Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Suzuka, 2012

Rate the race: 2012 Japanese Grand Prix

2012 Japanese Grand Prix

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Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Suzuka, 2012What did you think of the Japanese Grand Prix? Share your verdict on today’s race.

F1 Fanatic holds polls on each race to find out which fans thought were the best and worst races during a season.

Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix out of ten

  • 10 (4%)
  • 9 (6%)
  • 8 (14%)
  • 7 (28%)
  • 6 (23%)
  • 5 (11%)
  • 4 (6%)
  • 3 (3%)
  • 2 (1%)
  • 1 (3%)

Total Voters: 541

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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See the results for past seasons here:

Image ?? Sauber F1 Team

Author information

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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201 comments on “Rate the race: 2012 Japanese Grand Prix”

  1. YES BABY!

    1. and Christian Horner with a small cotrolled laugh saying well done. Boring cocktail, and feels like deja vu. I really like vettel as a person, but for some reason I don´t want him to win.

      1. Horner: “you have won the Japanese Grand Prix” ;)

      2. My wife said it well. “Given a choice, I’d rather see Vettel win than Alonso, but I wish there was another option.”

    2. Webbo just called Grosjean the “first lap Nutcase” so this is officially a 10/10. I know that it was after the race but I’m laughing so hard it just has to be.

      1. Webber said Grosjean needs another holiday ( another race ban)

        1. TheGreatWanderer
          7th October 2012, 9:38

          On the eve of grosjean’s return at singapore, and having qualified close to webber, I remember webber”s words to be something like … “I know he will be behave, because he knows that if he doesnt Im going to kick him around…”

          so, where’s all the action u promised webber???

          1. I thought he said something like: he better be wearing his running shoes.

      2. Ken (@myxomatosis)
        7th October 2012, 10:08

        I can only imagine the response if Hamilton had been the driver who called him that. The internet would possibly collapse under all the vitriol.

        1. True!!

        2. There would have been a whole online article for that

        3. Daily Mail would have dedicated a whole 8-page pull-out.

        4. so right ken you hit the nail on the head!, thats why lewis does not say a lot anymore!, he lets his driving do the talking, when the car is ok [that is no too often] these days, sooner he gets to mercedes the better,and away from crafty sly button !!!!

    3. “Yes Baby”, a deserved result but a race ruined by 1st. cnr accidents. Winning from Massa by 20 seconds means a parade not a race.

  2. 4/10. Some chaos at the start and a few nice battles, as well as interesting podium, but not much happened.

    1. 4/10 indeed. Vettel makes Suzuka boring.

      So happy for Kamui, though! :D

      1. Boring. The only ones giving this race a good rate are vettel’s fans. With perez and alonso out , the race lost two drivers that might have challenge vettel for the win. There weren’t many overtaking and the track does not help either. I wonder why kimi wasn’t even investigated?? He could have and should have avoided puncturing alonso’s tires but he didn’t do that. Instead he screw his qualifying run yesterday and his race today. About grosjean 8 crashed/hits in the first lap out of the 15 races

        1. I’m sorry but even if Alonso stayed in the race I really couldn’t see him challenging Seb for victory, I’m pretty sure only Webbo could have done that today.

        2. *sigh*
          How was that any different to Spa? One driver cutting across the other at the start, leaving no room and forcing them onto the grass. If this was Raikkonens fault, I presume you think that Spa was Hamiltons?

    2. I loved the battle between Rosberg and Senna, and Button – Kobayashi too. Ricciardo nicely defending from Schumacher too. It was a bit of a slow start (after the start itself), but got off to a nice end

      1. Yeah there were some nice battles, and the Kimi/Lewis overtake was great, with the pitstop leading up to it being fast enough to allow it, Kimi reacting really well keep both in the race. Great to see Massa and Kobayashi doing such a good race and ending on the podium. But not a fight for win in sight; sorry Vettel, but that way races you win are amazing, but a bit less exciting to be watching.

        1. TheGreatWanderer
          7th October 2012, 9:43

          Kimi reacting really well keep both in the race

          Sometimes, I wonder if Kimi is too nice on track! ;-)

          He might have been a tad more aggressive in Bahrain, Hungary and Valencia. But then, maybe that is what seperates him from crash-jean!

        2. There was nothing Kimi could do, Hamilton handled it well and didn’t try to go wide, which kept both of them on track. For Kimi, attempting to go round the outside, was asking for disaster.

          1. It was great driving from Kimi. I think in other circumstances he would have kept his foot in, but the thought of tangling and flying through the air upside down towards the barriers probably took over. Brave stuff from them both.

          2. I can’t find on-board start from Kimi, but after looking at different pics, it was very close between Massa and himself in2-3rd corner, Massa pushed Kimi wide. Action :)

  3. More heroic drives in a single grand prix than any other this season I reckon. 4 at least.

  4. Nobody bothering VET but some good action behind him.

    Well, good old Massa, Good old Grosjean…

  5. As delighted as I am for Kobayashi, the second half of that race was depressing to watch. I’ll give it a 5 for an entertaining first half.

  6. I think it was pretty standard F1 race, exciting start,& a few battles down the order. Felt really bad for Grosoen, I did,nt think he deseved a penalty for his incident.

    1. Are you joking?? That was an obvious driver error and a well deserved penalty.

  7. reddevilandy10
    7th October 2012, 8:38


    Pretty disappointing for waking up at 6am to watch Alonso out at turn one, and Vettel romp away like it’s 2011 all over again. Otherwise, great results for Felipe and Kamui. Both stand out drives today!

