Viewed : 2,808 times

Recommended Articles

Vettel delayed Gorsjean's maiden Grand Prix victory and denied Webber of one after winning strategic dominant Japanese Grand Prix.

14 Oct 2013 | International News : Japan

It might be the usual repeated tale of dominance, but this time, triple world champion, Sebastian Vettel, had to put in a minuscule amount of effort to earn the top spot on the podium at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka yesterday.

This is the fourth time this season, the podium was locked out by Renault power courtesy of Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Lotus Renault
Unlike previous races, where he displayed a race pace of light years, Vettel crossed the line ahead of his team mate, a decent 7.13 seconds at the end of 53 laps.

All three drivers led the race at one point, but the differing strategies of the Red Bulls between a two stopping Vettel and a three stopping Webber, got better of the gold on black Lotus.

Rather than earning a position on the pit wall, Webber and Vettel earned their places with some old school on-track action with a little aid of modern technology.

Nico Rosberg in the sole Mercedes, Jenson Button in the McLaren and Felipe Massa in the other blood red Ferrari, finished within points as McLaren had another race to forget, after finishing ninth and fifteenth respectively.

With poor starts from Red Bull and Kimi Raikkonen, Grosjean pulled away as soon as the five red lights went off and lead into the first corner from fourth on the grid. Lewis Hamilton had a good start, but luck was not in his side after his right-rear tyre made contact with Vettel's front wing - causing him a puncture. He dropped down the grid and ultimately retired after sustaining damage to the floor of his Mercedes.

Vettel's two-stop strategy proved superior to Webber's three stop due to tyre management issues. Webber was primed for a low downforce setup which allowed him to overtake better - despite punishing his tyres more. Vettel's first stop was two laps later than Grosjean's, but his second was eight laps later, so passing the Frenchman for the lead was easy.

Star drivers for the strategically dominant race had to be Romain Grosjean and rising star Nico Hulkenberg of the second Lotus and Sauber respectively
Webber was a second faster than the other two, yet his car set up gave him limited traction which hindered overtaking Grosjean for second but aided Vettel with a lead cushion. The battle between Grosjean and Webber ended on the penultimate lap on a track congested with backmarkers.

With Vettel crossing the line to the dance of the monochrome flag, the young German claimed his fifth victory in a row and aided his Red Bull Racing team to clinch a podium one-two.

More importantly the 26-year old German technically earned his fourth world title yesterday. But celebrations had to be postponed as title contender, Fernando Alonso, crossed the finishing line in fourth - after starting eighth - implying the fight for the drivers’ championship is mathematically still alive.

Currently, Alonso at 207 points is 90 points away from the young German and the Spaniard has to miraculously win every single race from hereafter to win his third title. Other title contenders, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton, fell out of the race after the former finished fifth while the latter retired. They stand third and fourth in the leaderboard with 177 and 161 points respectively - with just four more races to go.

Special credit should be given to Esteban Gutierrez for finishing seventh and earning the teams precious six points - and the first points of his career. Despite a poor start to the season, the Sauber team has really shined the past four races and are seventh in the Constructors championships - 17 points behind Force India.

Further north, Red Bull has dominated the 2013 season after earning 445 points - a massive 148 points ahead of Ferrari and 158 points ahead of Mercedes. With the drivers' championship pretty much sealed, the constructor's championship is pretty much alive - for second and third placing that is - between Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus Renault.

Formula One entertainment returns in two weeks' time in India, where the battle will - without a doubt - reach its climax.
  • Email

You may also like

1-10 of 20