Second-best Singapore GP but lowest score for Suzuka

2015 Japanese Grand Prix Rate the Race result

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The Singapore Grand Prix earned its second-highest rating from F1 Fanatic readers as Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo headed the field for a change.

It was back to the usual script in Japan, however, leading to the lowest score for a race at Suzuka since these polls began.


Throughout practice many doubted whether Mercedes were in as much trouble as they appeared to be. Qualifying proved their trouble was real, however, and their problems continued into the race.

Two Safety Car periods – one caused by a track invader – disrupted the action at the front and kept a lid on the Vettel-Ricciardo battle for victory.

For me, the race was really exciting. It was exciting with Toro Rosso and Sauber against Lotus, and the bit-of-exciting part was that Ricciardo might catch up to Vettel.

About Toro Rosso trying to catch up to Perez, Verstappen could have the chance to overtake Perez in the last laps. For the whole race, I felt very, very delighted with Vettel winning the race and Raikkonen securing Ferrari a double podium finish.

The Mercedes surprise plus the ‘dominance’ from Ferrari made this race a must-watch, but given the standards of this season it was a boring race, despite the second half with the strange safety car plus the action at the restart, and the always spectacular drive by Verstappen.

From the pit stops onwards, what a race. Singapore always delivers drama and such tense racing and we had it once again here. We had complete chaos with the track invader, we had awesome IndyCar-style wheel-to-wheel racing, we had a non-Mercedes winner and we had a genuine battle for the race win for a while.

Meanwhile, Toro Rosso have two megastars in the making, and Sebastian Vettel, regardless of what the record books will say, is cementing his status as a legend.

Pretty dull to be honest, first half of the race really dragged, bit of artificial drama added at times later on but no race for the win. Replace Vettel with Hamilton and Ricciardo with Rosberg, it’s exactly the same as the rest of the season. I don’t find it more exciting because they’re different cars.


The contest for victory ended at turn one in Japan
At Suzuka normal service was largely resumed. Rosberg beat Hamilton to pole position, but the world champion brushed his team mate aside at the first corner. From there on it was hard to see Mercedes being beaten, and not just because FOM avoided showing them

It’s painful to see Alonso and Button being helpless in the race, and the Red Bull’s and Toro Rosso’s under-powered as well, not to mention the Saubers just under developed and the Manors so so far back. It’s just a too uncompetitive grid, too few cars, too few battles at the front, overtakes being done through the pit stops etc…

It doesn’t matter if it’s Spa, Monza or Suzuka. Even these famous tracks can’t liven up what is a poor state of F1.

I thought it was a good race to be honest, Virtually always some close racing going on that was worth following & some good overtaking. Overall I enjoyed it.

As soon as Rosberg fell to fourth on the opening lap the race was doomed; Hamilton trounces away with no competition. 2016 cant come soon enough.

It had a good mix of battles through the mid field. Rosberg messed up his start and had to claw his way back and that was interesting to watch, to see if Vettel could hold his fight off. Then we had quite a few drivers out of position due to first lap issues, and there was interest to see how far Ricciardo and Massa could get up through the pack. We had Lotus well up in the top ten for most of the race, due to others being out of the mix. Hulkenberg was out doing Perez despite starting 14th after his three-place grid penalty, and Perez’s race just didn’t happen. In amongst all of that, Sainz attacked the bollard on the way into the pits. We saw a couple of 2.2 sec pit stops from Ferrari.

I got plenty out of that race.

I’m finding myself in an annual cycle which starts with pre and early season excitement but which unfortunately evaporates as the year progresses.

I think the best perspective I can put on this is as follows:

Yesterday I recorded both the F1 and the Moto GP. I decided to watch the Moto GP first as I was far more thrilled by the prospect of watching Lorenzo, Rossi and Marquez duke it out and to see a race with continual overtaking. Afterwards I dutifully, and with far less anticipation, watched the F1.

