Posts Tagged ‘japan’

Vettel keeps the dream alive

October 4th, 2009 No comments

Sebastian Vettel, Japan, 2009There was a chance both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships might have been decided at Suzuka.  Instead, after a dramatic qualifying session and a race dominated by Sebastian Vettel, we leave Japan with both titles still up for grabs.

Many expected Brawn GP to seal the Constructors’ Championship this weekend and they came very close to doing so.  While Red Bull are still in with a chance (mathematically), Brawn only need half a point to seal victory, something they are almost certain to do in Brazil.

The Drivers’ Championship is a lot less certain, though.

Sebastian Vettel was untouchable around the demanding Suzuka circuit, starting from pole position and leading from lights to flag.

What a race! We already had pole position and strategy-wise we were the favourites, but, you know – first of all you have to do the start! We were pretty confident that we could defend our position, as we’ve had good starts in the past, but it was closer than I thought it would be! Going into Turn 1, I suddenly saw a silver arrow on my left-hand side, but I had the inside line so it was my advantage. After that I put my head down and tried to push with every single lap.

Lewis Hamilton was on target to claim second until a problem with KERS saw him fall into the clutches of Toyota’s Jarno Trulli.

When we were behind the Safety Car, I asked the team if they could get the KERS working again so that I could shoot past Jarno but they couldn’t do it and I wasn’t close enough to get in his slipstream at the restart.

In a weekend marked by a string of shunts, rookie Jaime Alguersuari crashed spectacularly through a trackside sign to bring out the safety car on lap 43.  Rosberg pitted under the safety car and went on to finish 5th behind Kimi Raikkonen.

Barrichello and Button picked up the final two points-paying positions behind Nick Heidfeld.

Button now goes into Brazil 14 points ahead of Barrichello and 16 points ahead of Vettel.  In 2007 Kimi Raikkonen was 17 points behind Lewis Hamilton with two races to go and he ended up winning the Championship.

2009 Japanese Grand Prix Race Results

Pos Driver Team Grid Time Points
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1 28:20.443 10
2 Jarno Trulli Toyota 2 28:25.243 8
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 3 28:26.843 6
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 5 28:28.343 5
5 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 7 28:29.143 4
6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 4 28:29.943 3
7 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 6 28:31.043 2
8 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 10 28:31.843 1
9 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 9 28:32.143 0
10 Fernando Alonso Renault 16 28:33.443 0
11 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 11 28:34.143 0
12 Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari 14 28:34.943 0
13 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 8 28:35.343 0
14 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 18 28:36.143 0
15 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 15 28:38.343 0
16 Romain Grosjean Renault 17 lapped 0
17 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 19 lapped 0
RET Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 12 crash, 43 laps 0
RET Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 13 retired, 11 laps 0
RET Timo Glock Toyota 20 did not start, 0 laps 0

Image: Red Bull

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , , ,

Japan: Fuel adjusted qualifying times

October 3rd, 2009 No comments

Sebastian Vettel, Japan, 2009The FIA now publishes the weights of each car after qualifying on Saturday. Those cars that make it through to the final qualifying session must use the fuel they qualified with while the rest of the field may refuel before the race.

Below is a graph showing the actual top ten qualifying times as well as those times adjusted for the weight of fuel each car is carrying. The graph assumes a standard lap time cost of 0.3 seconds per 10kg of fuel.

From these weights we can see that Adrian Sutil is running a little lighter than the other top 10 qualifiers and will have to make sure he has a good start to keep in front of Barrichello.

Everyone else seems to be roughly in position but Vettel’s blistering pace is clearly evident.  Jarno Trulli may be starting on the front row of the grid but unless Vettel makes a mistake it is unlikely Toyota will score their first win on Sunday.

2009 Japanese GP Q3 (weight-adjusted)

2009 Japanese Grand Prix Car Weights

Image: Red Bull

Categories: 2009 Season Tags: , , , ,

Prediction game: Round 15 – Japan

October 1st, 2009 8 comments

jarno Trulli, Japan, 2006This weekend Formula One returns to Suzuka for the first time since 2006.

One of the great circuits of the world, the unique figure-8 track is up there with Spa in the affections of both drivers and fans.

Lewis Hamilton dominated the high downforce Singapore Grand Prix last weekend but McLaren are unlikely to do as well at the higher speed Suzuka circuit.

This weekend will be Lewis Hamilton’s first experience of Suzuka.  He won at Fuji in 2007 but so far has only experienced Suzuka virtually:

It feels like I’ve been waiting my whole life to race at Suzuka – so, as you can imagine, I’ll be really excited when practice starts there on Friday morning. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve raced Suzuka on computer games – and while it kind of gives you an idea of how the circuit goes, nothing can beat the real thing.

Despite not having won a race since Turkey in June, Jenson Button still enjoys a 15 point lead over his nearest rival, team mate Rubens Barrichello.  There are now only three races left and in theory Button could seal the title in Japan but in the press conference on Thursday Jenson said he was only thinking of the race:

There are so many possibilities this weekend. There are still three people who can still challenge for the championship. I am one of them, and the most important thing for me to do is work as hard as I can on Friday and Saturday to get the car ready for qualifying and the race and have a good race, the same as all of these guys. I shouldn’t be thinking about anything else.

One possibility this weekend is rain.  So far it looks like it will be wet on Friday and Saturday but probably dry for the race.

To make your predictions in round 15 of the F1 Buzz prediction game (and be in with a chance to win some nice prizes), just leave a comment on this post with your driver predictions for the race in the following format:

Fastest lap:

Remember, the deadline for entries is start of qualifying on Saturday, that’s 05:00 GMT.

Good luck!

Image:  Toyota

Categories: Prediction Game Tags: