Seven hours after the race

CoverThe Japanese Grand Prix brought Formula 1 back to reality after the topsy-turvy story in Singapore a week ago. At Suzuka, Mercedes was back on top and a good start by Lewis Hamilton resulted in Nico Rosberg losing out when he went wide on the first lap. After that the race was Lewis’s to lose. Nico had to fight his way back to second, while Sebastian Vettel did not have the pace to battle Hamilton and ended up in third place. Further back there were some great performances around the fabulous Suzuka circuit, notably from Nico Hulkenberg, who drove from 13th on the grid to sixth and Max Verstappen who took his Toro Rosso from 17th up to ninth. There was plenty of hustle and bustle in the middle order.

Also in GP+ this week…

– The Lotus position – the full story
– Jenson Button’s future
– Jim Clark’s Summer of ’65
– The extraordinary story of Adolphe Clément
– We remember Chuck Jones
– JS concentrates on food
– DT on the subject of track limits
– The Hack on the subject of wild young men
– Plus the usual fabulous photography from Peter Nygaard

GP+ is the ultimate magazine for Formula 1 fans. If you want to know more about the sport this is the place to find out. We have stories throughout the history of the sport, plus the latest bang up to date news features. We tell the story of each race weekend, so that you know what happened – and why. And we’re not making it up. We are at every race. The magazine comes in PDF format, so you can download it and keep it in your computer, tablet or even your smartphone. There really is nothing like it.

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30 thoughts on “Seven hours after the race

  1. A wonderful achievement by Lewis and so fittingly at Suzuka too, but funny how there has been little comment within the UK at least about Seb Vettel having more wins to his name and from less starts.

      1. No problem with fewer if that’s your preference, but less works equally well. The point made is more important than the choice of words used.

    1. I think this was mentioned on Sky – and most of the commentators agreed that since Seb is holding himself up to Schumachers legacy it’s a different goal – Lewis and Alonso hold the Senna records as sacrosanct – Seb doesn’t – he has a whole different benchmark. It’s about personal achievement rather than overall stats.

  2. On a different subject – the TV coverage of this race was appalling. We virtually had no coverage of the top 3 cars. We were relegated to watching the battle between 11th and 12th – when Hamilton appeared behind them to lap the pair of them. Apparently, there was a tussle between Rosberg and Vessel for 2nd and 3rd, but I had to look at the ticker-tape across the bottom of the screen to see what was going on. Apparently this blackout occurred because one of the teams is a bit miffed that the main engine supplier won’t provide them with their engine, and subsequently has gone off in a huff and asked that the leading team be almost virtually excluded from TV coverage of the race. Any idea how long viewers will have their TV coverage spolit because of this silly tantrum?

    1. I was naive enough to believe the most exciting battles simply were more at the back.
      It didn’t bother me much the top5 wasn’t shown much, since it didn’t really seem to be close race upfront. In hindsight, it was rather amusing to notice that particular moment, when the director instructed all camera crew to focus on Verstappen and hope he would bring some show. He did enough to please me. 😉

      I enjoyed all the backmarker fights and was surprised to see Rosberg, Vettel etc. suddenly pop up to try and pass. Almost had forgotten they too were in the race. 🙂 Weird, not realising they would come up to lap the other. 🙂

      Just goes to show that perhaps in most races, the frontrunners simply get a tad too much airtime?

  3. Joe

    many thanks for your very interesting article on Adophe Clement-Bayard. A friend near my French house in the Var has two 10/12 HP C-B’s dating from around 1910

    I was going to drive one after having had a go of his Citroen Kegress B19 half track. I was finding my way round the controls of the C-B but discovered that I thought the clutch pedal was seized. Apparently I was just not pressing it hard enough. It would make a Lamborghini Countach clutch feel like a lightweight. They were the world’s first car to have a heater as standard, which is the filler cap you can see behind the one for the bulkhead radiator.