Such a shame…

2015 Rate the Race scores

RaceAverage score
2015 Hungarian Grand Prix9.115
2015 Malaysian Grand Prix8.369
2015 British Grand Prix7.949
2015 Bahrain Grand Prix7.366
2015 Singapore Grand Prix6.552
2015 Belgian Grand Prix6.391
2015 Chinese Grand Prix5.721
2015 Italian Grand Prix5.636
2015 Monaco Grand Prix5.627
2015 Austrian Grand Prix5.602
2015 Canadian Grand Prix5.545
2015 Japanese Grand Prix5.208
2015 Spanish Grand Prix5.154
2015 Australian Grand Prix4.754

2015 Japanese Grand Prix

Browse all 2015 Japanese Grand Prix articles

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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59 comments on “Second-best Singapore GP but lowest score for Suzuka”

  1. I am quite new to the site, and I want to just say a big thanks you for this site! Absolutely great! Great articles, statistics, analysis, fun (caption contest), games where you can win stuff, also the followers (level of discussion in the comment section is really high compared to most other motorsport sites). I am tempted to say that the best thing in F1 actually is this site ;)

    PS: The only thing I miss as an equivalent for MotoGP, but this is hardly your fault.

    1. thank you I mean. Maybe an edit button was nice too ;)

    2. I agree, especially on the MotoGP equivalent, no sites I’ve found come close really. Maybe a MotoGP Fanatic sister site would be a nice side-project ;-)

    3. @skylien You’re very welcome! Alas I must advise you not to hold your breath for Moto GP coverage (I’m a four-wheels guy) or an edit button (see here).

  2. Exactly my toughts @weeniebeenie and i am saying this as a ferrari fan.

    1. And mine’s @weeniebeenie and @matijaleader and I’m a ferrari supporter as well. As a race, Singapore was stale.

    2. I agree as well. I get the feeling people are automatically upvoting any race in which Mercedes don’t have a crushing advantage. The safety cars meant Ricciardo never really had a chance to challenge Seb.

  3. Is there somewhere we can see F1 Fanatic’s complete list of race ratings? I want to see readers’ all time favourites (and least favourites).

    1. This is definitely something I’ll be introducing in future. In the meantime here’s how the first 100 were rated:

  4. both Safety cars ruined the strategic intrigue in Singapore. Shame. could have been a fascinating race. especially if hamilton hadn’t retired.

  5. I honestly don’t know what fans want anymore with Suzuka getting such a low score because it was a way better race than a 5.

    There was close racing, There was extended battles, There was good racing & there was overtaking. 6-7 years ago that sort of race would have been rated with a 7-8 because it’s exactly the sort of racing people were asking for.

    I guess now the ADD generation aren’t happy unless there is constant DRS/Pirelli bubblegum tyre action with Nascar style passing/re-passing every corner. The ADD generation are no longer happy unless there is 100 boring DRS highway passes, a hundred pit stops because of cheese tyres & drivers been defenseless on said cheese tyres & been passed with ease.

    Just shows that the modern ADD fans are just as much a part of the problem as some of the problems F1 does have.

    1. BTW there were 35 on-track overtakes during the Japanese Gp according to ClipTheApex so all those who claimed it was a procession with no overtaking were clearly watching another race.

      1. How much did you score it?

        1. I would rate it somewhere around 7-8.

          As i said in my initial post it featured some good racing, some close racing, some good battles & a good level of overtaking (Including a non-drs moves into the chicane).

          it was for me an enjoyable race, It wasn’t amazing but it was far from been as awful/boring etc.. as people were claiming it was in the rate the race thread at the time. i enjoyed it, i enjoyed watching the close racing, the multiple lap battles for position & the good non-drs overtakes. i’d rather more races like this than the tyre/drs-fest’s we get all too often nowadays.

      2. @rogera, 5 is the correct score for an average race, should we expect most races to be worse than Suzuka or should we expect all races to be better than average ?