  8. I’m over the moon for Massa & Kobayashi, just what they needed!
    Shame for Lewis, was hoping that he would revive his championship chances this race, maybe, just maybe he’ll pull something back in Korea.

    1. I doubt that considering the typical McLaren syndrome, which is screwing things when things are really in need. Also it seems Mr Newey has found another rabbit in the hat too.

      1. After the race Whitmarsh said HAM did well considering the setup issues and how hard it is this year to predict good set up – meaning their simulations are what they need to get it right, and they are not always good enough this year. Seems at the weekend itself McLaren are a bit sub-par on set up without them though, nowadays. In some way more worrying than Ferrari’s troubles with wind tunnel – at least they have Toyota’s tunnel as a workaround.

  9. Love the result (Vettel Grand Slam, Kobayash podium), but the race wasn’t that exciting excpt for fits and bursts, like the start, Button’s late charge, the brief Kimi/Lewis fight and Perez’s great pass then brainfade moment. 6.5/10

    1. And loved seeing Massa finally get a decent podium too.

    2. Is it now the time to hail the greatest of the greatest in F1 history? Well, VET is untouchable and the youngest everything? lol.

      1. Well, given that WEB was coming along with him until that first corner, I feel that it is valid to think that the car has something to do with it too. But VET getting the most out of it when it is, that is impressive nonetheless.

      2. Personally I derive about as much pleasure watching Vettel cruise to victory as I would watching a 10 year old playing F1 2012 on a playstation.

        Clearly it was too much to hope that for the first time since 2009 we would have a worthy WDC .

        When Vettel inevitably becomes a 3 x WDC he will not only be the youngest, he will be the poorest. By far.

        1. I honestly do not understand how you cannot appreciate just how brilliant and indeed deserving Vettel truly is.
          It’s early days but Vettel is shaping up to be one of the all time greats. He’s got nothing to prove – he can do it all. The only area of improvement I can think of that is left for Vettel is maturity – and that’s hardly a crime at the age of 25!
          He’s been runner-up once and is within striking distance of a third WDC – again, 25 years old! Please just put that in perspective. Especially considering the strength of competition he is facing. Far in excess of the level of competition Schuey had to face.

          Now please explain what you mean by poorest? It just doesn’t add up…

      3. He’s not quite Shumacher yet so we’ll see

    3. The Perez and Hamilton moments were great especially considering the recent developments. Round one, Perez catches Lewis sleeping with his door wide open. Lovely opportunistic pass.

      But why on earth did Perez think Hamilton would fall for that one again? Awesome positioning by Lewis – but also awesome avoidance by Sergio. That could have gone wrong for both. Alas, Sergio was totally committed. A nice little lesson from Lewis there anyway and one I’m sure Sergio will take away and not make the same mistake again.

      Maybe a microcosm of what’s to come? Sergio gains an advantage early in the season but Lewis comes back and shows him how its done…

  10. Is it just me or has F1 been on a streak of dull races recently?

    1. I fear the first part of the season may have spoiled us all…

    2. It looks like it. And there’s always a Paul Hembery to thank for that. It was bound to happen though. As the season progressed everyone managed to understand the tyre performance parameters and fully capitalize on the packages they have for 2012. The rubber thus became more conservative and less surprising for everyone…

      And to be honest, I think except for the US Grand Prix which is a bit of an unknown territory and the Brazilian GP – which is always exciting, the remaining 3 races of the season will be just as boring…

      1. yes well then just make the compound selection softer. what if we had the softs and mediums in japan. that would have created some different strategies.

    3. @kingshark, seeing different cars out front and even winning provided artificial excitement early in the year, now we expect the saubers, Williams, Force I, to be mixing it with the top 3 the novelty has gone.

  11. Cannot remember the last time i was so elated at the podium result, felipe and kamui, incredible!!

    1. I totally agree! Very emotional to watch two drivers battle for their seats.

  12. It wasn’t a terribly exciting race, but I rated it a 10 because if the result!

    1. It’s rate the race, not the result.

      1. @kingshark – yes, I am we’ll aware of that, it was implied in the comment. I rated it by how mucho enjoyed the race, and I enjoyed it very much.

        1. ..and also, that result also means that the championship battle is now much closer, another reason why the race is better.

          1. Nay, the championship battle is now too close, which is why the results suck pretty much.

  13. -1 for Alonso’s retirement.

    1. @eggry – Alonso’s had his Valencia now!

      1. He had it in Belgium, and he wasn’t exactly lucky in Canada nor Italy qualifying either. :/

        1. @kingshark – Vettel wasn’t exactly lucky in Italy or Malaysia either, it’s pretty much balanced (if not luck has still been slightly on Alonso’s side).

          1. If we’re having a misfortune-off, Hamilton would win by miles. Actually, scrap that- McLaren would probably find some way to lose that for him too.

          2. @vettel1 Malaysia had nothing to do with luck… it was Vettel’s fault for being over aggressive with a backmarker.

          3. @Todfod LOL. No, just no.

