Vettel wins in Japan

Sebastian Vettel enjoyed a perfect day at Suzuka claiming pole position and then sweeping to his third win of the season.

Vettel now moves up to joint second in the drivers’ championship, 14 points behind his team-mate, Mark Webber, who was second in the sister Red Bull RB6 and who stays top in the drivers’ championship. It was also only Vettel’s second win from eight poles.

The race began rather chaotically and at the start Vitaly Petrov made contact with Nico Hulkenberg on the start-finish straight, while at the first corner

Felipe Massa lost it at turn one and collected the Force India of Vitantonio Liuzzi. The safety car was immediately deployed as marshals scrambled to clear up the debris. Both incidents are to be investigated by the stewards.

Meanwhile, with Lucas di Grassi having gone out on his way to the grid – when he went off at 130R – the field was five cars down before it had even really got underway.

It didn’t stop there and on lap 3, Robert Kubica, who had managed to split the Red Bulls off the start, had to retire after losing his right rear wheel.

On the re-start on lap 7, Vettel maintained his hold on top spot followed by Webber, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton and the rest of the pack.

Vettel then nursed a small 1-2 second lead over Webber until his pit stop on lap 25. Webber followed him in to change tyres one lap later and that gave Button P1.

The McLaren man had opted to start on the hard tyre – the only top-ten qualifier to do so. But his gamble didn’t really work out and when he finally stopped himself he rejoined in fifth.

That left Vettel and Webber to cruise home and both easily had the measure of their nearest challenger, winner of the last two races, Alonso. The Ferrari man eventually finished 2.7 seconds adrift.

Button moved up to fourth late on when with 13 laps to go his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton lost third gear. Hamilton eventually had to let the sister McLaren by on lap 43, powerless to resist. After his crash on Friday in first practice and then his five-place penalty for a gearbox change, it wasn’t a weekend he will look back on fondly.

Michael Schumacher inherited sixth, the German finally getting ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg four laps from the flag. Rosberg crashed out at the S curves when he had some sort of mechanical problem. He walked away unharmed.

Kamui Kobayashi took a fantastic seventh charging up the order after his pit stop on lap 39, which dropped him to 12th. The Japanese driver first went round the outside of Jaime Alguersuari at the hairpin. Despite banging wheels – after Alguersuari refused to yield, he pushed on and almost immediately found himself up to P10 when the engine on Adrian Sutil’s Force India let go.

Kobayashi then passed Rubens Barrichello and his Sauber team-mate Nick Heidfeld to collect another six points.

Heidfeld and Barrichello came in eighth and ninth followed by Sebastien Buemi, who took the final point in tenth.

Alguersuari had to settle for P11 after having to pit a result of his coming together with Kobayashi, while Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli were 12th and 13th for Lotus, the team’s fifth 1-2 finish of the season. Kovalainen’s 12th more significantly was also the Norfolk-based outfit’s best result of the year and all but guarantees the team victory in the battle with Virgin for the new teams honours.

Timo Glock came in 14th for Virgin, 2 laps down like Trulli and Bruno Senna who headed home the Hispania’s in 15th and 16th. Sakon Yamamoto took the chequered flag in front of his native fans, albeit 3 laps adrift. Rosberg was the last of the classified runners in 17th, despite crashing out late on.

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The Stig…What a stupid comment. For sure Lewis is a good driver and an amazing overtaker. But he isn’t THAT good. He made some errors in the last few races that a rookie would make.

Also, Fernando a cheat? Surely you can’t be dumb enough to disregard his epic driving to put himself back into the championship running? Can you?

If you are commenting on Hockenheim maybe you should know this, Felipe was asked no less than FOUR times that Fernando was faster him. Only the last message and the apology message were aired. It would have been nice to see Massa take the win on the anniversary of his accident but when the Driver’s Title is up for grabs and the team only have one realistic chance at claiming it sentiment should be left firmly at the door.

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Is there a moderator around? 12-year-olds getting out of hand here.

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nothing more to say… better luck next time, Hamilton, Alonso will win the title this year!!

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Lee McKenzi should be on camera more often, don’t mind if Jake take some more races off :)

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Jesus, some of the comments don’t make sence at all. Formula 1 looks like a dull procession for many people, than don’t watch it and go see some boxing. Identical cars? It’s not only a drivers championship but also a constructors, and the fact that they all, at least 3 teams, have more or less the same pace, showes how close to the physical limits these cars are built.further more, All of these drivers are champions, but some have got a little bit more nerve, talent, sponsors,luck,money.. that’s also a part of the sport.
To me, Suzuka can never be dull, even if ther’s no overtaking, just look at the track. How on earth can this be boring ? You don’t get it, do you?

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@MrP My thoughts exactly ,why are we watching the same 5 teams reap all of the plaudits when the rest of the teams put just as much effort into getting a car prepared plus a willing person to drive seems now that if you don’t have the financial muscle to buy the absolute best it’s just not worth entering into F1 these days.

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Vettel made a perfect drive to get this win. Hamilton surely is not the best driver on the grid, probably, the dirtiest yes, but no the best.

