Vettel keeps title hopes alive at Suzuka (Japanese Grand Prix race report)

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Vettel fended off Hamilton at the start and was never headed

Sebastian Vettel utterly dominated the Japanese Grand Prix – and he kept his championship hopes alive as the Brawn duo finished at the bottom of the points places.

Vettel also single-handedly kept Red Bull in the constructors’ championship battle.

Jenson Button fought an impressive rearguard action from tenth on the grid. His five-place grid penalty only cost him three places due to a quirk of the rules, but team mate Rubens Barrichello was even better off, losing just one place and starting sixth.

While Vettel streaked away from Lewis Hamilton and Jarno Trulli, Button fell even further back into the pack, slipping to 12th at one point.

Passes on Giancarlo Fisichella and Robert Kubica left him tenth, and he profitted from a collision betwen Adrian Sutil and Heikki Kovalainen to gain two more places shortly before his first pit stop.

In a largely processional race, most changes of positions happened in the pits. Trulli took second place off Hamilton after the McLaren driver faltered on his way back to the track following his last stop.

One notable exception was Kovalainen, who bounced back from his earlier mistake with a thrilling pass on Fisichella down the inside of turn one.

A huge crash for Jaime Alguersuari brought out the safety car with nine laps to go. The Toro Rosso driver lost his car at the exit of 130R and slammed into the barriers at scarcely diminished speed. He climbed from the car unaided but was taken away on a stretcher.

The appearance of the safety car allowed Nico Rosberg to stay ahead of both Brawns with his last pit stop. After the race Button claimed Rosberg had gained four seconds under the safety car, allowing him to stay ahead. If Rosberg got a standard 25-second penalty, it would give Brawn two more points and make them constructors’ champions. (Update: No penalty for Rosberg)

The restart with five laps to go didn’t bring any changes of position. Hamilton’s hopes of passing Trulli were spoiled due to a KERS malfunction.

Vettel was untouchable and nearly scored the perfect result of a win from pole position with fastest lap while leading every lap. But team mate Mark Webber, who started from the pits and made five stops in his RB5, took the fastest lap with three tours remaining.

That didn’t detract from Vettel’s stunning performance in any way. His hopes of winning the title may be slim, especially given his engine situation, but he knows how Kimi Raikkonen won in 2007 and will remember that anything’s possible…

I’ve done a shorter and earlier race report than usual to spend more time working on the post-race analysis, which will be coming up soon…

Japanese Grand Prix

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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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97 comments on “Vettel keeps title hopes alive at Suzuka (Japanese Grand Prix race report)”

  1. Based on his comments, Rosberg definitely did speed under the SC.

    Expect a penalty, and the Constructors Championship to go to Brawn GP in a few minutes :D

    1. Would be a shame to see the title decided that way, but rules are rules.

      1. Yeah but it will some F1 up now. Every race decided by the stewards. I thought it would get better after the awful decisions last year but no

        1. I think it should always be decided on track but unfortunately that is a dream and we do need stewards for rules (even though sometimes we all are outraged by punishments). In general, I think it would be better if stewards were just consistent and sorted out the rules and maybe we would accept it a bit more instead of being so frustrated all the time.
          I think constructors will be resolved soon, if not now then Brazil and drivers at Abu Dhabi.

          1. Eddie Jordans comment about Stewards being F1 referees and they can’t do it out on the circuit.

            They are watching the race. What are they doing during it!! All the decisions come out at the end of the race. I’m sick of getting the race “results” and it changing all the time.

            I didn’t think it could get worse than 08 but it has.

            Bring on 2010 when the whole season will be decided by the stewards

        2. every race?

      2. As always, Brundle is talking sense on the Red Button coverage regarding this rule issue.

        No post-race icecream though :D

        I gather the issue is that the SC was announced, the drivers get given their lap delta about 10 seconds after, I believe.

        So Button is claiming that Rosberg was 4 seconds faster than his target lap time under that first lap before they all queued up behind the SC.

        Rosberg might say “I didn’t get an advantage, gov'” but there’s rarely likely to be an advantage, because they’re just catching up to the SC train.

        The issue is one of safety, and the rules are clear, so penalty time my friend :)

        1. Am trying to see where in the 2009 rules the rules regarding the ‘target time’ are described:

          Can’t find it so far.

    2. If you look at the lap times, it’s clear to see that Button makes up a lot of time after his stop. He should have been half a second ahead of Rosberg after Rosberg’s stop. Instead Rosberg is 3.5 seconds ahead. That’s where Button gets his 4 seconds from.