            Karthikeyan got ‘pushed off’ the track by Hamilton and instead of waiting for the faster train of cars to pass him Karthikeyan just rejoins the track and continues on the racing line with half the racing speed. Then, to make matters worse, he moves behind Vettel (for God knows what) too early and cuts Vettel’s rear left tyre.
            That is why Karthikeyan got the penalty and why Karthikeyan admitted being at fault.
            This “It was Vettel’s fault” is ridiculous. It’s the same as Hamilton vs. Maldonado in Valencia. karthikeyan had no right being there. When a driver is off track he must rejoin the track without creating a dangerous situation. Karthikeyan made a moron move there.

          4. @todfod
            On that basis you can blame everyone in every incident.
            Webber could just have been faster through T2 and Grosjean wouldn’t have knocked him around. So its his fault for being too slow.

          5. davidnotcoulthard
            7th October 2012, 13:22


            Somebody posted here a link to a video that seems to say otherwise. Perhaps Keith will re-post it here.

      2. that was hardly a Valencia. He didn’t throw 25 points away. That was 10 points at best. Nor did he give Seb any extra points (+7 for Alonso in Valencia)

      3. not really his Valencia, he was the one to squeeze RAI onto the grass, caused his puncture, so he took himself out in a way.

        1. davidnotcoulthard
          7th October 2012, 13:24

          So it was his version of Vettel’s Sepang?

    2. The only good thing of Alonso’s retirement is that Kamui could finished in third.

      1. And Massa could get a podium. It was Vergne I believe who held up both Kobayashi and Button and gave Massa opportunity to increase the gap.

    3. This is what the article says:

      Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

      1. @andae23 I read it. or Should I say Alonso’s retirement is not disappointing or good for the championship? I gave 9/10 which is not so often and means I enjoyed except that.

  14. so boring tuned out after 10 laps

  15. Almost a procession. Except for the start and some battles here and there, Button closing in on Koba and Schumacher and Webber’s progression through the field, nothing much to see.

    However, this podium along with the one in Valencia have made the season for me. Worth waking up on a Sunday morning. 6/10.

    1. Fell asleep after the 20th lap.

      1. +1 Theo1
        (tho i did manage to stay awake, it was a dull race)
        3/10 (yawn factor 9.8/10) :(

  16. Gets 8 for the cinematic battle for third.

    Also whoeverr said yesterday, “release the grosjean,” wins something. Thoughit was kimi who fit the hit on Alonso grosjean didn’t miss out on some action.

    1. it was me, it was me. hahaha. damn, now alonso’s future is looking really bad.

      1. @naylamp Quality comment yesterday then!

      2. Multiple people mentioned Gro would take Vet out.. well he got Webber instead..so close enough.. I guessed he’d more likely take out Ham or Alonso if they had a good start..

    2. Good that Grosjean wanted to make the championship more interesting, but the idiot took out the wrong Red Bull!

      1. embarrassing comment…

        1. by grosjean standard its just a minor incident only took out one car this time…because he usually takes 2-3 out in the first lap

          1. HAHAHA!
            So true

  17. I Would give the first half a 7/10 and the first half 3/10 so overall 5/10

    1. davidnotcoulthard
      7th October 2012, 13:27

      And the 2nd half 3/10?

      1. I make that 4/10 then :)

        1. There is only THREE types of F1Fanatics – those that can count and those that can’t ……..

  18. Laps 1-20 8/10, laps 21-44 1/10, laps 45-53 a very nervous 10/10. I’ve averaged that out to a 6. The long slog in the middle was a real bore, But as Keith said on twitter, just watching the cars on this track is a joy to watch. I’m completely overjoyed with Kamui’s podium though. Those last few laps were unbearable.

    1. Pretty much agree with that view, I think I will give a 7 for it because of the podium

  19. Sorry guys, I always try to be neutral and rate the race based on how entertaining it was, but I have to make an exception for it today. I rated it a 10, and I’m too excited to care about it. As a die-hard Kamui fan, I must say I have never, ever been so happy with a race result. After the first round of pit stops the race was so tense to me it was almost unbearable, the last 15 laps being pure agony, hoping the lap counter would run faster (and of course my anxiety turned those last few laps into a whole endurance race in my head). Trying not to wake my parents at the last lap (race ended at 4:30am here) out of sheer delight was the hardest part though!

    So please, I hope you guys don’t mind me skewing the poll results a little bit! :P

    1. @guilherme You’re forgiven :)

      Brilliant timing to get a first career podium!

    2. You are forgiven indeed, KK was the only reason I managed to stay awake tbh.
      Very well done indeed, he was the only reason I gave it 3/10, otherwise it would’ve been a 1.
      Surprisingly dull race for Suzuka, a track that i’m sure you all love as much as me.

  20. 6/10 for me.
    No battles up front and very few in the midfield pack. I was happy that Riccardo held off Schumacher to get a point for dragging that Toro Rosso up in to the top 10 for the 2nd race in a row (3 if his car didn’t fail at Monza), so i think his race quality is starting to shine through.
    Yet again Grosjean ruins the races of front runners; Webber, Rosberg and Perez to an extent. If Vettel was once dubbed the ‘Crash Kid’ surely Grosjean has the be the ‘Crash Prodigy’.
    A good positive was that Kamui got his first podium in his home race. Hoping for a closer fight at Korea but i think Red Bull Might be on top of things, especially with their new ‘double DRS’.

    1. The punters will surely be taking future bets on who’s next in line.. to be Grosjean’d..

      1. haha defiantly, teams will have to run different qualifying strategies to make sure their not near him on the grid.

