D a Sebastian Vettel has already won nine this season and then he has to admit defeat in the race in which he is crowned world champion. It happened very rarely this season. But McLaren and Ferrari were simply faster than Vettel in Suzuka.
Tire whisperer Jenson Button
Only at the start did the Red Bull driver initially chase everyone away. But the superiority should not last long. After the second pit stop, Jenson Button took the lead. The McLaren driver stayed on the track one lap longer and stopped on lap 10, as well as on the twentieth and lap 36. Button and his McLaren handled the soft tires more carefully than the Red Bull. That's why he always caught up at the end of a stint. At the second stop, Button was able to head into the pits a lap later than Vettel.
'It was a very exciting race in which it wasn't just about being one lap faster. You had to think about it during the race ', Button explains the key to success. In the round in which Button could stay outside longer, he really accelerated and took Vettel off time. While Vettel drove around the course with 1.42.940 minutes before his second stop on lap 19, Button recorded a time of 1.39.846 minutes. Even in the 20th lap - shortly before his stop - he managed a time of 1.41.578 minutes.
Vettel admits weakness
'We were at the end today the stints a little too weak with the option tire against the two other guys, 'explains Vettel the situation. 'Jenson looked at his tires better than the rest. He was able to push harder at the end of the stints. With the soft tire, we always had to get in early.'
Fernando Alonso took advantage of the Red Bull -Disadvantage also for itself and benefited from this weakness. After the third pit stop phase, he passed the world champion. Although Vettel was on the medium tires at the end of the music - as the long run on Saturday morning indicated. However, he lost a lot of time when he got stuck in traffic after his third stop.
Button doesn’t miss a thing
Button, however, delivered a flawless and sovereign race . Even when restarting on lap 27, Vettel had no chance. 'It was so satisfying that we were able to fight back. The performance was in the car all weekend,' said Button.
Only in the final lapsButton was put to the test again. There were only 1.1 seconds between him and Alonso at the finish line, and two seconds between Button and Vettel. 'These last few laps were extremely exciting,' said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh. 'We were in the position to fight for victory, but that's even more nerve-wracking when you are the car in the lead! It was a very exciting but fantastic spectacle and Jenson did nothing wrong. He drove with extraordinary calm, so he did he deserves the win today. '