      3. @RogerA I don’t think you can blame fans for the product on the track, nor blanket them all as ADD needing all the exagerrated action you’ve described. I’ve been watching since Gilles caused F1 to be televised in Canada, and had to read library books about F1 prior to that. I try not to be bored during races, as I have always believed that anything can happen and often does. Rating it after the fact is a little different. But what I have struggled with in this current format is the taint of DRS passes that will never ever be notable nor memorable, and tires that restrict drivers from pushing themselves and their cars to their limits.

        I’d like to at least know about every race that the passes that did occur were from drivers’ skill during an apples to apples battle, on tires they can actually push with, not because they could open a wing, nor because their fellow combatant was simply on vastly different states of tires or some extreme level of conservation and unwilling to fight too much for fear of ruining his overall end game.

        The cars should be faster, the drivers more taxed than they are, and able to actually use their cars to the fullest in what is supposed to be a 2 hour sprint. That way even if a race in hindsight turns out to have not had a ton of action, which can also be addressed with less aero dependence, at least we are left with a race that nonetheless had some meat to it.

        1. One simple question for fear of upsetting the self appointed forum monitors…

          If these cars are so easy to drive. Why then does every driver get out of the car drenched in sweat?

          Could it be improvements to TV technology and cameras are making things look much ‘easier’ than it actually is?

          For example – I am sure some of us on this forum have raced things. I am equally sure they do not recall tracks like Silverstone being dead flat and easy as displayed on to but actually seriously bumpy and really tricky to navigate. That’s the smoothest one!

          Jeez – the must have instant gratification now crowd who’s only reference is a PlayStation run…

          Sad really.

    2. It’s quite obvious what fans want – for HAM to stop winning. Races where Ferrari did better have high ratings. Japan was disappointing because Ferrari’s performance did not follow them to Suzuka.

      1. And that is right how?

        Trouble is your right. But god forbid anyone steps up and competes as long as LH does not win.

        There was a time talent was appreciated….

    3. Where on earth are you getting the idea it’s young fans who downvote these races? To be honest I’ve noticed that most people complain about DRS on this site as well as the tyres.

    4. Yes it was way better than a 5. It was a 6. Some fans want to see Hamilton win everything, others want Ham to win the title but want a fight for it, some fans just don’t want to see Hamilton no more. Singapore was anti-climatic because of the sc periods and Suzuka was determined by the events of turn 1 and 2, which makes for 89 minutes of angry F1 watching, in many ways these past 2 races were compromised by poorly timed incidents.

    5. so why do you continue to watch it then if you feel this strongly about it? you must have more exiting things in your life no? so angry.

    6. Not knowing which team and driver was going to win the race with 95% certainty 1.5 years before it even happened would probably be a start.

  6. Afterwards I dutifully, and with far less anticipation, watched the F1.

    Wow… what a damning (and true) comment.

    1. It is a fair comment and highlights the real lure of a motor race ‘Who will win?’ Formula One is too damn predictable. When i switch on a MotoGP race i’m never quite sure what will happen and that makes it interesting.

      Take the last race F1 at Suzuka. I would say most fans could’ve given you the finishing order after lap 1 and there-in lies the problem. No amount of DRS passing will make that result more interesting; It is a formality.

  7. 2015 Chinese Grand Prix 5.721
    2015 Italian Grand Prix 5.636
    2015 Monaco Grand Prix 5.627
    2015 Austrian Grand Prix 5.602
    2015 Canadian Grand Prix 5.545
    2015 Japanese Grand Prix 5.208
    2015 Spanish Grand Prix 5.154
    2015 Australian Grand Prix 4.754

    All of them more or less equally boring.

    1. Well OK. Australia was definitely THE MOST boring.

      1. I always consider Australia as an outlier, because results there are mostly un-predictable, for example if you see 2014 ratings, they would be near the top.

      2. People used to love to hate Bahrain. Now, the “mis-rated” races are Australia and the new Sochi venue. Australia suffers or benefits from the weight of expectations. Generally, Australia tends to get poor ratings even if in retrospective the race is not that cringe worthy.

        1. No. It was plain boring.

        2. petebaldwin (@)
          5th October 2015, 21:32

          @peartree – Australia was just a huge let down because it confirmed that we were in for another season of Mercedes domination.

          1. @petebaldwin Yes, I agree, that’s exactly my point, and it’s not Australia’s fault, therefore it’s rating is generally negative.

    2. The average of these ratings is 5.406. Keith defines “Rate the race” as 1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’, so “average” should be (1+10)/2= 5.5 — the conclusion being that “all of them more or less equally boring” is very close to the average that fans expect. This reflects the fact that I at least have found this season to be generally the most boring since I started following F1 in 1950.

      The numbers can be seen differently: from 2008 to 2014 all “rates” have averaged out to 6.877 (from Keith’s summary 28th December 2014, 11:37) or about 1.4 above “mathematical average.” In other words, if a race doesn’t rate 7 or more we, the fans, are certainly not getting what we are looking for.

      1. You started watching F1 in 1950? I’m not calling you a liar or anything but that would have to make you 75 years old (10 years added since you obviously weren’t watching as a baby).

        1. It is perfectly possible to watch an old series from before you were born, I was born in the 80’s but thanks to my dad and a hidden cupboard under the eaves that turned out to be full of meticulously recorded older series (yes I was fully expecting porn) I have got to enjoy them all in the off weeks, and as long as you resist the call of wikipedia, you can enjoy them just as they were originally broadcast.

        2. Well, some people ARE 75 years old. We should all be so lucky.

        3. Wrong: I’m 76. My Dad drove me to Silverstone from where we lived in Buxton in his nearly new MG TC; my best memories are of the crowds — I’d never seen that many people before — seeing the King and Queen (at a distance), the smell of Castrol R, and my Dad’s disappointment that Reg Parnell didn’t beat the two Italian works drivers.

          But I appreciate your post. I looked up the registration number of my Dad’s TC, and found it beautifully restored by a member of the MG Car Club. Now trying to contact the owner through the Club. So many thanks for “not calling [me] a liar…”

          1. @paul-a It must be fascinating to have seen F1 develop over a lifetime, from post-war Grand Prix and Voiturette racing turning into F1, to the ultra-commercialised sport of today.

            I think a lot of people don’t realise that what seems like ‘ancient history’ to many today is still within the realms of some people’s memories – the cold war world seems like a totally different place to some one like me born in 1989.

            Yet if things had been slightly different, I’d also be driving a restored MGB, so it can depend on your perspective as to how much you’ll perceive this.

      2. @paul-a, Since when has the average F1 race been boring ? Any F1 race that is boring should be well below average.

        1. Maybe I was a bit obscure about the mathematics. What I wrote (but maybe a bit out of sync) was that the “boring races” averaged 5.4 compared with Keith’s “overall average” of 6.9 which confirms what you are saying.

          I guess the main point is that on a scale of 1 to 10, the “mathematical” average should be 5.5 (Q.E.D.) but on this forum we’re above that by 1.4 — which is perhaps normal because we’re fans. When I vote, I start at 5.5 and add good features and subtract bad ones, so normally vote between 3 and 7 (once 8! I can’t remember any “perfect” race.) YMMV.

  8. I will say this again, the Redbull days were comparitively better, with the field quite close in competition. Maybe its finally time to have a re-think on this “Green” formula.

    1. Does it really have anything to do with the ‘green’ness of it? Because not being able to follow another car closely is aerodynamics, not emissions. One team doing a better job at car design, or an engine manufacturer doing a better job than the rest, has little to do with being “green”. The Pirelli tyres are the opposite of green, while the fuel regulations and limited PU parts are the only thing remotely green about the sport. I don’t think the amount of engines would solve on-track action and fuel usage has limited effect.

      There’s a lot of things wrong with F1, but just bolting a 2004 V10 in these cars isn’t going to solve anything.