    2. Yet again Grosjean ruins the races of front runners; Webber, Rosberg and Perez to an extent.

      You mean just Webber. Senna was the one who planted his front wing into Rosberg and Perez ruined his own race. :)

      1. But if Webber had not been spun by Grosjean, i doubt senna would have hit Rosberg because Nico was slowing sown not to hit Webber, but i see what your trying to say. It’s just the ongoing effects of Grosjean poor driving.
        Also if no contact was made, Perez would have stayed in a higher place and might of had a different race, but you’re right in the fact that Perez did end up ruining his race anyway. :)

    3. davidnotcoulthard
      7th October 2012, 13:31

      Nope, Grosjean’s the Crash Ace (as in 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K,A)

  21. This races gets 7 because of Kamui’s defending position but I fell asleep to be honest literally on lap 20 or so…

  22. 7 for me, only because MAS and KOB. Vettel is in another galaxy.

  23. I love the result, but the race was average. i gave it a 6.

    Great seeing alesi doing the podium interviewer job! Legend!

  24. Those last laps were unbearable for me, I probably would have cried if Button passed Kobayashi. The start was also really tense for me as I was worried Kobayashi would fall back at the start, instead he passed Webber.

    Generally speaking I enjoyed the race and with Kobayashi racing for a podium, I was fully immersed into the race. This race was similar to Malaysia for me as I was on the edge of my seat for the Alonso-Perez battle back then, as I was for Button and Kobayashi today. 8/10

    1. Seriously, you were concerned with Button in a car just half a second faster and three laps to go?? Everyone knows that takes him at least a 1½ sec faster car and some 20 laps to overtake anyone….

      1. @poul Kamui could have choked under the pressure, which is what I was worried about. I knew Button probably wasn’t going to pass him.

        1. I almost gave birth to a Baby Ruth bar in my pants when Kamui locked up going into Spoon with Jenson right on him on the last lap.

    2. Similar experience for me. Except, I did cry when Kamui barely held off Jenson to take his first podium. Doing it at Suzuka just made it sweeter.

  25. It’s race the race, not the result.

    1. It’s about how much you enjoyed the race, and the result, atmosphere and other factors can affect how much you enjoy it.

      1. It’s not rate the atmosphere
        It’s not rate the track
        It’s not rate the crowd’s reaction to drivers on the podium

        It’s rate the race

  26. Dull race for the win, but nice battles in the pack. 6 of 10, Kamui and Felipe on the podium and Webber calling Grosjean a nutcase makes it 7 out of 10.

  27. I gave it an 8, which I’ll accept is generous, but the atmosphere around Kamui’s podium was incredible to watch, and I added 1 on for that.

    Besides that, there were some stunning drives and fantastic passes throughout the field. Vettel never looked troubled, but there were some good battles which culminated in the Button and Kobayashi battle towards the end. That was thrilling to say the least!

  28. Was gonna give it a 7, but after the trophy ceremony when Kamui started speaking Japanese on the podium…… Priceless!!!! Had to give it a 8 after seeing that

  29. From one of the most exciting races of the season (Singapore) to the most boring by a long way. Yawn.

    1. I’m astonished that you thought Singapore was one of the most exciting races of the year.

      1. Certainly the best proper racing F1 has seen in a long time. No need for the DRS, it was proper hard side-by-side scraps with some great moves. And the fact that 3-4 drivers were in contention for the win.

        I’m astonished some people thought Singapore was boring.

  30. It might not have been the most exciting race of the year, but still I rated it 7/10. This is mainly because of Kobayashi: watching the Japanese fans get more excited every lap was impressive, and the final 15 laps I was actually keeping my fingers crossed for him! I do not understand why people are claiming the second half was boring.

  31. Very happy for Kamui. Button closing in on the final laps prevented my eyelids from shutting down on me.
    Massa drove above his usual average but was not overly impressed by the way he gained his 2nd place. I would have jumped up and down for him if it was on the track and not in the pit lane.

  32. You can pretty well gauge how exciting the race was by the length of the shots in the ‘race in 60 seconds’ feature.

  33. 6. It was quite boring, but the Japanese crowd going mad was awesome.

    1. bet every japanese F1 forum giving it 10/10 for the race …even a podium for kobi feels like a victory to em

  34. Rated it 5 from the prospect that it had a lot of room for improvement but still could have been worse. Checo’s pass on Lewis was the only impressive piece of racing I noticed.

    1. Were you not impressed with Hamilton and Raikkonen’s dicing through turn 1? If they were lesser drivers, those moves wouldn’t have stuck.

  35. 6/10. The start was dramatic and exciting, but after that, nothing really happened. I noticed at one point, towards the end of the race, that the TV director had chosen to focus on the battle between Bruno Senna and Romain Grosjean for two or three laps. They were fighting over something like 14th place at the time. There just wasn’t much action at the “business end” of the field, and that stops me from being able to rate the race particularly highly.

    Well done to all three podium finishers though, they were great. I’m going to have a hard time choosing one of them for driver of the weekend.

  36. Boring?
    – Vettel grand chelem but not too much focus on him during race
    – the crowd going wild for Kamui
    – the Hamilton-Perez’ battle, especially in light of next years line ups (is Luca right in the end?)
    – Räikkönen-Hamilton pits exit battle
    – Button closing in on Kamui
    – Schumi fight back
    – Caterham, Ricciardo, Webber… etc etc
    9/10 for me!

    1. I forget the chapters written in the historybooks of Maldonado, massa, Senna and Grosjean!

    2. You know, to most of non VET fans, it’s always boring when ‘do something’ VET runs away from pole to more than 10 sec gap. And me think it at the same camp.

