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Monday, October 25, 2010

Quotable F1: Christian Horner

YEONGAM GUN, SOUTH KOREA - OCTOBER 24: The wrecked car of Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing is seen after he crashes out during the Korean Formula One Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit on October 24, 2010 in Yeongam-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)


“Some days motor racing can be cruel and for Red Bull today it was unfortunately one of those days. Mark was unlucky, he dropped a wheel on the kerb – one of the few mistakes he’s made this year – and it bit him hard. Sebastian had the cruelest of luck – ten laps to go and out of the blue he had an engine failure... We gave Fernando (Alonso) a big present today, but it was only two weeks ago that we were celebrating a one-two finish and we’ll be back in Brazil.” - Christian Horner


YEONGAM GUN, SOUTH KOREA - OCTOBER 24: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing retires from the race during the Korean Formula One Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit on October 24, 2010 in Yeongam-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Alonso wins in chaotic Korea, leads championship

Prior to Sunday, the inaugural Korean Grand Prix looked likely to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Seventeen laps behind the safety car and a red flag, all due to a saturated race track, were only helping to cement that opinion. A running joke was safety car driver Bernd Maylander was making a move on the championship.

YEONGAM GUN, SOUTH KOREA - OCTOBER 24: Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari celebrates in parc ferme after winning the Korean Formula One Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit on October 24, 2010 in Yeongam-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)


But the safety car came in on lap 18, and what ensued was perhaps the most interesting race of the season, a game changer that saw disaster for Red Bull and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso vault to the top of the championship hunt, concluding at dusk just minutes before the time limit.

The safety car drives past the crashed car of Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia during the South Korean F1 Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam October 24, 2010.     REUTERS/Toru Hanai (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


Sebastian Vettel had sprinted away with Mark Webber and Alonso in pursuit when the safety car came in, but the racing was short lived as Webber put a foot wrong one lap later, hitting the wall, spinning across the track and collecting Nico Rosberg for good measure. It was a huge blow for the then championship leader, who had to watch his nearest rivals speed of into the distance.

While Vettel led, Alonso and Hamilton swapped second place between them. Hamilton got by Alonso during the Ferrari’s pit stop, only to hand the spot back when he locked up under braking on lap 31.

YEONGAM GUN, SOUTH KOREA - OCTOBER 24: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing puts out a fire on his car during the Korean Formula One Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit on October 24, 2010 in Yeongam-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


By the time the race reached lap 42, the magic lap where full points would be awarded as opposed to half, Alonso was pressuring Vettel for the lead. Just a few short laps later, the other shoe dropped for Red Bull as Vettel’s engine let go and handed Alonso the win.

Hamilton took second for McLaren, and Ferari’s Felipe Massa atoned for recent failures to take third. Defending champion Jenson Button finished 12th.

Red Bull lead the constructors with 426 points to McLaren’s 399 and Ferrari’s 374, while Alonso leads Webber 231 to 220 with just two races to go for the drivers championship. Lewis Hamilton (210) and Sebastian Vettel (206) face longer odds and Jenson Button (189) is all but eliminated.

Notes: Michael Schumacher finished fourth in what may have been his best race of the year. Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi and Force India’s Adrian Sutil have both been handed five-place grid penalties for next month’s Brazilian Grand Prix. Buemi for collecting Virgin’s Timo Glock on lap 30 and Sutil for colliding with BMW Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi on lap 47, one of nearly half a dozen incidents involving the German.

Result
  1. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 2:48:20.810
  2. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren +00:14.999
  3. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 00:30.868
  4. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 00:39.688
  5. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 00:47.734
  6. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India - Mercedes 00:53.571
  7. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams - Cosworth 01:09.257
  8. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber - Ferrari 01:17.889
  9. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber - Ferrari 01:20.107
  10. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams - Cosworth 01:20.851
  11. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 01:24.146
  12. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 01:29.939
  13. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus - Cosworth 1 lap
  14. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT - Cosworth 2 laps
  15. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT - Cosworth 2 laps
  • Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 9 laps
  • Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 10 laps
  • Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 16 laps
  • Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin - Cosworth 24 laps
  • Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 25 laps
  • Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus - Cosworth 30 laps
  • Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin - Cosworth 30 laps
  • Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 37 laps
  • Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 37 laps

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Korea: Qualifying

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany waves as he celebrates taking pole position after the qualifying session at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam October 23, 2010. Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia was second and Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain third fastest.  REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


Red Bull locked up the front row once more, Sebastian Vettel edging Mark Webber for pole in tomorrow’s inaugural Korean Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso starts third in the Ferrari, while Lewis Hamilton slots into fourth in the best of the McLarens. It was a tough session for Hamilton teammate Jenson Button, who will start on the fourth row next to Robert Kubica after qualifying seventh.

