Button wins race as Vettel claims title

Jenson Button scored his third victory of the season in Suzuka, fending off the late challenge from Fernando Alonso and ahead of the new world champion Sebastian Vettel.

After being squeezed on the run-down to Turn One from pole sitter Vettel, the McLaren driver had the superior pace to beat the Red Bull to win in Suzuka, while only a third place finish was enough for Vettel to win this season’s world championship. An impressive achievement following his remarkable season.

Vettel clearly would have preferred to clinch his second consecutive title with a win – underlining his determination by very firmly defending his lead against the fast-starting Button off the line.

The McLaren driver was not pleased to being nudged close to the grass and Button enquired over the radio to race control whether Vettel ought to get a penalty. The incident was investigated, but no action was taken.

As Button lost momentum, his team-mate Lewis Hamilton swept around the outside of him into second position, where he would stay until signs of a right-rear puncture forced him to slow abruptly and make a slightly early pit-stop at the end of lap seven. This would drop Hamilton to fourth once the first stops were completed, behind Alonso – who had passed his Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa into the first corner early on.

Button was keeping his Pirellis in better shape than Vettel, and closed right in on the Red Bull at the end of the stint. Vettel pitted a lap earlier and stayed ahead in the first stops – but not in the second stops on laps 19 and 20, where Button’s superb in-lap pace and a great McLaren pit-stop got him out in the lead.

The safety car came out shortly afterwards to clear some debris, following a clash of carbon fibre involving Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton at the chicane. The pair was fighting for fourth and yet again the incident was being investigated. But in the end, no action was taken.

With the pack bunched up behind the safety car, Vettel found himself back in traffic when he made an early third stop to switch to the Prime tyres on lap 33.

Button ran three laps longer and extended his lead, with Alonso staying out a further lap still and emerging just ahead of the frustrated Vettel.

The soon-to-be-champion was all over Alonso, but Red Bull Racing told Vettel not to take any risks. Alonso then shot off after leader Button, closing to within a second before the McLaren raised its pace in response, setting the race’s fastest lap in the process.

Mark Webber jumped Massa and Hamilton with an early second pit-stop and secured fourth, while having lost out to Massa in the same pit sequence just after their clash, Hamilton overtook the Ferrari again into the first corner on lap 37.

Michael Schumacher took sixth for Mercedes, staying out very late before his third and final pit-stop and therefore leading a Grand Prix for the first time in his Formula One comeback. That strategy also allowed the seven-time world champion to beat his ex-Ferrari team-mate Massa to sixth.

The two-stop strategies worked effectively for Sauber’s Sergio Perez – who even set the fastest lap, only to beaten by Button – and Renault’s Vitaly Petrov as they took eighth and ninth. Nico Rosberg charged from the back row to take the final point for Mercedes.

Home hero Kamui Kobayashi’s hopes of a great race were ruined by a poor start that left him in traffic. He could only finish P13 for Sauber, behind the two Force Indias.

Bruno Senna also lost out on the opening lap, getting away slightly slowly, and then running wide. That and a slow first pit-stop left his Renault only in P16.

The only retirement in the Japanese Grand Prix was Sebastien Buemi, whose Toro Rosso left its first pit-stop with its right-front wheel dangling off.

So a fantastic result for Sebastian Vettel. The youngest back-to-back winner. To take the championship in Japan with four races left is a tremendous achievement. His next challenge is to win the constructors’ title for the team.

Japanese Grand Prix race result, Suzuka, 53 laps:

1.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           1h30:53.427
2.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +1.160
3.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +2.006
4.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +8.071
5.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +24.268
6.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +27.120
7.  Massa         Ferrari                    +28.240
8.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +39.377
9.  Petrov        Renault                    +42.607
10.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +44.322
11.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +54.447
12.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +1:02.326
13.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +1:03.705
14.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1:04.194
15.  Maldonado     Williams-Cosworth          +1:06.623
16.  Senna         Renault                    +1:12.628
17.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +1:14.191
18.  Kovalainen    Lotus-Renault              +1:27.824
19.  Trulli        Lotus-Renault              +1:36.140
20.  Glock         Virgin-Cosworth            +2 laps
21.  D’Ambrosio    Virgin-Cosworth            +2 laps
22.  Ricciardo     HRT-Cosworth               +2 laps
23.  Liuzzi        HRT-Cosworth               +2 laps

Fastest lap: Button, 1:36.568

Not classified/retirements:
Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari           35 laps

World Championship standings, round 15:

