The Formula 1 World Championship returned to Suzuka for the first time since 2006 this weekend. Jenson Button could sure up the title this weekend as could Brawn GP. Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing would have something to say about it before all was said and done however.
Sebastian Vettel would go on to dominate the Japanese Grand Prix. His victory not only kept Red Bull Racing in the title fight, but also kept the German himself in the hunt for his first driver’s title. Toyota was unable to capitalize on another front row start. However, it has to be a feel good story for the team as this is the second consecutive runner up finish for the struggling Japanese outfit. Trulli was quickly overtaken at the start by McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton who used his KERS to get around the Toyota. Hamilton would eventually round out the podium, further aiding McLaren in their fight for third place in the constructor’s title.
Brawn GP had a rough weekend all together after being penalized five grid positions for not lifting during a caution flag at the end of Q2. With the penalty being assessed, both Barrichello and Button would struggle to find pace on the high-speed technical circuit. Button would drop to twelfth position off the start, but would also get a little help from Heikki Kovalainen and Adrain Sutil who would have a coming together early on. Button would then go on to finish in the eighth place with Barrichello in seventh. This gives the Brazilian another valuable point in his fight with teammate Button. Jenson can breathe a sigh of relief as yet again as his most imminent threat cannot capitalize on his misfortune.
So the title fight between Jenson, Rubens, and Sebastian will go to Brazil. It is still going to be a tough job for Vettel with time his greatest enemy at the moment. However, if he can continue to put together solid results and the Brawn cars continue to struggle, then we may have a dramatic season finale for Abu Dhabi. A race that will act as a definite wild card and a place that Jenson Button hopes will not decide his fate in his hunt for his first world championship.
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1h28:20.443
2. Trulli Toyota (B) + 4.877
3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 6.472
4. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) + 7.940
5. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 8.793
6. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 9.509
7. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) + 10.641
8. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) + 11.474
9. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) + 11.777
10. Alonso Renault (B) + 13.065
11. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 13.735
12. Fisichella Ferrari (B) + 14.596
13. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) + 14.959
14. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes (B) + 15.734
15. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) + 17.973
16. Grosjean Renault (B) + 1 lap
17. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 2 laps