How Vettel and Red Bull can win the titles in Japan

2011 Japanese Grand Prix

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He's already got 309 points - he just needs one more

Only one result can stop Sebastian Vettel from winning the drivers’ championship on Sunday.

Red Bull can also claim the teams’ title but whether they do is not entirely in their hands.

Here’s where they need to finish to claim the championships on Sunday.

How Vettel can win the drivers’ championship

This one is easy. The only way Vettel can fail to win the championship on Sunday is if Jenson Button wins the race and Vettel does not finish in the top ten.

Any other result means Vettel will retain his title.

How Red Bull can win the constructors’ championship

Red Bull need get both their cars home in the upper reaches of the points to be able to win the constructors’ title in the Japanese Grand Prix.

They will be champions if they extend their lead over McLaren by 34 points.

Naturally their best chance of doing that is with a one-two finish. However if the McLarens finish higher than sixth and tenth, or seventh and ninth, Red Bull won’t take the title on Sunday.

If Red Bull finish first and third they need the McLarens to do no better than eighth and ninth. Red Bull could also win the title with first and fourth or first and fifth again depending on how well the McLarens do.

So despite Red Bull’s crushing form they are not likely to win the championship just yet unless McLaren suffer some kind of misfortune.

Which of the championships do you expect to be decided this weekend?

2011 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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    63 comments on “How Vettel and Red Bull can win the titles in Japan”

    1. It’s virtually impossible that Vettel won’t retain the title come Sunday. My hope is that he finishes on the podium at least. For me it’s a much better way to crown a champion and you get to see the emotion of the moment that much more when they’re a part of the podium ceremony.

      1. Not if you’re Kimi Raikkonen and you barely smile after getting the title :P!

        1. What are you talking about? That little grin he gave on the podium was an outpouring of emotion by his standards! ;)

          1. he looked happier when he said “I was having a ****” in 2006, tbh! :P

        2. I remember his first action on podium: take à zip of champaign!
          Always true to character, Kimi.

    2. So all McLaren need to do is employ the already crash-happy Lewis Hamilton to take out Vettel at the start of each race and allow Button to take victory in the remaining GP.

      I jest of course, but it’d be good if Button did win in Japan with Vettel retiring!

      1. You could be onto something here!

      2. It would be great to Korean watchers either!

      3. Oh I hope not, I don’t like the sound of that!

        1. I presume you’re a Vettel fan then! I don’t begrudge him the title – of course he deserves it – you can’t deny it’d be interesting to watch though!

          1. Complete opposite mate lol, LH fan, I will prefer if someone else hits him ;)

            1. Hmm… probably should have spotted your avatar and checked out your profile! I’m still getting used to this!

      4. @Ben-Needham, Timo Glock won’t be happy to hear that idea though :-)

      5. We can always hope that Vettel falls of the track at all of the last 5 races and Button wins them all, but that does sound unlikely given reliability this year.

        1. Unlikely?? Snowball and Hell come to mind. 8)

      6. Sounds like a great idea to me. I mean, LH is always looking to emulate Senna and ISTR the yellow-helmeted one had form for crashes at Turn One of Suzuka? ;)

        1. Well, there’s our baffling and unnecessary acronym of the day.

          1. I had to google that one…

            1. ISTR that ISTR means the same as IIRC.

        2. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
          6th October 2011, 19:34

          What does the Internation Society for Third-Sector Research have to do with Lewis Hamilton?

          1. And why do people keep mentioning Little Old Ladies at the end of their posts.

      7. what you mean is that Hamilton should ‘destroy’ Vettel’s races going forward…

    3. Going to play it safe and put my money on Vettel securing it this weekend, with the team taking the title in Korea.

    4. I think its almost certain that Vettel will seal the title here, but Red Bull will have to wait.

      Who knows, maybe Button can really win this one and Hamilton make it on the podium to make a bit of a fight for the constructors title of it!

    5. Vettel to nail it in japan
      The team to do it in Korea, good for them after what happened there last year

    6. With no rain I can’t see any likely reason why Vettel will not get that point he needs this weekend, and he’ll probably get another 24 points to go with that one.

      A Red Bull 1-2 would also not be an unlikely result, but McLaren should be able to do enough to keep the constructor’s championship alive for one more round at least.

    7. The chances of him not winning the title here are astonishingly low… I hope 2012 keeps the racing excitement but the championship becomes closer, alot closer.

      1. That would be great but if I’m honest the championship hasn’t really bothered me at all this year. I expect if Vettel’s dominance runs into next year though I’ll be start to get annoyed :P

    8. I’m really looking forward to find out if Vettel will be able to break the records for most wins and most poles in a season. Particularly the one for the most wins.
      You know, the championship being over for quite a while, it’s the little things you start to pay attention as a F1F :D

      My guess is: He won’t make it. Only thing is I hope it won’t be the case just because he will eventually help Webber for 2nd place.

    9. the last point is hardest to score….

    10. I’m a bit surprised RBR will probably have to wait a little while longer to seal up the constructor’s title. I guess Mclaren have done well in that regard or Mark’s a bit of a weak link this season. I hope he is on good form next year.

    11. In the past few races, I have noticed a pattern. The Red Bull car is quick with full fuel whereas McLaren and Ferrari are OK, this means Vettel can pull a gap. Then when the fuel goes down, the Red Bull becomes OK along with the Ferrari, but the McLaren becomes the quickest, unless Vettel is pacing his car in the reamaining 20 laps on purpose because he is always 15 seconds ahead.