      1. @nick: My use of the word “green”, was directly taken from FIA statements, wherein they hammered us from 2010 onwards about these new regulations, which would show how eco friendly F1 was, at the same time being able to keep up with new technologies. I feel they hoped to achieve too much through these regulations.

      2. @npf1

        The Pirelli tyres are the opposite of green

        Nice catch. How couldn’t I see this myself up to now.

    2. @egorov The field had a 1.5 qualifying spread at SPA back in 08. This is the tightest F1 field. Racing was very difficult. The same old problem of “dirty air” is present. These days with the huge spread in performance actually works in favour of overtaking, with big gaps aero reliance is, as a side-effect minimized, especially if you use the Pirelli degradation spread and DRS aid in conjunction. Obviously the pressing issue is aero reliance, this is the effect that locks the grid in order, as it nullifies the other aspects of racing, such as strategy. One final note, dirty air also makes the parc-ferme rule ineffective, as teams all favour the same balance between qualifying and race set-up as you can’t overtake, if you can put a 1 sec on it.

  9. 2015 Chinese Grand Prix 5.721
    2015 Italian Grand Prix 5.636
    2015 Monaco Grand Prix 5.627
    2015 Austrian Grand Prix 5.602
    2015 Canadian Grand Prix 5.545
    2015 Japanese Grand Prix 5.208
    2015 Spanish Grand Prix 5.154
    2015 Australian Grand Prix 4.754

    Out with the old, in with the new, but sometimes you should not fix what wasn’t broken in the first place.

  10. I miss the 2005-2013 period. I plan on watching those seasons again.

    1. I’d say that F1 was at its peak from 2006 to 2010. We had 5 different champions in 5 consecutive seasons and no one really dominated. After that everything just went downhill.

    2. Me too. In fact, I started watching F1 in 2006 and like @kingshark said that was a fantastic period for the sport. I also consider the following two years as very good (especially my favourite 2012 season). I know some will complain about the tyres but they really spiced up the racing and were generally praised by people on this site as well as in the F1 paddock. The only stalk back then was DRS. I consider that Interlagos finale as the high point and from then on we have rapid descent.

      1. @michal2009b
        Same. I would say that F1 lost something after the incredible Brazil 2012 finale. After that, I was never as excited for any other race ever again. F1 rapidly descended in the very tedious second half of 2013, and the switch to the V6 era has not helped things at all.

    3. Championships were better then, the racing? Not so sure. I’d say a boring race in 2015 is pretty much the same as a boring race in 2007. Then again, even if the win didn’t mean much for the excitement of the race, it could mean a lot for the championship, which is the kind of ‘in-between races’ excitement I do feel lacks since halfway 2013..

      1. @npf1
        Although the racing wasn’t particularly great during this period of time, there was an enormous sense of anticipation and unpredictability before each race. A feeling that anything could happen. Nowadays the gaps between the cars are enormous, the pecking order is completely stale, and DRS arguably prevents surprise results (see Schumacher, Canada 2011).

      2. @npf1
        Back then there was a much higher probability of a mechanical failure which in turn would have had huge implications for the championship. That made races even like Valencia 08 or Spain 10 kinda interesting for me when watching for the first time. Also we should mention how much exciting these F1 cars behaved even back in 2013 and before. And the artificial DRS (which is now everywhere) as well as ‘drop back 2s’ Pirellis.

  11. @keithcollantine 2014 japan gp missing from the stats table

    1. @alfa145 Rate The Race was cancelled for that race, owing to the way it ended.

      1. oh man I totally forgot…my bad!
        I’m going to delete that comment in order not to embarass myself anymore than this

  12. I think either races were very boring.

  13. go back a few years & suzuka would have been rated 8-9 because there was a lot more close racing & a lot more overtaking than we used to get.

    i was watching the 2011 race a few days ago for instance & that was way, way worse than japan this year yet for some odd reason it gets a higher rating?

    1. I remember it being quite decent. The top 3 were 2s apart in that race. The celebratory mood for Vettel’s title win & Button’s race win may also have helped.

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