Here are the results of round 16 of the prediction game. There were several impressively high scores and Enigma’s 25 points from round was under serious threat. The highest one belongs to Pgirish13, Saigon56, Duncan B and mcw3 – 24 points ! We also have for the first time this season change at the top of the provisional standings !
1-2 finish for Red Bull in Japan
Sebastian Vettel won an eventful 2010 Japanese GP ahead of his team mate Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso. Jenson Button finished 4th, Hamilton 5th, Schumacher 6th. Sauber duo Kobayashi and Heidfeld took 7th and 8th places in front of Barrichello and Buemi. Lotus took advantage of seven cars retiring – Kovalainen finished 12th – a result that likely will seal the valuable 10th place in constructors championship for Lotus.
Lucas di Grassi crashed out on his way to grid, Petrov, Hulkenberg, Massa and Liuzzi after the race start. Kubica retired from P2 after loosing his rear wheel while still behind safety car. In the later stages of the race Sutil’s engine gave way and Rosberg crashed out from P6 after what looked like mechanical failure.
2010 Japanese GP – Race result:
2. Webber +0.9
3. Alonso +2.7
4. Button +13.5
5. Hamilton +39.5
6. Schumacher +59.9
7. Kobayashi +1:04.0
8. Heidfeld +1:09.6
9. Barrichello +1:10.8
10. Buemi +1:12.8
2010 Japanese GP - Qualifying - Top three
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber locked the all Red Bull front row for the afternoon race in Suzuka. Lewis Hamilton finished 3rd but will be relegated 5 places following his penalty for gearbox change. Kubica finished 4th and will line up on row 2 with Alonso. Jenson Button will start from P5 but he will have the advantage of longer stint after qualifying on hard tyres.
1. Vettel – 1:30.785
2. Webber – 1:30.853
3. Hamilton – 1:31.169 (+ places penalty)
4. Kubica – 1:31.231
5. Alonso – 1:31.352
6. Button – 1:1:31.378
7. Rosberg – 1:31.494
8. Barrichello – 1:31.535
9. Hulkenberg – 1:31.559
10. Schumacher – 1:31.846
Sebastian Vettel - 2010 Japanese GP - Friday practice
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were the fastest drivers in the first practice session for the 2010 Japanese GP with Robert Kubica about half a second behind them. It was bad session for McLaren. Lewis Hamilton’s session ended early after crashing out at the Degner, Jenson Button barely avoided hitting the wall at the same place in the final stages of the session. Here are the morning practice times:
1. Vettel – 1:32.585
2. Webber +0.048
3. Kubica +0.544
4. Sutil +1.054
5. Hamilton +1.058
6. Barrichello +1.092
7. Hulkenberg +1.122
8. Schumacher +1.154
9. Heidfeld +1.206
10. Rosberg +1.246
F1 comes to Suzuka for the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix. It is time for round 16 of our prediction game. There are some conflicting weather forecasts for the weekend, some expecting heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday…
The race starts on Sunday October 10 at 2pm local time.
The predictions have to be placed before the start of the qualifying session (Saturday October 9, 1pm local time). Predictions can be changed, amended, there is no limit on the number of changes as long as they are made before the start of the qualifying. Predictions that arrive after the start of qualifying will not count.
When I returned from Singapore to Hong Kong I spotted Nico Rosberg at the Hong Kong airport. Then I saw him waiting for his luggage at the same belt as me and it became sort of obvious he would be spending some time between Singapore and Japanese GPs here in Hong Kong. I found a video interview he did last week for South China Morning Post. Big part of the interviews focuses on Nelson Piquet’s crash last year in Singapore. Funny how he compares individuals doing stupid things in F1 and in banking world . He also spoke about his future (without giving too much away) and about his Macau GP experience that includes a crash with Lewis Hamilton.
Sebastian Vettel won the 2009 Japanese GP ahead of Jarno Trulli and Lewis Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen finished 4th, Nico Rosberg 5th, Nick Heidfeld 6th. The final two point scoring places belong to Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button. This result means that there are still 3 drivers left with a chance to win drivers title. The fastest lap of the race belongs to Mark Webber. He made 5 pit stops, finished last 2 laps down but managed the fastest lap . There was one safety car at the final stages of the race following massive Alguersuari’s crash. Brawn GP are now only half a point away from claiming 2009 constructors title.
Nico Rosberg’s behaviour during the safety car period was investigated by stewards. He was cleared, no penalty was applied and so the results and championship standings remain unchanged.
F1 is back at Suzuka
FIA has released the Japanese GP post qualifying weights. Sebastian Vettel is a slightly heavier than Jarno Trulli and Lewis Hamilton. Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica gained several places thanks to grid penalties to several drivers who qualified ahead of them. They are the heaviest among the top ten with perhaps 10 laps of fuel more than the cars around them. Barrichello and Button dropped down to midfield.
Suzuka pole for Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel will start the the Japanese GP from the pole position. Jarno Trulli will line up next to Vettel on the front row. Hamilton and Sutil claimed P3 and P4. Brawn GP drivers Barrichello and Button qualified on P5 and P7 after some strange tactics that only left them with enough time for one timed lap in Q3.
Update: Button, Barrichello, Sutil, Alonso received 5 places grid penalties for their driving under yellow flags following Buemi’s accident. Buemi was also hit with 5 places drop ( and also reprimand). Earlier it was announced that Vitantionio Liuzzi will drop 5 places following gearbox change.
The final session followed the fine tradition set in Q2 – 3 minutes in and red flag caused by Heikki Kovalainen. He walked away OK.
Extreme wets were in action in Suzuka on Friday
The Japanese GP weekend kicked off with wet free practice this morning. Heikki Kovalainen snatched the top spot in the last moment from the second fastest Kazuki Nakajima. Adrian Sutil finished the session 3rd, Giancarlo Fisichella 4th. There was a driver change in Toyota – Kamui Kobayashi replaced ill Timo Glock. Glock is however expected to race.
Good day for Renault in Japan
After the 2007 wash out we had this year an opportunity to see what kind of racing can the new Fuji Speedway offer in dry weather. With “regular” although rather cold conditions few would have expected cars other than McLarens and Ferraris in the front. Even Fernando Alonso said ahead of the race that the race start will be for him more about defending his position then tryin to gain some places. But Raikkonen, Hamilton and Kovalainen had other ideas. Raikkonen had the best start but late breaking into the corner by probably both Hamilton and Kovalainen made the race interesting. Raikkonen went straight instead of turning right, Kubica and Alonso squeezed ahead of Kovalainen. And Hamilton somehow managed to drop back behind Massa. The TV followed the corner 1 chaos for a while and by the time the director switched back to the race Kubica and Alonso were comfortably leading the race with Heikki Kovalainen 3rd.
Sebastien Bourdais and Felipe Massa, 2008 Japanese GP
Another race, another controversy. And yet again it involved both main title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa.
Incident no 1 – Race start – Hamilton (and Kovalainen) vs Kimi
I watched the video replay of the race start few times (at the moment you can see it here). Raikkonen had quite good start and it looked like he is ahead of both McLarens. Kovalainen was next to him, Hamilton behind. Hamilton however seemed to be quicker and squeezed between Kovalainen and Raikkonen. Watching it from the front it looked like these three are next to each other. Then just before turning into the first corner Hamilton moved in Raikkonen’s direction leaving Raikkonen with nowhere to go but straight. It is hard to say if Hamilton touched Raikkonen or not. Raikkonen says that both McLarens hit him, Hamilton (when commenting on the penalties imposed on himself and Massa) insisted that he did not hit anybody: