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Post by Fernando on Wed 01 Oct 2014, 4:14 pm

Abuse won't be tolerated

The driver's title might be closer than ever, but all eyes will be on Max Verstappen who takes to the track on Friday...

Suzuka is an old-school narrow F1 circuit with corners that bite. The famous 130R may have been emasculated with a tarmac run-off and is no longer the threat it was when Three-Times-Le-mans-Winner Allan McNish bent his Toyota round it, but there is still the very tricky 'Spoon' and the two corners that can end free practice early for unwary drivers, Degner 1 and Degner 2.

The big headline coming into the GP weekend is the arrival in F1 of (just) 17-year-old Max Verstappen to take part in FP1 on Friday for Toro Rosso: "I have actually been to Suzuka before, to take part in a go-kart race on the track that is located next to the main circuit's back straight. My dad has raced at Suzuka many times and he told me it's not an easy track to start on. For me it will be a very valuable experience, spending some time in the car and also getting used to working with everyone in the team, to prepare myself for next year. I am not going there to break any records, I just want to gain experience."

Given that neither Daniil Kvyat or Max Verstappen have driven at Suzuka before and are both relying on their simulator experience, it will be very interesting to see how they perform against each other. Ahead of their 2015 season together.

The weather on Friday could be warm and wet making Max's debut even harder than expected. Nearby Nagoya is forecast to get rain on Friday, for it to stay dry on Saturday, but Sunday the area is due to have showers all day. That should make the race interesting.
Pirelli's Paul Hembery says that the track is a real work-out for the tyres, especially through the fast Esses early in the lap. "Suzuka is a real drivers' circuit, and because of that it is a considerable challenge for the tyres, with some of the biggest lateral energy loads of the year. As a result, it would probably be realistic to look at between two to three pit-stops. It's a track where several forces are often acting on the tyre at once, and the increased torque but decreased downforce of this year's cars will only place more demands on mechanical grip."

Like so many of the drivers; Jenson Button, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo love Suzuka. Dan: "It's all good, but for me the first sector is just a delight. It's a dream. You have those fast changes of directions through the Esses, hard around the Dunlop Curve and then, arguably the best bit, turns Eight and Nine: Degner. Through Eight you're hanging on, it's so narrow and there's no room for error but you want to push as hard as you can. Then just as you straighten up the car, you're on the brakes, throwing it into this cambered right-hander and hoping you've got it right because if you haven't then it's all over. Getting to do that 53 times in a row is a pretty good way to earn a living."
Williams are bringing an updated aerodynamic package for this weekend's Japanese GP at Suzuka, and trackside engineering chief Rob Smedley reckons this, coupled with his team's improving ability to sort out set-up problems, means they can stay ahead of close rivals Ferrari. "We're really, really getting on top of tyre management now. And we're going to tracks that have a much bigger power effect (than Singapore), much bigger drag sensitivity, so we're really, really optimistic."

Lewis Hamilton is another big Suzuka fan: "It's one of the races on the calendar that drivers love the most - and arguably one of the greatest tracks in the world. There's so much history and there have been so many defining moments there - like those unforgettable battles between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. I've never won at this circuit and have only made the podium once, on my first visit way back in 2009. I've had a couple of chances and last season was probably the best of those. This year, though, we have an exceptional car and I'm really hoping I'll finally have my shot at the top step. All the greats of Formula One have won at Suzuka since the sport first came."

With a high-profile Japanese girlfriend, Jenson Button gets a lot of support in Japan. He won in 2011, but is worried about the performance of his car at the Honda-owned track: "I think circuits that have a high-speed nature but not a big change of direction will be fine, like Brazil - but Suzuka could be tricky for us. In gradual high-speed corners we are reasonably good, but on corners with a sharp turn-in we are nowhere." So, one person not particularly looking forward to the Esses.

But the biggest question of all is: Will Kamui Kobayashi get to drive at his home Grand Prix? Caterham had still not announced their plans at the time of writing. The team are introducing a new front wing that Marcus Ericsson will be running, but who will be in the second car?

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Post by pob on Wed 01 Oct 2014, 4:31 pm

Kobayashi gets to race but Merhi will replace him for FP1.
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Post by Fernando on Wed 01 Oct 2014, 7:19 pm

Rumors suggesting Police & Baliffs have been brought in at Caterham base

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Post by Fernando on Wed 01 Oct 2014, 9:34 pm

The Caterham team say they will race at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend despite bailiffs visiting their base.

