2012 Suzuka – Race Report – Vettel wins and looks on track to win the 2012 Championship


as previously stated, is the hottest driver in F1, and now that the Red Bull has been brought onto pace, leap-frogging Lotus, who has been in the news so much with their inability to get their double-DRS working, he will, as predicted, win the world championship this year.

If he has a weakness, could it be over-bearing vindictiveness? He couldn’t let go the last moment spin by Raikkonen in qualifying, hardly worthy of a second thought, however, it looked like Alonso was delivering retribution by moving Raikkonen off the track. Contrary to his clear-headed focus on doing what he has to to garner the most points, Alonso lost focus and tried to punish Kimi with an uneven squeeze; and it may prove decisive with Vettel cruising through to within four points of Alonso.

If anyone has earned respect, by driving fair in wheel to wheel dueling this year, it is Kimi. Alonso’s insistence that he should have ‘lifted’ is ridiculous, after Alonso’s bizarre squeeze tactic at the start. Despite a lack-lustre performance, all weekend really, by Kimi, the distance between him and the lead has been reduced again. But if Lotus cannot get at least on par with Red Bull, Vettel will cruise to the world championship this year with as much difficulty as he won Suzuka 2012.

Kamui Kobayashi:
Star of the race!  As predicted in previous entries, Kamui has gained a podium this year.  Way to go!   A fully deserved podium, maybe the first of more than one this year, I don’t doubt it.  Hopefully people can now consider that Kobayashi is as good as I’ve been saying.  He is getting better, and I think he can eventually be world championship material.  Hey, BTW: here’s one you haven’t heard before, Kobayashi to Ferrari for 2013, a marketing coupe at the very least, and I’ll say it again, he could surprise, dramatically, given even better equipment.  Kudos to Sauber to continue delivering the goods.  Peter Sauber is now becoming one of the most enduring figures in Formula One history.

Something has to be said: yes, he has shown speed, like… Maldonado, but as Webber strongly suggests, at what point does the governing body have to intervene?  A stop and go in the context of the history of the season is just not enough!  At Monza and Singapore, we saw a heightened enforcement of this kind of driving, if consistent through Suzuka, then another one race ban would be the minimum expected.  And over at Lotus, even though they love having the Swiss-French/French (what ever he actually is) driving for the traditionally French team, it is now clear that he is adversely affecting their drive to third in the constructors, and less so, assisting Kimi’s drive for the drivers’ championship.

A life raft in the middle of the ocean is how this race result looks to be for Massa.  Few have doubt that Massa has been a very competent driver in his career, though many have commented that he doesn’t seem the same since the accident.  I believe his dip in form, if that is what it has been, is more attributable to being teamed with the giant of psychological warfare, and master of team management, Fernando Alonso.  I’m not slagging Alonso, these skills may be seen as critical for success in modern F1.  The play book for these skills and reinforcement for these tactics was written by Michael Schumacher, and he is the most successful driver in F1 history, whether you like it or not.  Massa has arguably been teamed with cumulatively, the best drivers in history: Schumacher, Raikkonen, and now Alonso!  Incredible!  But this will likely not save his seat for next year; the only thing that will give him a shot at a Ferrari drive next year is if he overtly enables Alonso to win the world championship.  He still has a lot of races left to do what he did to Hamilton, to Vettel and anybody else challenging Alonso.  I for one, hope that he holds his head high, drives his very best, and gets the most points, for MASSA, that he can.  Congradulations Filipe on your return to form.  Talk to Williams; that would be a great drive for you next year, if you could get it.

Red Bull:
Who doubted their development prowess? All one needs to say is, “Adrian Newey”. The Red Bull has peaked at just the right time, and they look very, very solid to win another couple of championships, both Constructors’ and drivers’.

With the way Vettel is driving, anyone who shall vie to challenge him will have to have a better car, and that just does not seem likely.


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