Past races in Japan always have had race incidents that bring out the safety car and this year it was different. At the race start while entering the first corner, Alonso make a move to the left and clips the rear tire into Raikkonen's front wing. Alonso blows his tire and spins out causing confusion. Going into turn 2 Williams's Senna hits Rosberg knocking him out of the race. Grosjean continued his first lap incidents by taking Webber out. Unlike Rosberg, Webber was able to keep his car going. Grosjean would later be hit by a 10 second stop and go penalty. The harshest penalty a driver can receive during the race.
Michael Schumacher managed to avoid all the collisions and managed to climb up to 16th by the time the safety car was out. through out the race, he passed other drivers with ease and with 5 laps to go began a battle with Torro Rosso's Riccardo to claim 10th place. Riccardo managed to stay ahead to claim the final point, leaving Schumacher to finish 11th, just outside the points.
Pole Sitter and race winner Sebastian Vettel maintained constant control of the race and was never threatened. With this win, he is now only 4 points behind Alonso in the championship. Ferrari's Massa showed the car's pace and finished in 2nd place after starting in 10 place. The home town favourite, Kamui Kobayashi in his Sauber Ferrari kept Jenson button at bay and finish 3rd and celebrate a podium finish in his home race.
Full Race Results
After 53 of 53 laps
|Fastest lap: S Vettel 1:35.774 on lap 52|
|1||Germany||S Vettel||Red Bull|
|4||Great Britain||J Button||McLaren|
|5||Great Britain||L Hamilton||McLaren|
|7||Germany||N Hulkenberg||Force India|
|9||Australia||M Webber||Red Bull|
|10||Australia||D Ricciardo||Toro Rosso|
|12||Great Britain||P Di Resta||Force India|
|13||France||J Vergne||Toro Rosso|
|17||Russian Federation||V Petrov||Caterham|
|18||Spain||P de la Rosa||HRT|
|19||France||R Grosjean (ret.)||Lotus|
|20||France||C Pic (ret.)||Marussia|
|21||India||N Karthikeyan (ret.)||HRT|
|22||Mexico||S Perez (ret.)||Sauber|
|23||Spain||F Alonso (ret.)||Ferrari|
|24||Germany||N Rosberg (ret.)||Mercedes|
Team & Driver Quotes
Nico Rosberg felt he had a
I began to brake but Senna crashed into me from behind which destroyed my rear tyre and meant that I had to retire.
Itís a shame as I felt very comfortable with my car on the installation lap, and I was confident that we could score some decent points. Iíll now hope for a better weekend in Korea.Ē
However starting from 23rd on the grid made that just too much of a challenge, despite a very good strategy and encouraging pace from the car in the lower temperatures.
The accident which caused Nicoís retirement was a great shame as the car was in good shape and he could have scored decent points if he hadnít been taken out. There were some encouraging signs in the race and we will take heart from that as we continue to work on improving the car.
Norbert Haug had this to say
After starting P23 following his ten-place grid penalty, Michael came home in P11, chasing the car ahead during the last seven laps. He caught him quickly, setting better lap times in the final stint, but in the end he unfortunately could not overtake to score the last available point.
Nico was eliminated during the first corner crash through no fault of his own, so no points today for him or our team. We are now looking forward to the race next weekend in Korea