Grand Prix 2019 Japanese Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion.

Onward to Suzuka and the Japanese GP. Yakult anyone? Let’s hope that it’s more entertaining than the Russian GP, which excelled at only one thing, being dull.
Suzuka is built as the central attraction of Motopia a motoring and engineering theme park. Which really sums up F1 in 2019.
Michael Schumacher had six wins at Suzuka, and Lewis Hamilton has had five so far, will he win here and match Schumacher or will Ferrari get their act together and get another one / two. After Singapore I would have put money on Ferrari taking the win, in fact I think I did, but after Sochi I think that Hamilton will draw level with Schumacher. Although we mustn’t overlook Verstappen, this is a Honda track, it was built for them as a test track, and Verstappen is in a Honda powered Red Bull. Honda and the Japanese fans would love a home win, add those two facts together and Verstappen and his car might sprout wings.
Suzuka, from the drivers viewpoint, is quite a complex track, with its figure of eight configuration and cool crossover, slow hairpin bends, the uphill Esses a series of curves which if driven badly will lose the driver a bucket load of time, and then some flat out sections like 130 R. Plenty of scope for drivers to get it wrong, and cars and their engines to take a hammering. How do you set up a car for a track like this one. Red Bull of course had new engines at Sochi, Honda giving themselves the best possible chance to do well in Suzuka. The teams at the back end of the grid can be expected to struggle and a few to fall by the wayside. Although the days of just 9 or 10 cars getting to the end of a race seem to have gone.

The weather in Japan is Autumnal and there have been a few really wet races here, well certainly wet Qualifying sessions, with the occasional Sunday Qualifying followed by the race, there was even a Typhoon on race weekend back in 2004. All of which makes a tricky track, even trickier, but it also mixes up the grid quite nicely.
Anyway hopefully this track will deliver an interesting and entertaining race or at the very least a rain storm.
Enjoy.

Interesting Facts.
Honda have only ever won twice here
Kimi Räikkönen won this race from 17th position in 2005
Typhoons are common in this location
Lewis now has 322 points
Bottas has 249
Leclerc has 215
 
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Ruslan

Podium Finisher
1. He didn't activate the sensors by moving, so technically he didn't jump the start. Hence, it would contravene the rules to penalise him.

Well, he certainly did not gain an advantage so I have no problem with this....but as FB pointed out, suppose you start 10 meters behind the line and start moving forward in anticipation of the start?
4. He went to fast into the corner to defend against Verstappen that's what caused the understeer. Clearly it's a penalty then even though he didn't intend to crash into him.

I still have a problem with this....are we really in the business of penalizing drivers for understeering and oversteering in corners? It happens a lot.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I still have a problem with this....are we really in the business of penalizing drivers for understeering and oversteering in corners? It happens a lot.
There is precedent.

Hamilton was the first driver (I believe) to be penalised for hitting a driver (Raikkonen) at the first corner (Japan).
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Unfortunately we live in a blame culture in F1 now. Cutting track limits? Penalty. Intentionally pushing someone off the track? Penalty. Going for a legit move and making an error? No thanks.

I remember Kvyat losing it in damp conditions in a qualifying session once, saving the car with great skill but not being able to avoid hitting the back of Kimi on his warm up lap. 5 place grid penalty. Absolutely ridiculous.

I think a penalty should always be for something where intention was there.
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
I can't help thinking there was some sort of favour done for Bottas today. That denied us the chance to see a really hard fight at the front. I think Lewis could have nursed his mediums to the end.

i was thinking about this we all talked About ferrari meddling & team orders. is this just proof mercedes are just more clever that this than ferrari
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
That's the problem with precedents, once you set one they are there in stone.

To my mind, Leclerc's front end washed out.it was a racing incident no more no less. Annoying for fans of both drivers but an accident none the less.

As I've already said, whizzing around for several laps with a badly damaged front wing was more of an issue.

Regarding gaining an advantage, I think it was the football manager Sam Alardyce who said when discussing the revised offside rule "If any of my players are not attempting to gain an advantage I'd want to know what they are doing on the pitch"

In the case of Seb, clearly from the response of the officials, he did not do enough to breach the rule. Therefore no penalty.

It's a bit like someone coming to break into your house, goes halfway down the drive, changes his mind and then walks away. That person can't be charged with breaking and entering because they didn't.

If however they break in and then run away empty handed, you can't say "well they didn't gain anything therefore we won't charge them" as the outcome made no difference to the crime. Gaining an advantage or not, rules are rules. They shouldn't decide when broken, the outcome just the fact they were broken.

That's my 2 pence.
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
Regarding gaining an advantage, I think it was the football manager Sam Alardyce who said when discussing the revised offside rule "If any of my players are not attempting to gain an advantage I'd want to know what they are doing on the pitch"

yep brundle always says, drivers wouldn't be out there if their wasnt time to gain
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
a thing i was reading, im glad that common sense has hit the pitlane mainly McLaren. because in the last 2 rounds sainz & Norris have bit of understeer issues & stuck a lot more front wing, its really increased performance & confidence with the driers

reason i say this is because it is simple solution but it always puzzled me as i remember a jenson button interview & christian horner talking, if a driver was siffering from understeer then they would just take more front wing out, for more striaght line speed but i never understood it because surely that just going to make the car handle even worse
 

Bernoulli

Test Driver
Well, he certainly did not gain an advantage so I have no problem with this....but as FB pointed out, suppose you start 10 meters behind the line and start moving forward in anticipation of the start?


I still have a problem with this....are we really in the business of penalizing drivers for understeering and oversteering in corners? It happens a lot.
He was intentionally too fast to block off Verstappen that caused him to understeer. It's not much different in other situations and if one then forces another driver off the track one should be penalised for the incident, especially when there is contact.
 
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Ruslan

Podium Finisher
Forcing a driver off the track has been the basis for a penalty in the past. As for the consistency, there is none in F1 rulings.
Deliberately forcing a car off has been. I don't recall too many (if any) instances of someone understeering into the car next to them and that being a penalty.
 

Bernoulli

Test Driver
What type of intent are we talking about? I'd assume that Leclerc was at least reckless when he entered the corner with to much speed approving of hitting Verstappen.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Penalising a driver for things like this is very new if you look at the history of the sport. I can think of incidents when drivers have for penalty's for dangerous driving which was seen as a risk to life (Hakkenien off the start line in Germany springs to mind) but for a incident where they are racing and suffer either car problems or make a driving error? No, that's only a recent part of the sport. Schumacher/Hill collision? No penalty in all 3. Senna/Prost? Senna got a penalty in 1989 but that was for cutting the chicane after the incident not the crash itself.

The incidents that usually get punished are the undeniable one. If you pull alongside someone during a safety car and deliberately ram them then your going to get a penalty - or if you're title rival is going past you and a deliberate make a quick movement on the steering wheel to ram into them.

The crash itself is punishment. As for the innocent bystanding, whilst it can sometimes be heartbreaking, I'm afraid its racing and you need to suck it up.
 

Ruslan

Podium Finisher
Deliberately forcing a car off has been. I don't recall too many (if any) instances of someone understeering into the car next to them and that being a penalty.

Bernoulli can you recall the number of times a similar incident resulted in a penalty? More interesting would be to assemble the list of the number of times such an incident (or worse) did not result in the penalty.
 

Titch

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
We are watching the Japanese GP from 1989. What a blast from the past :). Pit stops of 7 - 9 seconds , pit crews in trousers and shirts, Senna, Prost, Berger , Cheever, Nannini, Warwick, Mansel and other brilliant names. Short stubby cars. And who remembers the Dallaras ?
It’s brilliant.
 
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