Fernando Alonso Makes It Two at Japan as Hamilton Hangs His Head

Adam PooleAnalyst IOctober 12, 2008

Back to back victories in Formula One are always good; however, they become amazing when you're in a Renault and you fight off the "big dogs" such as Ferrari and McLaren.  Fernando Alonso secured his second win of the season this morning as he beat pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton, second-place man Kimi Räikkönen, and the McLaren of Heikki Kovelienen over the line in Fuji.

Most of you will remember last year's Japanese GP, one of the wettest races ever in F1 history; well, it may not have rained today, but that didn't stop it being eventful.

The drama started right from the word "Go," as Kimi Räikkönen got his Ferrari off the line quicker than Hamilton's McLaren, forcing Lewis to out-break himself into turn one, bald-spotting his hard-compound Bridgestone tyres and forcing Räikkönen off the track in the process.

Meanwhile, further down the field, David Coulthard was the first of the retirements as his rear suspension failed and was helped off the track by a Toyota, a pitty as DC has qualified way up in 10th. His Red Bull car shattered before hitting the tyre wall at around 30 MPH.

Lewis Hamilton was leading the race with his championship rival, Fillipe Massa, leading the pack behind him. Hamilton's teammate, Kovelienen, was in third, with Kubica and Alonso not far behind.

Massa caught up to Hamilton, who was sporting the bald-spotted tyres, at turn six of lap one and managed to get along side him. Hamilton kept his line, which meant Massa was forced to take his Ferrari over the apex grass, then out of nowhere, Massa's nose collided with Hamilton's silver sidepod, causing him to spin.

Hamilton then had no choice but to sit and wait until the entire pack had passed, before  spinning his McLaren back into the correct direction and continuing his race.

Race control reported that Massa and Hamilton were under-investigation, and shortly after they were both given drive-through penalties, Massa for the avoidable collision with Hamilton, and Lewis for dangerous braking, causing Räikkönen off at turn one. 

The pit-stop taken by Hamilton and his penalty meant he stayed at the back of the pack, however, he was joined by Massa after he served his penalty.

Although, Hamilton had settled into the mind-frame of "my weekend is over," Massa hadn't and pushed for any point that he could get to start the climb back to the top of the championship ladder.

A well-executed pit strategy from Renault meant that Spaniard, Fernando Alonso, was able to leap frog Robert Kubica and take the lead in the 2008 Fuji TV Japanese Grand Prix.

Kubica's BMW seemed to be lacking pace as Räikkönen, at one point, was gaining eight-tenths of a second on the Polish driver, but fantastic defensive driving for three laps showed that Kubica was going to give up without a fight.

Alonso's teammate, Nelson Piquet Jr. added more points to Renault's winning weekend, as he managed to avoid the walls of Fuji, unlike in Singapore, and finished the race in a very respectable fourth.

Toyota wasn't the luckiest team this weekend. They may own the race track, but that didn't stop German Timo Glock, from retiring from the race, only seven laps in.

McLaren may have entered the race on the top of the Construtor's Championship, be it by only one point, but there was no way for them to keep hold of that spot, as Heikki Kovelienen's McLaren shut down and eventually came to a stand-still at the end of the pit lane exit with smoke pouring out of his MP4-23.

A fantastic race for the Scuduru Torro Rosso team, Red Bull's sister car, as Sebastian Bourdais came over the line to claim sixth position, and just five seconds behind him, teammate Sebastian Vettel claimed seventh.

Williams didn't have the best weekend as "home runner," Kazuki Nakajimi was disappointed not to be able to leave with his head up and his home flag waving high. A spin on lap one forced a pit-stop from the Williams driver. When he came out, he was in last place and stayed there until the end. Meanwhilst, a fairly un-eventful race from Nick Heidfeld saw him come in only 10th.

Only 15 cars finished the race, with a further three not finishing their final lap, the final standings at the end of the FIA 2008 Fuji TV Japanese Grand-Prix were:

1.  ALONSO        Renault

2.  KUBICA        BMW           +5.2s

3.  RAIKKONEN     Ferrari       +6.4s

4.  PIQUET        Renault       +20.5s

5.  TRULLI        Toyota        +23.7s

6.  VETTEL        Toro Rosso    +39.2s

7.  MASSA         Ferrari       +46.1s

8.  WEBBER        Red Bull      +50.8s

9.  HEIDFELD      BMW           +54.1s

10. BOURDAIS      Toro Rosso    +59.0s*
11. ROSBERG       Williams      +62.0s

12. HAMILTON      McLaren       +78.9s

13. BARRICHELLO   Honda         +1 lap

14. BUTTON        Honda         +1 lap

15. NAKAJIMA      Williams      +1 lap

R.  FISICHELLA    Force India   +46 laps

R.  KOVALAINEN    McLaren       +51 laps

R.  SUTIL         Force India   +59 laps

R.  GLOCK         Toyota        +61 laps

R.  COULTHARD     Red Bull      +67 laps


* Recieved 25-second penalty Story Here

Times Taken from ITV-F1. Photo Taken from ITV-F1


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