In between, on row three, lie Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, fith and sixth respectively.

In other news, Michael Schumacher escaped a penalty but was reprimanded for breaching Article 16.1 of the sporting regulations for impeding old friend Rubens Barrichello during Q2.

And a plan to boost attendance backfired when organizers refused to honor daily passes issued by the host province free of charge, turning away hundreds of potential fans.

Fans waiting in a queue are stopped by security at an entrance of the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam October 23, 2010. A plan by South Korean hosts of their inaugural Grand Prix to boost ticket sales has embarrassed organisers and left fans stranded at the gates. Hundreds, including school children, were turned away on Saturday when organisers refused to honour daily passes that had been issued by the hosting South Jeolla province free of charge. The first South Korean F1 GP race will be held on Sunday.  REUTERS/Ahn Hyun-joo/Newsis (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING BUSINESS) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.  THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS


Qualifying result
  1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1:35.585
  2. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:35.659
  3. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:35.766
  4. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:36.062
  5. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:36.535
  6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:36.571
  7. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:36.731
  8. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 1:36.824
  9. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1:36.950
  10. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams - Cosworth 1:36.998
  11. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams - Cosworth 1:37.620
  12. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber - Ferrari 1:37.643
  13. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber - Ferrari 1:37.715
  14. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1:37.783
  15. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 1:37.799
  16. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:37.853
  17. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:38.594
  18. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India - Mercedes 1:38.955
  19. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus - Cosworth 1:40.521
  20. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin - Cosworth 1:40.748
  21. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus - Cosworth 1:41.768
  22. Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin - Cosworth 1:42.325
  23. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT - Cosworth 1:42.444
  24. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT - Cosworth 1:43.283

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Korea: Practice

McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives into the pits during the second practice session at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam October 22, 2010. The first South Korean F1 GP race will be held on Sunday. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


First session
  1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:40.887
  2. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 1:40.968
  3. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:41.152
  4. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull 1:41.371
  5. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:41.940
  6. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1:42.022
  7. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull 1:42.202
  8. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 1:42.293
  9. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams 1:42.678
  10. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams 1:42.883
  11. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 1:42.896
  12. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:43.054
  13. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber 1:43.309
  14. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India 1:43.602
  15. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:43.928
  16. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso 1:43.940
  17. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India 1:44.887
  18. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso 1:45.141
  19. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin 1:45.588
  20. Jerome d'Ambrosio (Belgium) Virgin 1:46.613
  21. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus 1:47.115
  22. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT 1:50.347
  23. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT 1:50.821
  24. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus 1:51.701

Workers continue to finish constructing the seating in the stands as Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia powers around the track during the first practice session at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam October 22, 2010. The first South Korean F1 GP race will be held on Sunday. REUTERS/Toru Hanai  (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


Second session
  1. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:37.942
  2. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:38.132
  3. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:38.279
  4. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 1:38.718
  5. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:38.726
  6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:38.820
  7. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1:39.204
  8. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 1:39.267
  9. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:39.268
  10. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber - Ferrari 1:39.564
  11. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber - Ferrari 1:39.588
  12. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1:39.598
  13. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams - Cosworth 1:39.812
  14. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India-Mercedes 1:39.881
  15. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India-Mercedes 1:39.971
  16. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams - Cosworth 1:40.478
  17. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:40.578
  18. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:40.896
  19. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus - Cosworth 1:42.773
  20. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus - Cosworth 1:42.801
  21. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin - Cosworth 1:43.115
  22. Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin - Cosworth 1:44.039
  23. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT - Cosworth 1:45.166
  24. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT - Cosworth 1:46.649

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Race prep: Korea

Construction works continues on the stands four days before the Formula One Grand Prix at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam October 21, 2010. The first South Korean F1 GP race will be held on Sunday. REUTERS/Hu Gyung/Newsis (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA



FIA Thursday press conference - Korea

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Favorite post-Japan headline



