2008 Japanese Grand Prix predictions

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Massa looked set to lead a Ferrari 1-2 at Singapore - I think he will in Fuji
Massa looked set to lead a Ferrari 1-2 at Singapore - I think he will in Fuji

This year?s Japanese Grand Prix looks set to be dry, potentially giving us a very different race to the dramatic, rain-soaked encounter won by Lewis Hamilton last year.

As I wrote earlier in the week I think Fuji Speedway in the dry will play to Ferrari?s strengths but John Beamer disagrees and McLaren seemed to have an advantage in practice this morning. Who do you think will win in Fuji?

I expected Ferrari to set the pace at Fuji and despite McLaren’s slight edge so far, I’m sticking with that prediction. Although the weather will be on the cool side, which has worked against them earlier this year, they claim to have gotten on top of those problems.

Ferrari will be smarting after their humiliation in Shanghai, and in Fuji I think they will claim the one-two they were on course for before that fateful botched pit stop two weeks ago.

When I wrote about the retirement rates for the different drivers yesterday it struck me that Lewis Hamilton might have mixed feelings about his McLaren?s reliability. As Oliver wrote yesterday:

It would appear the McLaren of Hamilton is long overdue some mechanical failure. I just hope McLaren are not saving their reliability problems for the last few races.

Hamilton is yet to retire from a Grand Prix with a mechanical failure in his 32-race F1 career. Will he feel encouraged that his car is statistically unlikely to fail him, or concerned that the inevitable mechanical DNF must happen sooner or later?

Assuming his car goes the distance, it?s hard to see a rival machine getting between him and the Ferraris, so I?d pick him to finish third:

1. Felipe Massa
2. Kimi Raikkonen
3. Lewis Hamilton

Did anyone pick the surprise winner of the Singapore Grand Prix? Yes – in fact five of you did so congratulations to Santiago, DMW, Sainaa, Senna and AussieLeb.

But will anyone get the entire top three right this time? Make your predictions for the Japanese Grand Prix podium below??

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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64 comments on “2008 Japanese Grand Prix predictions”

  1. Hamilton
    Massa
    Alonso

  2. 1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Felipe Massa

  3. Vlad the Inhaler
    10th October 2008, 12:08

    1st Hamilton
    2nd Vettel
    3rd Massa

    9th Raikkonen (if he can be bothered to turn up)

  4. don’t know but would like:
    1.Ham
    2.Kov
    3.Rai
    4.Massa

  5. 1.RAIKKONEN
    2.ALONSO
    3.MASSA
    Lewis to finish 5th

  6. 1. Raikonnen
    2. Alonso
    3. Glock

  7. 1.MAS
    2.HAM
    3.RAI

  8. 1. Massa
    2. Hamilton
    3. Glock

    4. Kovi
    5. Raikkonen
    6. Alonso
    7. Trulli
    8. Vettel

  9. Appreciate the mention Keith – I have a few more words on it here: http://www.f1-pitlane.com/content/japanese-grand-prix , including a short technical preview I managed to knock-up.

    It is almost too close to call. I doubt it will be a Ferrari one-two. I’ll plump for:

    HAM
    MAS
    RAI

  10. I reckon it’ll be…

    Massa
    Hamilton
    Alonso (buoyed by last weeks win)

  11. 1.Massa
    2.Kubica
    3.Raikkonen

    Ret: Hamilton

  12. DRY

    Raikonnen
    Hamilton
    Massa

    WET

    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Raikonnen

  13. Massa
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton

  14. I’ll vote for:
    DRY:
    Hamilton
    Massa
    Alonso

    WET
    Hamilton
    Alonso
    Vettel

  15. Interestingly on Betfair the odds of a Lewis win has lengthened slightly i.e. Massa and Hamilton are closer. Probably because rain was priced in before …

  16. 1. Ham
    2. Kimi
    3. Kubica

  17. Dry
    1.Massa
    2.Raikkonen
    3.Hamilton/Alonso
    I think 3 will bw tough

    WET
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Heikki ,that,s if he can keep up

  18. 1.Massa
    2.Alonso
    3.Kimi
    4.Kubica
    5.
    6.
    7.
    8.Hamilton

  19. 1. Mas
    2. Alo
    3. Kov

    DNF Ham – puncture/pit lane incident
    DNF Rai – turned up on Sunday an hour late and hungover

  20. Its Hammer time
    10th October 2008, 13:38

    I am a Hamilton Fan.

    The race is going to be dry.

