gras and at that point Alonso was not squeezed by Button at all.

  40. Jenks says:

    I find it hilarious that at this late stage of the season, Kimi is third in the standings and hasn’t won a race yet.

  41. Fireman says:

    Fernando’s reaction is understandable. DNF by own mistake, while Seb takes dominant win and is now only four points behind. Also, Felipe was second so Ferrari clearly had pace for good result.

    It will be very hard for Fernando to stay ahead for the last five races and he knows it.

    1. Fireman says:

      Poor choice of words. DNF by racing incident. Just meant he can’t really blame Kimi for that.

  42. abashrawi says:

    Don’t know! Reading the comments above, I feel bad. Let me just clarify a few things: I do regard Alonso highly, and think he is as a package one of the best on the grid today. I also thought that Ferrari should sack Massa as he is under-performing and holding them back. Yet, today, Massa was super! he beat both Mclarens, both Lotuses among others and was the best bar Vettel/RB combination. If Alonso did that, this comment area would be full of praises for the man, the king. Yet hardly anybody is talking about Massa’s achievement today.

    Instead, I read people talking about the two Lotus “Rookies”. First, Kimi is a WDC and one of the best packages in F1, he was pushed off track, as he was pushed in a number of occasions. He did as well avoid a major crash, as he did a number of times. Let it be known that the man completed every lap this season and his error in qualifying is his only one. Second, anybody looking objectively, emotions aside, into the incident should come to one of two conclusions: a) racing incident or b) Alonso’s fault.

    Everybody are entitled to cheer for their drivers/teams, but a) they must show respect for others’ drivers/teams and b) give credit where credit is due.

    1. KRB says:

      Agreed that Kimi is a solid, respectful driver. Take Lewis and Kimi’s wheel-to-wheel racing today (when Lewis was coming out of the pits). Lesser drivers would’ve clashed if they were in their seats.

    2. Antti says:

      You are spot on about everything you said there, I completely agree.

    3. caringforapathy says:

      Well, no need for me to post anything of my own. You said it all very well.

  43. Gord says:

    Well it was fun while it lasted, congrats to Vettel, 3x WDC.

  44. Dougel says:

    The championship was open before, now it’s over. There’s no way Alonso can hold off Vettel now. It would’ve been great to see Alonso defending for his life all the way to
    Interlagos. I can see Vettel dominating the rest of the season. Roll on 2013…

  45. JR says:

    One has to feel sorry for Alonso. For the third season in a row he’s been fighting like hell every weekend to try to win a WC is a car that realistically has no right to do so.

    His rivals can afford mistakes a DNFs, like Vettel’s in 2010 and now in 2012 that Alonso just can’t afford if he is to stay in the fight.

    McLaren and Red Bull drivers are doing pole positions with a margin up to a second from Ferrari. Today Vettel had to be told to slow down in the final laps. Can you imagine Alonso in a car with such performance advantage over the rest? The championship would be over by mid- summer…

    1. Bart says:

      Over the course of the season, Red Bull haven’t had a performance advantage over the rest. Mclaren, Lotus and Ferrari have undeniably been up there as well.

      1. ida says:

        Really….After 15 rounds i think McLaren had the quickest car at least 8 or 9 times and the Bulls were quickest the other 6 or 7 times. To say the Bull hasnt had a performance advantage over “the rest” like lotus and Ferrari is laughable. The only time the Ferrari was quickest in qualifying was when it was wet…….and we saw in those subsequent races that in the dry on race day, the Ferrari was slower. Kimi has good race pace but its not quick in qualy. How does it make you feel better to say that the Red Bull has no performance advantage over the Ferrari and Lotus. Havent seen Fernando or Kimi leading races by 20 seconds or being told to slow down while leading.
        Actually, please tell me a story where you spin some facts and figures to prove that the Red Bull has no performance advantage and is equal to the Ferrari and Lotus. McLaren has been quickest more often but the Red Bull has had its share of quickest weekends…..for real

      2. Elie says:

        Gee we agree on something

      3. KRB says:

        IMO the RB8′s been better at more races than the McLaren. The McLaren has had better qualifying pace than race pace, the opposite to the last two seasons.