      Not sure if Rosberg made a mistake or maybe that the delta thing didn’t work well. Perhaps Rosberg was already close to the pit entry and had less of a slow lap?

      1. That is logical, when the accident happened Button and Barrichello was in sector 1. Rosberg should be 20-25 secs up the road. He should be somewhere between the hairpin and spoon curve. So he has less track to travel in slow speed.

        It is not really necessary for Rosberg to break the rules to emerge ahead in this case. Lets say drivers need to be 1km ahead in order to emerge ahead from a pitstop in full racing speed. If Rosberg was smth like 900m ahead, he could still emerge in the lead as his chasers will cover that distance in slower speed, hence more time.

  2. Flawless drive from Vettel. Really hope this goes down to Abu Dhabi now, although Jenson should surely still seal the title.

    Driver of the day however – Jarno Trulli. Let’s hope that’s enough for the Toyota bigwigs $ : )

  3. i am not sure why but i am starting to want vettel to win despite supporting button at the beginning of the season. Although it doesn’t really look likely with the engine situation and upcoming tracks suiting the brawn more

  4. Very happy for Toyota,hope it gives more certainty on the position but I have a feeling only a win will do. Bad weekend in terms of position for Torro Rosso when they did look strong. However, I am happy with the job their drivers are doing.

  5. Great drive from Vettel. A masterclass.

    Real shame the title is dragging out this long because it just makes me think there is still a chance but the driver in 2nd never gets any points despite Jenson getting little points. I hope Seb can get 2nd now.

  6. I know it keeps hopes up for Seb doesn’t it? Brilliant drive today from him, I would have been happy if either him or Trulli got it, they were the best today by a long way especially Seb.
    If I’m honest I am more excited for next year now though :P. Hopefully next year will be good season for RBR and STR

    1. Losing those points at Singapore will hurt even more now.

      1. If he wasn’t so close I wouldnt keep thinking. If only he’d done that…if only he’d done this, if only that hadn’t happened etc..

        1. Indeen, if he hadn’t been involved in 4 crashes/spins, he could easily have been leading the championship at this point.

          1. You could put a different spin on this though: the reliability of the Brawn car and the consistency of Button have been exceptional by comparison.

            If and when Brawn and Button collect their world titles, we’ll look back on that and say it made the difference.

          2. Vettel has had one engine failure during the race. Button got rammed off by Grosjean.

            I’d say they are rather evenly matched in DNF’s beyond their own control.

  7. It almost strange now that Button is racing like a champion that he keeps qualifiying like a fish. Man even set the car up better than Barrichello today. And yet he came 8th. I agree with Brundle, why is it Vettle is making me nervous.

    Truli got lucky with Hamilton’s KERS, it would be interesting to see at exactly which point it pack’d up, despite his better car Truli couldn’t out hustle Hamilton untill he was carrying round a dead battery.

    Rosberg, great way to start a relationship with Button, He went to talk to the boys expecting a nice little chat and got, DIDJA DO IT YA SCUM from jake, did you, did you? I dont’ think he did, he was as Brawn said in exactly the right place at the right time and simply very lucky. May well be proved wrong.

    1. The Brawns put much less emphasis on practising qualifying during free practice than other teams. Maybe it’s time they change that and put some qualifying runs in.

  8. good drive by vettle, but when is he going to win from anywhere but pole?

    1. and when he’s not driving on a track that his car is fastest on.

      1. oh yeh like monza 2008? did you miss last season???

        1. You’re saying the STR wasn’t the fastest car for those conditions on that track?

          Did you miss that Bourdais qualified in 4th and Webber in 3rd?

          Well granted, Hamilton was faster, but he was unlucky with the weather in qualifying.

  9. I’m wondering why they didn’t allow the lapped cars to overtake after the Safety Car period. Instead we had Grosjean having to dive out of the way at the restart, which could have been dangerous.

    1. It takes a while because the unlapped drivers have to do a lap and then catch the field again. But with four laps to go they could have done it.

      It’s the same problem again, where is the consistency? Either do it every time or don’t ever do it.

      1. Same for the SC in Singapore GP. I think some lapped cars were in between. But was not allowed to unlap themselves which got me confused whether the rule still stands or not.

        1. It’s still in the regulations, I was hunting in vain for that “lap delta” thing (same as Keith) when I came across it. Lapped cars should be permitted to overtake as long as there are cars out of sequence in the field, which was obviously the case with Grosjean.

