Race 16: Japanese Grand Prix

Well, thanks to the rain, the qualifying session for the Japanese Grand Prix was pushed back to Sunday morning. This meant that there would be no running in the wet and the order would be pretty much as normal. However, the first few laps would be anything but. With the two Red Bulls having locked out the front row, everyone was anticipating a dog fight into the first corner. But it was not at the front that people were to be watching. As the field broke away from their grid spots, the yellow Renault of Vitaly Petrov speared wildly out of control and slammed into the wall. He had gotten an extremely good start, but when he went to cut off Nico Hulkenberg’s Williams, clipped the front wing and spun off into the wall. This also ended the day for Hulkenberg, and already my results were going to be screwed up.

As the field continued to hurtle toward the first corner, the camera panned away just as Felipe Massa got his wheels off the surface of the track and onto the still wet grass. He couldn’t brake and speared the sidepod of Force India’s Tonio Liuzzi, ending both their races.

After the safety car period ended, it was Vettel, followed by Robert Kubica, Mark Webber and Alonso. However, after just a few more laps, one of Kubica’s rear wheels dislodged and his race was done. Up front, there was to be no more action, while at the back, it was all about Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi mopping up all of the slower drivers that he could. His preferred passing spot of the hairpin was both awe inspiring and unquestionably daring. His brakes must have been pushed to the limit because he was doing some really magical things with his Sauber. As far as how I fared in my call, well I did get Vettel right, but that was it. Here is how the final points looked at the end.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Mark Webber

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Jenson Button

5. Lewis Hamilton

6. Michael Schumacher

7. Kamui Kobayashi

8. Nick Heidfeld

9. Rubens Barrichello

10. Sebastian Buemi

The next race will (supposedly) take place in Korea in two weeks time. Not one of the drivers has driven on the circuit, so no one will have a huge advantage over anyone else. It’s always interesting to see a new track on the calendar and this should be no exception.

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