        RB8 best or close second on race pace – AUS, BHN, MON, EUR, GBR, GER, BEL, SIN, JAP

        MP4-27 best or close second on race pace – AUS, CHN, CAN, GER, HUN, BEL, ITA, SIN

        So I have it 9-8 for RB8. GER was a very equal race between the Ferrari, Red Bull, and McLaren.

        I would say though that the McLaren has lacked race pace (BHN, EUR, GBR) at more races than the RB8 (ITA).

        Conclusion? RB8 a better overall car than the MP4-27, over the season so far.

  46. Methusalem says:

    Please help me out with my Japanese: Was Kamui Kobayashi stating: “Arigato Vettelmassa” at the podium?

    1. Ral says:

      Accidental similarity :)

      He said “arigato gozaimasu”, which is a polite way of saying “thank you”.

      1. Methusalem says:

        Japanese is such a beautiful language, I like how personal names sound; Kobayashi,Yamamoto,Takuma Sato, Kawasaki, Honda etc. simply beautiful! Well, arigato gozaimasu!

  47. Anop says:

    Feel gutted for Fernando but Suzuka is over and its time to looks forward. One of the positives is that he saved mileage on his engine.

    Championship is far from over. Sebastian cannot win all races and Fernando won’t be taken out each time.

    It’s a straight fight between Red Bull’s speed and Fernando’s extraordinary talent now.

    Fernando has done his job for 15 races, lets see if Ferrari development can do theirs for remaining 5.

    1. Jenks says:

      I believe that the Ferrari’s speed and Vettel’s talent might also play their parts ;)

    2. Don Farrell says:

      +1

  48. Richard says:

    Alonso often cuts across over aggressively at starts and this time he had to pay the price.

  49. Val from montreal says:

    Vettel best driver of his generation – Will win his 3rd title in a row in not the best car – Reminds of Schumacher just a bit – dominates the field in competetive machinery and is capable of race wins and championships when his car is second best – just like Schumacher / / / 2010 – 2011 – 2012

    1. Elie says:

      Think RB8 is as good / better than any since Singapore- that DDRS is working well. They were fastest at a few other races earlier also. Not taking anything away from Seb

      1. James Clayton says:

        Those are two tracks that would have suited the Red Bull anyway. We won’t know until Korea if they now have the fastest package across all types of circuit.

    2. ida says:

      Second best or 1 second quicker? Yeah you could really see Vettel wrestling that dog of a Red Bull around Suzuka. Actually same goes for 2010 and 2011….how he managed to win in a car thats second best is just amazing.

      To be fair to the screaming girl with the index finger, he deserves every title he gets. Thankfully thats the one thing that wont follow a similar route in Seb emulating his hero. He wont rely on the FIA to change the rules mid season to slow the opposition down. Its Red Bull being slowed down…
      Schumi’s glory years = so many gifts. Just ask Williams and McLaren. I wish Michael signed a two year extension cos i can watch him run into the back of other drivers all day.

      These last 3 years has been great fun. We had Pirelli, DRS and Michael missing his breaking point

      Val stick to CFL…….GO ROUGHRIDERS!!!!!!

  50. deancassady says:

    Wow!
    Vettel:
    as previously stated, is the hottest driver in F1, and now that the Red Bull has been brought onto pace, leap-frogging Lotus, who has been in the news so much with their inability to get their double-DRS working, he will, as predicted, win the world championship this year.
    Alonso:
    If he has a weakness, could it be over-bearing vindictiveness? He couldn’t let go the last moment spin by Raikkonen in qualifying, hardly worthy of a second thought, however, it looked like Alonso was delivering retribution by moving Raikkonen off the track. Contrary to his clear-headed focus on doing what he has to to garner the most points, Alonso lost focus and tried to punish Kimi with an uneven squeeze; and it may prove decisive with Vettel cruising through to within four points of Alonso.
    Raikkonen:
    If anyone has earned respect, by driving fair in wheel to wheel dueling this year, it is Kimi. Alonso’s insistence that he should have ‘lifted’ is ridiculous, after Alonso’s bizarre squeeze tactic at the start. Despite a lack-lustre performance, all weekend really, by Kimi, the distance between him and the lead has been reduced again. But if Lotus cannot get at least on par with Red Bull, Vettel will cruise to the world championship this year with as much difficulty as he won Suzuka 2012.
    Red Bull:
    Who doubted their development prowess? All one needs to say is, “Adrian Newey”. The Red Bull has peaked at just the right time, and they look very, very solid to win another couple of championships, both Constructors’ and drivers’.
    Conclusion:
    With the way Vettel is driving, anyone who shall vie to challenge him will have to have a batter car, and that just does not seem likely.

