Grand Prix 2015 Japanese Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

For once the PQR does not include discussion of the dominance of Mercedes after they dropped the ball under the lights in Singapore. They'll feel better than South Africa's rugby fraternity, and will certainly be less likely to wince at the sound of the word "Japan". Will they bounce back?

The excitement of Suzuka is palpable. Some corners are legendary - the esses, 130R, the Degners. Those that aren't are merely the venue for legendary happenings - the McLarens in 1989, Kobayashi-san's wide elbows and Raikkonen passing Fisi on the last lap. However, it is an excitement tempered by what happened last time, and I'm sure thoughts of Jules Bianchi will be uppermost as the weekend continues.

Ferrari will be praying that the race again shows the improvement that saw them challenge at Monza and dominate at Singapore, and Vettel will scarcely be put off by seeing the road into Suzuka. He's won at Malaysia and Singapore, the third leg of his once-customary East Asian triple crown awaits. Red Bull, of course, will also have great memories, and they will be encouraged by getting amongst the Ferraris for the first time in Singapore. That they were ahead of the Mercedes is a massive bonus.

Action can never be guaranteed, but if it doesn't come, you can at least enjoy the spectacle of 22 drivers dragging reluctant cars through some of the most splendid curves in the world, all flowing into one outstanding whole. A Ferrari victory would pay tribute to their lost son, or is it Hamilton's turn to get to the magic 41? Or, just possibly, a surprise?
 

Greenlantern101

Super Hero And All Round Good Guy
Contributor
My most favoritest track this. Sooo want to drive it for real one day.

screenshot.95.jpg
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
This is the track that Lewis Hamilton has had the least success at during his career.

I say least because he's not exactly been shoddy round it.
 

erinha

Test Driver
This year Vettel has never finished a race lower than where he did last year - apart from Canada and Belgium. So if nothing unusual happens, statistically, he'd be finishing up on the podium at the very least...
 

erinha

Test Driver
Never mind the dip in form, they will be back on top, I am more interested in Mercedes reliability issues. That's intriguing. Were they too hasty to bring in some developments? Is this gonna cost them anything in the coming races too?
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
its normally a gp to look forward for me as it is 1 of my favourites as bring back great memories of waking up early as kid for the 3 world title battles with hakkinen v schumi & irvine the other races like 2003 2005 2007.

but i've been secretly dreading returning to suzuka in the last 4/6 weeks. My thoughts this weekend of course go out to drivers, especially manor team & bianchi family. i cant begin to think what must be going through graeme lowdon & john booth mind on plane yesterday & friday as they come through the paddock, into the garages
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
a track that the drivers love and unfortunately it has a strange atmosphere this year compared to previous years

Whilst Vettel is mighty on the track I think Mercedes power should see the Silver cars back at the front. I think the other big talking point will be Mclaren Honda,

How embarrassing it will if Honda powered cars are at the back at their home track
 

Dash Racing

Points Scorer
I have to admit to feeling a bit odd about this year's Japanese Grand Prix. This is going to be a tough week for everyone, I think. I especially feel for the Bianchi family.

I don't think Mercedes are going to struggle at Suzuka as much as they did at Marina Bay, but I suspect we'll see a strong showing from Ferrari again. I'm predicting the Mercs split by Vettel. I don't think Red Bull will be as strong in Japan as they were in Singapore. Yes, Suzuka isn't a power circuit like Monza, but power does help, especially coming out of Spoon, through 130R and up to the Casino Triangle.

As for McLaren Honda? I don't think Mr Arai will be able to save face after the Japanese Grand Prix, I think it will be a complete and utter shambles. I'd even suggest it would be smart of the team to intentionally put in a lackluster effort in order to force Honda to replace Mr Arai with someone more competent.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
On the other hand Suzuka is very demanding downforce-wise, so another poor showing would also give Honda the chance to claim the car's struggles are not just down to the engine?... ;)
 

Dash Racing

Points Scorer
Which would be an utterly facetious argument. More power allows more downforce for less performance deficit. Everyone and their grandmother knows that, surely?
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
Oh yeah this could be pretty depressing weekend for mclaren if it stays dry because they may be in that no man's land of not fast enough to fight saubers but miles quicker than manors

Thinking earlier rosberg coming into this for race only 8pts ahead of vettel now Mercedes cant be happy with that & also is that example of rosberg in poor form not taking advantage of his "dominant" car or vettel outperforming his "inferior" Ferrari or a bit of both
 
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