      1. I’m sure if Alonso/ Hamilton won in the same style people would go bonkers about how incredibly good and talented they are. Also didn’t Button do the same thing at Spa and I hardly saw as many complaints about the winner than then I do now.

        1. If ALO did it this year, it would be awesome. If HAM did it, it would finally give an indication McLaren are up to giving him a chance of WDC fight, until something goes wrong later in the race ;-)

        2. Good point brny666. Not many complaints at Hungary and Italy either.

        3. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
          7th October 2012, 10:42

          I think it might have something to do with his nationality. To go from one German dominating (Schumi) to another (VET) might be a hard pill to swallow for some…

      2. +1
        Go Vettle. Grosjean is now officially my enemy for tking out Webber.

        1. Come on Sheldon, how many are there on the list? :P

      3. I meant it as fan of The Sport: watching a Grand Chelem is always unique and luckily we got to see the rest as well. If it were HAM or ALO, I would’ve felt the same…

    3. is Luca right in the end?

      Maybe, but Pérez is going to get the experience he needs at McLaren. I think he’ll be absolutely flying in 2014.

    4. +1 !

  37. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    7th October 2012, 9:25

    Driver of the day: Kobayashi
    Dummy of the day: Perez

    1. Dummy of the day: Perez

      I find it hilarious how people jump on demolishing Perez after signing with McLaren, in the light of a good weekend by his team mate. He took himself out, and people are treating him more harsh than they are treating Grosjean who took someone out for the n-th time this year.

      Give the guy a break. He’s only had a couple of fair rookie mistakes in his career so far, considerably less than other drivers of his generation (Grosjean, Maldonado, Senna, Kobayashi and the lot).

      The fact that he spun out in a moment where he got caught off guard, coincidentaly in the same race where his team mate managed a long overdue podium doesn’t make him a bad driver, a stupid one, less deserving of that McLaren seat, a driver with less potential on and off track than Kamui or any other of that nonsense.

      Kamui is a good guy and he deserves to keep his seat at Sauber but saying he’s a better driver than Perez is just unfounded.

      1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
        7th October 2012, 10:36

        I find it hilarious how people jump on demolishing Perez after signing with McLaren

        Get used to it. Now that Perez has signed for a Front running team, the pressure is going to increase tenfold and whilst stupid mistakes like the one today might be tolerated at sauber, I can guarantee that McLaren won’t be so accepting or sympathetic.

        1. I can guarantee that McLaren won’t be so accepting or sympathetic.

          Except they put up with Hamilton’s disastrous 2011 season and his heap of shenanigans for how many years? Let’s face it, everyone knows Perez will do just fine at McLaren and everyone knows he’s already done enough for Sauber this season but it’s more fun to bash him senseless online for his (fair) mistake.

          1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
            7th October 2012, 11:18

            The difference is Hamilton is a proven WDC, Perez isn’t. ;-)

          2. And he still gets involved in less incidents / has less self-inflicted DNFs than Lewis. And I still don’t see the logic behind treating Perez’s mistake today as such a shameful / inacceptable thing.

          3. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
            7th October 2012, 11:34

            Let’s face it, everyone knows Perez will do just fine at McLaren

            I don’t think being “Just fine” is good enough for a team of McLaren’s stature and success. They’re looking for a driver to fill the massive gaping hole left by Hamilton, and if Perez can’t handle the increased pressure and expectation that will inevitably land at his feet, he won’t last very long.

            I genuinely believe that he made the mistake today because he felt as though he had to prove that McLaren were right to sign him. I don’t think it was a complete coincidence that he span out trying to overtake Hamilton.

          4. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
            7th October 2012, 11:43

            And I still don’t see the logic behind treating Perez’s mistake today as such a shameful / inacceptable thing.

            You should interpret my posts as back handed compliments aimed squarely at Perez’s left cheek. I’m criticising him because he IS a talented driver and thus, shouldn’t be making stupid/hilarious mistakes.

          5. I don’t think it was a complete coincidence that he span out trying to overtake Hamilton.

            On this, we agree. There was definitely added pressure there. It was visible when he first passed Hamilton, locking up, forcing the Sauber through a small gap, etc. He clearly wanted to beat Lewis fair and square on the track in an inferior car and he tried too hard but, I can’t blame him for it.

            Plus, as I said in a previous comment somewhere. Lewis is by far one of the hardest adversaries one could stumble upon on the track. He closed the inside line for Perez there, knowing he will try to force a pass through. Lewis kept it mid-track and Perez just got caught off guard there and chose the outside line in order to avoid hitting Lewis. He then realised there’s a gap and tried to force the overtake when he lost the rear end of that Sauber. If it was Maldonado or Grosjean in that situation, they would have ended nose up in Hamilton’s rear wing. :)

          6. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
            7th October 2012, 12:29

            If it was Maldonado or Grosjean in that situation, they would have ended nose up in Hamilton’s rear wing.
            I agree with this point 100%.
            Don’t get me wrong, I believe that Perez is (potentially) a future WDC and ambassador for the sport. However, if he allows the pressure to get to him and stifle his game, he’ll end up following Kovalainen’s footsteps rather than Alonso’s.

          7. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
            7th October 2012, 12:30

            If it was Maldonado or Grosjean in that situation, they would have ended nose up in Hamilton’s rear wing.