HRT Formula One driver Sakon Yamamoto of Japan takes off his sunglasses at the Suzuka circuit October 7, 2010, ahead of Sunday's Japanese F1 Grand Prix. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)

Maintains position in championship? Uh, yeah... guess so.
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Race prep: Korea

Part of the Korea International Circuit of the Formula One (F1) Grand Prix is seen in Yeongam, about 380 km (236 miles) south of Seoul October 12, 2010. F1 race officials have given the go ahead for the inaugural South Korean Grand Prix later this month, organisers said today after concerns the circuit was not up to standard. The South Korean race is scheduled for October 24, but there had been questions about whether the circuit would be ready in time, with delays pushing back the inspections which had been initially scheduled for last month. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING BUSINESS CONSTRUCTION)


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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Korea gets the green light

The FIA gave its official approval to the Korean International Circuit, Charlie Whiting declaring the track "satisfactory" and assuring the mandatory license would be issued, meaning the track will be able to host the inaugural Koran Grand Prix October 22-24.

 

 

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Whiting begins Korea inspection

Charlie Whiting has arrived in Yeongam and has begun his inspection of the circuit ahead of the Korean Grand Prix slated for Oct. 24. The inspection may last into tomorrow, according to a race organizer quoted by the Associated Press.

The Formula One (F1) circuit is seen in Yeongam, about 380 km (236 miles), south of Seoul, in this aerial photo released October 10, 2010. The International Automobile Federation (FIA) is due to inspect the circuit on Monday and Tuesday. The F1 Korean Grand Prix is scheduled to be held in Yeongam from October 22-24, for the first time in South Korea. REUTERS/Newsis (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING IMAGES OF THE DAY) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS


Word is expected Wednesday as to whether the chronically behind schedule site passes muster. The final layer of the circuit was only laid last week. Released photos show a defined track and paddock area, but little else completed to entertain fans when the circus comes to town in two weeks time.

The Formula One (F1) circuit is seen in Yeongam, about 380 km (236 miles), south of Seoul, in this aerial photo released October 10, 2010. The International Automobile Federation (FIA) is due to inspect the circuit on Monday and Tuesday. The F1 Korean Grand Prix is scheduled to be held in Yeongam from October 22-24, for the first time in South Korea. REUTERS/Newsis (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS


Failure of the inspection would mean the race is off the schedule for both 2010 and 2011. Bernie Ecclestone was recently quoted in the press saying the race will go ahead, however, and teams at Suzuka last weekend seemed confident their next stop would be South Korea. Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Virtually Korea

Mark Webber takes us on a tour of the Korean International Circuit.

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Petrov grid penalty in Korea

Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, trying to prove his value to the team in the remaining races of the season, will have to do it with a five-spot disadvantage in Korea after stewards in Japan decided he caused an avoidable collision at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Renault Formula One driver Vitaly Petrov of Russia (R) slams into the wall as Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (front C) leads the pack into the first turn during Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit October 10, 2010. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


Stewards rejected Petrov's claim he was avoiding Nick Heidfeld's BMW Sauber when he touched the front wheel of Nico Hulkenberg's Williams and spun into the wall. Both cars retired.

Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Brazil (top L) and Force India Formula One driver Vitantonio Liuzzi of Italy collide on the first bend during Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit October 10, 2010. REUTERS/Issei Kato (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


A separate incident at the start that led to the retirements of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi was also investigated. No action was taken. Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six

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Vettel leads Red Bull 1-2 in Japan

Sebastian Vettel won a thriller at Suzuka, while Mark Webber finished second to maintain his lead in the championship in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso finished third in the Ferrari.

Winner Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (R) and second placed team-mate driver Mark Webber of Australia celebrate on the podium after the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit October 10, 2010.  REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


The top five drivers in the championship finished in the top five, but there was entertainment aplenty throughout the field. Five cars had been eliminated before the first lap was complete, including Lucas di Grassi, who managed to lose his Virgin on the reconnaissance lap. Separate incidents at the start accounted for the others, including Felipe Massa.

Debris flies as Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Brazil spins out on the first bend after colliding with Force India Formula One driver Vitantonio Liuzzi of Italy during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit October 10, 2010. REUTERS/Issei Kato (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING IMAGES OF THE DAY)


Little stood in the way of the Red Bulls. Vettel and Webber were split at the start by Robert Kubica, who dropped out early behind the safety car when the right rear came off, and after the Red Bulls made their first stop there was a bit of a wait for Jenson Button to finish his long stint. Button's gamble to start on the harder compound did not pay off, as the track suited the softer tire much earlier than expected. Button would return in fifth, but pass McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton for fourth when the Briton lost third gear.