    Grid will be Mas, Ham, Kov, Rai, Alo, Kub, Glo, Vet…

    Race – Mas will scamper off and win, Ham will fail to keep up, Kov will go backwards AGAIN and finish out of points and RAI will come on strong, pass Ham in the pits and come home one-two.

    Result
    Mas
    Rai
    Ham

    It hurts me to say it, but i predict a Red 1-2.

    If it rains in qual, Bourdais on pole and maiden victory :-)

    Note to Keith. Ferrari embarassed themselves in Singapore, not Shanghai, although i hope your mistake turns out to be true next weekend :-)

  21. 1.Hamilton
    2.Massa
    3.Kovalainen

  22. Cameron aka. SkinBintin
    10th October 2008, 13:55

    As a diehard McLaren fan, I have to vote Hamilton to win. With that said, here’s my semi confident prediction.

    1.Hamilton
    2.Massa
    3.Alonso
    4.Heidfeld
    5.Raikkonen
    6.Kovalinen
    7.Trulli
    8.Kubica

  23. Weather forecast for Shizuoka is rain for tomorrow, so, McLaren will be stronger in qualifying.
    Then,

    Hamilton
    Massa
    Raikkonen

  24. 1. Raikkonen
    2. Vettel
    3. Heidfeld

    9: Massa – botches another pitstop
    10: Hamilton – after a drivethru for cutting chicane

  25. Pole by Hamilton or Massa.
    If Ferrari like always take advantage with their strategy then Massa wins with Hamilton just behind following by Raikkonen in third.

    If it rains(would love to see that :D)
    Hamilton First Place, Massa straggling and finishing fifth or sixth and Raikkonen out.

  26. 1. Massa
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Glock
    4. Alonso
    5. Hamilton
    6. Vettel
    7. Trulli
    8. Piquet

  27. I think (maybe wishfull)
    1. Hamilton
    2. Kovalinen
    3. Massa

  28. Ham pole, race:
    1. HAM
    2. MAS
    3. KOV

  29. 1. Massa
    2. Kubika
    3. Kimi

    Hamilton will be on pole; But I think; he is going to have tyre trouble again. Turn 4-5 seem similar to turn 8 at Turkey.. plus..drivers lift off the accelerator in order to achieve a better turn in for turn 6. This will further increase tyre wear; especially for Hamilton.

  30. kimi
    alonso
    heiki

  31. MAS
    HAM
    KOV

    Massa-Ferrari is the best combo now, slightly. If Massa takes pole, Hamilton will not force the issue at turn 1 and that will be it. Its cool, so Kimi will again qualify several rows back. Kov with go into q3 light as a feather to get ahead of Kimi. Alonso, who will qualify 4th will finish there.

  32. Hamilton
    Massa
    Kimi (only because he’ll follow orders. Otherwise, he’d be 2nd.)

  33. Nice one Vlad No Bemers on top 8?
    Hell no!
    I see both on points

    First 3/frankly i don’t have a … idea :)

    Mass
    Kub
    Fonso

    Kimi will take revenge for (i hate You Bernie) Montreal heh

  34. Wet

    Hamstring
    Massa
    Vettel

    Dry

    Massa
    Kimi
    Hamstring

  35. Massa
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton

  36. Based on today I get this empty feeling that Lewis is going to seal the deal this weekend. Kimi chased Lewis down last year through his steelie resolve. This is what Massa lacks. Kimi will try to help Massa but to no avail. I think Lewis will snatch pole in the final flyer with Massa on the second row in 4th. Alonso will snatch 3rd with Kimi 2nd. As well as Kimi I think Alonso will try and help Massa but at the end of the day Lewis will scamper away leaving Massa to falter in an attempt to push and hence Kimi and Alonso battle for 2nd. If it does rain then either Glock or Vettel will have a crack at a podium.

    After all that for now I’ll say:

    HAM
    RAI
    ALO

  37. Massa
    Raikkonen
    Kubica

  38. I’ll say…

    1. Hamilton
    2. Massa
    3. Raikkonen

    … but I my judgment is pretty poor. I once put money on David Coulthard.

  39. 1. Hamilton
    2. Räikkönen
    3. Massa

    So the controversy after the race will of course be how Kimi could fail to realize what his team wanted him to do.