          1. You’ll find it’s more to do with how safe it would be for those cars to cycle around the track regaining that lap whilst marshals are on track removing debris.

            “40.11 If the clerk of the course considers it safe to do so, and the message “LAPPED CARS MAY NOW OVERTAKE” is shown on the timing monitors, any lapped cars which are between the cars running on the lead lap at the time the safety car crosses the Line on the track for the first time will be required to pass the cars on the lead lap and the safety car by passing them on their right.”

          2. Sorry missed the last bit of that point

            “They must then proceed around the track at an appropriate speed, without overtaking, and take up position at the back of the line of cars behind the safety car.
            If the clerk of the course considers track conditions are unsuitable for overtaking the message “OVERTAKING WILL NOT BE PERMITTED” will be shown on the timing monitors.”

          3. I think they need to drop that rule. This isn’t NASCAR, we have 90 second-plus laps at many tracks. There isn’t time for the field to wait for the backmarkers to catch up. It’s not as if we have that many safety car periods over the course of a year anyway.

          4. I wonder if the lapped drivers could just drop back to the end of the line… couldn’t they just say “lapped cars can now drop back” essentially a blue flag. The team could have radioed him when to drop back to 17th or whatever he was….

        2. I have to say i don’t understand why we can’t have a system in Formula 1 where instead of a safey car they fitted the cars with a speed limiter like the one for pitlanes which would be turned on when there’s a full course yellow. It would allow the gaps between the drivers to remain the same whilst still safely neutralising the race.

          1. ^ this.

            Having a speed restrictor seems the sensible option, if only to maintain the distance between the drivers – seems a bit fairer than putting in a stellar drive and opening a 5, 10, 15 (whatever) second gap, only for it to be demolished after the appearance of a SC.

            Drivers could be warned over the radio that within ‘X’ number of seconds, their engine will go into automatic ‘SC slow mode’. Job done.

            Still, I imagine there’s problems with this I haven’t thought about, else I guess they’d have implemented this before. It’s late on a Sunday evening and I can’t be bothered thinking too much!

          2. Drivers would struggle to keep heat in their tyres and brakes if this were the case.

          3. @Kester

            They do anyway, whilst under the SC – hence why we see them weaving across the track to try and keep tyre temps up and hard sudden braking to keep the brakes on song.

            There’s no reason why you couldn’t limit the cars to the same speed they carry under the SC – I’m not suggesting a 30mph limit or anything silly!

    2. Being a bit of a cynic, maybe it was bad for the show.
      Letting Grosjean pass would have been easy, there were some 7 minutes to do it, and it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t quite catch the train again. But it would also have put Trulli in the tail of Vettel, and “Kersey” Hamilton in for a shot.
      As it is, nobody challenged Vettel and we still have two teams in the chase for the driver’s title.
      Actually, the difference in points in the top three is very close to the Hamilton-Alonso-Raikkonen trio of 2007 with two races to go!

  10. Howett ‘looks like we have lost Robert’. Trulli unlikely, depends how markets moves for Toyota

    1. dammit steph, beat me to it.

      1. HA GOT YOU


  11. John Howett just admitted that his not going to get Kubica.

    1. What bout Kimi? Is he retiring as many people seem to suggest. That McLaren move seems highly unlikely now, because Whitmarsh is backing king kovi to retain his seat for next year & beyond. Shame that a top team like mclaren employs mediocre drivers. Such a shame. I think Kimi is retiring :(

      1. I dont understand the logic behind that, Kovy doesn’t bring points, money, he makes McLaren look bad his had his chance and his clearly very uncomfortable inside the team at the moment.

        I think this is merely barganing tools to play with Kimi.
        I don’t see McLaren being that stupid as to keep him it makes no sense.

        1. It makes no sense, if Mclaren want the constructors they are going to need the best twe drivers otherwise it is simply a team that exists solely to help Lewis’s ambitions

          1. “I don’t sense that we need to make a decision in the next week, two weeks, three weeks, even beyond that,” he said.

            “I think the right and courteous thing to our current drivers is to support them and see if we do a good job and get some results in these last few races.”

