Vettel clinches top spot for Japanese GP

So then there were two? If anyone else other than Sebastian Vettel is now set to challenge Fernando Alonso for the title it will take something quite exceptional to happen tomorrow. Then again, this is the season for all things exceptional.

After some kerfuffle with the stewards and a ‘self-explanatory’ ticking off nobody can quite explain, Seb will start on pole for tomorrow morning’s Japanese Grand Prix. Frankly the way the Red Bull RB8 and the Red Bull team worked today (Mark Webber starts alongside), it’s hard to imagine they won’t finish that way, though we don’t expect Webber to make it easy.

Jenson Button — who so clearly loves Suzuka and Japan — would love to take the fight to the Red Bulls, but a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change (the team found the same problem in JB’s box that knocked Lewis out in Singapore) means his third place in Q3 doesn’t count for much. He starts eighth. Lewis Hamilton meanwhile starts ninth and looked oddly un-committed, or was that just us looking for something that wasn’t there?

Keeping the McLarens from the Red Bulls will be a fired-up Kamui Kobayashi, Romain Grosjean (yeah, keep an eye on that on lap one), Perez, Alonso and Raikkonen, all of whom have plenty to fight for. It won’t be easy for those McLarens to make up for too many lost points tomorrow.

The question is, where will Fernando finish? We’re thinking a podium is out of reach so Vettel should be able to narrow the lead to significantly less than one race win. The lead is 29 points right now, it’s 25 for a win remember, then 18, 15, 12, 10, and 8 for sixth; ‘Nando won’t be outside the top six.

We’ve watched both Sky and the BBC’s interviews with Lewis this morning and frankly we’re not buying the ‘Doing a Rossi’ angle. Neither Mercedes made Q3 again this morning although Michael Schumacher once again out-qualified Nico Rosberg.

They just don’t look like a team that know how to make the car go faster. Ducati have been stuck in a similar groove in MotoGP and Vale’ rapidly lost the taste for not winning. We don’t think it’s about money either, mind you. We’ll be back here tomorrow morning with what the Sunday Afternoon Club does make of the affair, but we won’t post anything on the race until after the BBC’s coverage is over, so don’t fear any spoilers on TopGear.com.

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Whitmarsh “we do not tolerate disloyalty in this organization, see that suitable retribution occurs” whilst stroking a white cat……

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with only 96 starts and 34 poles, Vettel has established himself as the best qualifier in F1 history and 3rd on the all time pole list. He is the one lap wonder and the most measured driver on the grid.

This season has no been easy on him with several DNF/ Mechanical issues. The car has not been the best, and its not been suitable to Vettels likes, Webber was more comfortable with the carVettel said he felt comfortable in the car. With all these challenges, Vettel is still 2nd in points, even when McLaren has had the most dominant car this season thus far.

Vettel will go on to breaking records and one day will be the most decorated driver in F1 history if he decides to have a long F1 career., Amazing!

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it is a shame for alonso as he could have got a better quali lap if it wasnt for that yellow flag. should be an interesting race 2morrow

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Only 3 times thus far has Vetttel said he was comfortable in the car this 2012 car. While according the McLaren boys, the car has been fantastic from the begnning of the season. ä dream to drive”according to Lewis on more than a handful of occasions..

wonder why Lewis is not leading the champonship .. why is Vettel ahead of him?
why is Vettel even close when the McLaren has been the best car from the season opener…….

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I hope Seb wins

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“After some kerfuffle with the stewards and a ‘self-explanatory’ ticking off nobody can quite explain”
What is that supposed to mean? Alonso just can’t take it anymore to see himself behind Vettel and keeps complaining about anything.

Vettel deserves to win this championship, hadn’t it been for the technical difficulties he would be leading by far.

Go Seb!

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i do it for a reason … enjoy the race

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btw ive been away for a few months now, busy traveling doing business and enjoying life, how is it you noticed me here every race? there must be another f1 fan running around.

enjoy the race and enjoy f1, because i am.

