Nobody likes a race won because of an obvious technical advantage and Sebastian Vettel may have been aware of this when, despite his team's calls for him to sandbag and/or save the car, he pushed to get fast lap of the race on the penultimate lap.
Pole, a win leading every lap and fast lap of the race is beyond a hat trick, it is the demonstration of Red Bull's hunger and Adrian Newey's genius, finding a half second over the field like that at this point in the season is remarkable, add a driver that when ahead makes no mistakes and it's unbeatable.
Vettel is now a mere 4 points from Alonso who ran into a whole lot of Raikkonen issues at Suzuka, Kimi's spin in qualifying compromised his one hot lap and Kimi's front wing cut his tire at the start. Game over for Fernando who score no points once again through no fault of his own or Ferrari.
That's racing but if Kimi suffered no effects from his first corner indiscretion not so his team mate Grosjean who got nailed with yet another type of penally, a 10 second stop and go...I can't remember the last time I saw one of those in F1. His under the microscope but I'm not sure he deserved all of it, Webber had one of his trademark shit stats and was not exactly flying through the decreasing radius turn 2. Grosjean was in maybe too busy looking at Perez on the outside. In any case, it's him again making contact so there was no way in hell he was going to get away with it.
It's possible that today we caught a glint of what Ferrari might know about Checo Perez, he certainly was "put in his place" by Raikkonen and made a pretty silly mistake when he spun off. I still like him very much as a driver though and his first move on Lewis was a slap in the face at the guy who considers (and is considered by many) as the best braker in F1.
Hamilton was pretty much a ghost and the impression one gets is that of much sour grapes in that garage. Mclaren is in a bind, there are doubts Button is the kind of driver who can really push a team and Perez is an unknown in that situation.
Button could also do little about Massa who finally was able to get a good result after two years. Massa was faster than Fernando all week end except for the one crucial lap in Q2 on Saturday. It must leave a more bitter taste in Alonso's mouth to know he had a car good enough for second. But pointless to look back, Ferrari's goose is as good as cooked unless they react as strongly as Red Bull has and that takes more than just money and effort, that takes genius, evil or otherwise. That or luck and Alonso's may have run out of his allotment this year.
|Kamui Kobayashi and Felipe Massa by Paul-Henry Cahier|
PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka, Japan; 53 laps; 307.471km; Weather: Sunny. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h28:56.242 2. Massa Ferrari + 20.639 3. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 24.538 4. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 25.098 5. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 46.490 6. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 50.424 7. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 51.159 8. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 52.364 9. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 54.675 10. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:06.919 11. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:07.769 12. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 1:23.460 13. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:28.645 14. Senna Williams-Renault + 1:28.709 15. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap 16. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap 17. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 1 lap 18. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth + 1 lap 19. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 2 laps Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:35.774 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Pic Marussia-Cosworth 39 Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 34 Perez Sauber-Ferrari 19 Alonso Ferrari 1 Rosberg Mercedes 1 World Championship standings, round 15: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Alonso 194 1. Red Bull-Renault 325 2. Vettel 190 2. McLaren-Mercedes 283 3. Raikkonen 157 3. Ferrari 263 4. Hamilton 152 4. Lotus-Renault 239 5. Webber 135 5. Mercedes 136 6. Button 131 6. Sauber-Ferrari 115 7. Rosberg 93 7. Force India-Mercedes 81 8. Grosjean 82 8. Williams-Renault 58 9. Massa 69 9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 15 10. Perez 65 11. Kobayashi 50 12. Di Resta 44 13. Schumacher 43 14. Hulkenberg 37 15. Maldonado 33 16. Senna 25 17. Vergne 8 18. Ricciardo 7 All timing unofficial