Start, Suzuka, 2018

Rate the race: 2018 Japanese Grand Prix

2018 Japanese Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Japanese Grand Prix.

RaceFans has held polls on every F1 race since 2008 to find out which fans thought of each round of the season.

Join in the latest poll and give your verdict on the race: 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest. Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

What were the best and worst moments of the race? What was the main thing you’ll remember about it? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix out of ten

  • 10 (1%)
  • 9 (5%)
  • 8 (24%)
  • 7 (38%)
  • 6 (19%)
  • 5 (6%)
  • 4 (1%)
  • 3 (2%)
  • 2 (0%)
  • 1 (2%)

Total Voters: 206

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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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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44 comments on “Rate the race: 2018 Japanese Grand Prix”

  1. Can’t watch Vettel anymore. Embarrassing

    1. Yes. He seemed so desparate on that move on Max. Looking back, most of his overtakes on any of Merc/RB drivers, have not been clean. Rest assured, Lewis is going to be the first 5 time Champion from the current generation.

      On a sidenote, that overtake on Grosjean by Vettel on the outside was nice.

      1. Yeah, it’s weird, on one hand Vettel is capable of some very good, clean overtakes. On the other, he’s capable of some pretty cackhanded ones too.

        That said, all drivers can be like that. Just seems Vettel is making a lot of them this year.

        1. Vettel does not do pressure very well

          1. Seb is folding like a cheap tent in the rain … an “excitable boy” …

  2. Not the best race ever, but not too bad either. A decent race overall.

    1. I think that for a Suzuka race, it was greatly above average @jerejj – while it is lovely to watch cars going fast here, the races tend to be rather boring. This year we got Vettel bungling along, we got solid mid field moves and off course Ricciardo moving up the field. And tyre blistering even gave us a bit of a fight for the second place. Not bad at all!

  3. 5. Crashttel strikes again. I have never called him Crashttel but he just cannot stay away from any incidents.

    3 straight weekends with crashes. I thought it was the correct move to replace Raikkonen with Leclerc. But they should have swapped Vettel with Leclerc.

  4. Pretty good, lots of overtakes all around and built-up tension (that Red Bull battle in the middle and Max catching up to Valtteri in the end). -1 points for Vettel’s farcical driving. Honestly!

    1. Just saw the damage on Max and Vettel’s cars, and I have to say both did really well to keep up that kind of pace after the incident. Admittedly, Max’s touch with Kimi was his own fault (although even Lewis seemed surprised at that during the cooldown), but Vettel decided he was a Formula E driver and just clean drove into Verstappen’s side. Disgraceful.

  5. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    7th October 2018, 7:53

    6/10. Decent race with some really nice overtakes in Spoon and the chicane. Shame that Vettel crashed. It was mostly his fault. Desperation kicked in at that moment big time. Championship’s over and it is well deserved for Lewis.

  6. That lunge from Vettel on Verstappen was appalling: badly conceived, hopelessly executed and utterly pointless.

    Congratulations to Hamilton and Mercedes for a superb professional job, and no doubt the championships.

  7. Not bad with a few good battles. Pity Vettel through away any challenge to the Mercs. Apart from that pretty good. An 8 from me.

  8. 6.

    Jesus, VET is a complete mess…..!!!!! He didn’t have the car to fight the Mercedes (HAM was kinda cruising), but 3rd seemed in reach.

    Deserved penalty for VER.

    If we follow the same weird logic of those who accused VET for the accident with VER in China, then VER is at fault for not giving him enough room. Common sense tho says it was VET’s fault 100%.

    BOT = best no.2 EVER! The amount of wins he offers HAM…… He’s absolutely no threat to HAM!

    1. He’s absolutely no threat to HAM!

      Haha. True that.

      1. I mean now it kinda makes me wonder what’s going on actually. Is he really that bad compared to HAM in the same machinery OR he’s been slowed down until HAM secures the champ. Whenever there’s another car fighting him, he somehow finds something to… fight. But, with HAM, BOT has like no answer lately, be it FPs, Quali, start of the race, the actual race etc etc. Coulthard had few races during the season where Hakkinen had no answer, same thing with Barrichello (vs Schumacher), Massa (vs Alonso) etc. He’s 29, almost 5 years younger than HAM, is an experienced driver now, so we should see his best performances, dominate HAM at least 1 out of 5 races.

