Welcome back race fans.
It’s a short hop and skip and the circus has decamped from Singapore to Japan and the truly awesome Suzuka.
After 2 years at the dull as dishwater Fuji raceway, were back to one of the last great drivers circuits left on the calendar. It’s fast, technical and pushes the driver to the limit. The Driver and car have to be as one round here. When the driver throws the car into corner, the 130R for example. The car has to follow. Because if it doesn’t, the next thing it will do is hit the wall. Hard.
So. The conventional wisdom would have the Redbulls 1 and 2 here. But I think they’re too fragile to race too hard for a win. So that would mean Brawn up front then ? maybe. But Button only really needs to come 4th or better to keep things ticking along. In fact if Barrichello doesn’t finish this race, all Button needs is 6 points and the race for the chase for the cup for the thing, is all his along with fine country houses, slick car and as many girls as his tongue can handle. …. Well you get my drift. He doesn’t need to go out and race to win. As long as Rubins isn’t getting more than 6 points, Button will cruise round.
McLaren should be up there, but they didn’t look too hot in Spa and Britain, circuits similar to Suzuka. They’ve had a lot of updates since then and would really like to beat Ferrari in the constructor’s championship. Ferrari meanwhile have stopped developing this year car and really suffered in Singapore. Japan should suit them more. But how committed will Kimi be now he’s off to McLaren. I think he’s still a racer at heart, but …….
I expect the Force India’s to be back in the hunt. Singapore was a bit of a wake up call after Spa and Monza’s good results. Suzuka should be more to their liking. If Toyota has a bad weekend, the Force India will be up there. Toyota is on home soil, kind off. So I imagine they’d like to remind Japan that they are still racing. But having lost an awesome amount of money in the recent economic downturn, they’re uming and aring about even taking part next year. Despite coming second last week, they don’t look like they want to be there at all right now.
Williams and Nakajime would like to have a good showing. He will as long as everyone else crashes. Rosberg should be a good top 10 here. It’s a full on drivers circuit this place, rewarding drivers like Rosberg.
Alonso, now having that Ferrari contract signed seal and delivered in his back pocket for next year, has no pressure to get results for Renault. But professional pride with have him haul that car into the top ten.
So I think it’s a tough call this one.