Japan GP 2012 – Back in Time?

Sebastian Vettel won the race from Pole Position and never looked like losing the lead at any point, it felt a little like watching a race from last year!

The race wasn’t a classic by any means, the first corner providing most of the entertainment. I think I may be alone in my thoughts over the Grosjean/Webber incident though, I’m not saying that Grosjean wasn’t in the wrong, but I think everyone is being a little harsh on him. He was always going to try and outbrake the Sauber, the fact that Webber was going considerably slower than normal at that point of the track caught him out and he tapped him. It wasn’t a hard hit, but it was enough to spin the Australian and rip off Grosjean’s front wing. We have seen incidents like that go unpunished in the past and I think that if it hadn’t been Grosjean then no penalty would have been given. Unfortunately for Grosjean, I think he is now suffering from the reputation he has built up over the course of the year, in much the same way as Maldonado, people expect him to crash on the first lap and the stewards now seem to think that they have to punish him. Maldonado seems to be controlling himself a bit now and has had a couple of clean races, although internet and Twitter comedians are still giving him grief the rest of the world seems to have moved on. Grosjean needs to do the same, keep his nose clean for the rest of the season or he may find himself banned for longer than one race next time.

The Raikkonen/Alonso thing was purely a racing incident, no one had any more space so they came together, a shame for Alonso’s Championship challenge (and for my wallet as I put some money on him at 12/1 early in the season), but good for the excitement as we get closer to the end of the year.

Anyone who knows me knows that more than anything else in F1 I love the Williams Team and this season has been a revelation in terms of performance compared to the last few years. Rubens Barrichello has recently stated that the team would be doing even better if he was still driving for them, and I have to say that in some ways I agree although I wouldn’t really want Senna or Maldonado to not be racing for them this year, but I may go into that in a potential season review later in the year. Anyway, another solid result for the team, but after Barcelona it is now slightly disappointing despite some great drives from both drivers.

I was gutted when Perez spun out, I had £5 at 40/1 on him to win! I don’t think his maiden victory is far off, he might actually achieve it for Sauber and I think most of the F1 grid and fans would love to see it for both Perez and Sauber. Kobayashi had a fantastic race and fended off a late challenge from Button to secure his first ever F1 podium, the reaction from the Japanese crowd was amazing and a truly classic moment for me that I will remember for a while – I don’t think I can remember a time when a crowd has chanted a driver’s name like that, but if you can feel free to remind me!

Massa is a driver that I used to really like, but feel that if he hadn’t had the big accident in Hungary 2009 when a spring fell off of Barrichello’s BrawnGP and hit him in the head, then Ferrari would have dropped him before now. But then I also think that if it wasn’t for that accident he may not have lost so much performance in the following years. Recently though Massa seems to have come alive again, especially today when he came from nowhere to take second place! I genuinely don’t remember how it happened, one minute he wasn’t on my mind, then after the first round of stops he was there, and stayed there! If he can keep this up then I may have to change my mind about him again….

So now the Driver’s Championship is really close and I can’t help but think that Vettel will continue to get better and take it, although I will still be cheering for Alonso for the sake of my wallet! Korea next weekend and I get to watch the race live on Sky Sports for the second race in a row, can’t wait!

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