1.  Vettel       324
2.  Button       210
3.  Alonso       202
4.  Webber       194
5.  Hamilton     178
6.  Massa         90
7.  Rosberg       63
8.  Schumacher    60
9.  Petrov        36
10.  Heidfeld      34
11.  Sutil         28
12.  Kobayashi     27
13.  Di Resta      20
14.  Alguersuari   16
15.  Buemi         13
16.  Perez         13
17.  Barrichello    4
18.  Senna          2
19.  Maldonado      1

1.  Red Bull-Renault          518
2.  McLaren-Mercedes          388
3.  Ferrari                   292
4.  Mercedes                  123
5.  Renault                    72
6.  Force India-Mercedes       48
7.  Sauber-Ferrari             40
8.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         29
9.  Williams-Cosworth           5

Next race: Korean Grand Prix, Yeongam. October 14-16.

11 thoughts to “Button wins race as Vettel claims title”

  1. Sebastian Vettel has won the 2011 Formula 1 world drivers’ championship after finishing third behind Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso in the Japanese Grand Prix.

    The Red Bull Racing driver needed just one point in Suzuka to guarantee himself the crown, and achieve the landmark of becoming the youngest double world champion in F1 history.

    Unable to fend off the quicker McLaren of Button at Suzuka, Vettel eventually settled for third as he decided to take no risks in his late-race fight with Alonso.

    Button was the only man who could have stopped Vettel taking the world championship, but to achieve that feat he needed to win all of the remaining five races of the campaign with his German rival not finishing in the points.

    Speaking before the race, Button paid tribute to Vettel’s achievements this year – and said that even though Red Bull Racing’s car had been dominant, the driver had still played a vital role in the outcome of the battle.

    “He has really proven himself this year,” said Button. “I think last year he had some great drives but he was pretty inconsistent and had more incidents than I expected him to have, considering he won the world championship.

    “But this year, he has been exceptional this year. He is doing a great job, and you don’t win a championship without a great car. But he is doing what is asked of him from the team.

    “He is driving very well. I haven’t really spent that much time racing wheel-to-wheel this year, and I don’t think many people have. The only real time was in Hungary, maybe once or twice before, but this year he seems a lot calmer.

    “My memory goes back to Spa last year when we had our little incident. But since then he has been driving very well and, to finish every race on the podium except for one, is very impressive. You cannot do it without a great car, but he has done exactly the job he was asked to do.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  2. Taking his second consecutive championship in an impressive achievement and Sebastian Vettel was quite emotional after the race. He was thankful for the team in winning this season’s title. Autosport.com has the story.

    An emotional Sebastian Vettel was thankful to the Red Bull Racing team after securing his second title at the Japanese Grand Prix.

    The German became Formula 1’s youngest double champion on Sunday after finishing in third place behind Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

    Vettel, 24, secured the title with four races to go after a sensational season in which he has scored 12 poles and eight victories.

    The German admitted it was hard to find the right words after clinching the title, but was very grateful to Red Bull for its work during the year.

    “It is difficult to know where to start,” said Vettel, who became F1’s youngest champion last year. “Obviously it is such a long year and we had a fantastic year, and the best thing is it is not over yet.

    “A strong result again today to win the championship here, it’s fantastic. There are so many things you want to say in this moment but it’s hard to remember all of them, so I am just so thankful to everyone in the team.

    “We have so many people here at the track and at Milton Keynes, day in and day out, not only Friday, but also Saturday and Sunday and Monday to Friday, every day pushing hard, fighting hard for points and fighting for the championship.

    “We find ourselves in a very strong position and it is great to achieve the goal we set ourselves already now.”

    He added: “There are so many people. It is hard to name them all, but one person that really stands out this year is the person I spend most of my time with, he is my trainer Tommy Parmakoski, and regards to his family in Finland. They have a great son with a great heart. He was the first one who stopped me from thinking about things not in our control.”

    Vettel admitted winning back-to-back titles was a very hard thing to achieve, even with last year’s experience.

    “The hardest thing is winning after winning last year,” he said. “We won the championship, it was so close and we were so excited, even knowing how to do it doesn’t allow you to forget all these steps. I could not have done this all alone. It is as confusing as the first one I must say. It is hard to find the right words.”

    Vettel started from pole position but was unable to keep Button and Alonso at bay as he had a hard time with the softer tyres.

    “Today’s race was not so easy. We were not that quick on soft tyres as we hoped to be. It was difficult as we lost two positions, and it was difficult to get past Fernando. I got my move of the year in Monza and obviously he is not letting me through this way twice.”