Michael Schumacher put in one of his better drives of the season to finish sixth in the Mercedes, a spot he inherited when teammate Nico Rosberg suffered a heavy crash when he, too, lost a wheel.

But drive of the day has to go to hometown hero Kamui Kobayashi, who passed several drivers to take home seventh ahead of BMW Sauber teammate Nick Heidfeld (The other hometown favorite, Sakon Yamamoto, brought his HRT home in 16th). Rubens Barrichello finished ninth for Williams and Sebastien Buemi tenth in the Toro Rosso.

And there was celebration in the Lotus Racing garage as Heikki Kovalainen led home Jarno Trulli for a one-two, its best finish of the season, giving the team and edge for tenth in the constructors championship and that all important TV money.

Now it's off to Korea in two weeks time. We should here this week from the FIA whether there will be a track to race on...

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrates winning the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit October 10, 2010. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


  1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull 1:30:27.323
  2. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull +00:00.905
  3. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 00:02.721
  4. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 00:13.522
  5. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 00:39.595
  6. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 00:59.933
  7. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber 01:04.038
  8. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 01:09.648
  9. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams 01:10.846
  10. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso 01:12.806
  11. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso 1 lap
  12. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus 1 lap
  13. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus 2 laps
  14. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin 2 laps
  15. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT 2 laps
  16. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT 3 laps
  17. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 6 laps
  • Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India 9 laps
  • Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 51 laps
  • Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams 53 laps
  • Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 53 laps
  • Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 53 laps
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India 53 laps
  • Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin 53 laps

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Hamilton avoids second penalty

McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain signs autographs for fans after the qualifying session at the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit October 10, 2010. Hamilton qualified third, but his Japanese Grand Prix nightmare intensified on Saturday when McLaren said their Formula One title contender would have a five-place penalty on the starting grid for a gearbox change. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


Stewards, assisted this weekend by Alex Wurz, have rejected the Williams protest claiming Lewis Hamilton blocked Nico Hulkenberg. No additional changes to the grid. Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Japan: Qualifying

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber once again combined to lock up the front row for today's Japanese Grand Prix, which starts in just a couple of hours, while Robert Kubica put in a stunner to pip Fernando Alonso.

(L-R) Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia, Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany and McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrate after the qualifying session at Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit October 10, 2010. Vettel qualified first, Webber second and Hamilton third. Hamilton's Japanese Grand Prix nightmare intensified on Saturday when McLaren said their Formula One title contender would have a five-place penalty on the starting grid for a gearbox change. REUTERS/Issei Kato (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


Lewis Hamilton faces a five-spot penalty for a gearbox change and will start in at least eighth. A complaint from Williams that Hamilton blocked Nico Hulkenberg in the shootout is currently being brought to the stewards, so watch this space.

Alonso will receive no help from teammate Felipe Massa, who failed to make the top 10.

The wild card is Jenson Button, who chose to qualify on the prime tire, thus getting to use the softer compound once the track has rubbered in in the later stages of the race.

Qualifying result
  1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1:30.785
  2. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:30.853
  3. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:31.169
  4. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 1:31.231
  5. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:31.352
  6. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:31.378
  7. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:31.494
  8. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams - Cosworth 1:31.535
  9. Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Williams - Cosworth 1:31.559
  10. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1:31.846
  11. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber - Ferrari 1:32.187
  12. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:32.321
  13. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 1:32.422
  14. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber - Ferrari 1:32.427
  15. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1:32.659
  16. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:33.071
  17. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India - Mercedes 1:33.154
  18. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:33.568
  19. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus - Cosworth 1:35.346
  20. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus - Cosworth 1:35.464
  21. Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin - Cosworth 1:36.265
  22. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin - Cosworth 1:36.332
  23. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT - Cosworth 1:37.270
  24. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT - Cosworth 1:37.365


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Ouch!

Perhaps why IndyCar had to cut the cost of its package? In fairness, Takuma Sato is involved...

