Sunday, 5 October 2014

Japanese Grand Prix: A real wet weekend!

At the time of writing this post, I'm sat here waiting for news on Jules Bianchi's condition, after he was involved in a incident at the site of Sutil's crash. In circumstances such as these, issues of safety and risk are always raised, and understandably, however I think that in this case everything was done to make the race as safe as possible. The rain became torrential, through the closing few laps of the race, and, after a spin from Sutil, the safety car was deployed. In my view, all appropriate action was taken and all we can do now is pray for Jules' speedy recovery.

Overall, it was a very exciting race, with the rain throwing up all sorts of drama and unpredictability. Despite the fact that the drivers started behind the safety car, the racing was on fire, and especially from the two Red Bull boys. This week Driver of The Day is actually Team of The Day and it goes to Red Bull Racing, for turning their weekend around. During qualifying, both Vettel and Ricciardo were struggling to get any kind of competitive pace out of their cars, whereas, through the midway period of the race, they were on fire. Vettel reeled in the Williams of Felipe Massa and dispatched him with relative ease. He then moved on to Bottas and dispatched the second Mercedes-powered Williams with just as much haste. Ricciardo acted similarly, with a couple of amazing manoeuvres, through the Dunlop curves. It was a great performance from the two Red Bull drivers and made it
impossible to choose between them, for Driver of The Day.

Jenson Button, in the McLaren, should also be commended for a great effort. His McLaren has been under performing all season, but he and his engineers managed to get him in to second place for a short period of the race. Ultimately, he just couldn't compete with the might of Red Bull Racing, but did manage to finish ahead of both Williams drivers. Ferrari, on the other hand, were back to their form of this season, Raikonnen struggling down the order and Alonso retiring during the two laps behind the safety car, at the very start.

We were spared the post-race theatrics, between Nico and Lewis. Everybody was much too concerned with Bianchi's condition. However, the result puts Hamilton in the driving seat, so to speak, with a ten point lead over his teammate. Once again, Lewis appeared to show his superiority over Nico, as he caught, passed and then left Rosberg behind. Rosberg complained of massive oversteer, but it's worth pointing out that, first of all it's normally Hamilton who moans, secondly they were both driving the exact same car, so there was no reason for them to be handling any differently, irrespective of the track conditions, and thirdly drivers often come up with excuses when they are under pressure. With only four races remaining, will Rosberg crumble or will he turn things around?

The Result:
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes441:51:43.021225
26Nico RosbergMercedes44+9.1 secs118
31Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault44+29.1 secs915
43Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault44+38.8 secs612
522Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes44+67.5 secs810
677Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes44+113.7 secs38
719Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes44+115.1 secs46
827Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes44+115.9 secs134
925Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault44+127.6 secs202
1011Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes43+1 Lap111
1126Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault43+1 Lap12
127Kimi RäikkönenFerrari43+1 Lap10
1321Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari43+1 Lap15
1420Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes43+1 Lap7
158Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault43+1 Lap16
1613Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault43+1 Lap22
179Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault43+1 Lap17
184Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari43+1 Lap21
1910Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault43+1 Lap19
2017Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari41Accident18
2199Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari40Accident14
Ret14Fernando AlonsoFerrari2Electronics5

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