    1. KRB says:

      I think only an equal car is needed to beat Vettel at this stage, not a better one. Especially for Alonso. The others a bit back probably need a (slightly) better car, or some unreliability in the RB8.

      1. deancassady says:

        KRB: I appreciate the feedback, but Alonso is not as fast as Vettel right now; in the same equipment, I pick Vettel over Alonso right now, and for most of Vettel’s career.
        Don’t get me wrong, anyone who underestimates the prowess of Alonso has not been paying attention. But his greatest comparative advantage is in team management and motivation, followed closely by sheer psychological mania to win. His weakness is shown again this past weekend, vindictiveness. Every time I see it again, I see Alonso roaring over to give Kimi a message one can’t ignore. And I see the only chink in the armour of Alonso; look at the points he, Alonso, put on the line to deliver that communication! What would he have got? MASSA GOT SECOND! It almost goes without saying that if Massa got second, Alonso would have had second!
        Explain where I have it wrong.
        Now, think of Kimi and his driving record; go back and review his F1 driving career, if you want to see for yourself. He rarely drives anyone off the road, but he NEVER backs down when someone is putting the squeeze on him, NEVER!
        What was Alonso thinking? He ought to know. His mind was working below the ruthless effectiveness he has displayed this season. The question is why?
        But Alonso blew it! He tried to put an unfair (more appropriately described in Canada as “an @$s#0L& move”) squeeze on Kimi!
        That probably cost him, at minimum, ten points; if Massa was that good, and I know that he was better for the entire weekend, this weekend, unusually, but when it comes to the race… I really don’t know if Massa has EVER, beaten Alonso on a race day!?! Maybe once or twice, max?
        So think of the cushion, HE COULD HAVE HAD, still 20 points? That is a big difference from 4 points.
        Unless Ferrari get some upgrades to a minimum of the RB8 capability, Vettel will beat Alonso in the championship this year.

      2. Anthony Smith says:

        An equal car, well sure, but I think you’re deluded about the driver aspect KRB; just ask Mark Webber.

      3. KRB says:

        Agreed. Hence the qualifiers about those further back in the points. To Dean above, I agree that Vettel is faster than Alonso over a flying lap, and would be in the same car.

        I hope Vettel goes to Ferrari, so we can see them side-by-side.

      4. Anthony Smith says:

        Hmm, only an “equal” car needed to beat Vettel? Like Mark Webber’s?

  51. Geenimetsuri says:

    Alonso is out of touch with reality:

    http://aijaa.com/0064511049587.jpg

  52. Mike says:

    KOBAYASHI!!! BANZAI!!!!

  53. puffing says:

    Even more interesting. As Alonso said, a mini championship begins. Let’s see it with passion, does not happen every year.

  54. CanadaGP says:

    It’s a foregone conculsion that as soon as Newey comes up with a technical breakthrough Seb is good enough to dominate. Vettel is a special talent and though he may not have Alonso’s (or Hamilton’s) knack yet of winning in an inferior car, he only needs that extra edge from Newey to conquer all. I was wondering where RBR found the new advantage and now it’s coming out. Well, they deserve it and Ferrai also deserves their technical inferiority. It’s just too bad for the drivers that machinery is the decisive factor but that’s always been the case in F1.

  55. Luciana Gutierez says:

    I have a question. Mark Webber took a very bad hit but managed to recover and finish in points. Fernando Alonso had a puncture but parked his car in the middle of the track and walked away. What exactly went wrong?

    1. Peter C says:

      Alonso stalled it.

      1. Ahmed says:

        And Alonso’s left rear had no rubber on it at all, it was torn away during the spin.

  56. Syed says:

    Is it just me or anyone else also thinks that Mclaren seems to have been suddenly slowed down after Ferrari complained of flexi wings. Until Singapore, they were untouchable and today Massa was clearly faster than Jenson. Even in qualifying Mclaren were suddenly half a second down on RedBull.