      With Vettel taking pole again, I expect this to happen once again, but will it be Button or Hamilton just behind him? Form says Button, but surely Hamilton can control his ‘gremlins’ and is due a great race. If Hamilton remains 2nd, watch him try and reel in Vettel in the remaining 20 laps or so.

      1. It’s definitely Vettel managing the gap and the car till the end. It’s obvious and he stated it several times, last one in Singapore when He got asked about the final laps.
        I wouldn’t read a pattern on that. The early pace is the real pace RBR have.

        1. Yep, the first 15 laps or so, that Red Bull is electric, and if Webber had decent starts, he would also prove that theory as well.

      2. I think Suzuka will suit Lewis more for qualifying as he is able to attack the corners (essess) a lot harder, where as Jenson will look for a conservative line to preserve the tyres for the race. It’s possible that Lewis could beat Vettel to pole and if the KERS fail for the RB at the start there will be another McLaren and a sea of Ferrari’s and Mercedes sailing past Vettel. If that is the case it will be interesting to see if Vettel would fight for the win or just secure a top ten spot for the WDC. If Jenson is not coming first then it would be reasonable to assume that Vettel will fight harder, but if Jenson is leading then I think Vettel will ensure he secures a top ten place rather than take any unnecessary risks.

      3. I think the problem with the Ferrari towards the end of the race is when they have to use a harder compound tyre once they have used up all the softer tyres. They don’t seem to be able to get enough grip from harder compound tyres and low fuel. I think they, in general, have a harder time with the harder tyre compounds than the RB and McLarens regardless of what fuel load they are all on.

    12. A Vettel championship in Japan followed by RBR taking the constructors championship in Korea would work out nicely for a RBR fan sitting in Nagoya and heading to Korea next week…

    13. People have forgotten the F1 champion that is HAM. he will finish ahead of button this season, the temporary slump will be over soo

      1. I hope you don’t have any money on that

      2. The temporary slump that has pretty much lasted the whole season? Now, I would be surprised if Hamilton beat Button in the standings.

    14. Assuming Seb’s stunning form of getting into points in all the races and given the reliability of the car, he will win the drivers championship this weekend.

      In the last three races, RBR gained 35 constructor points over McLaren – +28 in Spa, -5 in Italy and +12 in Singapore. The next three races (Japan, Korea and India) will suit McLaren and given the odds, RBR will win the constructors champtionship more likely happen in India

    15. or second and third

      That’s not 34 points, is it?

      1. @adrianmorse Oops, no it isn’t. Have scratched it from the article.

        Happily, that makes this a bit easier to remember now: Red Bull can’t win the title if they don’t win the race and have the other car in the top five.

    16. My interest is now on Massa v Hamilton, if Hamilton gets embroiled in some nose to tail racing then I think we will finally see some real fireworks, especially if Massa is playing rear gunner to Alonso. i thought i’d lose interest but these little battles are fun to follow! And an early start as well leaves the rest of the day free to spend with the kids. Me happy, missus happy, kids happy all good!!

      1. I agree, I would prefer all races to start early morning or evening (So I can enjoy a beer or too)

    17. I don’t think I can handle the radio message transmission if/when he wraps this up.

      1. As long as he doesn’t try to be philosophical about it, I’m cool with whatever he says. It won’t be as emotional like in 2010 though I’m afraid (although you really can’t know that in advance I guess).

      2. We hear it every race, I’m beginning to think it is recorded ; WoooooooHooooooo yes,yes,yes, we did it, thank you guys………..

        1. that’s what I’m talking about

    18. Incredibly, its harder for Vettel to lose than win.

    19. I have a feeling he won’t finish the race not sure why.

    20. The constructors title will go up to the last race : red bull will have some reliability isues in the last 4 races.

    21. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      6th October 2011, 17:57

      The Vettel championship is an “already gotten” one, and Red Bull as a team has good chances, because Hamilton has been going down last races… he crashes and its opening the gates for a new constructors championship. The thrill is to see if Button can finishes the championship second (that would be really fair according to what he’s done all year round.

    22. Well from a McLaren’s fan POV,Seb is most certainly going to wrap up the title,Its Inevitable regardless.He’s been argubly the best driver this season;Cool,Fast,Calm & Collected.I’d say this all the time and especially a track like Suzuka that Seb has ran quite well at & is dominant at.

      Already,Congratulations Sebastian Vettel our Youngest Double World Champion elect.

    23. Great day for Vettel, and Suzuka is the perfect venue to crown the old and new champ. I’m happy for him and hope that he’ll have some serious McLaren and Ferrari competition next year – maybe even Mercedes?

    24. Vettel’s chances of winning the title this weekend are very high. Even if he had a bad race and retired/finished out of the top 10, no one says Button would win.
      Red Bull’s chances are slimmer and probably won’t win the title in Suzuka.

    25. If Button does win and Vettel fails to finish, he will only postponing the inevitable. However, my choice for the runner-up is Button.

    26. petebaldwin (@)
      6th October 2011, 22:18

      I wonder what happens if Vettel crashed out, Hamilton is leading and Button 2nd. Despite the fact that we all know Button isn’t going to win the Championship, would McLaren make Hamilton let Button past?

      Surely they’d have to until it was mathematically impossible for Button to win the title?

      1. I was wondering about that scenario as well. Not very likely, but still…

    27. I hope vettel takes it in Japan. A circuit with great f1 history and a place we had many championships decided.
      It would be a bit dull to take it in Korea imo.

    28. I won’t be surprise if both are decided this weekend,but I think CWC will take some more time.

    29. I can only see Vettel bagging his second title this year. They would have been able to wrap up the Constructors too, if Webber had pulled his socks up ;)

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