#F1 Race Review: 2015 FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX

RaceReview
Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Mattpt55

Ambient 27° Track 38° Humidity 52% Wind 2.8 m/s

Prelude
In ripping contrast to the previous days, skies both clear and blue crowned fair Suzuka for the start of the Japanese Grand Prix. Danny Kvyat rocked a brand new car after his biggie from yesterday and would be starting from the pit lane. Quali showed that it was likely to be 2 races, one between the Mercs and the other between every one else for the scraps. With practice starts looking dead even between Nico and Lewis the field completed their formation lap and rolled up to the start

Results
Immediately at the start of the race the F1 live timing app crashed, right before the lights went out. It went straight to the pits and spent nearly half the race being utterly useless to everyone who actually paid money for it.

After the lights went out it was a carbon copy of the last several starts. Both Mercedes had even starts but under the 2nd phase of acceleration, Lewis managed to get a bit of a jump and put himself on the inside and square on the apex for T1. On the exit of T2 this allowed Hamilton to introduce his teammate to the limits of the track and as he rocketed off into the distance, Rosberg slid back to P4, behind Vettel and Bottas.

Further back, Massa, Ricciardo and Perez decided to play bumper cars into T1. The end of that little episode saw Perez well off track and both the other cars limping back to the pits. The race quickly settled down and as Rosberg tried to whittle away at Bottas, he began to overheat his engine.

Kvyat was first into the pits, jumping onto the Hard tyre and kicking off the pit stop shuffle. As the midfield began to respond to Kvyat’s provocation, Vettel was radioed to stick to plan A, just as Bottas went for the undercut on lap 12. Turns out the lads at Williams had done their maths properly and Rosberg emerged rather behind Valterri when he pitted on lap 16, strapping on the Hard tyre for his 2nd stint. Having boxed the next lap, Lewis went onto the Medium tyre and retained the lead in the race.

Bottas didn’t last for long, though, as 2 laps later Nico caught him napping into the Casio triangle and ran right by him and back into P3. The middle stint was primarily enlivened by the struggle for the last scraps of the championship points, however. Verstappen continued to make friends by taking Alonso to the cleaners for P10 and then Alonso promptly took Honda to the cleaners by calling his engine a GP2 engine, one presumes for the benefit of the senior Honda management in attendance. Sainz added to the fun by destroying the pit entry bollard just as thoroughly as this season has destroyed McHonda’s reputation.

Lap 31 would prove pivotal as the clever boffins at Mercedes had copied Williams maths and promptly went for the undercut. Again it was successful as Vettel emerged from his tyre swap just in time to see Rosberg sweep past and claim P2, a position that wasn’t seriously challenged for the remainder of the race. Hamilton’s stop left him 9s up the road from Nico, a number that would only increase as the laps dripped away.

The last stint of the race featured Ericsson doing his scintillating Trulli impersonation, backing the traffic up from P12 to P15 all in DRS. Eventually Perez managed to get by for P11 and Kvyat followed suit for P12, but it was far too late to be chasing any points with only a couple of laps left by time the business was done. Vettel did manage to creep up to 2s of Rosberg, but never any closer. Stevens had a remarkable spin in 130R, which allowed Rossi by, but only just with Alex taking a neat avoidance maneuver to avoid hammering his teammate and suffering a double retirement for Manor.

Both Hulkenberg and Verstappen ran great races, with Max recovering to P9 from P17 and Hulkenberg very quietly driving to P6 after his lacklustre quali and penalty. Lotus finally had a decent race with Grosjean and Maldonado P7 and P8. Raikkonen managed to undercut Bottas for the final stint, which let him grab P4 and relegated Bottas to P5. Red Bull had a race to forget, so we shall and instead it’s onto Russia.

Have at it in the comments and stay tuned for the update!

2015-09-27SuzukaRace

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32 responses to “#F1 Race Review: 2015 FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX

  1. Mercedes were again conspicuous by their lack of TV time, and surprisingly Ferrari aswell. To be honest, the general coverage of the race was dire. Many passes were missed, or cut to strange angles, or had to shown well after they had happened. Most of the time all we were watching was a train of back markers squabbling over minor positions, lap after lap.

    • I agree not only was it a boring race, but the coverage was as you say dire showing squabbling backmarkers and missing the few interesting bits that happened. Have some teams upset Bernie, as I seem to remember Force India being excluded from the coverage for some reason or another a couple of years ago..