        1. I mean now it kinda makes me wonder what’s going on actually. Is he really that bad compared to HAM in the same machinery OR he’s been slowed down until HAM secures the champ

          I mean it’s not like Mercedes have form in this area though right? Just look at 2016 where they engineered Rosbergs title win by holding Lewis back with repeated mechanical issues

  9. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    7th October 2018, 8:04

    Solid racing, full of incidents, an 8 for me(7.5 would be my ideal rating for this one). No battle in the top 4, but many battles in the rest of the grid.

  10. Yeah, that was better than I thought it would be after the first few laps; Vettel and Ferrari threw it away this weekend, Ferrari made hay to not give Kimi a great strategy (though perhaps he had too much damage from the Max hit already?); once again great midfield fights with good racing; and nice fight between Bottas and Verstappen near the end.

    1. Again…. Ferrari messed up RAI’s strategy?!?! Come on, man, just look at his lap times and then at RBR’s guys in the 1st stint. In the last few laps before pitting, RIC was catching RAI by even more than 1sec per lap! What does that has to do with the strategy?!

      1. Raikkonen had significant aero damage after Verstappen hit him.

  11. 8 out of 10
    Also unfair how certain drivers escape penalty just because they are driving for a certain team with “heritage”.

    1. He escaped any penalty because nothing bad happened to VER, the only loser being VET himself. Otherwise, be sure some kind of penalty was in store for VET, it happened already this season. The main idea is the racing, so they don’t give penalties just for the sake of the penalties if nothing bad happened in the end. So, get more impartial and stop this rant ’cause it’s really embarrasing now.

      1. I would say VER lost 2 seconds due to the collision, and missed second place by 1.3 seconds, so it did count for something.

  12. 7 for me. Even though there was a bit of passing most of it was by the top six passing the midfield. Still arguably the best race track of the series.

    1. I gave it a 7 as well. Would have given it a higher rating if there was a battle for the win, but as you mentioned, there were a ton of battles in the midfield from positions 7 to 14. Lots of strategy among the midfield teams and some great on track battles.

  13. 7/10

    Good start and some promising early laps. Kinda settled down in the middle, though still some decent midfield action at times. Perked up again with 10 laps or so to go. Settled down again with five to go, then perked up again with the last lap until Verstappen had that lockup.

    Don’t know if Verstappen could have had Bottas, but he’d have certainly tried.

    What was Vettel thinking though? Just made up four places, he had the speed to have taken Verstappen on the start/finish straight, but went for a dive at that spot and….well, we all saw it.

    Wonder if he’ll be more careful with his words in his post race interview. People questioned his intentions after Monza and his ‘I thought Hamilton would be the one to spin’ Imagine the reactions if he comes out with ‘I thought verstappen would spin’

    1. After the first few laps, and Ferrari effectively out of podiums, I was vying for Honda progress in the race. But the TR pistop timing ruined it I guess. To rub salt on their wounds, Sainz overtook Gasly on the last few laps. Honda has definitely progressed but still more work to do on race trim I guess. C4 commentators were talking about long term energy deployment in race trim still needed some work to be done.

      1. Yeah, I noted the talk of whether Honda were capable of maintaining the pace through a race. Hartley was never able to overcome that poor start and Gasly slowly, but surely dropped back

        I’d actually wondered that early in the season, the Torro Rosso’s were showing good single lap pace, but they never seemed to be as quick in the races. As you say, work stil to be done.

        1. Gasly was actually going at good pace in his first stint. But after that pit stop it started to go wrong. Hope Honda can put up a good show in Mexico and COTA. There are good long straights there.

  14. Somewhat okay, yeah.

  15. I’m glad it was Red Bull and Ferrari doing the overtaking because from how Bottas lost time in traffic that Mercedes is appalling in dirty air.

    Decent action for Suzuka thanks to out of position Ferraris, but bad news for the championship 7/10

  16. 7 for me.

    Was a nice surprise to see as many battles and incidents as we did in the first half of the race, given how narrow the track is. Just wishing it could’ve continued for longer!

  17. A good 7 out of 10…Vettel handed the championship to Lewis(if it was in doubt anyway)…a terrible lunge on Max….and amazingly no penalty for Sex either….a little inconsistent from the Stewards again (penalised Alonso after he was forced off the track etc ????)…Dan R did well from the back..plenty of good overtakes throughout….Well worth getting up early for

    1. No penalty for…..wait? What? Did I miss a really exciting bit?

      I’m going to assume you meant Seb? (At least I hope so :P ) I think the lack of penalty was that like Monza and unlike say Paul Ricard, the only one to spin and suffer damage was the instigator himself.