  3. Taking his third victory of the season, Jenson Button has commented that the result in Suzuka shows there is nothing to choose between top teams. Autosport.com has the details.

    Suzuka winner Jenson Button says the Japanese Grand Prix result shows that Formula 1 is in for a highly competitive end to the season, despite Sebastian Vettel clinching the world championship today.

    Button’s victorious McLaren finished just 1.1 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso at Suzuka, with Vettel’s Red Bull a further 0.8s behind.

    “It gives us as a team a lot of motivation,” said Button. “It is good to see three different cars within three seconds, it shows how competitive F1 is at the moment.”

    The result was Button’s first win for McLaren in a totally dry race, and his third of the season. He praised the improvements the team has made recently.

    “I need to say a big thanks to the team for the improvements we had over the last few races and today they were impeccable, congratulations to them,” said Button.

    He also took time to congratulate Vettel on his second world championship.

    “I think it should be Seb who we talk about because this guy has done a good job this year,” Button said. “However hard we tried we have not been able to touch him all year, so congratulations.”

    Button added that he was particularly pleased to win in Japan given what the country had suffered this year after the earthquake and tsunami in March.

    “This circuit is very special to all of us,” he said. “We love this place so to get a victory here in front of such an amazing Japanese crowd really does mean a lot, and we put a good show on for the fans.

    “The fans are so supportive, we tried to do a bit to help them and plant a little memory in their minds.”

  4. After finishing a close second to race winner Jenson Button, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso has described this result as a huge boost for the team. Autosport.com has the story.

    Fernando Alonso described Ferrari’s performance in the Japanese Grand Prix as a huge motivation for the team.

    Alonso finished second, charging onto winner Jenson Button’s tail in the closing laps, and giving Ferrari its best result since he was runner-up to Lewis Hamilton at the Nurburgring in July.

    “It was a fun race, at the start we did not overtake any cars, then there was a lot of tyre degradation,” said Alonso.

    “We had the pace today to fight with McLaren and Red Bull Racing.

    “It’s fantastic podium, it is a good thing for the team after difficult races where we were not so competitive. This podium means a lot to the team and is a big motivation for the team.”

    Alonso qualified only fifth, before passing team-mate Felipe Massa early on. He then jumped Hamilton in the first pitstops and new champion Sebastian Vettel at the final stops, before chasing after Button.

    The result keeps Alonso third in the drivers’ championship, eight points behind Button and eight ahead of Mark Webber.

  5. Michael Schumacher says he is proud of Sebastian Vettel’s achievements after securing his second title in a row.

    The Red Bull driver became Formula 1’s youngest ever double champion after finishing in third place at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.

    Mercedes driver Schumacher said he was very happy for his compatriot.

    “I would like to congratulate Sebastian and his team who have been exceptional the whole year,” said Schumacher, a seven-time champion.

    “It is extremely emotional to see him win the championship again – I am very happy for him and even a little bit proud.”

    Team boss Ross Brawn added: “Congratulations to Sebastian and Red Bull Racing on his second world championship – he has driven impeccably all year, and together they have set the standards we must now aim for and exceed.”

    Schumacher finished the Suzuka race in sixth position, and admitted he was pleased with the result, as he felt it was the maximum he could have achieved.

    “I’m very happy with what we achieved in Suzuka today as we maximised our potential of the car, and managed to put in a good race,” said Schumacher. “The team did a great job the whole weekend in finding performance and transforming it into the race. I think there was not more to expect and achieve.

    “The pitstops were perfectly timed and everything worked out according to plan.

    Team-mate Nico Rosberg was also happy with his race after finishing in tenth, having started from the back because of his problems during qualifying.

    “I’m pleased to score a point today and had fun out there with a few nice overtaking manoeuvres,” he said. “This is definitely one of the toughest tracks for overtaking so starting from the back of the grid meant that I had a pretty tough job.

    “Before the race, I hoped to achieve between eighth and 10th places and, whilst it would have been nice to be a bit higher, it’s still a decent result.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  6. Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi has said that his anti-stall system issue caused him a difficult race in front on the home crowd. Autosport.com has the story.

    Kamui Kobayashi said a problem with his Sauber’s anti-stall system was the main reason why his home grand prix went so wrong at Suzuka today.

    The Japanese driver had started a career-best seventh, but lost five places off the line. He struggled to make progress through the field, and trying to hang on to one set of tyres from the mid-race safety car period to the finish did not pay off.