            Sounds more like Kovy has to deliver, I doubt Hamilton camp want Raikkonen though. I still say Kimi can drive for Mclaren and expect it, just my opinion

      2. I cannot help but wonder what are the other “options” Kubica is talking about. Renault is one, but judging by their current results, they’re not that good. Toyota seems better, and yet the Pole somehow doesn’t want to go there. So what’s left? McLaren? Can be, if Kimi goes to Toyota…

        By the way, why the hell is it that Kubica, being one of the few that did lift on the yellow flag in Q2, still started lower on the grid than some of the other drivers that didn’t go by the rules? (Sutil, Barrichello). Seems kind of unfair. The penalty should’ve been given before Q3 or something, so that the “cheaters” wouldn’t be able to get into the top 10 in the first place…

        1. Because they were more than 5 places ahead of him.

        2. Indeed. This whole 5 places back stuff is just sheer incompetence.

          On the other hand, if they had tried to sort things out before Q3, they would probably royally messed things up. Now they had 24 hours to make up their minds. It’s not easy to apply rules if you don’t know what the rules are and you need to make them up as you go.

  12. Ted : another hour before decision from stewards with Rosberg, Brawn sure ros done a personal best sector, Nico thinks he is in clear. Stewards have telemetry

    1. Why are Brawn so desperate? Its only 0.5 point(s). Do they seriously think that Red Bull are a treat to the constructors title?

      1. It’s an extra point for Button though, with Vettel suddenly a threat again it could prove crucial.

      2. It may be rather more to do with the current everyone-in-FOTA vs Williams animosity than Brawn actually trying to grab more points.

        Or they may just still be annoyed about the place drops from qualifying.

        1. Were not Williams & Force India reinstated back into FOTA ?

          1. hardly been endearing themselves since though.

      3. No-one ever takes anything for granted in F1. Given the huge amount of money they spend, it’s hardly a surprise!

  13. Nico going up to see stewards with Sam Michael-feels he has to explain himself?

  14. Brawn and Button are only complaining because they can see the title slipping from their grasp already. That, and being sore losers.

    1. Or they think that as they were punished for a very similar incident (not letting off through a yellow flag zone) in quali that the rules should be applied evenly.

  15. Have taken a look at the lap time data regarding Rosberg’s penalty, here’s what I think: Stewards’ decision could give Brawn title

    1. looks fairly clean cut doesn’t it?
      Congrats Brawn, thats the constructors, I think its very likely that the Drivers will be wrapped up at Intergalos. Unless Button bottles it. Not impossible

      1. well i was wrong hmmmm,
        The 3.5 he made on Button came from somewhere Rosberg didn’t see the sign its a schoolboys excuse. Another weak judgement from the stewards, whether it was deliberate or not he gained an unfair advantage which he should be stripped of.

  16. Boring Boring! It’s time to get out Kova, Hope Kimi will be driven next year!! (Sorry for my english ^^)

  17. May upset some Button fans but…

    RE: Rosberg investigation – Anyone else think it’s a bit desperate to try to recover a point in this way?

    Doesn’t sound like a ‘potential world champion’ talking.

    Button has already been massively lucky this season so why not focus on driving like someone worthy of winning a championship (that includes qualifying performance)instead of relying on things like this.

    It wouldn’t have been as bad if Rosberg’s speeding had been questioned by the Brawn team (as a technicality) rather than JB. Barrichello was in the same position to comment and doesn’t have the advantage of being 14 points ahead with only 2 races to go!!

    I wonder how things would have turned out if, at the start of the season, historically strong or big money teams had come out with a double diffuser and whether it would have still been ruled legal. Add to this a testing ban so all disadvantaged teams are forced to ‘develop’ on the race track.

    Such a thing as pushing your luck?

    1. May upset some Button fans but…

      RE: Rosberg investigation – Anyone else think it’s a bit desperate to try to recover a point in this way?

      It was never going to be to Button’s benefit, only the teams.

      Anyway, the FIA have decided not to punish him:

      1. Hi Keith :-) – nice site btw.

        The way i see it, the constructors championship is pretty much in the bag for brawn. Only (half) a point needed and even that requires 1 and 2 finishes by RBR. I didn’t see much of an advantage for them.

        It seems to me that Button is getting nervous about Vettel. He appears confident about keeping within reach of his team mate with the same car and strategy knowledge.

        That’s why i thought he was being a bit desperate in trying to claw back a 1 point difference between himself and Vettel.

        1. Jenson did’nt come over very well on that point did he. Shame really, because his worth as a champ is already being questioned and he has not got it yet.
          I agree he did come over as desperate.

          1. he was fighting like hell to claw back time from Rosberg. He drove a set of amazing laps indeed taking back almost a second and a half from Rosberg.

            How frustrating is it then when your opponent cheats and ends up 3.5 seconds ahead of you?

          2. Got to agree with Patrickl, he had been racing so hard to make sure he had the jump on Rosberg, and with the safety car that should have been pretty secured, then to his shock, not only did Rosberg stay ahead, it wasn’t even by a small margin.

            I don’t think the championship points played a large part in his bitterness over the situation.

        2. You’re welcome Green, glad you like it :-)

  18. Bernie’s been very quiet about ‘Most wins decides the title’. If he’d has his way, it’d have been all over as soon as Vettel got the dubious drive through at Singapore. Hurray for points (even if Jensen still is 100/1 on). No doubt Mr E is sabotaging Jensen’s engine for Brazil as we speak…

    1. Bernie’s been very quiet about ‘Most wins decides the title’. If he’d has his way, it’d have been all over as soon as Vettel got the dubious drive through at Singapore.

      Bit of an irony that, isn’t it?

  19. A few months ago Bernie said the medal system would have been better for Seb (even after Button’s wins), bet he is changing his mind now though…

  20. Was a relatively good race, as much as it hurts me to say it Vettle deserved the win this weekend. I know that button only has t finish 4th or 5th in Brazil, but I dont feel as good about him winning it now, especially if he is just picking up a point or two and Vettle or Barichello is picking up something higher, I think that if Rubens is fast around Brazil then so will Button and will hopefully pick up the title, but Button is worrying me.

    Off the subject but has anyone heard anything about the British GP as Bernie gave them till the 3rd October last weekend but nothing has been said yet?

  21. I fail to see why Rosberg is rated so highly. He goes ok in prac all over the place in qual and even if he quals ok you can almost guarantee he will fade and go backwards. He just seems to go to sleep in the middle stint. Never consistent, but yer he does posses the abilty to have great speed.

    Did Webber take a new engine while starting from pit lane?…
    Did RBR trial a new front nose on Webbers car there as well?

    1. Answer to both questions is yes.

  22. Vettel needs to watch his engines now, I think he has used all of them.

    1. There are actually a lot of drivers that used all of their 8 engines at least once:
      Jarno Trulli
      Kazuki Nakajima
      Mark Webber
      Nick Heidfeld
      Nico Rosberg
      Robert Kubica
      Sebastian Vettel
      Timo Glock

      Glock and Heidfeld have already used their ninth engine.

      All the others still have one completely fresh engine left.

  23. ‘In a largely processional race, most changes of positions happened in the pits.’
    -And you still always talk about how much better it will be without refueling…

    1. Ending refueling doesn’t mean the end of pit-stops, though it will probably mean a greater spread of pit-stops, more battles between miss-matched tyres and so forth. Probably… :D

    2. And you still always talk about how much better it will be without refueling…

      Shuffling the order with artificial, race-engineering quirks like refuelling holds no excitement for me. I want to see proper racing that happens on the track.

      1. I see F1 as a team sport, this includes the pit crew, to me they are part of the race. The Team with the best/fastest crew wins. The driver to me is just another member of the team and as is shown each year, replaceable. I will miss re-fueling. But who knows, maybe cars will magically overtake on track next year. I doubt it. The guys on the first few rows will win the processional race, decided on the first corner. (or Bernie, will decide).

        1. Is the double diffuser banned for next year?

          1. I don’t think so, not sure though. It was a loophole in the rules which I don’t think ahs been closed up. May be wrong though

  24. StrFerrari4Ever
    4th October 2009, 17:52

    Great drive by Vettel his got the momentum to put Button under some pressure if he can. If not then Vettel will look back on the season on the various retirements and crashes and think I could have won the title quite comfortably.

    As for Button the Brawn has been very reliable partly cause of all the time Honda spent building it , so he will be very thankful if he wins the WDC in 2 weeks time if he can’t seal it in Sao Paolo then we could see a German take it in Abu Dhabi IMO.

  25. TBbf it is fact…most of changes did happen in the pits :S I didn’t read any opinion, even ifit has been made clear in past articles I found this quite fair.
    I think Vettel should just throw caution to the wind with engine situations, a 16 point gap with two races he may not make that up if he is conservative and the Brawn car may favour the next track

  26. Button made the best of his superior equipment at the time he had it, part good driving, part lucky. He’s perhaps the most average driver who will win the world championship. When you consider the battles we’ve had recently in f1 this is a poor showing from Button just calculating the points. He’ll be nowhere next year against the like of Hamilton, Raikkonen and Alonso in good cars, something i think Brawn understand.