            I agree with this point 100%.

            Don’t get me wrong, I believe that Perez is (potentially) a future WDC and ambassador for the sport. However, if he allows the pressure to get to him and stifle his game, he’ll end up following Kovalainen’s footsteps rather than Alonso’s

  38. Just wondering. Is this the sign of the return of the greatest driver of the world in Red Bull? Or better paraphrase, the return of the greatest car of the world? In Singapore, it seemed Red Bull had better pace over McLaren and at Suzuka, it becomes obvious that the gap is increasing… Or is Bernie pulling strings here too?

  39. Gave it a 9.

    Kobayashi is most likely going to win the DOTW contest and Vettel fans will be complaining about that.

    1. They probably won’t care.. they stopped believing that the DOTW voting had any objective meaning a long time ago..

      1. True… DOTW voting is totaly biased and as such not worth spending time on :)

        I dont want to say this is bad in any case (after all, every one of us has a favourite driver and are as such biased), just saying that to those of us, who like Vettel, DOTW voting has become one aspect of F1Fanatic blog, not worth spending time on :) For example SPA: Vettel had a superb comeback, Button was leading the entire race: DOTW Button. Today (and last time around for that matter) I guarentee you Vettel is not going to get DOTW.

        1. I like the contradiction in your comment: first saying it’s not worth spending time on, and then writing a 5-sentence paragraph.

    2. @tmekt – thanks for the laughs. Vettel winning WDC takes precedence over DOTW :P
      PS : Check last race’s DOTW result to see how it works

    3. I’d be interested to know if Peter548 and Rok Dominko do vote in Driver of the Weekend, as their comments above indicate they are not registered users and therefore aren’t voting, which leads me to wonder why they are complaining about the outcome of a vote they aren’t even participating in?

      At any rate I don’t agree Vettel’s effort are not appreciated. Here’s one reason why:

      Sebastian Vettel voted F1 Fanatic Driver of the Year

      1. I am commenting on driver of the weekend. Not driver of the year. I guess it would be a little too much if after a year he had last year, he wouldn’t be voted driver of the year, even for F1Fatatic blog ;)

        But if you look at DOTWs last year, Vettel got only one win, despite the fact that he won 11 races (I might be mistaken by this, so don’t take my word for it).

        Lastly, I do not see the logic that I have to vote for DOTW before expressing my opinion (that may be biased as well) about it. It is just somethink I think to be true.

        But non the less your comment made me go and make a account so I can vote this time around :)

      2. I’m a registered user and I no longer vote for the DOTW poll.

        There have been plenty of cases of Vettel simply not winning DOTW because he’s Vettel. Denying it is pretty much ridiculous as it’s so obvious.
        Bahrein this year? Raikkonen. Hungary this year? Hamilton. Vettel held off Raikkonen but didn’t get DOTW. Hamilton held off Raikkonen and did get DOTW.
        Valencia this year? Alonso. Singapore this year? Hamilton. Vettel retires halfway down the race after absolutely dominating the weekend, Alonso gets DOTW. Hamilton retires (not even) halfway down the race while he wasn’t even dominating but still gets DOTW.

        The DOTW poll is a joke.

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          8th October 2012, 1:29

          @f1fannl I agree with you, every time Vettel wins the DOTW goes for somebody else. It’s not Keith’s fault, it’s just people try to cover the truth by ignoring it

  40. Gave it a 10 to see the Japanese and Brazilian flag on the podium.. Was so nervous when Button was closing on Kobayashi!

  41. For a Suzuka race, apart from the start chaos, it was a boring race. Vettel vanished ahead, Massa did the same after the 1st pit-stop and the much expecting battle between Koba and Button never happened. Some minor battles of the Perez-Hamilton-Raikkonen triangle were good but that’s all.

  42. 7/10.

    Happy for Massa and Bashi as they’re both deserving and nice guys. Abit of justice seeing Alonso crash out after his comments about hoping the other drivers will DNF.

    Great salvage of points from Hamilton, rising from 9th to 5th with a shoddy setup. Also good to see Mclaren not issue team orders, the way it should be.

  43. Solid 7/10. It was uneventful yet suspenseful, if that makes any sense. Sure, Vettel cruised, but behind him the positions could’ve been anything, and most of the battles kept me on the edge of my seat. Also there were some great performances that were really nice to watch.

    The biggest problem was of course following another car. As soon as you got within a second, there was the old problem of dirty air. If you didn’t have large enough speed advantage (i.e. Senna on fresh set of soft tires against bit older hards) your own performance would drop off in a few laps, so the “attack window” was rather small.

    Not a classic, but a good race nevertheless. Hopefully Korea is a bit better.

    1. Yes, the dirty air seems worse than ever. Webber and Grosjean, coming up through the field, had to back right off as they followed a much slower Caterham through the S curves in the first sector.

      I wish they’d do something radical with the front wings and aero – like the original plan for 2014, or the Delta Wing with its underbody downforce and no wings. Or at least give us a low, wide rear wing again. The tall, spindly ones still look wrong to me, and don’t seem to work at all.

  44. pretty boring due to the track, shame for perez, webber and alonso, also a shame we didnt get to see vettel start from 5th where he should have!

  45. Pile of dung. 6/10 Can only see one outcome in championship now unless kimi or alonso get some much needed downforce for these last races.

    1. @glenj Wow, if you rate a “pile of dung” 6/10, I’d hate to see the sort of thing you’d give a 1/10!