    “It was a tricky race for me,” Kobayashi admitted after finishing 13th. “At the start when I released the clutch the car suddenly was in anti-stall mode, and that was why I lost five positions straight away.

    “I tried to fight other cars then but overtaking wasn’t as easy as it was here last year. Then the safety car came out in what was a bad moment for our strategy.

    “I did my second stop when the safety car was out, we changed from the soft to the medium compound and with those tyres I then had to go to the end of the race – 29 laps. In the end they were just so bad that I couldn’t defend my position anymore.

    “Anyway, I had a good qualifying here and the car’s performance in the race has definitely improved, so we will keep pushing at the remaining races.”

    Team boss Peter Sauber expressed his sympathy for Kobayashi.

    “Everybody in the team hoped Kamui could score a good result in his home grand prix,” said Sauber. “He would have deserved that after his strong qualifying performance, but then things went wrong at the start. He lost a lot of positions, and his aggressive strategy didn’t work as a result of that.”

    Sauber still scored in the race, thanks to Sergio Perez’s drive from 17th on the grid to eighth on a two-stop strategy.

    “Sergio drove a brilliant race,” said Sauber. “Starting from 17th and finishing eighth says it all. He was aggressive and consistent at the same time.

    “His result also proves that we made a clear step forward with our car, which is important for the upcoming races.”

  7. Sebastian Vettel said he was driving as hard as possible to try and win the Japanese Grand Prix, without thinking too much about the championship.

    The German driver needed just one point to secure his second crown, but Vettel said after the race that he was “as hungry as ever” and trying to win the race without the championship in mind.

    In the end the Red Bull driver had to settle for third position behind Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

    Vettel claimed he was pushing very hard in order to try to have a shot at victory.

    “To be honest I wasn’t thinking about the championship at all and I tried to get close to Fernando,” said Vettel. “I lost connection a little bit after the backmarker we had to pass, I think one of the Virgins, which obviously was hard to get back again because I was benefiting from the tow and from the DRS.

    “And especially when I saw we were closing in on Jenson, I thought this is going to be fun, these last four laps, the victory is in sight again.

    “So I was as hungry as I ever have been and going for victory, throwing the car around and trying everything to get close to the guys again.

    “I would have loved the race to continue a little bit longer but that’s why it was a bit shocking when I crossed the line; that’s it, full of adrenaline, charged to get back to them and then all of a sudden, chequered flag.

    “Then it was time to realise that we had won the championship and we can take a little bit of time, which I think we will have tonight together.”

    Vettel, Formula 1’s youngest ever double champion, believes it was crucial to stay focused all the time despite his huge advantage in the championship.

    And the 24-year-old admitted he will need time for the feeling to sink in.

    “Obviously a lot of people have been quite confident on that but I think one of the important things was that we didn’t allow ourselves to drift away on it too much,” he added. “Everything we did this year, everything we achieved, we achieved as a team. It’s not just us on the track it’s the guys in the factory pushing very hard as well.

    “Every single one from the post office, to the design office, to the engineering office to hear on the track – it’s incredible. It’s hard to imagine that we’ve built two cars, we’ve got two drivers and we carry in a way all that weight on our shoulders when we are on track.

    “Sometimes when we are on the track we don’t always treat the cars as good as we should, but obviously we try to get every single bit out of them.

    “We set ourselves the target to win the championship this year, to achieve it by Japan already with more races to go is difficult to put in words. It will take time, it’s as confusing as the first one. I’m sure we have a little bit more time tonight within the team and the rest of the season.”

    Vettel conceded having seven-time champion Michael Schumacher on track with him as he became a double champion made it all more special for him.

    “I tell you what I never imagined that I would win my second world championship and Michael [Schumacher] drives past me doing this (makes a gesture with his hand). That’s really weird because when I was a little boy he was already Formula 1 world champion.

    “So that imagination was far out of sight. It’s those small things that make it really, really special. I have a lot of good memories back then and today. I feel in a way quite fortunate and blessed to be able to experience all that.

    “We had so many fans today, I saw so many excited people during the drivers’ parade, to see the grandstands were full. That’s really one of the last thoughts that I have before I put my helmet on.

    “Life for me and I think all the drivers doesn’t get much better than this. Sunny days, a lot fans, everyone excited to see what you do. I think that is what life is about. To wrap up the championship here, which has been the ultimate target this year, is difficult to put in words. It’s more than fantastic.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  8. Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel has said that he did not see Jenson Button was alongside him at the start of the race. Autosport.com has the story.