Team sources say the visit to their Oxfordshire site on Wednesday is not related to the F1 team.

"All operations are currently in place at Leafield and the race team is doing its preparation in Japan," a team statement said.

The troubled team, currently joint last in the constructors' standings, cut 40 staff in July.

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Post by Guest on Thu 02 Oct 2014, 9:38 am

Typhoon in town, looks wet this weekend.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Thu 02 Oct 2014, 12:41 pm

Fernando wrote:Rumors suggesting Police & Baliffs have been brought in at Caterham base


Not just rumours.


BBC Sport has learned that the bailiffs' action was taken against Caterham Sports Limited.

A spokeswoman for the Sheriffs Office added that three writs of control had been enforced and that the goods taken would be returned "if the judgment debt is paid in full before the goods are sold".

The Sheriffs Office earlier announced that certain items, including a 2013-specification car and components set to be used at the Japanese GP in Suzuka, had been "seized and removed from a Formula 1 team" and would be auctioned off later this month.


Doesn't it strike you as odd though? If the action is not related to the F1 team, why did the bailiffs take one of their cars, which would have been used at Suzuka, plus components?


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The Caterham team say they will race at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend despite bailiffs visiting their base.

Team sources say the visit to their Oxfordshire site on Wednesday is not related to the F1 team.

"All operations are currently in place at Leafield and the race team is doing its preparation in Japan," a team statement said.

The troubled team, currently joint last in the constructors' standings, cut 40 staff in July.


Thats assuming the typhoon doesn't put paid to the whole weekend. Any way you look at it, Caterham's future looks uncertain at best. Lets hope the teams currently waiting in the wings can make a better go of it. I don't expect Caterham to be competing next season TBH.
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Post by Guest on Fri 03 Oct 2014, 10:06 am

If the typhoon is as bad on Suday as the majority are anticipating, I doubt the race will go ahead, given the over-cautious safety concerns, nowadays in wet conditions. Not entirely sure about what constitutes a race nowadays, I read somewhere, that they can do two laps behind the safety car in the wet, red flag the race & then award the points from basically their qualifying positions, but not sure that is accurate.

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Post by Fernando on Fri 03 Oct 2014, 12:37 pm

There is currently talk of moving the race forward in the day to avoid the worst of the weather.

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Post by Guest on Fri 03 Oct 2014, 1:21 pm

5am race start (bloody early wake up time lol) would be the option but it will still be very wet, no doubt.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Fri 03 Oct 2014, 3:08 pm

Or they could construct an indoor RC track and have the drivers race those instead... Wink Run


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Post by Fernando on Fri 03 Oct 2014, 3:20 pm

John wrote:5am race start (bloody early wake up time lol) would be the option but it will still be very wet, no doubt.

It's been moved forward then? Thought it was 7am race start?

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Post by Guest on Fri 03 Oct 2014, 3:23 pm

No, it is still a 7am start. I said the 'option' is moving it forward to 5am, that's what I heard. Don't see it making any difference.

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Post by Fernando on Fri 03 Oct 2014, 3:24 pm

By what the forecasters have said it won't be as bad as feared on Sunday but the main issue will be leaving Japan with Russia next week.

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Post by GSC on Fri 03 Oct 2014, 3:27 pm

Not sure its a massive deal, isn't Russia going the opposite way to the typhoon anyway?
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Post by Fernando on Fri 03 Oct 2014, 3:32 pm

Presumably they will fly out of Tokyo/Osaka or Nagoya so good chance major delays since it's going to cover most of Japan

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 5:15 am

All change in F1. I awoke to the surprise news that Vettel has signed for Ferrari for next year and Alonso seems nailed on certainty for McLaren with Kyvatt moving to Red Bull.
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Post by Fernando on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 7:01 am

Rosberg takes pole by 0.2 over Hamilton.

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Post by Guest on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 9:57 am

Yeah, woke up to that news. Not surprising really, Vettel always wanted Ferrari but it hasn't done his reputation any good, bailing his final year & being beaten by Ricciardo. Surprised about Kyvat being promoted, not overly impressed by him. Alonso to McLaren was obvious with Honda wanting a superstar driver in place.

