Posts Tagged ‘suzuka’

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: , , , ,

All your Suzuka are belong to us

February 20th, 2009 No comments

SuzukaLike a lot of F1 fans I was sorry to see Suzuka dropped from the Formula One calendar in 2007 in favour of Toyota’s Fuji Speedway.  With its unique figure 8 layout and demanding corners, Suzuka is one of the great circuits of the world.  It’s right up there with Spa as one of the fans’ and drivers’ favourite tracks.

Thankfully, the Japanese Grand Prix returns to Suzuka this year.  In a statement outlining its 2009 automobile motor sports activities Honda, who own Suzuka, said:

Full-scale renovation work will soon be completed.  As the opening event on April 12, the Circuit will be hosting the Start Suzuka Opening Thanks Day – F1 Kick-off Party. And after a break of two years, the Grand Prix of Japan, Round 15 of the Formula One World Championship, will be held, October 2-4.

“The Start Suzuka Opening Thanks Day – F1 Kick-off Party”.  What a great piece of Engrish!  It sounded like so much fun I went to the Suzuka website to see what I could find out.  There wasn’t anything there about the F1 Kick-Off Party but it sure made interesting reading.

In June 2006 Suzuka Circuitland Co. Ltd. merged with Twin Ring Motegi Co. Ltd to form Mobilityland Corporation.  According to the website:

Uniting the two enterprises of Suzuka Circuit, which has contributed to the spread of motorsports in Japan, and Twin Ring Motegi, which introduced to Japan the new mobility of American motorsports. By concentrating the power and know-how these two companies have accumulated, we hope to be a business providing joy, fun and excitement to the community through an ever richer mobility culture.

So it’s all about mobility, then.  Whatever that is.  Luckily the site has a definition:

People move because they have goals. Community begins when people move to another place and run into other people. Through these moves, they meet different kinds of people and learn about each other; it is there that new cultures and new values are born. We call such movement-related areas “mobility.” Pursue convenience, fun, and the value of mobility; have them take root in the lives of many people. This is what we call “mobility culture.” One of Mobilityland’s main missions is to promote a richer and safer mobility culture in society.

Right, well that clears that up, then.

I’ll leave you with a little old-skool Suzuka action and as you watch Ayrton Senna’s pole position lap of Suzuka in 1989 remember the Three Joys of the Basic Principles as described in the Mobilityland Philosophy:

  1. The Joy of Buying
  2. The Joy of Selling
  3. The Joy of Creating

Er.  Ok.

Categories: Circuits Tags: , , ,