    1. +1

      Most mediocre soon-to-be champion since his old teammate JV. Ironic, isn’t it?

  27. I think the Red Bull is favourite for the next track but we’ll see. Yes, Vettel still has a small chance to become world champion but it’s very unlikely at this point. If Button finished 5th in one of the next 2 races Vettel doesn’t have a chance anymore (the gap is 16 points, 5th place = 4 points gap would be 20 so Vettel can’t catch him anymore because he has less victories). If Button finishes 3rd in one of the next 2 races, he is the new world champion for then Barrichello can’t catch him anymore either. If Vettel would be so kind to win the next race as well and Rubens coming in 2nd and Button not scoring any points, then we’ve got a thrilling end to the season!

    So Jenson finishing 3rd means he’s world champion no matter what Vettel and Barrichello do. For Vettel the 16 points gap means he must win at least one of the 2 races and he can’t finish lower than 2nd in either one of the races provided that Jenson doesn’t score one single point. That’s a hell of a job!

    Rubens has a 14 points gap. It’s a little less hard than Vettel’s task but still. He has 2 options. He doesn’t necessarily have to win a race, he can be satisfied with a second or third place in one of the 2 races. If he does finish third, he must win the one after that. If he finished 2nd he can do the same in the race after, but can’t finish lower than second and either way he can’t finish lower than 3rd provided Button doesn’t score a point (or 1 point).

    So in short: Button still has a huge advantage and he shouldn’t worry too much. If he’s driving like he normally does he will probably be able to get 6 points in 2 races. Finishing 6th in both of the races is enough for him whilst Vettel and Barrichello need to push harder than ever to give themselves a theoretical opportunity! (and Vettel is at his last engine as mentioned before)

    Great drive here from Vettel! Didn’t let Hamilton get the better of him here and he totally destroyed the competition. Man that guy is fast! Hopefully he can get a bit more consistent and hopefully they have Mercedes engines next year :) I’m conviced this guy is going to be world champion at some point. Trulli did a fine job as well, another second place for Toyota. They seem to have made some steps. Alonso is probably cranky now. He did well coming from 17 to 10 with that crappy Renault but still!

    As for the driver switches. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I expect Renault to announce the’re hiring Kubica this tuesday. Toyota isn’t a better option IMHO, sure the car is quicker but on the other hand, it’s not very certain how long the brand will stay in the F1 so..

  28. Poor Webber had a dog of a weekend, but Yay for his fastest lap :)

  29. I missed the race because I forgot about the hour, and now realise that I dont enjoy looking at these 2009 races at all. The only entertaining thing in 2009 is the politics, corruption, and driver market news. The last really exciting season was 2007 : that was absolutely dinamite !

    2009 : ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ 2010 : could be a real good one !

    1. You must admit last year last race last lap last corner was the most exciting 15sec in F1 history.

      Well done to the “Max and Berine Comedy Show” :)

  30. Good race for Vettel & Toyota.I wonder will back to back podium help them to change their decision to stay in F1 for 2010.Next up is Brazil which will suit Red Bull & Toyota.

  31. Drivers would struggle to keep heat in their tyres and brakes if this were the case.

  32. I smell a rat in the making.

    Maybe the “Max and Bernie Comedy Show” made an agreement with all the teams to keep the double diffusers in return for giving the constructor title to Brawn and the driver title to Red Bull. VERY FAR FETCHED I know but then again, the 2007 spygate kept the McLaren drivers in the championship in return for a Ferrari title.

    I want Rubens to win just because Button seems so arrogant when after his easy wins he thought he won it already and started using bad words (like beat their bottoms / kick asses etc). He fell from my eyes there and then.


  33. All those red flags came out because the disastrous no-testing rule prevented the current crop of new boys having sufficient practice before driving a race in a F1 car. This situation will get worse yet as the new teams join, someone is going to be hurt badly.
    TV coverage was surprisingly poor, cars were often at too long a range to identify the helmets. The Scalectric effect was much higher than say Spa. The sidebar banner is usually more informative than the one at the bottom but rarely appeared. Normally we keep F1 live timing running on the laptop but for family reasons had to watch Japan in the replay so could not.
    Useful if Keith did the summary first and all drivers had to match his timings, he could get a lie-in on Sundays then.

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