  46. Yeah it’s all about the result.

    Not at all a classic race with much particular excitement, but first corner dramatics are always exciting (as painful as they were this time as a Webber and Alonso fan), and the ending was so tense, watching Kamui just hold on.

    So happy about Felipe and Kamui though.

  47. 6 from me,some good racing but it wasn’t the best.

  48. I think people have become used to have duels everywhere and overtakes every minute.
    I find it refreshing to have a more oldschool type race. Yes it wasn’t an overtaking mayhem, and the DRS didn’t work great, but it was all for the better I think. We had solid battles throughout the race, and it made for some excellent overtakes. Albeit few, most of them were the sort of, at the edge of your seat, overtakes.
    It could have been better. A fight for the lead would definetely have spiced things up, but I think it was a solid 7/10 still.

  49. 7/10
    Vettel treated us to only the 52nd Grand Chelem ever
    Some good scraps lower down
    Not the best race but the usual suspects will give it a low score because of thee result

  50. 4/10. Snooze-fest for most of the race.

    So happy for Kamui!

    Vettel win and Alonso out keeps the interest going. I like Vettel and his ‘cheeky rascal’ demeanor. But he does need to get more of a grip when things go wrong.

    The only thing I don’t like about him winning is listening to the dreary austrian national anthem (sorry Austria its just how I feel), could they not edit it down, speed it up or put a beat to it?

    Reminds me of the billy connelly sketch about national anthems. For Billy Connelly there’s not that much swearing. He is making the point about the British anthem but I feel it applies to Austria as well.

    1. davidnotcoulthard
      7th October 2012, 14:37

      Yeah, I think I prefer listening to God Save the Queen over the Austrian (and the German Anthem), even though I’m a Vettel fan (and I’m not British, not even European).

  51. I didn’t enjoy it. I am happy to see a vintage Massa drive and delighted for Kobayashi but I enjoyed the podium ceremony with the fans chanting for Kobayashi more than the race itself.

    Race 3/10

  52. I think the biggest shame of this race was what happened to Webber — getting assaulted by “First-lap Nutcase”. It’s likely he would have provided some challenge to Vettel’s cruising victoy, given the pace he’s shown all weekend. It would have been the sizzle that this race was lacking throughout — barring the first lap incidents, Perez’s slightly embarrassing hairpin spin and Jenson chasing down Kobayashi in the last few laps. It’s probable that Vettel would have won regardless, but it still would have been nice to see some harrassment from Webber. However, it gets additional points from me for seeing Massa on the podium with a convincing drive to second, and Kobayashi (a driver I love) on the podium at his home race. The Japanese fans were also brilliant, chanting “Ka-mu-i!”. Plus, Lewis’ bold move on Kimi, and Kimi’s respectful driving in response, warrants an extra point.


  53. 6/10. While it was nice to see Massa and Kobayashi on the podium, apart from the start the race itself was really uneventful. As great as the circuit is the last memorable race here was when Kimi won.

  54. Michael Brown (@)
    7th October 2012, 14:45

    Boring. Nothing spectacular happened for a while until it became apparent of the battle for 3rd.

  55. With a 5 it’s my lowest score ever. If it wasn’t fot Kobayashi it would have been even more boring. But that’s mostly becuase the start wiped the rest of the season out. Only a miracle can turn the rest of this season into something exciting.

  56. I would have given this a 4 if it wasn’t for the Massa/Koba podium, +1 for that in an otherwise unremarkable race.

    Vettel is a shoe-in for the championship now, pity for Alonso.

  57. 5 because of the track and some daring overtakes, but the cars were mostly too strung out for any real excitement, and it was miserable seeing Alonso taken out so soon. Hooray for Kamui though!

  58. 7.
    Chaotic(or say dramatic) start. Not often seeing alonso spinning out just by his own.
    There isn’t much action afterward but those few passing are some quality ones, not the usual “DRS passing”. Especially the one Hamilton take on Kimi right after pit, it really took my breath.
    Sorry to say this but Grosjean made me lol….
    Also, the last charge by button is great, and note that he had nothing on his steering wheel.
    Last, the result is great, Massa in P2 and Kobayashi on podium on his homeland.

  59. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    7th October 2012, 17:58

    Good race (yes , good!!!) shame that Alonso and Webber hit trouble but how good it was to see Massa back on form, Kamui’s first podium with his crowd!!! and of course Vettel (“boring”) Grand Chelem. 7/10

  60. 5/10

    Was an alright race, but there was little action past the midway point, and the result kid of cemets Vettel’s 3rd title.

  61. Solid 8. It had drama – Grosejan spinning Webber. It had Karma – Alonso trying to force Kimi and retiring. Bits and pieces of action – Button and Kobayashi, Schumacher and Ricciardo, Perez and Hamilton. Humor – in taking the stewards 21 laps to give Bruno Senna a drive through. And finally a tryst with Destiny (http://en.espnf1.com/japan/motorsport/story/91044.html)
    Bonus – A Grand Chelem and a hat trick of victories for Vettel

  62. Boring vettel. The season looks boring now. I dont understand why he acts like he had to race for the win. I dont remember him ever having to race for any of his 1st place trophies. Anybody to win apart from vettel and red bull because they are just too boring for F1

    1. Ok, I think I disagree with pretty much every sentence here.

      The season looks boring now

      In contrast: I though the championship looked boring as it was, but now, with two drivers neck on neck, we’re going to have an exciting season finale!

