F1: Japanese Grand Prix Preview
Without any time to recover, we have another Grand Prix this weekend at the amazing Suzuka! Yet another Vettel victory has all but sealed the title but hopefully Japan can breathe some excitement back into the F1 calendar.
Korea F1 Recap
So Vettel has once again put together four wins on the trot to blow his competition out of the water and he still has the next two tracks where he won last year. Some excitement brought about by two safety cars kept things interesting and the Lotus drivers did a great job to get themselves both on the podium. I picked Hulkenberg for a top five finish if it rained but it seems as though he did exactly that even in the dry! The win left Vettel with a chance to clinch the title this weekend, he needs to win again and see Alonso finish eighth or lower. Not quite the season finish we all wished for.
Japanese Grand Prix Preview
In the four years since Suzuka has been reinstated as the venue for the Japanese Grand Prix, one man has dominated and unfortunately for us, it’s the same man who has dominated the previous four races; Sebastian Vettel. Vettel has qualified on pole all four years and has three victories and a third place in that same time frame. To predict anything but a Vettel pole position and victory would be pretty much madness but at least this is a track all the drivers love as it provides a real challenge where they can make a huge amount of difference to the lap times if they hook it up correctly. For example, messing up your turn in point for turn three will mean that you are also compromised for the next four corners. The first two free practice sessions have already seen multiple crashes which just goes to show how tricky this track can be.
The drivers also love any Japanese race because of the crowd, even on a Thursday when teams are setting up and there is no on-track action, thousands of fans still turn up to just sit in the grandstand and quietly watch the mechanics go about their business.
With a great showing by Lotus in Korea, they may think that their current form will allow them to catch Ferrari and Mercedes in the constructors as they are now in a very tight battle. You would expect a response from both Mercedes and Ferrari after a poor race last time out but neither team really seems to be making any strides and perhaps have accepted defeat and concentrating more on next season. Lewis Hamilton seems confident that his Mercedes can do well in Suzuka following it’s strength in the Korean middle sector which holds many similarities with this track.
- Sebastian Vettel
- Mark Webber
- Fernando Alonso
- Lewis Hamilton
- Kimi Raikkonen
As I said earlier, predicting anything other than a Vettel win would be madness so that is a given. Hamilton just doesn’t seem to be on it like he was before the summer break, whether the car just hasn’t improved at the same rate as his rivals or his personal life is getting in the way again I don’t know but I would hazard a guess that it’s a bit of both.
The Korean Grand Prix is live on Sky and the BBC, here are the times:
Qualifying – Green light – 06:00
BBC 1 – 05:00 – 07:30
Sky F1 – 05:00 – 07:45
BBC 1 – 13:20 – 14:35 (replay)
Sky F1 – 11:00 – 13:45 (replay)
Race – Lights out – 07:00
BBC 1 – 06:00 – 09:15
Sky F1 – 05:30 – 10:15
BBC 1 – 14:00 – 16:00 (replay)
Sky F1 – 11:30 – 16:15 (replay)
Agree, don’t agree? Let me know below!