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Well that wasn’t too bad was it. ... Well alright maybe it was for the lead and the win. Nevertheless, the rest of it was interesting in a “will he won’t he get past” kind of way, if not in actual racing.

Post race, Hamilton had this to say “It’s strange, you know,” he said. “Me and Fernando in fifth and sixth at the end, and having our own little race, we are of a higher calibre than that, we should be further ahead, and fighting with the World Champions at the front, and with Sebastian. I guess that just shows where the sport is today.”

What do you think ? I don’t think there’s any doubt that Alonso and Hamilton are a cut above the likes of Grosjean and Hulkenberg. But the Hulk knew what he was doing out there today, he had the drive and the top speed to keep the Merc driver behind him, he didn’t weave around and drive like some nutter showing off to his pregnant girlfriend in the local Asda car park. Nico is a class act and he should really be in a car worthy of his talent. Therefore, I think it is a bit disingenuous of Lewis to dismiss his efforts as some third rate loser getting in his way to the front. Besides which he has to realise that Nico is looking for a top line drive next year, he’s going to take every opportunity to impress isn’t he.

So I thought it was an interesting race for the rest of the top ten, and for those that didn’t quite cut it. Like Mr Di Resta who once again drove off the circuit all on his lonesome. If it is possible for a star to fall out of a bargain bucket, then Pauls has crashed through the floor and is heading to the centre of the earth as we speak. From a talent that was fated as the next Scottish world champion it’s all gone so horrible wrong. He seems to have a bit of a blind spot about qualifying and the idea of going “as quickly as possible” and staying on the circuit during the whole of the race. Oh I’m sure he’ll blame the tyre change and the 2012 rules or sum such m’larky. But the reality is he’s alright in a tintop, but he’s not got the chops for a the open wheel world.

Just like Maldonado, who got over taken by everyone, It’s not the care people it’s the lack of talent behind the wheel. Fire his sorry backside and get Suzie Wolf in there pronto you fools.

Talking of idiots in charge of a sinking ship, I suspect we have just seen our last Korean F1, a shame I as I said at the start of the gig. Sending a random VIP 4x4 up the track to have a look at a burning Redbull, is not the sort of thing that gets Bernie to sign on the dotted line of a new contract. On what planet do they send an incident vehicle onto a track to have a look at a burning F1 car, unless they had the fire extinguisher that the marshals appeared to lack on the side of the track. Webber could have pitched a tent and broken out the toasting forks to the fans in the stands whilst he waited for some assistance.

Well that’s if he could find any fans of course, Friday and Saturday you were hard pressed to spot anyone in the seat, cheap or not. Sunday was a little bit better, but there were whole sections with seat after seat of emptiness. You can’t afford to host a GP if you’re playing to empty stands, the numbers just don’t add up, Bernie wants the reddies not the wrong cars on track.

So then Vettel yeah, I have no idea what they’re doing with the car, but it’s working. Well its working for Vettel, not for Webber who was always going to struggle after a ten place grid penalty for the track invasion in Singapore. Vettel was just so much faster than anyone else wasn’t he, out of the corners especially you’ll have noticed. And he was knocking out fastest lap after faster lap at the end, whilst everyone else was driving to protect their right front tyre. That’ not suspicions now is it. Well no not really, he didn’t have to spend lap after lap behind anyone else ragging his tyres, and when you’re there its easy. As he proved. Yet again ..... At least they didn’t boo him this time.

Kimi was second after showing Grosjean how its done. Then the pit wall told him to let his soon to be ex teammate past, and he told them what they could do with that plan. You have just got to love Kimi.

Grosjean third, he nipped past Lewis at the restart, and couldn’t stop Kimi schooling him in the ways of a proper racing driver. Still it’s another race where we get to talk about him finishing rather than taking someone else out. So I think the future might be bright for him, until Hulkenberg climbs inot the car next year of course, then he’s going to get nailed and that’ll be that.

Hulkenberg storms it to fourth and that was a top draw, “please dear Lord give me the drive I deserve, do you see that Ferrari that’s what you threw away”, drive, and you will be able to tell your children in years to come that you saw it. He had one corner to save his race lap after lap, and he just made Hamilton look ordinary. That Sauber had the right gearing for the long straight and the right gear to get out of turn one through two to leave the third most expensive car on the grid eating its dust. He could have so easily locked it all up into turn one and thrown it all away. He was parking it up on the apex, Hamilton had to check his momentum into the corner and that was enough for Nico to get the power down. Then with the long gear, he had enough grunt to neutralise the advantage Lewis got from the DRS, but he still had to get the thing stopped at the end of the straight, not lock out and flat spot that front right. I really rate Hulkenberg, he should be in a top line car, this is the race that’ll get him there.

Hamilton fifth, oh look, fast on Friday and Saturday then not so good on Sunday. Does that sound familiar? The Hulk made him look ordinary and he can complain to the media all he likes, but when it became obvious that he was never going to make the pass into turn one stick, why didn’t he drop back and driver through turns one and turn and dive it up the inside of turn three ? Asking the pit wall wasn’t working, and he’s a better driver than that.

Alonso, another race to forget in sixth. He had a couple of halfhearted goes at Lewis but the front of that Ferrari just didn’t want to go into any corner the way he wanted it to.

