The weekend was all about the Japanese Grand Prix, especially after the Vios Cup was postponed due to typhoon Santi. With Mark Webber on pole for the first time this season, we wondered whether he could translate it to his first win of the season or Sebastian Vettel would claim yet another victory--without discounting Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, who are always strong contenders come Sunday.
So, how did we do with our predictions?
1. Romain Grosjean will out-qualify Raikkonen. Grosjean impressed with P4 on the grid just behind Hamilton, Vettel and Webber. Raikkonen could only manage ninth. One point.
2. It's going to be a Vettel whitewash. Vettel won and is now 90 points clear of Alonso with just 100 points (four races) up for grabs. But he didn't run away with the victory--gambling instead on a split strategy with him having a two-stopper and Webber sticking to three. It's a prediction we didn't mind getting wrong, but we will award ourselves half a point.
3. Alonso and Raikkonen will complete the podium. Alonso missed the podium by just one position after qualifying eighth. We also tipped the wrong Lotus guy. Grosjean was a contender for the victory, having crossed the line in third. Meanwhile, Kimi came home in fifth, 37 seconds behind his teammate.
4. Mercedes duo will be in the points, as will Nico Hulkenberg. Well, what do you know? The Hulk continues his streak with a sixth-place finish. As for Mercedes, Nico Rosberg still managed to claim eighth despite an incident with McLaren's Sergio Perez and a drive-through penalty. Hamilton? A puncture at Turn 1 care of Vettel; he retired from the race. Half a point.
5. At least three drivers will spin off. There were three incidents, yes, but not all of them involved cars spinning out of the track. Caterham's Giedo van der Garde and Marussia's Jules Bianchi, for instance, collided with each other. No point.
Total score: 2 out of 5
Photos from Infiniti Red Bull Racing
|JPN||Starting grid||Race results|
|Pos||Driver (Team)||Quali (Start tire)||Driver (Team)||Time/Gap|
|1||Mark Webber||1m30.915s||Sebastian Vettel||1h26m49.301s|
|2||Sebastian Vettel||1m31.089s||Mark Webber||+7.1s|
|3||Lewis Hamilton||1m31.253s||Romain Grosjean||+9.9s|
|4||Romain Grosjean||1m31.365s||Fernando Alonso||+45.6s|
|5||Felipe Massa||1m31.378s||Kimi Raikkonen||+47.3s|
|6||Nico Rosberg||1m31.397s||Nico Hulkenberg||+51.6s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||1m31.644s||Esteban Gutierrez||+71.6s|
|8||Fernando Alonso||1m31.665s||Nico Rosberg||+72.0s|
|9||Kimi Raikkonen||1m31.684s||Jenson Button||+80.8s|
|10||Jenson Button||1m31.827s||Felipe Massa||+89.2s|
|11||Sergio Perez||1m31.989s||Paul di Resta||+98.5s|
|12||Paul di Resta||1m31.992s||Jean-Eric Vergne||+1 lap|
|13||Valtteri Bottas||1m32.013s||Daniel Ricciardo||+1 lap|
|14||Esteban Gutierrez||1m32.063s||Adrian Sutil||+1 lap|
|15||Pastor Maldonado||1m32.093s||Sergio Perez||+1 lap|
|16||Daniel Ricciardo||1m32.485s||Pastor Maldonado||+1 lap|
|17||Adrian Sutil||1m32.890s (Penalty)||Valtteri Bottas||+1 lap|
|18||Jean-Eric Vergne||1m33.357s||Charles Pic||+1 lap|
|19||Max Chilton||1m34.320s||Max Chilton||+1 lap|
|20||Charles Pic||1m34.556s (Penalty)||Lewis Hamilton||retired|
|21||Giedo van der Garde||1m34.879s||Giedo van der Garde||retired|
|22||Jules Bianchi||1m34.958s (Penalty)||Jules Bianchi||retired|
|1||S. Vettel||297||Red Bull||445|
|6||N. Rosberg||126||Force India||62|
|8||R. Grosjean||87||Toro Rosso||31|
|21||G. van der Garde||0|