Sunday, 13 October 2013

Japanese Grand Prix: Webber pushes to the max!

The end of the Japanese Grand Prix was a bit of an anti-climax, in the closing few laps, simply because neutral fans were denied a fight between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. The redeeming factor in preventing Webber from snatching the win back from Vettel, was a fellow by the name of Romain Grosjean. Grosjean showed a level of maturity and competency that we have not really seen from him before. On the podium he choked up a little, when interviewed by Eddie Jordan, and it was a fascinating display of how much success means to the young man. The old hand, Mark Webber, was a little disappointing and disappointed, in equal measure. Yelling at the TV screen, did very little to help Webber pass Grosjean at his first and most ideal opportunity, a pass that would almost certainly have seen him then racing with Vettel.

Vettel appears to simply get better and better. As the race began, he found himself squeezed and hampered by both Grosjean and Hamilton and was lucky to come out of it in third place. Hamilton was less fortunate, as he clipped his right rear tyre on Vettel's front wing and was victim to an instant puncture. The puncture all but ended his race and when he detected further damage he was forced to retire his Mercedes. Vettel played a game that many would have felt he was incapable of, protecting his tyres and saving his engine. He has become renowned for his habit of pushing hard when the team is telling him to ease off. However, in a race that quickly became a two stopper for the German, he had to preserve the car and did it perfectly.

Once again, the racing in the middle of the field was intense. Race cars chopping and dicing for positions, with tyres bouncing off each other on the exits of corners. DRS didn't seem to have too much impact on the race and it allowed some of the real quality to shine through. Nico Hulkenberg had yet another fantastic race, whilst the two McLaren drivers found themselves well down the order again. With only four races to go, despite Seb looking certain for the title now, its fair to say that the racing, further back down the order, will just get more exciting.

The Result:
DriverCarTeamGridFastest LapRace TimePoints
1 Sebastian Vettel 1 Red Bull 2 1:35.317 1:26:49.301 25
2 Mark Webber 2 Red Bull 1 1:34.587 +00:07.129 18
3 Romain Grosjean 8 Lotus 4 1:35.991 +00:09.910 15
4 Fernando Alonso 3 Ferrari 8 1:35.877 +00:45.605 12
5 Kimi Raikkonen 7 Lotus 9 1:35.516 +00:47.325 10
6 Nico Hulkenberg 11 Sauber 7 1:36.482 +00:51.615 8
7 Esteban Gutierrez 12 Sauber 14 1:36.499 +01:11.630 6
8 Nico Rosberg 9 Mercedes 6 1:34.650 +01:12.023 4
9 Jenson Button 5 McLaren 10 1:35.549 +01:20.821 2
10 Felipe Massa 4 Ferrari 5 1:37.001 +01:29.263 1
11 Paul Di Resta 14 Force India 12 1:37.407 +01:38.572 0
12 Jean-Eric Vergne 18 Toro Rosso 17 1:35.895 lapped 0
13 Daniel Ricciardo 19 Toro Rosso 16 1:35.020 lapped 0
14 Adrian Sutil 15 Force India 22 1:37.367 lapped 0
15 Sergio Perez 6 McLaren 11 1:35.845 lapped 0
16 Pastor Maldonado 16 Williams 15 1:37.423 lapped 0
17 Valtteri Bottas 17 Williams 13 1:37.856 lapped 0
18 Charles Pic 20 Caterham 20 1:37.489 lapped 0
19 Max Chilton 23 Marussia 18 1:38.713 lapped 0
20 Lewis Hamilton 10 Mercedes 3 1:41.202 retired, 7 laps 0
21 Giedo van der Garde 21 Caterham 19 No time retired, 0 laps 0
22 Jules Bianchi 22 Marussia 21 No time retired, 0 laps 0

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