Rosberg seventh and he was lucky to make it to the end. He had Hamilton licked, then the nose fell off the car and that should have been that, but the safety car saved Mercedes blushes and Nico did well to get it back to the top ten. The team dynamic at Mercedes is interesting these days, Rosberg isn’t being blown anyway and he’s certainly not in any sort of awe of Hamilton, the lucks just not gone his way this year. Meanwhile Hamilton, to my ears, still isn’t quite ready to trust the pit wall, asking them if they have any ideas how to pass Hulkenberg , really. He’s the one being paid the big bucks to go racing, he’s there in the singular moment. The pit wall can tell him where he’s fast and what lap to pit on, but not the best way to get past the car in front. Something he doesn’t normally have a problem with. I think the question was less to do with his talent and more to do with a team that isn’t short of a bob or two being shown the way home by a team scraping around to make the drivers wages next month. If the car doesn’t match the engine next year which is expect to be the leader of the pack, It will be interesting to see how the two drivers deal with it.

Button eighth, picking up the pay check again.

Massa ninth, and that’s not a bad drive from the Brazilian. Okay the start was a bit rubbish, as he spun into turn three and ended up at the back of the field. But after than he drove a pretty strong race and got back to the top ten. Not something to be sniffed out, it’s just a shame he couldn’t do this sort of thing all year.

And Perez was tenth. Lucky.

Finally Max was last this week, a mere five seconds behind Bianci and a life time away from Vettel.

Picasso Of Pain,22
Tokyo Bogue,12
James Roberts,11
Boozy The Clown,11


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Apparently McLaren have ruled out a move for Hulk because of his height. The weight restriction for next season is prohibitive to having tall drivers, as the new engines weigh more than expected. Button will struggle, and while the likes of Whitmarsh say something needs to be done, he's said that the teams with shorter and lighter drivers will always vote against any change to the weight restriction as it's not in their interest.

However, in the interest of driver health, surely some kind of formal body has to step in. Button already says his body is at the limit of the weight he can lose, and look at Webber this season - fucking Skeletor.

It's also very shortsighted of the teams to vote against changes. Yes, you may have short and and skinny drivers now but in a few years time who knows.

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Yeah but Lewis should be a multiple world champion by now, except all these other people keep driving in front of him and not letting him go and race Seb for world titles. Don't they know he's special?

Lewis needs to STFU and concentrate on driving.

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Is there any sane reason why the weight limit is car + driver and not just the car?

Limiting only the car would penalise heavier drivers more.

Was thinking this weekend - say Vettel accrues enough points to be able to take the title regardless of what happens in the remaining races - would it be better for spectators if he he was banned from taking part in any of the remaining races? Couldn't happen for various reasons (e.g. Red Bull not getting the TV time they pay for) but just out of interest.

Was thinking if Vettel wasn't there on Sunday and was just gifted the win - would the Kimi/Sideshow/Hulk/Lewis/Alonso battles have been more exciting?

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sore ankle and back apparently but ok.

amazing considering the impact...

Having seen it live there's really only one reaction.

American marshals are fucking terrible. It takes absolutely forever for anything to happen and then one guy ambles out like he's walking to the supermarket and then goes to the other cars first rather than the guy that just took a wallride.

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Okay then, this is the make or break race. We're either going to get a bit of a race for the end of he season, or its going to be all over as a spectacle on Sunday.

If Vettel wins, he'll be champion, waving that finger around like he's miss-wiped and doesn't want it to touch anything. The crowd will cheer, the Redbull boys and girls will cheer and spray champagne around . The rest of the paddock with roll its eyes and get back to packing up. The old hands have seen it all before .... not too long ago either, though it was a red car then.

If he loses, and that's not very likely to happen now is it, then we'll move on to India and the job will be completed there. I've not worked the numbers out, but I think Alonso has to win, and Vettel not finish for the rest of the season. Or Hamilton has to win and Vettel be fired out of a cannon towards Jupiter and be deducted 200 points. Basically there isn't much chance of Vettel not being world champions, it's all just a matter of time now.

And to be honest if he's going to do it, it may as well be here in Japan where at least they appreciate the talent and effort. This is the place that gives the Italians a run for their money in the "crazy obsessive stalking fans" stakes. Despite not actually having any cultural connection with F1 these days (Infiniti not with standing), The Japanese are absolutely nuts about this sport.

Mostly I think it's because they have a proper amphitheatre to flock to and celebrate the spectacle. Not some carpark in the back lot of trading estate in a swamp next to a dockyard.

I like Suzuka its odd, different, idiosyncratic and a real challenge for the drivers. Get it wrong here and there won't be miles and miles of run off to save the blushes. I confidently predict Maldonado or Perez will smack the wall at least once this weekend. All the money in the world can't buy you the talent to take 130R flat, thread the car through the Degner Curves and keep the momentum round that long, long sweeping spoon curve.

Up front, Alonso, Kimi, Lewis (wondering where the pace went come the race) .... and Vettel of course.

Is it the car ? clever engineering and a whole shed load of cash ? is it talent ? and do we still question that talent purely because he gets out of the best car on the grid and waves that finger around at us, no humble apology, no "hey I'm just lucky to have a great team" or a shy smile and witty quip.

There are moves within Redbull to try and temper this victory celebration. Maybe the booing of the last few month has got through to the PR department. Time for a charm offensive.

The problem is, Vettel doesn't seem to care what the crowd thinks, he still gets out of the that car smiles that big Smile and waves his finger around.

anyway, I've rambled on long enough. update your prediction before Friday and good luck everyone.

Oh yeah, this weekend is also the Bathurst 1000 V8 race. If you fancy an all nighter the weekend than pick up the build up from Saturday 10.30pm on motor TV, before the Japanese F1 race starts on Sunday at 7am on the BBC (or sky).

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