    Sebastian Vettel said he had no idea Jenson Button was alongside him when they nearly made contact at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix.

    Pole-winner Vettel made a slightly slow start and then eased across towards the faster-moving Button, who ran out of space and had to take to the grass before backing off and dropping to third behind McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Button recovered to win the race, while Vettel came home third and clinched the 2011 title.

    Vettel said he apologised to Button after the race, insisting he had not seen him, but also joked that he had coped fine when edged towards the grass himself by Fernando Alonso as they battled for the Italian Grand Prix lead last month.

    “Ask Fernando, I think Formula 1 cars can go on grass with two wheels…” Vettel said to television reporters.

    “I didn’t mean to push [Button] on the grass. Initially I thought I had a very good start, I knew that it wasn’t perfect but I knew it was good because I was pulling away from Lewis.

    “When I stop in my box, when the lights go off I can’t see Jenson. The reference really, after I have done my bit, is Lewis. I thought maybe Jenson didn’t have a good start because of the dirty side of the track, so I pointed to the right naturally – I think it’s in all our blood when you are on pole to pull to the inside to make sure.

    “And I saw him, saw that there wasn’t much room and that he was a bit on the grass and had to obviously lift. But I spoke to him straight after the race and obviously there was no intention to put him in danger.”

    Button admitted it had been a very unnerving moment.

    “I got a very good start, Seb didn’t, and I think he realised immediately that he didn’t get a good start and he started coming across,” said Button.

    “I was using as much KERS as I could to get up the inside and he kept coming, he kept coming and he kept coming. I thought in the end he was going to stop, because I was halfway alongside him.

    “But he didn’t stop, so I got onto the grass and then ended up backing out – I had to, because it would’ve been an almighty shunt into Turn 1.

    “I was a bit surprised. He said that he didn’t see me coming until he saw me backing out. And that’s the truth, then it’s one of those things.

    “I got out of there and I lost a place, which is disappointing, but in a way it’s quite nice fighting your way through.”

    After the incident Button radioed his team to say Vettel ought to receive a penalty, but said that opinion had been expressed in the heat of the moment.

    “That’s how I felt at that time. Emotions were running high,” Button said.

    “I’ve spoken to Seb since and he’s said he didn’t see me until I backed out of it when I was on the grass. I hope that Seb doesn’t lie, so I take his word for it. We’re all tough on each other. It’s difficult to find the limits.

    “The important thing is that I beat him in the race and won the grand prix. But I want to say congratulations to him, he’s driven a great year.”

  9. Felipe Massa has hit out at Lewis Hamilton once again after the pair clashed in the Japanese Grand Prix – as he urged the FIA to get tough with his McLaren rival.

    Massa and Hamilton were battling for fourth place in the Japanese GP when they came together at the chicane – as the Brazilian tried to go around the outside at the same time that the Briton moved to the left.

    With a piece of Massa’s front wing coming off in the minor collision, and him suffering floor damage, the FIA stewards looked into the matter to see if either driver was at fault – but it was judged to have been a racing incident.

    Hamilton said that the coming together had been the result of him being unable to see where Massa was behind him.

    “The only thing I have to say is that I can’t see anything out of my mirrors and they vibrate down the straight so much that I had no idea he was there,” explained Hamilton. “Maybe it’s something we can fix, but anyway I have no problems with him.”

    Despite Hamilton’s explanation, Massa remained furious about their latest clash – following accidents between the pair in Monaco and Singapore.

    Reacting to comments that Hamilton had been unable to see Massa coming up behind him, Massa said: “I don’t care, to be honest, about what he [Hamilton] said. The only thing I care about is what he did. He was so slow in 130R and he stayed on the right-hand side.

    “I was much quicker, so I went to the left-hand side and I braked there. I stayed on my line; he moved his car and touched my car. There’s nothing more to say. For what he says, I don’t care. I care about what the federation says and what the FIA does.

    “They have penalised people for much less this year and this time they didn’t do it. It’s the second time in a row after the problem in qualifying as well in the last race, and after what happened yesterday. And after many times this year. The FIA needs to take care of that. They are the only ones who can take care of that.”

    When asked by AUTOSPORT if it would not be better for him to speak face-to-face with Hamilton to sort out the issue, Massa replied: “No. He doesn’t learn. As I said before, I don’t care. I race against him, against whatever driver in the same way. I don’t really care. He has already passed the time to speak, which I tried and he didn’t.”