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None of us know how good Vettel really is, he has been in the best car for the past few years and hasn’t had a top notch team mate to provide an adequate reference point…

If Red Bull continue to produce great cars and employ lack lustre teammates then yes Vettel will be highly decorated but he’ll be rather like Schumacher and still not considered the best driver there has ever been

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Only 3 times thus far has Vetttel said he was comfortable in the car this 2012 car. While according the McLaren boys, the car has been fantastic from the begnning of the season. ä dream to drive”according to Lewis on more than a handful of occasions..

wonder why Lewis is not leading the champonship .. why is Vettel ahead of him?
why is Vettel even close when the McLaren has been the best car from the season opener…….’

Poor pitstops in Bahrain, underfuelling car in Spain (first to 24th), taken out in Belgium, gearbox problem in Singapore. He qualified more than half a second ahead of Maldo in Spain and Singapore was looking pretty easy for the team (lower tyre deg levels than Vettel). So that’s possibly 60+ points dropped (third to 8th in Bahrain = 11, probable win was 8th in Spain = 21, possible 8th in Belgium = 4, probable win in Singapore = 25).

‘wonder why Lewis is not leading the champonship .. why is Vettel ahead of him?
why is Vettel even close when the McLaren has been the best car from the season opener…….’

Why is Alonso still leading despite having the worst of the front running cars? He’s had 2 DNF’s which would have easily given him a much greater lead.

I like how you think it’s all Hamilton’s fault that he’s not winning the championship. It’s a massive team failure this season (reliability, pit-stops, driver errors). That’s why they won’t win the championship. That’s why Alonso is in the lead atm, because even though his car has been pretty bad he’s consistent and Ferrari have made very few mistakes this year.

Also, you’re such a bad troll. You know how I know? ‘with only 96 starts and 34 poles, Vettel has established himself as the best qualifier in F1 history’.

With that statement ^ you show that you know very little about the sport.

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Have to disagree on the last point.

Vettel is really good. Logically the winner of the race is the driver who feels most comfortable with the car. I do not recall a driver who won a race then commenting that the car was a bastard to drive. Right now Vettel has been doing rather well in the past 3 seasons because he has had a car he is very comfortable in. Thats the name of the game.

Webber is a capable driver, unfortunately he only races in every one of four races. Which does fall into Vettels favour.

Alonso is the best all round driver but he also has team orders to help him out, unlike Hamilton or Vettel. All of these 3 are currently the best outstanding drivers given the correct conditions.

Alonso likes to win races even if his team mate moves over for him. Hamilton loves being a superstar which has prevented him from being as good as he should be. Vettel wants the records which is why he goes for Poles, Wins and fastest laps.

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Now if only Vettel could get his hands on a better hairdresser. Look a the woman in a FWD convertible.

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i refuse to get in a fight with you i know nothing about the sport according to you so why even bother right?

great racing .. vettel did awesome but he had a great setup this race so did kamui massa and button … what a result for japan whever i pop back in

see you guys whenver i pop back in .. i love the excuses they come up with for hamilton.. it fuels my fire

dont forget vettels record wth toro ross .. that was a great car there with a great team and yeah his drie in that bmw .. best car on the grid :)

lewis fans enjoy seeing him get the floor mopped by vettel.. because thats the future of lewis career and he knows it

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Vettel had 2 DNF and 1 race 0 points with mechanical issues, still came 11th.
Alanso 2 races with 0 points, 94 points total.
Vettel 3 races with 0 points, 90 points total.

Alanso does not have the worst car of the front runners, as a matter of fact, it has out performed the RedBulls car for 2/3 of this Season thus far, only in the last few races have we seen a surge from RedBull. The car has not been as Balanced but if you were not so biased you might had picked up on that.

People have bad memories and retain only what they want to, selective memory. Ferrari has a great team and Alanso is a stellar driver. Do what i do, record the races and replay them so you can have clarity.

I love it how Lewis fans seem to take the same approach that Lewis takes about him.. blame the team and everyone else and by no means do you take responsibility for yourself. Take the blame maybe once in a while for PR reasons but blame the other driver, car and the team when necessary. Its never Lewis fault is?

Lewis fans seem to think for some reason that he is the best driver on the grid, mind you he is one of the top driver but he has yet to prove himself. He has had a good car, best car this season, fastest pits .. last season he went bonsai – crash bandit … how is he so amazing but has yet o prove anything? He sure is aggressive and yeah he can pass. He will be the best passer he will stick his nose in there and go for the pass knowing that the other driver will yield, if the other driver does not there is going to be a collision. He is a great passer and aggressive … but great?

