Grand Prix 2018 Japanese Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

After a fairly soporific Russian GP the circus moves nearly 7,000 miles (by road according to Bing maps) to Suzuka in Japan. The Japanese have a love affair with the automobile and Japanese car companies make up 4 of the top 15 car manufacturers in the world with Toyota top of the list, just above VW.

Japan also has a long association with Formula One. Many Japanese manufacturers have made cars and engines which have raced in F1, with varying degrees of success. Honda prepared a car and engine in the 60’s and Richie Ginther won the Mexican GP in 1965. They had further success in 1968 when John Surtees won the Italian GP but the team withdrew from racing after the death of Jo Schlesser in a car with a magnesium chassis caught fire quite horrifically.

Honda came back as an engine supplier in the 80’s and pretty much wiped the floor with everyone with their motor bolted in the back of the Williams and McLaren chassis. Yamaha and Subaru have made engines and Toyota and Honda coupled their motors to their own chassis in the early 2000’s, albeit with little success (I just remembered Button's win in Hungary with the Honda engine - sorry Jenson fans, what a lovely day that was)

I don’t think I need to remind anyone of the Honda’s latest foray into the world of F1 engine supply.

Japan has also supplied the grid with 20 drivers. The first was Hiroshi Fushido in 1975 with the Japanese made Maki chassis coupled to the inevitable Cosworth DFV. The most successful Japanese F1 driver is Kamui Kobayashi who amassed 125 points in his career as well as taking a podium in Japan for Sauber in 2012 and fastest lap in the same year in China. Two other Japanese drivers have stood on the podium, Takumo Sato at Indianapolis in 2004, the Michelin tyre debacle, and Aguri Suzuki for Larousse in Japan in 1990, the one with the infamous crash between Prost and Senna at the first corner.

So what of the race itself? Lewis Hamilton goes in to the final phase of events with a healthy lead in the Championship and Mercedes showed in Russia that they will do anything to ensure that their man takes the drivers title. The constructor’s title is already pretty much nailed on for the Stuttgart team so expect team orders to come in to play if Lewis finds himself behind Valterri Bottas at any point during the race.

What of the rest? Ferrari looks to have peaked before the summer break and are now on their way down. Red Bull may well figure close to the front but I doubt they can beat the Mercedes. Back in division 2 we should see some racing between Hass, Force India and the Sauber of Le Clerc which might compensate a little for the Silver Arrows running away at the front.

It will be an early start with Qualifying at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday and the race starting at 6:10 in the morning on Sunday but at least you will have the rest of the day to something after the inevitable Mercedes 1-2.
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Anti-Vettel incendiary hysteria in full swing on the web has now reached conclusion, that what Ferrari needs is to replace Vettel back with Alonso (and all will be probably fine in Maranello). Well, who knows how that saga ends.
The issue Vettel has is other than Mercedes there are no other suitable teams for him to go to even then its pretty clear Toto has set his sights on promoting Ocon into Mercedes for 3 years now

So Vettel is stuck with Ferrari and is under pressure to deliver from a non supporting management and got the up and coming Leclerc who could do to him what Hamilton did to Alonso at Mclaren in 2007

Eventually the politics at Ferrari will wear him down like it did with Prost and Alonso and it will end acrimoniously like they always do .

This could be the most critical 18 months of Vettel's career
Sorry Ruslan I have to completely disagree with you on this one. It wasn't about the points at this stage it was about being in a position to beat and push your rival no matter how superior you think their car is. Sitting behind Verstappen was only going to let Hamilton get comfortable and cruise. If Vettel had got as near to him as possible as quickly as possible then it was always going to be an extra pressure on Hamilton. 9 times out of 10 it will come to nothing but you have to do what you can. It's the difference between real competitors and also rans.

I can in noway argue that the execution was correct but the tactical thinking was sound.

Well, it was sort of a damned if you do or damned if you don't situation. If Vettel had bidded his time and secured his safe 3rd place position, I am sure that some would say he needed to be more aggressive. the end it is just math to me....there was a low chance of getting second (which was only 3 points) and he already had 15 points secure. There was a higher chance of having an accident and losing up to all 15 points (as it is, he only lost 7). So.....for him to risk 15 points to gain 3...this really only works out if the odds of gaining the 3 points is several times higher than the odds of losing points. With Mad Max in front of him, I don't think that was the case.

But...more to the point, he should have waited until he had a cleaner and safer pass.
Hi All. I would respectfully draw your attention to rule 2 in the CTA rules which reads as follows:

Criticism and dislike of drivers and teams is perfectly acceptable, but please try and avoid the usual invective that pervades so many forums, especially with regards to certain drivers and teams.

Do not use insulting nicknames or derogatory terms for drivers, other team members, teams, or anyone in the public eye; either use their given names or inoffensive nicknames such as "Hammy", "Seb", "Nando", etc. Historical, well-known nicknames are also permitted, for example "Hunt The Shunt" when referring to James Hunt. However, referring to Hamilton as "Shamilton", Vettel as "Wet Towel" or Alonso as "Alonslow" are terms which are not permitted.

Of course context, intent and implied meaning will have a bearing on how a term may be interpreted. If you have to question whether the term you want to use is acceptable, then the chances are it probably isn't.

Posts that do not comply with this rule will be reviewed and where appropriate, edited or deleted.

Thanks for your understanding.


C_a_T the Mod

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