Japanese Grand Prix (2010) RESULTSun, 10 Oct 2010
Japanese Grand Prix 2010
Saturday qualifying at Suzuka was a wash-out; it felt like the monsoon season had arrived. But Sunday arrived bright and clear, qualifying was despatched post haste and Vettel took pole with Webber in second. Hamilton was third, Kubica fourth with Alonso and Button making up the third row.
Many thought Webber would jump his team mate to take the lead, but the Red Bulls went off in grid order and – for them – the race was a formality. It was in the McLaren camp that the drama unfolded, with Hamilton relegated five places on the grid after needing a gearbox change. But lots went on before the race was more than a couple of corners old.
Lucas di Grassi crashed out on his way to the grid and four cars went awol at the second corner, including Massa who was obviously feeling the pressure to perform this weekend after comments from Ferrari about him needing to step up to the mark to support Alonso.
The ensuing safety car managed to take another casualty, with Kubica dropping out in the Renault with what looked like a broken drive shaft (well, his back wheel went off to race on its own) leaving Alonso in third.
When the safety car cleared the Red Bulls took off leaving Alonso in third. Button was on an ‘alternative’ strategy - starting on hard tyres – leaving Hamilton a bit trapped behind. The ensuing pit stops saw Button take the lead as he plodded along without stops on his hard tyres.
Button finally pitted for softer tyres and came out behind Hamilton. But Hamilton was starting to struggle with his new gearbox having lost third gear. He was nursing the car along with nothing below fourth and was an easy pick for Button. But Button never had the pace to challenge Alonso in third, any more than Alonso could make a dent in the Red Bulls at the front.
And that’s how it finished. McLaren tried an odd strategy with Button to try and gain an advantage and Hamilton had what has become the norm lately - an eventful weekend. But they salvaged useful points from a frustrating weekend. Ferrari were a creditable third with Alonso, but Massa’s off at the start has probably ended any chance of Ferrari catching McLaren in the constructors.
But the Red Bulls were supreme.
By Cars UK