      • All weekend they kept showing us the left-hand side of Sergio Perez and his Force India and his behind. Though I must say this is the first time that they’ve used that rotating camera in a way that doesn’t look completely ridiculous.
        If someone pissed and Bernie is not showing them, he is close to having an aneurysm. Did we see Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Maldonado, Massa, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Sainz? That’s a lot of headache.

    • I for one would love to know why the Mercs didn’t have air time,there has to be something to the story because Sky would not let it lie. It might have been a inside joke as to why they continued with asking the question but it really did remind me of the Manor situation at the start of the season.

  2. What race….. so boring….. that’s it I’ve lost patience….will be highlights only from now. Used to watch build up, race and post race show. Recently only been race and Ted’s notebook, now down to highlights, unless things liven up doubt I’ll even watch them next year. F1 used to be the highlight of the week in our house, now its becoming a chore just to fit in race…..says it all.

    • Nothing happens, all season long, within the top 6. And when it does it usually bumps up a race from a mediocre 5 to an amazing 9 race. During the Vettel years Seb was dominating alot but there were still plenty of fights for P2-P6 and now its just Mercedes > Ferrari > Williams basically.

  3. Strange that no one complains now about their tires being destroyed when they are following an other car. So was that all bullshit in the beginning of the season?

    • Complaining about tyres is forbidden since Spa 😛
      Read the post race press conference transcription 😀
      Or, better yet watch Vettel vs Rosberg Part II.

    • Good point, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz seem to have no problem closing up and following closely in every race, at every track, perhaps no one told them about tyre deg. Or is it just BS from the big boys cos they can’t close up and are not brave enough to execute the pass within a lap or 2 LoL.

      • It seems Max and Carlos are quite often out of position relative to where they should be which will no doubt help. Due to various penalties or issues they seem to have started further back than expected, then had to fight their way through.

        I expect between Ferrari/Mercedes there’s going to be less of a performance differential and, ultimately, driver ability differential so it probably is harder for them to pass each other.

    • That’s because they almost all follow at around 2 seconds or so, then close up and give it a go for a couple of laps. Further down the field cars follow closer for longer because basic downforce on both cars less to begin with.

      • Yes I understand that. But they follow each other for more than a couple of laps… and since this time it was involving red bulls and torro Rosso and force India (all capable of p5 p6 or somewhere around that this year) I don’t think they have aerodynamics that bad…

  4. This is one of the few races I can watch at almost normal times, 10:00 pm here in the States. And what do I get? Boring B.S. I fell asleep at quarter distance. I am seriously done with this sport; if there is a good race I will download it and watch during the day.

    Yesterday I watched a Valencia race from Berger’s in-car camera. No commentary, just the driver’s view and engine sound. Awesome! What is wrong with F1 today? It seems so sterile and controlled.

    • You’ve been saying you’re done with sport for god he knows how long, but yet you continue to watch and return and post the same nonsense.

      • Hope springs eternal Fortis. I can comment as I wish; if you don’t like it don’t read it. At least I write my own stuff..

        • I love it when people resort to attempting personal attacks to deflect attention from being called out for an incongruous or inane statement.

          I sat and watched the SkyF1 telecast from 11pm, pre-race till 3 am post-race. The start between Lewis and Nico was tremendously revealing for comparing the two men as drivers. Grabbing the pole allowed Nico another “hope springs eternal” moment but by mid-lap one, the reality that he is a lesser driver than Hamilton smacked him square in the face to the point where he appeared near tears as he trod onto the podium.

          The race for first was essentially done by the time DRS was activated. That Sky, at least (I don’t know what BBC or NBCSports commentators were saying) talked tire pressure and its effects on various cars the entire race should have aroused more suspicion that the happenings at the Singapore GP were a contrivance. For the same F1 watchers the fact that the SkyF1 commentators assiduously avoided any attempts at -in-depth discussion of the tire pressure should have made the stark disparity in reporting an immediate point of intense conversation between watchers.

          Another point of conversation should have been Bernie’s insistence on failing to show Lewis Hamilton for any length of time during the race. If Hamilton is “the greatest champion we’ve ever had,” per Mr. E., he ensured that Lewis must up the number of his public appearances the next two weeks to continue to fulfill the place on the mantle on which Ecclestone has placed him.

