Grand Prix 2011 Japanese Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

The championship is still alive!!!!!!!!!!! Okay that may be a bit over optomistic

Despite another crushing win by Vettel in Singapore, Buttons valiant second place ensures that the championship mathematically remains possible for the experienced Britain, but for him to take his second world title he requires Vettel to not finish in all the remain races and Button to win every race and to be honest there is as much chance of me winning the lottery.

Indeed, Button has had a strong 2011 and this would be more highlighted if it wasnt for the sheer dominance of Vettel who has taken a podium in every race apart from Germany. He has outperformed his beleagured team mate Hamilton who is under severe pressure from the media after another incident, this time with Massa who didn't take kindly to it and made his feelings clear after the race.

But at Ferrari they seem to be going through the motions after a great win at Silverstone, Alonso has strong drives without challenging and Massa is regularly in the middle of the points without ever challenging the podium, surely he'll be on the way out soon as he's not performing at a level that Ferrari require him to be if they want to be serious Constructors Champions in the future.

Big news at Mercedes as Aldo Costa and Geoff Willis have joined the team, with the team struggling (in comparison) since their return to the sport in 2010, these two signings might just get them back at the front in the near future and might convince Schumacher to extend his contract, Singapore aside, Schumacher's performances have been a lot better this season and at the very least he has matched Rosberg and perhaps there is still life in the old dog yet and the podium might not be too far away.

Japan has become famous for title deciders with Prost/Senna being the most memorable with the crashes at the final chicane and turn 1 being some of the most controversial in the sport (particularly the latter after a dispute over the start position). The track is regarded as one of the best driver tracks on the calendar, second only to Spa and returned to the calendar in 2009 after Fuji pulled out of F1 due to financial problems after holding the grand prix in 2007 and 2008 where Hamilton and Alonso won respectively.

No doubt the championship will be won in Suzuka but you never know, stranger things have happened in F1, surely the reliability of the Red Bull can't hold out forever, can we hope?

For Galahads superb circuit write up see here
I am bit late on here again!

First of all great job by Vettel to become double world champion and continuing to harass Alonso the finish. Also well done to Button too! A great dry race from him and thoroughly beat Hamilton.

McLaren was clearly the best car this weekend, but what was with Hamilons pace?

Great races by Alonso, Schumacher and Petrov! I would have liked it if Alonso had won, I am no fan of his, but for the first time, I was cheering him on! Maybe it's the old Ferrari genes in me coming back or wanting a good finish. Schumacher has been there all weekend, he managed to make his tyres last longer than everyone else in the stints, probably the key to the good finish, but good pace aswell keeping up with the front 3 teams.

Not happy with Toro Rosso, first in qualifying with a bad strategy then not fitting in Buemi's tyre properly at the stops (yes this stuff happens) but he was on course for some good points at another drivers circuit and has to retire through no fault of his own. If you want to talk about sabotaging, then you have to say Toro Rosso are sabotaging Buemi to favour Alguersauri ;)

Over all quite an exciting race, the DRS was bit of a strange one, sometimes it was too easy to pass, then other times it was just nigh impossible.

And also it seemed for once, Webber didn't lose a position at the start! :shocked:

Seems like Ferrari and McLaren are back to fighting wins, but it's too little too late...
Forgot to add...

I genuinly love the end of season clips so did anyone see this on the BBC? It was played during the full programme

Great clip! Love the song, got goosebumps watching it, great song, and very fitting:

For once, this was a race where the quick tyre degradation began to annoy me: while I enjoy the way drivers on different tyres and/or different ages of tyre means more variation in pace and therefore more chances for attacking and defence, I lost count of the number of battles that were shaping up beautifully only for the driver under attack to scarper off into the pits.

Obviously it makes sense from the defending driver's point of view to go in for new tyres at that point, but I was starting to feel a bit robbed after a while...
This is good to see, Vettel doing donuts for the fans at turn 2.

I just wish the teams and FIA were less strict on it...
Excellent, not many but better than none, they should always do donuts after wins, well definitely after a WDC win! No idea why the FIA don’t like this thing, maybe FIA stands for ‘Fun It Aint’

Last one I remember was Webber, they were pretty good too.

I'm currently watching the Onboard Feed, and it was Live with Webber when he clipped Schumachers left rear on the entry to Dunlop, and then steamed on through. This happened on Lap 21, BEFORE Hamilton and Massa came together mind you.

So in the span of nearly 5 laps (2 with the SC) following this incident; we saw no fewer than 5 replays of Hamilton/Massa, the Safety Car being deployed, and news of an investigation involving cars 3 and 6. No news whatsoever of an even more egregious incident in which a position change actually took place. Then on Lap 26 we get a very brief replay of Webber hitting Schumacher, losing a large portion of his front wing, and Michael getting a bit out of shape. They couldn't even bother to show Mark completing the "maneuver". Both Brundle and Coulthard were at a loss to explain when exactly this had happened, and who could blame them.

Seeing as this was viewed on the main Onboard Channel being broadcast throughout the globe, I find it inconceivable that this incident was handled in such a haphazard way. It was treated as a complete non-event while something that happened AFTER it was put on full display over and over while an investigation was launched.
I think it's a bit strange, too, but to be fair, the safety car was out so that the marshals could collect the debris at the hairpin where they came together... It's not that strange to replay the cause of the safety car.

It's certainly not as big an issue as you're making of it... In my opinion of course.
Well the FIA said the SC was deployed for debris at Turns 7 and 16. And they still hadn't shown the reason for the debris at Turn 7 (Webber's wing), and wouldn't show it for another two laps.

I think transparency is a pretty big deal.


It's not that strange to replay the cause of the safety car.

You're right, it's not. It is however strange not to be shown one of the stated reasons for the SC.
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