Posted on October 14, 2013


Williams driver Valtteri Bottas has criticised team-mate Pastor Maldonado after the two drivers narrowly avoided a collision at the final chicane on the last lap of the Japanese Grand Prix. Maldonado, 28, dived down the inside of Bottas at the chicane, forcing the Finn to take avoiding action and cut the chicane. Maldonado crossed the line 16th, one place ahead of Bottas, who was struggling with high tyre degradation at the time. Bottas, 24, believes they would have crashed if he had attempted to take the corner. The Finn said: “There was no space on the track. It was not More…

Posted on October 14, 2013


Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says Felipe Massa will not be reprimanded by the team after he ignored team orders during the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. On lap eight, Massa, 32, was running ahead of Alonso when the Brazilian’s race engineer Rob Smedley gave him the instruction: “Multi-function strategy A. Multi-function strategy A now please,” over team radio. Massa, who is racing for his career as he has yet to secure a seat on the grid next year, chose not to move over, however the Brazilian was later overtaken by the Spaniard on lap 20 in a legitimate pass More…

Posted on October 14, 2013


Red Bull’s Mark Webber feels the decision to switch to a three-stop strategy in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix was a mistake. The Australian, who is leaving the sport at the end of the year to race for Porsche in sportscars, was running second behind the Lotus of Romain Grosjean, after a slow getaway from pole, when the call was made. As a result, the 37-year-old had to do one more stop than Grosjean and race winner Sebastian Vettel – which surprised the Australian. Webber said: “After that first stop the guys said ‘We’re still on two [stops] – no problem, More…

Posted on October 13, 2013


Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel edged closer to his fourth successive world title with his fifth successive victory of the season in the Japanese Grand Prix. The German’s team-mate Mark Webber produced a late fightback to claim second with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, who led for most of the race, a strong third. Nico Hulkenberg produced another brilliant drive in the Sauber to finish sixth, one place ahead of team-mate Esteban Gutierrez who scored his first points in F1. But who was your Driver of the Day? Sebastian Vettel Fought back from a bad start to take his ninth win of More…

Posted on October 13, 2013


Sebastian Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix, after a race long challenge from Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, who led for most of the race. Pole sitter Mark Webber passed Grosjean for second place two laps from the end to make it a Red Bull 1-2. Fernando Alonso finished fourth, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg, who put in another strong performance. It was Vettel’s fourth win in five years at Suzuka and his ninth win of 2013 and the 35th win of his career. It was also the first time he has won five consecutive races. Vettel now has a More…

Posted on October 7, 2012


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 More…

Posted on October 6, 2012


Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix and with Red Bull looking very fast this weekend, he looks set to close the gap on Fernando Alonso in the championship. It was Vettel’s 34th pole position, his fourth in a row at Suzuka, which puts him third in the all time pole position list ahead of Alain Prost and Jim Clark. Vettel is only 25 years old and has just Senna and Schumacher ahead of him in the list of pole sitters, the ultimate benchmark of speed. And with Mark Webber alongside him on the front row, it More…

Posted on October 5, 2012


Mark Webber set the fastest time in Friday’s second Free Practice session in the Red Bull, ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren, with Sebastian Vettel in third. The times were close once again, indicating that this is set to be another close fight between McLaren and Red Bull in particular with Ferrari picking up the pieces and Force India looking pretty competitive again. Lotus once again tried to run its additional drag reduction device on the rear wing, but had a few problems and have decided not to use it in qualifying and the race. Technical director James Allison said, “We More…

Posted on October 11, 2011

The Strategy Report

The Japanese Grand Prix was all about race strategy. With tyre wear much more tricky to manage than expected, throughout the field the drivers who succeeded were the ones whose teams got the strategy right, not just on race day but on qualifying day too. There were some pretty contrasting races at the front. Of the top three, Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull had the worst tyre performance and Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari had the best. Alonso was nowhere near as quick as Vettel at the start of each of the stints, but he was always the quickest of the three cars More…

Posted on October 9, 2011


Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel may have sealed his second successive title at Suzuka, but there were plenty of exciting battles all the way down the field in what was another unpredictable race. So who was your Driver of the Day? Jenson Button Dominated the weekend leading up to qualifying by topping the times in all three practice sessions. Missed out on pole position by 0.009 seconds to start second. Pushed towards the grass by Vettel at the start and lost a place to team-mate Hamilton, but kept calm and maintain the gap to the leader while looking after his tyres. More…

