GP Japan 2011 - race analysis

Race analysis GP Japan
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D did Sebastian Vettel deliberately push Jenson Button at the start?

'From my point of view, I had the impression that he was coming over because I wasn't next to him,' Button explained his perspective. 'Half of my car had already appeared on the inside. My impression was that it moved a little farther than I expected. As a result, it didn't leave me any space and I found myself on the grass. But I'm also convinced about the fact that I see things differently as soon as I watch the scene on TV. At that point I thought it was a little too much of a good thing. Apparently it was fair, because the stewards considered it fair. '

Vettel wasn't sure where Button was. 'I didn't really see him,' he defended himself. “I thought he was either right or far left. I saw Lewis and I thought I got off to a good start. I pulled right to keep an eye on him. When I saw him, I did realized that I was a bit far to the right and then he backed away. I didn't mean to put him in danger, but I think we can ride two wheels on the grass. '

Why did Lewis Hamilton stop so early?

The McLaren driver initially kept up with Sebastian Vettel. But shortly before his first pit stop on lap eight, he seemed to be slowing down. The right rear tire of his McLaren was flat. 'We were not immediately aware that Lewis seemed to have a flat tire in the first stint,' explains Mclaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

This was due to the different pressure on the rear axle. This forced the engineers to drive with too much front wing to compensate for the lack of balance at the rear. 'In retrospect, that may have meant that Lewis failed to find a satisfactory balance over the next two stints while trying to restore the setup of the past two days.'

Was it for Jenson Button in the last laps really as close as it looked?

From lap 46, the gap between Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel on the leading Jenson Button shrank continuously. The 3.766 seconds that separated Button and Alonso on lap 46 became just 1.020 seconds on lap 50. But as if on command, the McLaren driver suddenly drove almost a second faster again on lap 51.

'I got SebsLooking at the driving style all year round and decided that motorsport must look like this, 'says Button with a smile.' Just drive in front of you and then take a quick lap. He seems to be doing that at the end of the race. So I figured I'd give it a try and it worked. I took care of the tires and checked the petrol, it wasn't the easiest five last laps, but we did it. '

Why did Sebastien Buemi suddenly retire?

Sebastien Buemi was hit particularly hard in the race: the Swiss catapulted himself from 15th place to eleventh at the start. The number eleven shouldn't bring him much luck, however. He was eliminated on lap eleven. A mechanic of the team had with him Pit stop. The wheel was not properly tightened. Buemi had to park the car at the edge of the track. That was not enough. The team also received a fine of 5,000 euros for the safety risk.

Why did the safety car come out?

At first it was unclear to some of the reasons why the safety car was sent out on lap 24. There was no accident in sight, but race director Charlie Whiting decided to take this measure because there were debris on the track . They came from the Koll ision between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa on lap 21. Massa lost a plate from his front wing that had fallen by the wayside.


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