  18. Great midfield battle (or at least it looked that way) and a surprising amount of overtaking for Suzuka.

    However, these things did not make the race very exciting or memorable, at least not for me. Maybe I’m suffering from late-season fatigue, but this was mostly a race that I just watched through without that much interest.

  19. 7 for me

    Decent GP, too bad the stewards were micro managing again with time penalties.

    Max taking t to Bottas in a far worse damaged car was magnificent

  20. Just shows how much faster the top 3 teams are. VET spin puts him at the back then he easily scythes through the field.

    It would be amusing (and interesting) to see a race where the top 3 teams start at the back and have to battle their way through. That’ll show racing prowess! :-D

  21. I gave it 7 despite no upfront or WDC activity but the rest of the field fought it out well. Was entertaining I thought, great drive by Dan but have to hand it to Lewis.

  22. 7/10 The mid-field battles are the highlight of the race.

  23. 9/10 The track is the highlight of the race. Even a trundling Williams seems mighty around 130R. And this year the racing was pretty good too.

  24. 6/10.

    Quite an average race I thought. Some good overtakes and midfield battles but once Vettel made his poor attempt at overtaking Vers the excitement at the front was over really.

    This was far too easy for Mercedes which is disappointing at this stage of the season.

    Again the gulf between top 3 teams and the rest was brutally exposed.

  25. I gave it 7, and I see 38% voted that, it’s quite a lot.

    Even if I don’t really like mercedes’ behaviour in recent times, this race they weren’t unsportsmanlike like the previous one, there wasn’t much of a battle for the lead except verstappen pressuring bottas, vettel spinning vs verstappen, raikkonen and verstappen clashing, ricciardo and verstappen eventually jumping raikkonen in the pits, may seem like much but I don’t think it is.

    There were A LOT of overtakes in the midfield, as in midfield cars overtaking each other, plus obviously, ricciardo, raikkonen and vettel were recovering places, so that’s a lot of inevitable overtakes too.

  26. It was an okay race and I gave it a 6.25 rating.

    Hamilton and Mercedes were once again in dominant form so the winner was never in doubt the surprise of the weekend was the performance of Vettel and Ferrari, but given the mistakes they have been making lately perhaps it should not have been that much of a surprise.

    With the rain showers at the end of qualifying the question was which tyres to start Q3 on, as I understand it the teams all receive the same weather forecast now so unless a team had sent spotters to different parts of the circuit to report on the conditions they all had the same information.

    So it was a surprise when the only cars on inters was the two Ferraris, judging by Vettel’s radio even by the time he got to the end of the pit lane he thought it was a mistake, this put them on the back foot as they had to come in to change to slicks as soon as possible so were a lap behind everyone else and the pressure was on to set a lap before the rain arrived.

    The track conditions when the Ferrari’s set their hot laps in Q3 did not seem that bad, I wasn’t sure if it had started to rain or not, but they definitely could have been on the first few rows of the grid, as proven by Raikkonen going fourth fastest, however Vettel made a mistake on his lap and could only manage ninth, due to a penalty for Ocon this improved to eighth on the grid.

    Come the race Vettel made good progress early on but when he came up to Verstappen he made an overly optimistic move which resulted in him dropping down to the back of the field.

    I don’t think the Ferrari had enough of a pace advantage on the Red Bull to overtake at that corner and Verstappen is a hard racer so Vettel should have known he wouldn’t make it easy for him.

    If Vettel had shown some patience and better judgement he could probably have got past Verstappen later on, if not on track then through the pit stops when Verstappen was due to serve a time penalty.

    Vettel eventually managed to recover through the field up to sixth but the fact Ferrari did not switch Raikkonen and Vettel late on was effectively them throwing the towel in regarding the drivers’ championship.

    Those two extra points are highly unlikely to make any difference given the current situation, but while the title race is still not mathematically over, they should have made the move, you never know what could happen.

    I didn’t understand how Magnussen was not punished for his incident with Leclerc, we only say footage from Leclerc’s on-board camera but it looked a very late move, the only reason I can possibly think of is that because Magnussen suffered a puncture and dropped down to the back and eventually retired they thought he didn’t need to be punished further.

    All of the other decisions by the stewards I could understand even if I didn’t agree with them 100% but this one was surprising.

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