2009 Japan Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: The championship battle rubber band has snapped back to once again give hope, albeit slight, to the chasers.
EVENT: The Japanese have always loved open wheel racing, and apparently enjoy the return to Suzuka.
TRACK: With all the European media attention on places like Spa, Monza, and Silverstone, it's easy to overlook the fact that Suzuka is also a great, proper track beloved by all the drivers.
QUALIFYING: The most action packed (and penalty filled) of the year.
RACE: On the flip side, the race itself was generally a snoozer.
START: Nice and clean for once.
VETTEL: When Sebastian is on, no one can catch him. Even with an "overused" engine.
WEBBER: Should have stayed home.
TRULLI: Now Jarno gets the second spot. And his reward may be the same as Glock's.
GLOCK: How quickly the fortunes of racing change. Get better for Brazil, Timo. After all, those fans love you so much...
TOYOTA: If they do indeed stay in F1, it appears they will go about it all wrong.
HAMILTON: Lewis' newfound happiness may evaporate if Raikkonen comes on board next year.
RAIKKONEN: Kimi will get paid ~$46 million to not drive for Ferrari. Where can we find a job like that?
ROSBERG: Running out the season for Williams.
BARRICHELLO: Once again, Rubens out qualifies and out races his teammate. Next, he gets the extra inspiration of his hometown fans for the final push.
BUTTON: Eked out another point. This has got to be the slowest championship clinching ever.
KUBICA: Will love to see Robert at Renault.
ALONSO: Not on pace this weekend. Soon, we'll get to see how well he does mentally with a competitive teammate again
FISICHELLA: His Ferrari dream will end his career.
SUTIL: A lost opportunity as there was no need to make that move when Adrian was about to pit anyway.
NAKAJIMA: No home country inspiration.
BUEMI: Someone else who would have been better off staying at home.
MOSLEY: Max doesn't seem to want to go quietly. Now he's pissing off the entire Middle East.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Degner.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 3 -- The number of red flags during qualifying.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The World Driver's title was decided in Japan 12 times. The first time was one of the most famous ones in the first Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix in 1976 at Fuji. After surviving a near fatal crash at the Nurburgring, Niki Lauda pulled out of the Japan race during a monsoon stating his life was more important than the championship. Shortly afterwards, the rain let up, and James Hunt finished third to pass Lauda for the championship. The race was won by Mario Andretti.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost after a disastrous weekend, "I know this is a very expensive country. That was certainly the case for us this weekend!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Rubens Barrichello on Suzuka perhaps alluding to all the qualifying crashes, "It's a track that invites you to go as fast as you can, but you don't know where the limit is. Suzuka is about that."
SCHEDULE: Back to Brazil, the scene a year ago for one of the wildest championship finishes in history. The locals will sure be wound up not for Massa this time, but Rubens, against once again another Brit.
Copyright © 2009 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.