    1. david nelson says:

      Hadn’t thought of it but “hmm, muse muse”. Interesting point. After I first heard of this had a look at some recent slo-mo footage of McLarens. Wing actually looked really stiff. Couldn’t see any flex at all. But I’m about as far from an engineer or a video analyst as it’s possible to get so………………

    2. deancassady says:

      Good one Syed, I was wondering the same thing. I was convinced that both Red Bull and McLaren had got a ‘wing rotating about its axis’, and that by qualifying, they’d have installed ‘plan b’, and it would have taken them down a notch. Maybe I got it right with McLaren. Maybe their is some high level gamesmanship going on, and Red Bull always anticipated a challenge should a ‘flex-wing’ issue come up.
      I don’t have any inside information, I just read the tea leaves.

  57. Robert Gunning says:

    I have just watched the BBC highlights and when when they showed Massa’s getaway, he clearly jumps the start; as his wheels are rotating when the red lights are still on. Check it out: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01n8kbs/Formula_1_2012_The_Japanese_Grand_Prix_Highlights/ at approximately 1:38:30 and see what everyone else thinks

  58. gunner says:

    Is it just me or did massa jump the start? It certainly looked like his wheels were moving before the lights went green.

    Possible protests?

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s monitored electronically, so if it wasn’t picked up it can’t have been a jump start

      1. Gunner says:

        Just because the system didn’t pick it up, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. If you watch the start from Massa’s perspective, he is clearly inching forward before the lights turn green.

  59. Don Farrell says:

    Wow… interesting reading all the comments about todays race…. a lot of discontent about the race today. I think the one thing we can all agree on is that nobody is happy Vettel won again and congrats to Kobayashi and Massa on their podiums? :D

    1. deancassady says:

      People who have a problem with Vettel winning haven’t been paying enough attention to have seen that he has been the best driver for about four or five races.
      Red Bull have not been dominant with their machinery, this season. Nobody has been outright dominant; that is one of the reasons it is such a good spectacle this year.
      McLaren have been dominant lately, and over the course of the whole season, McLaren, Red Bull, and even Ferrari have been very competitive, again, overall.

  60. tom in adelaide says:

    The JAonF1 comments section is always interesting. You learn quite a bit about F1, but even more about the psychology of human beings.

  61. jpics says:

    Hello there,

    I got two questions, if it was only a puncture (Alonso) why he didn’t try to continue, the car stalled or there was something else? I guess it must be very difficult to keep the motor alive while in a meddle of an accident, do you know whats the procedure?

    Thanks

  62. jpics says:

    Hello there,

    I got two questions, if it was only a puncture (Alonso) why didn’t he try to continue, the car stalled or there was something else? I guess it must be very difficult to keep the motor alive while in a meddle of an accident, do you know whats the procedure?

    Thanks

  63. colin grayson says:

    have I missed something here ? has there been a rule change ….if you get partly past another car you are entitled to pull across and force them to brake ?

    because otherwise alonso’s DNF was 100% his own fault

    can’t see past vettel for the WDC now , with the latest update it is again in a class of it’s own…if webber hadn’t been grosjeaned would have been an easy 1-2 ; only good thing about that is that it leaves some small doubt about the destination of the WCC ,not much I admit

    and where are the …..the ferrari is not very good but massa got 110% out of it ….comments ? we have been hearing it all season when alonso gets a good result

    had to laugh about the …button has stopped following hamilton on twitter story ; I don’t either …but then , neither has button lol

    1. david nelson says:

      Lewis Hamilton on Twitter on JB

      > = Following
      KK. Oh no! Sorry! It was LH he was >. Turns out that LH thought he was ahead of JB ‘cause JB was > him. Erm…..JB was unable to < KK in the race & didn't manage to LH in the first place. Blimey! I’m confused. Never mind. At least I’m not as confused as LH.

      1. david nelson says:

        Sorry! Half the above is missing for some reason, so it makes less sense than it originally did. Ooops.

  64. F1 dingo says:

    Hi james

    A few comments on the weekend’s race. I thought some BBC comments (not yours I’d add)that Alonso was ‘taken out’ by Kimi were harsh to say the least. What’s more I missed quali but was amazed to hear that Kimi was similarly blamed for affecting Alonso, and others’, qualifying runs. From what I’ve heard and read it was everyone’s final run and if you’re going to leave it late that’s the risk everyone runs. Kimi seriously affected his own quali, forget anyone else that’s racing folks.

