Okay then, this is the make or break race. We're either going to get a bit of a race for the end of he season, or its going to be all over as a spectacle on Sunday.
If Vettel wins, he'll be champion, waving that finger around like he's miss-wiped and doesn't want it to touch anything. The crowd will cheer, the Redbull boys and girls will cheer and spray champagne around . The rest of the paddock with roll its eyes and get back to packing up. The old hands have seen it all before .... not too long ago either, though it was a red car then.
If he loses, and that's not very likely to happen now is it, then we'll move on to India and the job will be completed there. I've not worked the numbers out, but I think Alonso has to win, and Vettel not finish for the rest of the season. Or Hamilton has to win and Vettel be fired out of a cannon towards Jupiter and be deducted 200 points. Basically there isn't much chance of Vettel not being world champions, it's all just a matter of time now.
And to be honest if he's going to do it, it may as well be here in Japan where at least they appreciate the talent and effort. This is the place that gives the Italians a run for their money in the "crazy obsessive stalking fans" stakes. Despite not actually having any cultural connection with F1 these days (Infiniti not with standing), The Japanese are absolutely nuts about this sport.
Mostly I think it's because they have a proper amphitheatre to flock to and celebrate the spectacle. Not some carpark in the back lot of trading estate in a swamp next to a dockyard.
I like Suzuka its odd, different, idiosyncratic and a real challenge for the drivers. Get it wrong here and there won't be miles and miles of run off to save the blushes. I confidently predict Maldonado or Perez will smack the wall at least once this weekend. All the money in the world can't buy you the talent to take 130R flat, thread the car through the Degner Curves and keep the momentum round that long, long sweeping spoon curve.
Up front, Alonso, Kimi, Lewis (wondering where the pace went come the race) .... and Vettel of course.
Is it the car ? clever engineering and a whole shed load of cash ? is it talent ? and do we still question that talent purely because he gets out of the best car on the grid and waves that finger around at us, no humble apology, no "hey I'm just lucky to have a great team" or a shy smile and witty quip.
There are moves within Redbull to try and temper this victory celebration. Maybe the booing of the last few month has got through to the PR department. Time for a charm offensive.
The problem is, Vettel doesn't seem to care what the crowd thinks, he still gets out of the that car smiles that big Smile and waves his finger around.
anyway, I've rambled on long enough. update your prediction before Friday and good luck everyone.