Posted on October 9, 2011


Sebastian Vettel became the youngest double world champion in the history of F1 today, the 24 year old finishing third in the race and wrapping up the title with four races still to go. “To win the championship here is fantastic,” said an emotional Vettel. “I’m so thankful to everyone in the team, working day in and day out pushing hard. We found ourselves in a strong position and it’s great to achieve our goals. This year we have always been one step ahead. There is no secret, it’s step by step. The hardest thing is winning after winning, to More…

Posted on October 4, 2011


Pre-event strategy content Suzuka Circuit October 7-9 2011 The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka is a race at which the Drivers’ World Championship has been clinched on many occasions in the past by greats like Senna, Prost, Schumacher and Hakkinen. And this weekend it is likely to see Sebastian Vettel clinch his second consecutive world title for Red Bull. The Suzuka circuit has a special place in the drivers’ hearts, along with Spa Francorchamps, as it provides a great driving challenge with its high speed corners and the first sector of the lap in particular is special, with a series More…

Posted on October 10, 2010


The Japanese Grand Prix was not a thrilling race, by any means, but it had its moments of drama and looks like it may have reduced the championship contenders from five to three – certainly four at the most. So who was your Driver of the Day? Sebastian Vettel Took pole for the eighth time this year and converted it into a win for only the second time. Never really threatened by team mate Webber he seemed to have the weekend under control from start to finish. He’s now back in the hunt and this win forces Webber to be More…

Posted on October 10, 2010


Sebastian Vettel dominated the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka for a second year in a row, winning from team mate Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso. The McLaren drivers finished fourth and fifth with Button ahead as Hamilton again hit gearbox problems. It was a new gearbox for this race and he may be needing another one. It was Vettel’s third win of the 2010 season and the 8th win of his career. It puts him back in the championship hunt. “This is our circuit,” said Vettel over the radio to his team on the slow down lap. Vettel started the More…

Posted on October 9, 2010


Heavy rain and standing water on the track meant that qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix had to be postponed until race day. The extreme and uncertain weather patterns of the country mean that for the second time in six years qualifying and the race will take place on the same day. In 2004 a typhoon was expected to hit the area and the circuit was closed on qualifying day in anticipation. As it turned out the typhoon missed Suzuka by several hundred kilometres. Qualifying took place on Sunday morning with Michael Schumacher taking pole position. Today there were rivers More…

Posted on October 8, 2010


Sebastian Vettel dominated last year’s Japanese Grand Prix weekend and the signs are strong that he and his Red Bull team are set to repeat this weekend. Vettel topped the time sheets in both Friday practice sessions, ahead of team mate Mark Webber. The margins were big again, not quite Hungary big, but certainly enough to dismay the opposition. Vettel was 9/10ths ahead of championship rival Fernando Alonso who was fourth. Of course it is only Friday but the Ferrari doesn’t look a match for the Red Bull this weekend. Robert Kubica looked very lively in the Renault, mixing it More…

Posted on October 4, 2009


Sebastian Vettel drove a totally dominant race to win the Japanese Grand Prix, ahead of Jarno Trulli and Lewis Hamilton. It was Vettel’s fourth victory and the third of this season. Vettel took the lead from pole position, taking a very assertive line into Turn 1 to stop Hamilton, using the KERS on the McLaren to good effect, from passing. Hamilton was able to jump Trulli for second and from then on he drove an incredible race, fighting throughout to get the position back. He achieved it at the second pit stops. A substantial late accident by Jaime Alguersuari in More…

Posted on October 3, 2009


The stewards have made a decision on the drivers who failed to observe the yellow flags during qualifying in Suzuka today. We have just been told that there is to be a five place drop on the grid for Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso, Adrian Sutil and Sebastien Buemi. In an unrelated matter, it seems that Heikki Kovalainen may have to move back five places also due to the need to change gearbox after an accident. Button and Barrichello are due to speak shortly. Ross Brawn confirmed that neither lifted for the yellow flags which were put out to More…

Posted on October 3, 2009


Jarno Trulli set the fastest time in the final practice session before qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. The veteran Italian was down the time sheets until his final run, which looked like a low fuel qualifying simulation. No many drivers did one of those; Nico Rosberg, Romain Grosjean certainly did. It was a frantic session, because yesterday was largely lost to rain. The teams and drivers had to get a lot of set up work done in just one hour for both qualifying and the race. Sebastien Buemi in the Toro Rosso led the way for much More…



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