    The first corner insident was similarly Alonso’s luck running out. He’s a great driver but seems to think that everyone should jump out of his way. It’s been reported that Kimi’s front wing clipped, took out, hit Alonso’s rear tyre – of what I’m aware driver’s can’t actually see their front wings so how could Kimi possibly know contact was imminent? Had he lifted off there’s a good chance someone would have run into the back of him. Equally, I’m not blaming Alonso, it was a racing incident, sh*t happens on the track – get on with it.

    I do however think that Alonso has had the rub of the green on occasions. Grosjean has had his ctitics this year, rightly so, however he would have been perfectly within his rights to hold his line at Valencia when Alonso went around him, but he didn’t – he gave him room and what a race he had. In this instance had Grosjean hit Alonso would he have been in his rights to say “there was no space I don’t know why Alonso didn’t ease off?” – no I doubt it.

    I don’t mind people having opinions or disagreeing but I think consistency is key and I don’t think it’s always the case. The beeb obviously have their favourites, no problem, but try and be consistent – Andrew Benson & Gary Anderson’s first corner summary was poor in my opinion.

    I’ve no ill will to Alonso, I hope the Ferrari is competitive until the end of the season. I’ve no interest in Red Bull running away with it, but let’s have some consistency away from the track as well as on it.

  65. F1 + NISMO says:

    James Lewis reported that his car felt good after 20laps. That he heard a Thud and he was able to steer his car better?……have you found out why this can happen or is to do with load settings that dropped to the correct level?. If his setup was good i reckon Lewis would have got 2nd or 3 rd at qualy as race pace improved quite late. We will have to wait and see Korean GP if Mclaren made a setup fiasco like in this Gp.

  66. jeremy says:

    So much has been talked about this Kimi-Nando incident in so many forums but nobody bar Luca, even the drivers involve even consider it as much as a bad day in October. It just a racing incident. The only thing that Nado said is “why Kimi did not lift?”. That was just a moment thing, just after that he said its just a matter of “bad luck”. And he knows that is what it is. He knows his real big problem is the car. Writers/press is just selling you a story. Luca is a also politician, a politician talking politics. Its his 2nd job and could be his day job soon if his ambitions come true. In reality both drivers respect each other and are- not close but are friends. This is just simply a racing incident, real racing fans will consider it as that. It can happen to any driver in any race.

  67. Ahmed Ginnah says:

    Was it not a Renault (kimi) that crashed during qualifying after the Red Bull (Renault) pair set their qualifying times that brought out the waved Yellow Flags preventing the others to qualify properly and was is not a Renault (Vettel) who hindered Alonso during qualifying And subsequently Vettel was reprimanded for the incident whereas Jean Eric Vergne (williams) was given a 4 place grid penalty for hindering a Toro Rosso (team N Was it not a Renault (kimi) that crashed during qualifying after the Red Bull (Renault) pair set their qualifying times that brought out the waved Yellow Flags preventing the others to qualify properly and was is not a Renault (Vettel) who hindered Alonso during qualifying And subsequently Vettel was reprimanded for the incident whereas Jean Eric Vergne (williams) was given a 4 place grid penalty for hindering a Toro Rosso (team No.2 of Red Bull). Was it not a Renault (kimi) that touched Alonso’s Left rear wheel in the start of the race, slit the tyre and ended Alonso’s race and was it not a Renault (Grosjean) again that took off Mark Webber from the equation at the start of the Japan GP. Vettel had to capitalise and there is no question about it.

    1. deancassady says:

      Ahmed: I really like to know what you were trying to say, here.
      Could summarize that into one sentence?

  68. iceman saleh says:

    Alonso said in Bahrain
    all the time you have to leave space
    and his car wasn’t side by side with rosberg

    now at suzuka,we must ask Alonso directly
    where is the space that you ordered rosberg to leave

    i think Alonso are saying things but dosen’t do it

    BAD PERSON

  69. Ahmed Ginnah says:

    I refer you to my earlier letter. Conspiracy, Conspiracy and Conspiracy. Reminds me about the crashgate affair a few years ago when a Renault crashed purposefully and timeously brought out the safety car which allowed the other Renault to win on that day. This is my opinion.

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