I dont know anything about F1 anyway

I dont know why i bother but its quite fun. I will pop in from time to time, enjoy life.

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Well done Vettel.

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I agree, Hammy is he best passer but not the best driver. Seb is a better driver but not as good as passer.

Seb found comfort in his car and when he does, he is the best on the grid.
Kamui is the driver of the day… WELL DONE KK!!!!!!
Massa is doing his job well despite all the adversity he faces.
Webber had a stellar recovery, you are a good driver, keep it up.
Button did a good job.
schumi is too old for this, time to give up bro.
Kimi is scoring points but not enough
Hammy is unlucky but imo always with excuses and blame to throw around.

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‘dont forget vettels record wth toro ross .. that was a great car there with a great team and yeah his drie in that bmw .. best car on the grid’

Haha. Giancarlo Fisichella won in a Jordan in 2003. Does that make him an amazing driver? In case you didn’t know they came second to last in 2003 so that’s like winning in a Marussia.

‘Alanso does not have the worst car of the front runners, as a matter of fact, it has out performed the RedBulls car for 2/3 of this Season thus far, only in the last few races have we seen a surge from RedBull. The car has not been as Balanced but if you were not so biased you might had picked up on that.’

We haven’t been watching the same season. Ferrari were worse than RBR in:
Aus
China
Bahrain
Monaco
Canada
Europe
GB
Hungary
Italy
Singapore
Japan

So out of 15 races that was… 11 times RBR have had a better car than Ferrari.

‘People have bad memories and retain only what they want to, selective memory. Ferrari has a great team and Alanso is a stellar driver. Do what i do, record the races and replay them so you can have clarity. ‘

They do and you’re one of them judging by your memory of car performance.

‘I love it how Lewis fans seem to take the same approach that Lewis takes about him.. blame the team and everyone else and by no means do you take responsibility for yourself. Take the blame maybe once in a while for PR reasons but blame the other driver, car and the team when necessary. Its never Lewis fault is?’

Oh dear.

‘Lewis fans seem to think for some reason that he is the best driver on the grid, mind you he is one of the top driver but he has yet to prove himself. He has had a good car, best car this season, fastest pits .. last season he went bonsai – crash bandit … how is he so amazing but has yet o prove anything? He sure is aggressive and yeah he can pass. He will be the best passer he will stick his nose in there and go for the pass knowing that the other driver will yield, if the other driver does not there is going to be a collision. He is a great passer and aggressive … but great? ‘

He came second in his first season in F1 and won the season after. Fast pitstops are nothing without consistency. How many times has there been a problem with them this year? He could be great. COULD be.

‘I dont know anything about F1 anyway’

The first step is admitting it! You’re on your way there.

‘I dont know why i bother but its quite fun. I will pop in from time to time, enjoy life.’

Cool see you around.

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Well done Seb. As he said the car was amazing,, great setup. Well done Massa and Kamui! Good results for Ham although lucky with incidents. Kimi, Hulk, Pastor, Web, Ric too.

Grosjean man. I don’t know what to think anymore.

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he came 2nd and won the next season with the best car on the grid .. his closest comp was massa and kimi with kimi loosing interest, fighting to stay ahead of massa … no competition really.. no now that lewis has competition we hear the excuse .. typical

öh dear”
yep thats right … am i not correct?

as i said he has proven nothing .. guy has best car this season period

now you know you are blowing smoke w that comment about fernandos car not being better than vettels for most of this season .. one example .. canada .. almost the entire race vettel chases alanso and was not quick enough, vettel pits for fresh tires, alanso stayed out … that was the difference

i could disprove more of your claims but i have a flight to get to, wont be around much b/c of business but ill be back.

btw .. good job kobay, button, massa, webber, hulken maldona

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‘as i said he has proven nothing .. guy has best car this season period ‘

No shi* sherlock. Where have I said he hasn’t had the best car?

‘i could disprove more of your claims but i have a flight to get to, wont be around much b/c of business but ill be back.’

Do so please.

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