  40. Massa
    Hamilton
    Kubica

  41. Raikkonen
    Massa
    Alonso

  42. 1) HAMILTON
    2) MASSA
    3) KOVI

  43. 1-massa
    2-lewis
    3-kimi

  44. Hey Jack, noway Raikkonen will finish infront of Massa.

  45. WET
    Hamilton
    Webber
    Massa

    DRY
    Massa
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen

  46. Judging by the way the Ferrari was going through it’s rears in todays practice, I think Massa will do a flying lap to snatch pole, but this battle will be one of strategy and one largely fought in the pits. Oddly enough the McLaren is using their tires much better than the Ferrari is, who I suspect will have to change tires more often, and the more times you put a Ferrari in the pit, the more chances of “a circus”.

    For qualifying:
    Massa
    Hamilton
    One of the Toyota’s

    For race:
    Ham
    Mas
    Alo

    PS: Found the site after the British Grand Prix, and it’s among the best for being an actual F1 fan site, not a Massa/Hamilton/Alonso/[insert name of favorite driver here] love fest. Well done Keith.

  47. rahim.raikkonen
    10th October 2008, 18:53

    i think qualifyings:lewis,alonso/massa,kimi,timo,vettel
    cant say for the race but i’d love to have race:
    1.kimi(RAIKKONEN ROCKS)
    2.alonso
    3.vettel
    4.massa
    5.timo
    6.heikki
    7.nick/sutil
    8.fisichela/kazuki(most probably it will be like this)
    DNF:LEWIS,….?

  48. Thanks Juan and welcome to the site – hope you enjoy it :-)

  49. I’ll go for….
    1st Massa
    2nd Raikonen
    3rd Hamilton

  50. I will go again for the surprise. As the Ferrari-Alonso rumour has been at the scene again, and as we say in Spain when the river sounds, is because it brings water, I think the Alonso´s Renault is going to play a red team´s role.

    Massa
    Alonso
    Hamilton.

    If Kimmi does not performe, I can imagine him going away next season. F1 swallows their own heroes.
    Of course the surprise is Alonso second……….:-))

  51. Ferrari will be smarting after their humiliation in Shanghai

    Do you mean Singapore?

    I predict:

    1. Massa
    2. Hamilton
    3. Raikkonen

  52. I go…
    Dry:
    1- Massa
    2- Alonso
    3- Kimi
    Wet:
    1- Alonso
    2- Kimi
    3- Massa
    Ham: Both situations DNF
    To dream is free :-)

  53. Alonso
    Hamilton
    Vettel

  54. 1. massa
    2. hamilton
    3. kubica

    massa just needs it more and the red car is slighty better/faster. I can see massa passing hamilton on the long stright, now that would be great tv……..can t wait for the adverts
    gaz

  55. 1 -Raikkonen
    2 -Massa
    3 -Alonso

    Kimi is (over)due, and Fred is still on a podium high and needs another fix!

  56. 1. Raikkonen
    2. Hamilton
    3. Glock

    Watch out for the real return of the Trulli-train, now that Toyota can set decent quali laps – and we all know how they love to grandstand on light fuel in Japan (Ralf ’05). If Massa doesn’t start on the front row, he’ll fall back and snatch it. Hamilton’ll win the Championship in Shanghai.

  57. OK, to all those who have picked Kimi to win it: He can, but really can’t (team orders say ‘help Massa’). So forget about Kimi winning it. Hamilton once again set the pace in practice, as in Singapore, but I think once again the reds are not showing their true speed. I think by now they (Massa) are quicker even in Q, even in colder temperatures (as long as it’s dry). I expect more or less a repeat of Singapore but w/ the outcome we should have seen in Singapore. Massa wins, Kimi 2nd, Lewis (assuming no car problems) 3rd. The reds are both on new engines. Even if Lewis wins Q, he will have to be light and will be overtaken at the 1st (Massa) and 2nd (Kimi) stops. And chaulk up another FL for Kimi, prob. shorlty before his 2nd stop.

  58. 1. Massa
    2. Hamilton
    3. Raikkonen

    wet: ham alo raik

  59. This will be toyota’s home win

    Qualifying:
    1. Trulli
    2. Raikonen
    3. Massa

    Race:
    1. Trulli
    2. Raikonen
    3. Glock

  60. 1. Raikkonen
    2. Hamilton
    3. Massa

  61. i think after seeing the qualification

    1. Hamilton
    2. kovalainnen
    3. massa

    because of the bad row of raikkonen at he moment another DNF
    i think that massa can’t pass kovalainnen so he can be af buffer for hamilton

  62. 1.Raiko
    2.Hamilton
    3.Massa

  63. Kimi
    Lewis
    Alonso

  64. Ham
    Kov
    Rai

Comments are closed.