Jensen Button won the Japanese Grand Prix in brilliant fashion, His third win of the year. The big story though, was Red Bullís Sebastian Vettel becoming the youngest back to back F1 World Champion at the age of 24 after placing 3rd in the race.
The excitement began from the start as Vettel held 1st place after he pushed a fast charging Button onto the grass on the first corner allowing Hamilton to pass by. Button pleaded for a penalty to be issued to Vettel, after investigation, the stewards said it was a fair move and took no action. All that changed when Button passed Hamilton and began attacking Vettel. Little, by little Button began eating away at Vettelís lead. Button was able to snatch first after undercutting Vettel on the second round of pitstops and never looked back.
After Vettel was radioed not to challenge for 2nd place, Alonso was free to focus on challenging Button and was able to close the gap to one second, but Button responded with a fastest lap of the race. Webber who had an uneventful race claimed 4th after being told to not take any risks by challenging Vettel. Hamilton had a difficult race and finished 5th after he punctured his rear tire and clashed again with Massa.
Sauberís Sergio Perez claimed 8th place, while Renaultís Vitaly Petrov took 9th. Nico Rosberg despite starting in 23rd place drove an excellent race and managed finish in the points to round up the top 10.
Even though Vettel has become this yearís champion, there are still 4 races left in the season. That means more battles between Button, Alonso, Webber, and Hamilton for 2nd place. Also with Rosberg and Schumacher just having 3 point separating them, the fight is goes on to be the top Mercedes driver.
|1||J Button (GBR)||McLaren||25|
|2||F Alonso (ESP)||Ferrari||18|
|3||S Vettel (GER)||Red Bull||15|
|4||M Webber (AUS)||Red Bull||12|
|5||LC Hamilton (GBR)||McLaren||10|
|6||M Schumacher (GER)||Mercedes-Benz||8|
|7||F Massa (BRA)||Ferrari||6|
|8||S Perez (MEX)||Sauber||4|
|9||V Petrov (RUS)||Renault||2|
|10||N Rosberg (GER)||Mercedes-Benz||1|
|11||A Sutil (GER)||Force India||-|
|12||P di Resta (GBR)||Force India||-|
|13||K Kobayashi (JPN)||Sauber||-|
|14||P Maldonado (VEN)||Williams||-|
|15||J Alguersuari (ESP)||Toro Rosso||-|
|16||B Senna (BRA)||Renault||-|
|17||RG Barrichello (BRA)||Williams||-|
|18||H Kovalainen (FIN)||Lotus||-|
|19||J Trulli (ITA)||Lotus||-|
|20||T Glock (GER)||Virgin||-|
|21||J d'Ambrosio (BEL)||Virgin||-|
|22||D Ricciardo (AUS)||HRT||-|
|23||V Liuzzi (ITA)||HRT||-|
Mercedes GP Team Comments:
Michael was very happy after the race in Suzuka:
We maximised our potential of the car, and managed to put in a good race today. The team did a great job the whole weekend in finding performance and transforming it into the race. I think there was not more to expect and achieve. The pit stops were perfectly timed and everything worked out according to plan.
I would like to congratulate Sebastian and his team who have been exceptional the whole year. It is extremely emotional to see him win the Championship again - I am very happy for him and even a little bit proud.
I had fun out there with a few nice overtaking manoeuvres. This is definitely one of the toughest tracks for overtaking so starting from the back of the grid meant that I had a pretty tough job.
Before the race, I hoped to achieve between eighth and 10th places and, whilst it would have been nice to be a bit higher, itís still a decent result. Thanks to the team for a good strategy and great pit stops today. After this complicated weekend, I hope to have a more normal weekend in Korea and fight in our usual position. And finally, Sebastian, congratulations: you deserve the title.
We made the absolute most of the car and opportunities we had at our disposal today. The car performed well throughout the race, our strategies were right for both cars, and the pit crew produced fantastic stops - we have performed strongly all year in the pits, and today our stops won us places, particularly for Nico during the Safety Car period when he jumped two cars. Michael and Nico both delivered great performances in the cockpit, passing cleanly when they needed to and defending strongly. Overall, I think it was a very exciting race and a fitting Grand Prix in which to crown a new World Champion. Congratulations to Sebastian and Red Bull Racing on his second World Championship - he has driven impeccably all year, and together they have set the standards we must now aim for and exceed.
Michael and Nico both delivered strong races this afternoon and quite competitive lap times. Michael raced and finished among the top three teams, leading laps during the pit stop cycles, and Nico drove strongly through the field into the points, as we believed he could after qualifying yesterday, even starting from P23. Compliments to our pit stop and strategy crew as well, who played a key role in our team result this afternoon. Congratulations to Jenson Button and McLaren-Mercedes on their victory over the World Champion but, most of all, we take our hats off to Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing - not just for winning the title, but also for defending it with an exceptional level of performance throughout the season.