2009 Japanese GP: Reality Check

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2009 Japanese GP: Reality Check
(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

This week F1 returns to Suzuka! I love this old track for the many great moments from past races. Love Japan too, the fans are enthusiastic in the way only Japanese fans can be.

As usually, recapping the highs and lows of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend:

  • It has finally happened...Alonso in, Kimi out. Minus 5. The decision itself was questionable, but still understandable. The way it was handled though was slightly distasteful and disrespectful. Well, at least next season should be spicy.
  • Spotted: Kimi walking through the McLaren garage more than once. Plus 2. Excuse me while I stifle a giggle.
  • Drenched track in FP1 and FP2. Minus 2. No fun.
  • Mark Webber crashes in FP3, has to sit out qualifying. Minus 5. What's happening? The bad luck streak is unbelievable.
  • Fisichella out in Q1. Minus 1. Sigh. It's either the lack of testing or Kimi/Massa are supermen. Two more races to go, any chance of points?
  • Alguersuari crashes in Q2. Red flag. Minus 2.  
  • Glock crashes in Q2. Second red flag. Minus 2. Took a long time getting Timo out, so a little drama and confusion there. Very interesting qualifying, halfway through Q2, only two drivers have set lap times.
  • Buemi leaves his front wing on track. Yellow flag. Minus 3. Hmm I don't quite get the fuss. Was it the line that Buemi took after the accident? Otherwise I see no difference in parking the car and limping back to the pits.
  • Kovalainen crashes in Q3. Red flag number three. Minus 3. Alright, this is bordering on ridiculous. Longest qualifying session ever.
  • Vettel on pole! Plus 2. Wunderkid is back.
  • Trulli qualifies P2. Plus 2. The old man's still got it.
  • Heidfeld qualifies P4. Plus 2. Didn't see that coming, good job.
  • Penalties galore before the race. Minus 1. Confusing grid. Special mention to Alonso, cos he was so sure he was moving up a few places, then slapped with a five-place drop. Minus one.
  • Red lights go off, and we're racing! No change to the top five. Minus 1. Awww.
  • Kovalainen/Sutil incident allows Button through. Minus 2. Silly silly mistake by Heikki, a bit of luck for Jenson.
  • Kovalainen/Fisichella pit exit fight. Plus 1. But a bit pointless really.
  • Alguersuari crash at 130R. Minus 1. Well I was wondering where the safety car was during the race. Smashing the ING sign looked good though. Plus 1.
  • Rosberg lucks out when the safety car comes out. Plus 1. How handy, jumps Barrichello for P5.
  • Vettel wins! Plus 2. Brilliant! The fight is not over yet.
  • Trulli P2 for Toyota. Plus 2. Japanese bosses should be pleased.
  • Lewis finishes P3. Plus 1. To be honest I expected better, but good job nonetheless, especially since KERS wasn't working.
  • Kimi in P4. Plus 3. I have to shamelessly praise him, cos the F60 doesn't belong there.
  • Heidfeld finishes P6. Plus 1. Nick is solid.
  • Brawns finish P7 and P8. Minus 2. I'm shaking my head. The phrase "damage limitation" has been popping up too often recently. Oh well, doesn't matter whether you crawl or sprint, as long as you get to the finish line first.
  • Massa is P11 on the WDC leaderboard. Heikki is P12 with the same number of points. Minus 1. Miraculously Ferrari is still third in the WCC. Nice to see Heikki helping Kimi out in his efforts.
Two weeks break, and we're off to Sao Paolo! Another classic track, where the action should be good, and where at least the WCC should be settled. Hopefully we'll also have more driver announcements to keep us occupied in the mean time.
Cheers!

 

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