Vettel Wins in Suzuka and Reels in Brawn

October 4, 2009

Sebastian Vettel dominated this morning’s Japanese Grand Prix, taking victory to keep his championship hopes alive.

Vettel now trails Jenson Button in the fight for the drivers’ title by 16 points as a result of his win, and the gap to second placed Rubens Barrichello is down to just two points, with two races remaining.

The German driver got a clean getaway, and while Lewis Hamilton tried to have a look around the outside going into the first corner, from third on the grid, Vettel managed to maintain his position to take an early lead. 

Hamilton managed to get past Jarno Trulli, but after his second stop, Trulli was able to claim back the place, after Hamilton struggled with his gearbox exiting the pits, and later had a problem with KERS. The two finished where they started in second and third.

The championship leader, who started from tenth, had a poor start, and brought home only a single point, after an error from Adrian Sutil enabled him to pass not only the Force India, but Heikki Kovalainen’s McLaren as well. The incident saw Sutil spinning in the final chicane after contact with Kovalainen while trying to overtake.

Championship contender, Barrichello, who started the race from sixth, managed to maintain his position, until with just laps to go, the safety car was deployed following Jaime Alguersuari’s crash into the tyre wall at 130R, and Nico Rosberg managed to leapfrog the Brawn driver during his pitstop.

Button claimed after the race that Rosberg was speeding under safety car conditions, therefore breaking the rules. By doing so, both Button and Barrichello as well as Nick Heidfeld were leapfrogged by the Williams driver. After the race the stewards met to decide if Rosberg should receive a penalty, which would have been likely to demote him from fifth, and out of the points paying positions, meaning Barrichello would move up in the standings from a seventh place finish to sixth, with Button up to seventh. The outcome, would have also seen Brawn take the Constructors’ title, as the Brackley-based team now only need half a point to secure it over Red Bull. The stewards decided not to penalise the German driver.

Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth in the Ferrari, with Rosberg behind in fifth. Nick Heidfeld finished sixth, ahead of the two Brawns. Robert Kubica narrowly missed out on a point, finishing just behind Button. The BMW driver put pressure on the championship leader in the final few laps after the safety car came in, but was unable to make a pass.

Fernando Alonso finished in tenth, with Heikki Kovalainen 11th, ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella. The two had been wheel-to-wheel exiting the pits from their second stop.

While the race wasn’t as action-packed as qualifying, where four crashes resulted in three red flags and a yellow flag, the result means that going into Brazil the fight for the drivers’ championship is very much still on, with 14 points between Button and Barrichello. What is certain is that Brawn now only need half a point to secure the constructors’ title, and that is most likely to happen at the penultimate race in Brazil.


The next race is in Brazil in two weeks time, with qualifying on Saturday 17th October, and the race live on BBC One on Sunday 18th at 5pm.


One comment

  1. Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.

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