      I dont remember him ever having to race for any of his 1st place trophies.

      That’s just a display of quality: he is so quick, that he doesn’t even have to deal with competitors ;)

  63. @keithcollantine I’d thought I’d get a fast fact in before @andae23 bowls everyone over… This year’s race at Suzuka marked the 50th anniversary of the race track; similiarly, it was also the 50th anniversary of the running of the Bathurst 1000.

  64. Decent race, mainly owing to the surprising podium (Vettel excluded). More so than the actual result though is that the drivers on the podium thoroughly deserved their places which is always indicative of a good race. I was surprised by how little the SC was out as well, so that helped.

  65. The race was decent until the 1st round of pitstops. The safety car kept the field bunched together and gave some good battles for position; but after the 1st round of pitstops, it was a bit boring. I’m of course happy for Kamui and Felipe, but the last 20-30 laps were really hard to watch without dozing off. I’ll give it a 5/10, mostly for closing up the WDC and for the entertaining 1st portion of the race.

  66. Yawn,Boring !

  67. Had the misfortune of radio only, an no live timing.
    After trying to listen to legard( notice the lower case), I almost went to Sky News( not F1 or Sport) just get race updates.
    How Perez thought Hamilton would fall for that twice lol…
    As i didnt see it live an Radio Five Live was totally **** I give it zero

  68. For some reason, people have a different perspective as to what a good F1 race is.
    I think that a good race can be one of 3 things:
    a display of domination, which leaves me in awe of the winning driver.
    a showcase in overtaking (doesn’t matter if its the leaders, or the backmarkers)
    a display of driving solidity, ie: driving under pressure and not cracking.

    In short, a good F1 race for me is when, at the end, I feel total admiration and respect for a majority of the drivers.
    This is why I rated Monaco this year so highly, and also why I rated this one so highly as well:
    Vettel was amazing; he left me in awe.
    Kobayashi was excellent in getting his podium.
    Hülkenberg dominated Di Resta, which left me respecting his abilities even more than I did pre-Japan.
    Massa return to form was incredibly heart-warming and interesting as well.
    Heikki Kovalainen was really battling with the midfield runners in the opening/middle stages of the race, and just watching him drive; seeing him try so hard to stay with them felt really good for me.
    The way Button was initially closing in on Kobayashi was amazing; 0.5 seconds in sector 1 is immense.
    Schumachers fight back through the field and his battle with Riccirado was truly brilliant.
    The sheer speed of the McLaren teams pitstop for Lewis was amazing; I was left in awe at the speed and co-ordination shown by the McLaren boys.
    And finally, just watching the cars drive around Suzuka is a pleasure in itself; arguably the best circuit on the calender, particurlarly with sector one is amazing, and to see the cars doing seemingly mind-bending speeds through that section is simply awe-inspiring.

  69. Why no Jamie an James on Five Live during commentary?

  70. The race wasnt spectacular but Lewis is mouthing off on Twitter again tonight, spicing it up a bit!

  71. Above average (but only just) 7

  72. Vettel was untouchable and unchallenged throughout, my favorite driver was clipped by turn 1 and out of the race, no overtakes for important positions happened throughout — a generous 5 from me. Kudos to Massa and Kobayashi for their fine podiums. The WDC could get rather dull from here on in unless Ferrari, Lotus, or McLaren (or their pilots) make huge leaps.

  73. I gave it an 8 out of 10. It really shuck up the championship which is great to see this close to the end, although I would like another shake up this weekend with Vettel and Alonso scoring badly moving Raikkonen and Hamilton closer to the top 2.

    The race started with absolute chaos and it had some great battles throughout the field, if you ignore Vettel that is. It was fantastic to see Kovalainen up there on genuine pace midway through the race and also Massa in 2nd. Highlight for me was the Button and Kobayashi battle which lasted almost all race. Fantastic for the Japanese fans.

  74. Had to miss this one due to being on a fligth from rome to home during the race, first race this year I’ve missed :(

    On the upside, judging by the voting, I didn’t miss anything too spectacular, but I wished I could have seen Koba on the podium ilive :(

    1. Most people on here rate the drives, the track and atmosphere, and the results, instead of the race itself.

      It should be a 2 at best. The dullest F1 race I have seen in a long, long time. You have missed nothing.

  75. Trying to ignore the result I gave it 7/10. The first lap madness not only was exciting on its own but also mixed the situation for most drivers, taking out Webber, Alonso and Grosjean. Although I may be biased as I support Massa it was nice to see an “underdog” succeed after so muh time. It was nice, I think, to see Massa lapping at times faster than Vettel, although it was clear he was never going to get him. Kobayashi vs. Button was a tense fight and behind them there was some decent racing. Vettel made it exciting again when he set the fastest lap on the penultimate lap.

  76. I didn’t think it was that good a race to be honest so only gave it a 6.

    Once Vettel converted the pole into the lead at the start I never thought anyone would challenge him for the victory. There were a few changes for position further down the field but not enough to build the excitement.

    It’s a shame Alonso had a DNF as considering the relative speeds of the cars I think Vettel should win the title easily now unless he has more reliability problems. Before the race I thought it might go down to the wire with Vettel chipping away at Alonso’s lead bit by bit every race.

  77. found out who won before the start, watched the alonso incident , etc on bbc website, couldnt be bothered watching on the beeb at 2.00, went out and other things

  78. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to create a very good article…
    but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

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