          However, if you wanted to see how a race looks to drivers and crew outside of the Big Two, Singapore was actually quite interesting. Of note was the preponderance of airtime allotted Mad Young Max, who is obviously Bernie’s new gladiator in training, despite the race had by the “other” Nico and the fact that, despite their barren “rennen haus” (that was for you, Hippo) the Lotus duo of Grosjean and Maldonado had extraordinary races, given Lotus’ baldly apparent, financial turmoil. There was much camera time given to the other Felipe, Sergio, Danny and Danny, too.

          All of this is written because there was a race at hand and despite the winner being a near fait accompli, there was much to see, including a really interesting final nine laps where Seb was valiantly trying to get with downforce distance of Nico, knowing he stood a 70%-30% chance of forcing another, “oh no a better driver is challenging me” choke from Rosberg.

          Gomer, the race behind Hamilton was, all-in-all, pretty cool. Too bad you were too sour to notice it.

        • I love it when people resort to attempting personal attacks to deflect attention from being called out for an incongruous or inane statement.

          I sat and watched the SkyF1 telecast from 11pm, pre-race till 3 am post-race. The start between Lewis and Nico was tremendously revealing for comparing the two men as drivers. Grabbing the pole allowed Nico another “hope springs eternal” moment but by mid-lap one, the reality that he is a lesser driver than Hamilton smacked him square in the face to the point where he appeared near tears as he trod onto the podium.

          The race for first was essentially done by the time DRS was activated. That Sky, at least (I don’t know what BBC or NBCSports commentators were saying) talked tire pressure and its effects on various cars the entire race should have aroused more suspicion that the happenings at the Singapore GP were a contrivance. For the same F1 watchers the fact that the SkyF1 commentators assiduously avoided any attempts at -in-depth discussion of the tire pressure should have made the stark disparity in reporting an immediate point of intense conversation between watchers.

          Another point of conversation should have been Bernie’s insistence on failing to show Lewis Hamilton for any length of time during the race. If Hamilton is “the greatest champion we’ve ever had,” per Mr. E., he ensured that Lewis must up the number of his public appearances the next two weeks to continue to fulfill the place on the mantle on which Ecclestone has placed him.

          However, if you wanted to see how a race looks to drivers and crew outside of the Big Two, Singapore was actually quite interesting. Of note was the preponderance of airtime allotted Mad Young Max, who is obviously Bernie’s new gladiator in training, despite the race had by the “other” Nico and the fact that, despite their barren “rennen haus” (that was for you, Hippo) the Lotus duo of Grosjean and Maldonado had extraordinary races, given Lotus’ baldly apparent, financial turmoil. There was much camera time given to the other Felipe, Sergio, Danny and Danny, too.

          All of this is written because there was a race at hand and despite the winner being a near fait accompli, there was much to see, including a really interesting final nine laps where Seb was valiantly trying to get with downforce distance of Nico, knowing he stood a 70%-30% chance of forcing another, “oh no a better driver is challenging me” choke from Rosberg.

          Gomer, the race behind Hamilton was, all-in-all, pretty cool. Too bad you were too sour to notice it.

          (To All: I’m back on my new Macbook Pro, which means WordPress has shunted me back to my ancient “dwil” moniker. This is DK Wilson commenting.)

          • …and I almost forgot that the feed detailed the travails of Jenson and Fernando. If anything, that Alonso was hovering around P10 with the potential for garnering a, valuable to the bottom line, single point, but was passed like he was commandeering a ———– GP2 engine, and was the subject of much camera time, the problems facing McLaren-Honda were made painfully obvious; they, too, could well have been discussed at length by race watchers.

          • I lost all respect for a certain poster because of a little stunt he pulled a couple of months ago. He knows exactly what it was; I will not accept criticism from someone who does that sort of stuff. I’m not allowed to actually discuss this because The Judge deletes any post that mentions it but I have exchanged emails with The Judge about this. So yes, you are correct, I don’t respect a certain person’s opinions and for a good reason.

            I also like your jumping into something that is none of your business and that you don’t understand.

            Finally, I’m not sour, just disappointed that a sport I have loved and followed for many years is heading in the direction it is.

          • Gomer-
            Whatever your beef with fortis is, does it have a place in comment about whether or not a race was interesting? No. Does it have a place in a comment, of which you have averred many times, that you’ve given up on F1? No.

            So, once again, you air something publicly that has not place in a public conversation and is totally superfluous to the context of the article and comments, get called out for it, then attempt to turn it around so that the person calling you out is at fault. Your thinking here is, at least, incongruent. And I’m not a person who will idly “take it on the chin” when this nonsense is directed my way.