  4. “Nico Rosberg losing out when he went wide on the first lap”

    … coz Lewis squeezed him off track, no?
    It looked as if Nico didn’t want to risk another Spa, although he still seemed to be slightly ahead in turn 2.

      1. For me it was forceful, but just about fair. Where does that rule fit in though about leaving your rival a car’s width and not hanging him out to dry?

      2. Really?
        Manoeuvres …., such as deliberate crowding of a car beyond the edge of the track …, are not permitted.

  5. Hi Joe,
    What is your opinion on the tv coverage today?. Whilst I understand the need to concentrate on battles down the field, I have no desire to watch Saubers and Force Indias for lap after lap. You’ve briefly hinted at the strange tv coverage this year, but I feel todays was perhaps the worst since I began watching the sport in 1999. Can you shed any light on this?

    1. I do not believe that the commercial rights holder should also be the broadcaster. That makes it propaganda, not journalism

  6. Looking forward to a good read. Pity we didn’t see much of Merc today, not to mention Seb’s battle for second place with Nico as a result of Bernie’s childish refusal to give Merc air time. Just what F1 needs, another engine manufacturer leaving to sport. It gets worse each year BE and CVC remain in place Joe.

  7. Given a relatively recent discussion of the relative virtues of watching tv coverage of a Grand Prix or being at the track I find the following comment from Toto Wolff to be illuminating.

    “I wasn’t sure where we were during the race. I had to look on the timing screens. You couldn’t see the cars on track.”

    Sounds like even the current No.1 team rely on the tv broadcast data during a race. Of course, he may have just be disingenious as a way of pointing out the lack of Merc coverage. As the race wasn’t FTA I didn’t see it, so cannot comment on the coverage of the Merc cars.

    Perhaps the best of both worlds is to be at the track with access to the tv feed… I’m not suggesting this changes anyone views, just another perspective to add to the mix.

    1. The director decided to follow battles further down the field so, for example, there was no coverage of the expected battle between Seb and Nico for 2nd/3rd place. However Force India, perhaps ironically, got plenty. We saw Lewis take the flag though (I believe that’s contractual). Having the live TV feed obviously didn’t help at the track – from memory, that can be whatever the director decides it to be although it usually shows the head of the field plus battles lower down on different screens. Obviously not yesterday!

      1. Thanks Stephen. It sounded like it was a good race. I think Suzuka is a brilliant track, has produced some classic races. I was very sorry to miss it. Whenever someone says a race was boring I often wonder if they were paying any attention to the down field or just focusing on the gap between a runaway 1st and 2nd place.

        Who was your pick for non winning drive of the day?

        I guess the other side of the tv perspective is our point in regard to the director of the day. I have seen numerous GP broadcasts where I’ve wondered what the director was looking at and when we would get back to the action.

        1. Hi – it has to be Seb. Ferrari could have got past Nico. The coverage reminded me of the bad old days as well. When ‘Bernie TV’ was broadcast I watched it on Canal+ in France. Basically you could watch what the teams watch now (this race being the exception…) so you created your own coverage by switching views – leaders, mid-field etc. Not one took it up so he abandoned it. It was worth a subscription in this case.

    2. The teams use the tv feed as much as anyone, it’s often a quick way of getting an overview of what’s happening rather than stationing observers every thirty metres to report every incident back verbatim.

  8. Thank you for your analysis of the labyrinthine Renault/Lotus situation in GrandPrix+. The most comprehensive and lucid account I have read.

    We now await the outcome of events in London today (28 Sept) to see where the trail goes next.

  9. The cynic in me might think that the poor free to air coverage might be a precursor to a two tier pay per view system . I can imagine it wont be long before Bernie & CVC only prvode highliughts to Free to air boradcasters such as the BBC and reserve live boradcasts for PPV customers.

  10. The story of Adolph Clément stopped leaving me wondering. You went as far as Sunbeam-Talbot-Darraq and the factory being sold to André Citroën. But when I first had dealings with them in the UK, it was “Peugeot-Talbot” Can you please fill in the missing Tablot link to Peugeot.

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