Formula 1 post-race report: Japanese Grand Prix

Championship title almost in Vettel\'s pocket
by Jason Dela Cruz | Oct 16, 2013


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.

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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


JPN Championship standings
Pos Driver Points Constructor Points
1 S. Vettel 297 Red Bull 445
2 F. Alonso 207 Ferrari 297
3 K. Raikkonen 177 Mercedes 287
4 L. Hamilton 161 Lotus 264
5 M. Webber 148 McLaren 83
6 N. Rosberg 126 Force India 62
7 F. Massa 90 Sauber 45
8 R. Grosjean 87 Toro Rosso 31
9 J. Button 60 Williams 1
10 N. Hulkenberg 39 Marussia 0
11 di Resta 36 Caterham 0
12 A. Sutil 26    
13 S. Perez 23    
14 D. Ricciardo 18    
15 J. Vergne 13    
16 E. Gutierrez 6    
17 P. Maldonado 1    
18 V. Bottas 0    
19 J. Bianchi 0    
20 C. Pic 0    
21 G. van der Garde 0    
22 M. Chilton 0    
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