Sunday, October 4, 2009

Japanese GP Review: Vettel wins to gatecrash into the Championship Race

Sebastian Vettel drove his best race of the year to win the 2009 Japanese GP in a convincing style and still have a shot at the drover’s championship. With 2 races to go, Vettel is behind leader Button by 16 points and if Vettel manages to win both the races and if Button once again scores only a minimum of points, well the Briton may not actually win the Championship which was in his hands during the 1st half of the season. Rubens Barrichello crucially managed to finish ahead of Button to score 2 vitals points and the gap between him and Button is now only 14 points but Vettel has a better chance than Barrichello in the title hunt but though Button may win it in the end, he has to work extra hard for it.

Jarno Trulli had a very impressive race and with only one Toyota running, he raced in what could be the most important race for the team in its F1 history as only his 2nd place finish may have kept the team on the grid for next season, but it may also entice a driver like Kimi or even Kubica to join the Japanese outfit for 2010. It was a flawless drive from Trulli who still showed everyone that he still has it in him while Glock after his accident in qualifying could not take part in the race will feel a bit unlucky as he too would have been in point scoring position during the race.

Lewis Hamilton managed to come 3rd and though he managed to finish ahead of Kimi in the race a lot will be going thru his mind as there are enough reliable sources out there who suggest that Kimi is well on his way to McLaren for the next season. Hamilton though had a good pace he was nowhere near Vettel and even with KERS, he could not catch up with him during the early part of the race while McLaren’s KERS which was supposed to be the best on the grid had to be deactivated for Hamilton for the 2nd straight race while teammate Heikki Kovalainen failed to score points and well after the next 2 races, he may have to struggle to find a seat with a top running team once again.

Kimi and Ferrari helped by lot of grid penalties managed to come in 4th while Rosberg came 5th and though he is the only scoring Williams driver so far this season, he has single-handedly put up the fight against teams like Renault and BMW. He is by far the contender for the driver or the year and he surely cannot stay with the underperforming Williams team for another season and its time he either joins Brawn or even McLaren if he has any chance of going for the title.

Nick Heidfeld came 6th while teammate Robert Kubica missed out on the points by coming in 9th just behind Button. BMW now had found a buyer and is hoping to leave the sport on a high while both Heidfeld and Kubica are driving to just get better drives for the next season. Though Kubica is a wanted man, weirder things have happened in F1 and don’t be too shocked if Heidfeld goes to McLaren, as he was not only part of their young driver’s program but was supposed to head there before Kimi sped his was past nick into the McLaren line-up.
Apart from Vettel, all the 3 other Red Bull cars had a miserable weekend, as Webber not only pitted 5 times, he had to start from the pits after he missed qualifying due to a crash during practice and his only consolidation for the race was putting in the fastest lap of the race while Toro Rosso actually had a good car which was capable enough for points but both Buemi and Alguersuari ended up having a wild weekend as Buemi apart from crashing a few times during qualifying had to retire due to clutch issues while Alguersuari who benefited with all the penalties on the grid started from 12th but had an accident which put him off the race and got the safety car involved.

Force India was expected to do well on this track but some over ambitious driving from Sutil ensured that the team failed to score points while Liuzzi have so far done enough to suggest that he deserves a drive for the next year.

Though rain did not play a part we still saw a very strong performance from Vettel and he will go into the Brazilian GP as a clear favourite but don’t discount Rubens Barrichello who may use his home grand prix as the best place to assert himself in the title race.

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