Alonso with his last wins got what he needed to make everyone believe he can and deserves to be champion.

Webber, he surely knows what he has to do to get this championship assured, and that is winning another race.

I congratulate both red bulls since they have stopped fighting and started driving.

Let the best one be champion, all of them deserve the chance.

Let the mathematics for the championship begin. if alonso wins the next one and vettel make second and webber third….

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Why is Vettel even being allowed to drive? The man has tried to kill Mark Webber on numerous occasions but despite this Red Bull still seem to favour Vettel. Why has he not been suspended? He deliberately tried to run Mark into the pit wall in Turkey and what was done about it….. NOTHING! The FIA seem to have turned a blind eye too! Any other sport this sort of behaviour would not have been tolerated.
I dont understand why everyone is ignoring it.
Vettel should not be driving.

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Not really a Red Bull fan, but now it seems Hamilton and Button are slipping to far behind I really want Webber to take it. He seems the kind of guy you could have a beer with. GO WEBBER!!!

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ive been watching a rerun of the episode where rubens beats the stig, why doesnt he ever win he seems like such a nice guy id love ta seee him win just one race, williams should just be better and he should win so is it writen so it shall be…

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Webber has been driving so consistently lately, if you do the math he only needs 3 second finishes to guarantee the championsip.

Please do remember that Hockenheim only gave Alonso 5 extra points, I know it may come down to that but it isn’t much… for now.

As for Vettel, does anybody remember Japan a few years ago, he ran up the back of Webber when they were third and fourth. Are their some sour grapes?

As for the McLarens, you cant survive on Button and Hamilton. Hamilton is the most overrated driver in F1. Button got the best car by a country mile in ’09 he doesn’t deserve McLaren. I agree strongly with Anonymous on Rubens.

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Well, at least it still makes more sense than a touringcar championship that regulates fairness by adding victoryweight to the winner’s car, like GT4 in Holland. If you win a race or two, you know you won’t win any more for a while. I’m happier with F1 where, if you build the best car and keep your head cool, you win just about every race. Not always exciting maybe, but at least it’s fair.

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It’s about time Robert is getting the attention he deserves. Anybody with an ounce of sense can see that he is a force to be reckoned with, but only with the right kind of machinery to match his unbelievable talent. The very same can be said for Kamui Kobayashi…Hang on. Imagine Kubica and Kobayashi driving for the same team. Ultimate driver line up. Hands down.

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Lee McKenzi did a great job !
Drivers all make mistakes, was expecting Hamitlton to be more mature, he reminded me of Senna but he is lacking his level of concentration nowadays, maybe a good manager would do, or getting rid of this stupid earrings. From my point of view Vettel, Kubi and Koba are the most talented out there now.

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Webber can make it to the title of world drivers champ. Great performance at Suzuka, but am worried about South Korea, especially with that huge straight after turn two. Webber commented in Alpha (AUS sports magazine) that Ferrari and McLaren will use it to their advantage with faster cars, but everyone is in the same boat being a new circut.

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Any light been shed on what happened to Luca DiGrassi yet? I’d love to get some onboard footage of his crash.

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Lack of concentration? Reminded me of Albers few years ago. Guess Sir Branson was not amused. Was expecting this team to be faster by now btw, bid sad. F1 doesn’t come cheap, hope they will be quicker next year.

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F1FAN…..Lewis is the best man out there! Even jenson was on record saying “lewis is the fastest driver he has ever raced against!” So what if he’s had a crash or two….he’s always pushing and ringing the neck out of his car at every race!

Massa was told four times he was slower than alonso was he….well if alonso was so quick he should have been able to overtake anyway…
What happens if alonso wins the chamionship by 4 points ahead of say webber? Will you think he deserved it then!

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F1 Rocks all the drivers are equally good some just have more confidence

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@ TGPOOL. Well, the drivers can’t ALL equally be as good as each other, otherwise there would be 24 drivers gunning for the title crown (joke). Anyway. Kubica, Alonso, Hamilton and Kobayashi and even Alguersuari just have that ‘X-Factor’ that seperates them from everybody else, that extra drive when under pressure that fires them up when others would fall. I am a fine of every driver on the grid, I know that sounds silly, but there are drivers who I favour more than others. I am a firm believer that Kovalainen is a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately we don’t get to see Chandok anymore (atleast behind the wheel of an F1 car). And I think Bruno has to improve soon (not because of his family line, but because I also think he has a lot to offer). But anyway, hats off to Vettel for another stunning drive, to Webber for sneaking in fastest lap at the end, Alonso for finishing on the podium, Lewis for nursing a sick car (luckily it was at Suzuka where third gear is only used 3-4 times per lap) and Nico and Michael for a good few exciting laps. I left out Jenson because he could’ve done better.

Roll on Yeongam, S.Korea.

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@the stig.

Yeah I think he would deserve the championship because THAT Hockenheim farce was a Ferrari descision and not down to just ONE man, just like with McLaren in Australia in 2009. Do you think Davey Ryan was 100% responsible for what happened?

The reason I say Fernando would deserve it is because of his mega driving with a car that is slower than the Red Bulls and yet he is consistantly the only driver able to keep into them.

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