Sebastian Vettel wins in Japan

Yesterday we said only Sebastian Vettel could stop Fernando Alonso from taking this year’s crown. After today’s race in Japan it looks like only ‘Nando can stop Seb from stealing the title and making it three in a row for the 25-year old German.

Alonso’s lead is now just four points but Red Bull have all the momentum. Did you hear how many times Vettel was told to slow down? Ferrari’s engineering team misfired when it first conceived the F2012, but somehow Alonso’s chops and lady luck kept it hidden until now. The luck turned today and the SuperSpaniard is now faced with trying to win the world title with the third or possibly fourth fastest car on the track. Hmmm.

Red Bull would appear to have the fastest, McLaren next up (though not today) and then you choose between Lotus, Sauber and Ferrari. The last two made the podium today, the Lotus didn’t, but in the hands of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean Lotus made all the news today and possibly decided the fate of the world championship.

Raikkonen tagged Fernando Alonso going into the first corner and the subsequent puncture, spin and retirement meant a loss of a possible, probable 18 points considering Massa’s second place from tenth on the grid. Romain Grosjean meanwhile did much the same on Mark Webber and got himself dubbed “a first lap nutcase” and – probably – the cold shoulder from the rest of the paddock.

We’ve been on RoGro’s side before; we’re not any longer. It doesn’t matter that Webber was out of position or not. The fact remains it’s part of the job to get the car back around to the start line in one piece and most of the other 23 can do it. Well maybe not Bruno Senna, who again made contact at the first corner. It was kind of scary when, later in the race, Bruno lined him up for a pass around the outside of 130R.

McLaren, who might have thought they were still in the title fight, could only manage fourth and fifth from eighth and ninth on the grid today. Apart from one move fresh out of the pits on Raikkonen, Lewis looked like he phoned it in. We’ve got a theory on that, but it’s a bit of a soap opera so we’ll come back to it. Patience, Sunday Afternooners. Button meanwhile, with an iffy gearbox, was closing down on Kamui Kobayashi for third place and, for once, we’re grateful he didn’t pull it off.

In fact, Kobayashi’s podium finish to the audible delight of the crowd was the best story of the day. We’re guessing Pirelli tyres are the reason we don’t see so much of the old Tokyo Drift King Kamui these days, but he’s still an adorable little bugger, so let’s hope today’s drive is enough to keep him in a seat next year.

Top Ten then; Seb’, Felipe Massa (on the podium for the first time in almost two seasons), Kamui, Jenson, Lewis, Kimi, Nico Hulkenberg (who monstered team-mate Paul Di Resta in their internecine battle for Ferrari’s attention), Pastor Maldonado (who’ll enjoy the stewards’ spotlight being focused on Grosjean and not him for once) and comeback kid Mark Webber.

And the Championship. Alonso 194, Vettel 190. Then some others.

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Unlucky Singor Alonso today, Grosjean is
in need of spacely awareness training.
Vettel drove well today, so did Massa
and JB.

But my Driver of the Day, was Kumai Koyasbai
great drive and deserved his poduim today

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Kamui was the driver of the day for sure. The fight with McLaren was the fight of his career. Give this guy another chance to drive again for Sauber or one of the top teams.

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I think Romain gets a little over excited at the start of each race, once he’s four or five laps in he’s as reliable as any other driver out there.. good drive by Sebastian and an astonishing performance by Mark but Filipe and Kamui for me were the stars of Suzuka. as regards the championship it’s almost certainly Seb’s or Fernando’s as Kimi would need multiple race wins of the remaining few, so too would Lewis. Good luck for the rest of the season and here’s hoping for a Michael win in Sao Paulo :D

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I’m hoping that Alonso and Vettel crash into each other, then Kimi wins.

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So did you see the laptimes and the gap between 1st and 2nd? 20sec.? That’s massive! Sauber managed some good times already this year, so it was in fact just a matter of time Kamui (who really drove wonderful) earns some, but this rebound of RBR? Before Singapore you couldn’t imagine they could beat Ferrari or McLaren! These two were just to fast on the straights and not slow enough in the corners, but then this! And especially Seb who was doing a magnificent job. Not only was he leading all the time, but done no mistakes! This was as perfect as it can be! Alonso could have had nitro-boost and be made of carbon-fiber himself, he could not have catch Sebastian “Velocity/Victorious/Vanq uish” Vettel. And even if he wouldn’t have been destroyed by this strange looking frenchman, there would have been Button, Kobayashi and Webber (hopefully) to overtake. And even if Massa done it (still can’t believe it) with a miracle and probably some cheating anywhere (just can’t believe Massa doing this…), it would be really hard for Alonso to get to the Podium… Especially when you compare Qualifying-Times… You see, Massa was always far behind Alonso there, but on this one he was just a little bit away and noone can tell me it was this strange lap he missed to score.

Greetings from winning-country *g*

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If schumi can be hounded out of a drive for two questionable incidents this season, then I have to totally agree with Johnny Herbert on the post-race show on Sky – Ro-Gro needs to just go. Good luck saved him from killing Alonso in Spa and has he learned? Compared to Kimi’s consummate spatial awareness when Hamilton overtook him out of the pits, no more excuses, no more chances.

Kamui had a cracking race and Massa – great drives both. Loved the Perez overtake, shame that he didn’t do so well the second time! Schumi should have taken a final season at Sauber, gutted he’s being ousted again.

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Ferrari needs to do something about their car’s performance and make it more speedy so Alonso could have a fighting chance to get as close as possible with the Red Bulls who have really improved in this race.

I’m sure it must be hard for Jenson and his girlfriend to knock Kamui out of his 3rd position..

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Who is Kumai Koyasbai? Sounds like an epic space alien. ALIEN POWAAAAAA!!!

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@CymroStig: excited, nice word for it. I have visions of a pup widdling all over the carpet. Very appropiate.
I read where Alonso blames Kimi for his dnf. How odd.
Muchos congratz to Kamui!

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This article is crazy….Alonso has been crashed out of two races and is leading by 4 points with the 5th car of the grid. Lady luck? more like incredible skills right? Top Gear is loosing quality at an alarming rate…

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Romain Grosjean – should start at the back of the grid – once he has learnt how drive perhaps he could be let loose again.

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Alonso is totally overrated. He still breathes air, because of his luck in the beginning of the season. — Schumi won 5Championships with Ferrari. Alonso still has nothing in hands. He lost against Hamilton at McLaren, only to show that sissiness crying and desertion doesn’t make faster. I feel sorry for the only Vettel challenger = Hamilton, but Mercedes will slow him down next year. In the end the best driver is the most successful, which is Vettel since a few years.

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