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Japan: Qualifying POSTPONED

The safety car drives out to inspect the track at the Suzuka circuit October 9, 2010. Heavy rain forced Formula One organisers to delay Japanese F1 Grand Prix qualifying to the morning of the race on Sunday with track conditions too treacherous for drivers. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-hoon (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


Heavy rain forced the postponement of Saturday's qualifying session at Suzuka.

After a drenching final practice session (only two drivers even set a time), qualification was repeatedly delayed as conditions worsened before the stewards made the late afternoon decision.

Qualifying will now be held at 10am local time Sunday, prior to the race.

In other news, Lewis Hamilton faces a five-spot penalty for a gearbox change, giving his increasingly slim title hopes another blow.

A Sauber team mechanic places a toy boat on the water running down the pit lane at the Suzuka circuit October 9, 2010. Heavy rain forced Formula One organisers to delay Japanese F1 Grand Prix qualifying to the morning of the race on Sunday with track conditions too treacherous for drivers. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


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Friday, October 8, 2010

Japan: Practice

First session

  1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1:32.585
  2. Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1:32.633
  3. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 1:33.129
  4. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India 1:33.639
  5. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:33.643
  6. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams 1:33.677
  7. Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Williams 1:33.707
  8. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1:33.739
  9. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 1:33.791
  10. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:33.831
  11. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:33.929
  12. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:34.042
  13. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:34.169
  14. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber 1:34.271
  15. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 1:34.373
  16. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India 1:34.379
  17. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso 1:34.991
  18. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso 1:35.684
  19. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus 1:36.949
  20. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin 1:37.329
  21. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus 1:37.388
  22. Jerome d’Ambrosio (Belgium) Virgin 1:37.778
  23. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT 1:38.614
  24. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT 1:39.443

Second session

  1. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull 1:31.465
  2. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull 1:31.860
  3. Robert Kubica (Poland) Renault 1:32.200
  4. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:32.362
  5. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:32.519
  6. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:32.533
  7. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 1:32.703
  8. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1:32.831
  9. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India 1:32.842
  10. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Williams 1:32.851
  11. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:32.880
  12. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) BMW Sauber 1:33.471
  13. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:33.481
  14. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams 1:33.564
  15. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 1:33.697
  16. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso 1:34.005
  17. Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso 1:34.055
  18. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Force India 1:34.310
  19. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus 1:36.095
  20. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus 1:36.333
  21. Lucas Di Grassi (Brazil) Virgin 1:36.630
  22. Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin 1:36.834
  23. Bruno Senna (Brazil) HRT 1:37.352
  24. Sakon Yamamoto (Japan) HRT 1:37.831

FIA Friday press conference - Japan

Friday practice - selected team and driver quotes

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Race prep: Japan (cont.)

The McLaren pit crew push the car of Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain in the pit lane at the Suzuka circuit, October 7, 2010, ahead of Sunday's Japanese F1 Grand Prix. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-hoon (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING)


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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Suzuka with Seb

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A virtual Korea?

Fascinating side by side video of what Korea's new circuit was projected to look like in the new F1 video game compared to it's appearance in early September. Yep, there's some work to do. Thanks to Grand Prix Diary for this find.


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Friday, October 1, 2010

Race prep: Japan

SUZUKA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 04:  Adrian Sutil of Germany and Force India drives during the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit on October 4, 2009 in Suzuka, Japan.  (Photo by Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images)


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Photo Friday: Heikki plays fireman

REFILE CORRECTING TYPO Flames and smoke are seen pouring out of the car of Lotus Formula One driver Heikki Kovalainen of Finland after it caught fire during the Singapore F1 Grand Prix at the Marina Bay circuit September 26, 2010. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad (SINGAPORESPORT - Tags: SPORT MOTOR RACING IMAGES OF THE DAY)


REFILE - CORRECTING TYPO Flames and smoke are seen pouring out of the car of Lotus Formula One driver Heikki Kovalainen of Finland after it caught fire during the Singapore F1 Grand Prix at the Marina Bay circuit September 26, 2010.  REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad (SINGAPORE - Tags: SPORT SPORT MOTOR RACING)


Lotus Formula One driver Heikki Kovalainen of Finland uses a fire extinguisher to douse his burning car after it caught fire during the Singapore F1 Grand Prix at the Marina Bay circuit September 26, 2010.  REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad (SINGAPORE - Tags: SPORT SPORT MOTOR RACING)
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