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Oct 07 2012

F1 2012: Suzuka

When last we chatted about Hamilton’s prospects I was convinced he’d stay at McLaren and Mercedes wasn’t even on the chart.  Why?  Because they have a slow car, arguably 5th slowest out of 12 and some of the Sauber and Force India fans would contend lower than that.

What Mercedes does have is Ross Brawn (who also snagged Schumacher) and Nico Rosberg (Carting team mate) who are both very good friends.

I still don’t think this was a wise decision from a competitive standpoint, but the heart want’s what it wants and it’s not irrational at all for Hamilton to feel that McLaren’s track management mistakes were holding him back.

Schumacher was done anyway, he’s been driving like a man who just doesn’t care for the last two years.  This leaves an opening at McLaren with no obvious (or rather- too many) contenders.

Well we finally have an explanation of why Scuderia Marlboro UPC sucked so bad these past few seasons, their wind tunnel is a piece of crap.  Lotus is not going to get a chance to use their new wing, probably for the season, because there is just not enough track test time.

Hards and Softs, no Mediums.  What this means is there will be a very distinct performance/durability gap between them.  Pirelli is predicting a 3 stop race, but some teams may try for 2.

Schumacher penalized 20 positions for the collision at Marina Bay, Button and Hulkenberg lose 5 positions for a gearbox change.  Vettel escapes with a mere reprimand for blocking Alonso.  Hamilton qualified exceptionally poorly because he was behind the last lap crash of Raikkonen.

Suzuka is very fast, but doesn’t have a lot of passing opportunities.  This race will likely be won or lost on tire strategy and pit stops unless there are mechanical failures or accidents.

Interactive Track

Suzuka

Official Sites

Pretty tables below.

Starting Grid

Grid Driver Team Q-Time Q-Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:30.8 11
2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:31.1 15
3 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:31.7 16
4 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:31.9 20
5 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:32.0 20
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:32.1 17
7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1:32.2 18
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.3 14
9 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.3 17
10 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:32.293 12
11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:32.327 14
12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:32.512 11
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:32.625 16
14 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:32.954 14
15 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:32.272 12
16 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:33.368 14
17 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:33.405 8
18 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:34.657 6
19 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:35.213 8
20 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:35.385 6
21 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:35.429 8
22 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:35.432 8
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:36.734 6
24 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:32.469 10

Driver Standings

Rank Driver Team Points
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 194
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 165
3 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 149
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 142
5 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 133
6 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 119
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 93
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 82
9 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 65
10 Felipe Massa Ferrari 51
11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 44
12 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 43
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 35
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 31
15 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 29
16 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 25
17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 8
18 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 6

Constructor Standings

Rank Team Points
1 Red Bull 297
2 McLaren 261
3 Ferrari 245
4 Lotus 231
5 Mercedes 136
6 Sauber 101
7 Force India 75
8 Williams 54
9 Toro Rosso 14

42 comments

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  1. ek hornbeck
  2. ek hornbeck
  3. ek hornbeck
  4. ek hornbeck
  5. ek hornbeck
  6. ek hornbeck
  7. ek hornbeck
  8. ek hornbeck
  9. ek hornbeck
  10. ek hornbeck
  11. ek hornbeck

    Vettel

    Kobayashi

    Button

    Massa

    Raikkonen

    Hamilton

    Perez

    Hulkenberg

    Maldonado

    Ricciardo

  12. ek hornbeck
  13. ek hornbeck
  14. ek hornbeck
  15. ek hornbeck

    Typical.

  16. ek hornbeck

    Vettel

    Kobayashi

    Button

    Massa

    Raikkonen

    Perez

    Hamilton

    Hulkenberg

    Maldonado

    Ricciardo

  17. ek hornbeck

    Needs air for his pneumatic valve lifters.

  18. ek hornbeck
  19. ek hornbeck

    Vettel

    Kobayashi

    Massa

    Perez

    Hamilton

    Maldonado

    Ricciardo

    Button

    Kovalainen

    Vergne

  20. ek hornbeck
  21. ek hornbeck
  22. ek hornbeck
  23. ek hornbeck
  24. ek hornbeck

    Vettel

    Massa

    Kobayashi

    Button

    Raikkonen

    Hamilton

    Hulkenberg

    Maldonado

    Webber

    Ricciardo

  25. ek hornbeck
  26. ek hornbeck

    Vettel

    Massa

    Kobayashi

    Button

    Raikkonen

    Hamilton

    Hulkenberg

    Maldonado

    Webber

    Ricciardo

  27. ek hornbeck
  28. ek hornbeck

    Vettel

    Massa

    Kobayashi

    Button

    Raikkonen

    Hamilton

    Hulkenberg

    Maldonado

    Ricciardo

    Schumacher

  29. ek hornbeck
  30. ek hornbeck

    Wing adjustment.

  31. ek hornbeck

    Vettel

    Massa

    Button

    Kobayashi

    Raikkonen

    Hamilton

    Ricciardo

    Maldonado

    Hulkenberg

    Schumacher

  32. ek hornbeck
  33. ek hornbeck
  34. ek hornbeck
  35. ek hornbeck
  36. ek hornbeck

    Vettel

    Massa

    Kobayashi

    Button

    Hamilton

    Raikkonen

    Hulkenberg

    Maldonado

    Webber

    Ricciardo

  37. ek hornbeck
  38. ek hornbeck

    Vettel

    Massa

    Kobayashi

    Button

    Hamilton

    Raikkonen

    Hulkenberg

    Maldonado

    Webber

    Ricciardo

  39. ek hornbeck

    for ignoring blue flags.

  40. ek hornbeck

    Vettel

    Massa

    Kobayashi

    Button

    Hamilton

    Raikkonen

    Hulkenberg

    Maldonado

    Webber

    Ricciardo

  41. ek hornbeck
  42. ek hornbeck

    Vettel

    Massa

    Kobayashi

    Button

    Hamilton

    Raikkonen

    Hulkenberg

    Maldonado

    Webber

    Ricciardo

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