            My point was and remains obvious: a reply to your stating that you are quitting watching F1 because you find it boring spurred you to get personal. THAT is a statement of fact. I merely pointed out that many people apply this type of thinking when challenged. Then I provided many points about the race that, if viewed from different angles, illustrate that the race wasn’t necessarily boring at all.

            This has nothing to do with your right to comment. It does, though, deal with you wanting to comment in a vacuum and unchallenged. If you don’t want your comments challenged, don’t comment. It’s not rocket science.

          • My comment was directed at Fortis for calling what I posted nonsense and mentioned, in closing, in terms that Fortis understands, why I don’t respect his views of my opinions. I called the race boring, and it’s hard to have a boring race in Japan. I also commented about the quality of coverage of F1 by mentioning a race I watched on Youtube that was simply an in-car camera, no commentary and no music. It was great; I wish FOM would do more in-car stuff. These are my opinions and there is nothing wrong with expressing them, so don’t tell me how I should be.

            If Fortis is offended he can respond. That’s not your job.

  5. It was certainly not a scintillating race, but the boys are just as certainly not to blame; their only job is to finish as high as possible. In Singapore the engineers realized that tyre deg or no, 2 stops was the fast way to the end, so everyone ran identical strategies and pussyfooted around waiting for the safety car. In Japan, no one had good data, thanks to Friday’s rain; so everyone was likewise loathe to gamble. Somehow or other, all of us still deigned to arise at some inappropriate hour, just like we did for each of the last 400 races, even somehow knowing that another Suzuka 2005 was not in the cards, and now we are commenting on it. Each of us will read all the news items between now and Sochi, and are unlikely to be watching Home Shopping Network when the lights go out. I say this not to kiss Bernie’s ring; only to remind that no one ever contemplates quitting their job to follow the Formula 3 Euro Series around all summer.

  6. Japan.
    So Mercedes turned the works engines back up to normal, and ……….
    Gravel traps can be a bad idea.
    If last year, we had that big crane hanging over the barrier instead of …..
    Williams pit stop crew need to stop eating all the pies. Sloooow.
    Is there any Japanese F1 fan who doesn’t have a really expensive camera?
    FOM prove that work experience TV directors, ‘don’t cut it.’ (In-joke)
    No money and no catering made Lotus go faster.
    Maldonado didn’t crash out. That can’t be correct ?
    Honda board meeting on Monday, in a single level building, just in case……
    Alonso to leave McLaren for a new job in the diplomatic service.
    Compare fastest race lap from Rossi(Manor – last years everything) to that of the two McLarens…… really!

  7. Must say I’m surprised even Rosberg wasn’t upset about Hamilton’s run through turn 2. But then I guess he has more important things to care about these days.

    • He sounded a bit sour about it in the post-race interview he did with the BBC, but held back from really saying what he felt by saying he “needed to see it on TV again”.

      It was a fairly standard over-take though, if you’re on the outside of a corner you have to expect to get a bit of a squeeze.

    • Rosberg is apparently upset but given what he did a few seasons ago in China, which was far worse and far more dangerous, but perfectly fine by Rosberg’s own standards, if he really makes an issue of it, it will be laughable.

  8. The race certainly wasn’t interesting and had it just showed Hamilton cruising around on an empty track it would have been even more boring. Whether Hamilton is the ‘best champion F1 ever had’ depends if your his fan boy or not. Some think it’s Schumacher, some say Vettel did or was doing as much as Hamilton. I think the last interesting Championship in F1 was when Alonso beat Schumacher, as it was close, and I’m not even a fan of Alonso. The races simply need to be closer

    • Seeing as how I mentioned the quote by Bernie Ecclestone about Lewis Hamilton, Ill also take your derogatory mention of it as a sideswipe at me. To respond: I identified the quote as one made by Bernie Ecclestone. Perhaps you don’t remember or never knew, but Bernie’s quote was the subject of a commentary here at The Judge 13. My mention of it, then, had neither nothing to do with being a “fanboy” of Hamilton’s, nor was it a personal commentary statement about who I feel is, “the last interesting Championship in F1.”

      I do, though, wonder why it is sometimes so incredibly difficult for people to read and respond to commentaries as well as comments written here within the same context as the writing.

      • take it easy, twas not a ‘sideswipe’ to you. I do remember Bernie saying that, just in my view, he isn’t. Again, nothing personal here, just commenting. I like Vettel better than Hamilton but as I said, last interesting championship was either Vettel’s first against Alonso or Alonso vs Schumacher. Sorry if I caused offence

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