    Massa did suggest, however, that he may bring the matter up if he has a chance to speak to FIA race director Charlie Whiting.

    “Maybe if I see Charlie, I will speak to him. But there’s nothing really to say now,” he said.

    Source: Autosport.com

  10. Red Bull Racing’s Marko says there is no reason why team cannot maintain dominance into next season. Autosport.com has the details.

    Red Bull’s advisor Helmut Marko has warned the team’s rivals that it plans to continue its domination of Formula 1 into 2012.

    Sebastian Vettel clinched his second world championship title in as many years after finishing third in Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, and Marko said afterwards that he believes the team is well placed to go for a hat-trick next season.

    “We are just going from race-to-race and of course we want to win as many as possible,” the Austrian told the BBC. “The whole crew stays together so I don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t be successful next year.”

    Speaking of Vettel’s championship run, which saw the 24-year-old wrap up the title with four races still to go, Marko was keen to point out Red Bull’s contribution to the success.

    “He did a very good job, he didn’t make nearly any mistakes and he also was very lucky that his car was so reliable,” said Marko. “There wasn’t one technical issue in comparison to last year. If you remember two times he had technical problems when leading [in 2010].

    “Unfortunately today I think we lost it in the pits, but anyway being the champion the second time we are all very happy and we will fight for the next one.”

  11. Well, I may not be the the biggest Vettel fan, but there’s no denying he ain’t a nice guy extremely dedicated to his team and this year it seems, winning! To be frank it’s Chrstian Horner I’m really not keen on, but to win back-to-back titles is something very rare and the latest driver to do it is now the youngest. Twenty-four years old?!?!? What were you doing at 24? Falling out of the pub and into the kebab van?

    Last year could be argued that Vettel fell out of his car (more like crashed) into the title, but this year we saw a much better driver. Last year Vettel crashed and bashed his way to lifting the big one, and many thought he wasn’t that great a driver, me included. Now this year, we saw a much more mature nature from the German. I still think he has a lot of room to improve, since I still think he can struggle with changeable conditions (Canada anyone?), and for real wheel-to-wheel fighting is a skill yet to be proven he can do well.

    Of course this lack of one on one is mainly down to the fact he hasn’t had to do any, he drives a Red Bull!! The car is on another level for most of the races so how much overtaking can you do from the front? Of course, it’s not all that easy and Vettel has shown he can drive however he’s needed to. Pushing on before and after pit-stops along with stepping it up when being pushed; and of course there was those pole positions. Just like Jenson Button back in Brawn GP days, all season he had the knack to go just that little bit faster (as well as a lot faster. With the drivers’ title done and constructors’ title all but sewn up, that gives Adrian Newey plenty of time to concentrate on next year’s car. Everyone else should be VERY scared.

    Now given Sebastian’s start was a touch… strong, pushing Jenson onto the grass on the opening straight. Seb claimed he didn’t see Jenson and many other drivers *cough* Lewis, “claim” not to see the driver they nearly crash or actually crash *cough* Lewis, crash into. Now I’m never going to know how difficult to see out of F1 mirrors, so I can’t say for sure if they are bullshitting. All I’ll say is Seb drove very slowly to the right at the start of the race, in order to give Jenson chance to get of the way and not take him out?! I dunno, but then you have Lewis’ “I didn’t see him” when he came together (yet again) with Massa. Sorry, but shut up! A mole crossed with Stevie Wonder could have seen Massa.

    So we have two options for next year as I see it. Either make the mirror big enough to see shit and to hell with the teams objections to aero issues. Or just get rid of them and then on-one can falsely claim they didn’t see their opponent and the victim has no complaints when hit or they can just make for sure they wont get hit and back out of a move when it’s a lost hope.

    I really enjoyed the race and we saw some great stuff with more pit-stops than you could count thanks to shitty tyre wear. Not too many bansai move from the home guy Kobayashi unfortunately though. I just love this guy and wish so much he had a better car and team. But I don’t see many of the big guys wanting to take this risk

    Suzuka may not have the great straight or setting of Fuji Speedway, but those corners are brutal and its great to see these cars fly round when with immense G-force on the drivers.

    While talk of “when” Vettel will take the title can now thankfully end, the season is far from over. Four more races and all drivers will still be very hungry for wins and second place. So there is still plenty of action with a couple of early starts, a brand new track and of course the legendary Brazil meeting.

    Great stuff and great write up Walking Leaf!

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