Early Report: Vettel win keeps title chances alive
4 October, 2009
Sebastian Vettel powered his Red Bull Racing to a lights to flag victory in the Japanese Grand Prix at the demanding Suzuka circuit. Form the start the young German had the pace and presence of mind to control the race to notch up his third victory of the season. The win keeps him in contention for the World Championship as the Brawn Boys were down in seventh and eighth. He summed it up on the radio, “Woo-hoo… It’s our race, our race. Thank you very much, thank you.”
Jarno Trulli gave local fans something to cheer about as he took second place in the Panasonic Toyota, providing a much needed meaningful result on “home” soil for the Japanese outfit whose future in the sport is in question.
Lewis Hamilton (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes) took the final podium spot with third place despite problems with KERS late in the race which denied him the opportunity to challenge for second place. The top three finishers were also the top three qualifiers.
A late safety car situation, brought out when Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso) had his second high speed accident of the weekend, had little impact on the final results.
Kimi Raikkonen was again impressive for Ferrari, with development of the F60 on ice, the Iceman soldiered on to fourth place ahead of Nico Rosberg (AT&T Williams) in fifth and Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) in sixth.
Both Brawn GP Championship contenders, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, were not really compromised by penalties incurred during qualifying. The BGP001 clearly did not suit the Suzuka conditions, as was expected, nevertheless Barrichello finished seventh and Button eighth.
With two races to go in the drivers championship, Button leads by 14 points. With the big mover being Vettel who put himself back into contention, albeit 16 points adrift of the title lead.