As for qualifying, impressive from Nico but if it rains, it doesn't mean too much.

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Post by Guest on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 10:37 am

Vettel leaving RB is strange. You'd at least resurrect authority over Daniel in 2015, save the reputation, then leave for Ferrari. RB should be more competitive than Ferrari next year, so has the hunger gone now from Vettel, or is it just for pure fun F1 now & for him to look back on his career & say, 'I drove a Ferrari'?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 10:48 am

Very surprised they went with Kyvat over Vergne, who btw has had his weekend ruined by Verstappen

I don't see how people can say at this stage RB will be better than Ferrari next season, guess Vettel just wanted a change in scenery bit like Hamilton did a few years back
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Post by GSC on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 11:07 am

Called it Whistle

Not surprisingly really. Vettel has done it all at RB, and the old guard he won titles with are going their own ways it seems. Rebuilding and winning a title with Ferrari would cement his legacy.

Alonso needs to win now. McLaren are a year ahead of Ferrari in rebuilding.

As for Vergne, they've made the decision to move on from him, so moving him to the main team would be very odd. Kvyats been reasonably impressive, he can probably thank his new teammate for this chance.
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Post by GSC on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 11:09 am

Now the question becomes who will partner Alonso. Kimi and Vettel are good friends at Ferrari.

Buttons a goner, no sense having him opposite Alonso at his age. Has Magnusson done enough, still think Alonso + Grosjean would be one of the stronger pairings.
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Post by Guest on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 11:17 am

Not sure, RB's salary for next year will be pittance now, expect them to thrown the 'financial' kitchen sink at development & designing something special next year. They are already the 'best of the rest' in F1 & Renault will come back stronger too & would of learnt from their mistakes.

I see it being Alonso/Magnussen. Not sure McLaren would want a complete overhaul. Vandoorne hasn't done enough in GP2 this year.

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Post by GSC on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 11:35 am

They already throw the kitchen sink at it. RB arent cash limited
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Post by Guest on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 11:59 am

I doubt the race will even start tomorrow. What's the technicalities on points being awarded or half points being given out? I see it being incredibly wet, high winds grounding the helicopters & then rivers appearing on the track. Once that happens, it will be red flagged. No point waiting around because they know it's only going to get worse.

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Post by Guest on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 12:46 pm

We haven't seen the conditions yet, but if it's even remotely bad, then they will call it. As far as the rules are, if a race is suspended under Article 41, and cannot be resumed, no points will be awarded if the leader has completed less than two laps, half points will be awarded if the leader has completed more than two laps but less than 75% of the original race distance and full points will be awarded if the leader has completed 75% or more of the original race distance.

I can see them starting under safety car, doing two or three laps, the inevitable complaints from the drivers & then it being red flagged. Half points could then be awarded & would actually suit Hamilton, seeing as he would get 9 points & Rosberg would be awarded 12.5. I think that is right?

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 1:48 pm

Red Bull had a disastrous start to the season due to power issues with the Renault engine but they have recovered and are now comfortably the second fastest car on the grid whereas Ferrari have plodded on at one pace. At present I'd much sooner be at Red Bull than Ferrari and it is obvious how much they are struggling when Alonso decides to jump ship to a team hardly setting the world alight just now either. So I have to question Vettel's move on those grounds. However, I do see the romance in such a move and the appeal of driving for a team that holds the highest prestige in F1 but is that really what Seb should be looking for just now? I honestly think Kyvatt is getting the best move out of this as I don't see Red Bull dropping away from the front end of the grid anytime soon.
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Post by Bull on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 2:12 pm

Rumour has it that Hulkenburg is set to join Porsche in WEC with Force India replacing him with JEV.

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Post by sportform on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 2:19 pm

LiamB wrote:Vettel leaving RB is strange. You'd at least resurrect authority over Daniel in 2015, save the reputation, then leave for Ferrari. RB should be more competitive than Ferrari next year, so has the hunger gone now from Vettel, or is it just for pure fun F1 now & for him to look back on his career & say, 'I drove a Ferrari'?
Probably thrown his toys out of the pram because he hasn't been number one this season.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 2:33 pm

Lolz
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Post by Fernando on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 3:45 pm

Bull wrote:Rumour has it that Hulkenburg is set to join Porsche in WEC with Force India replacing him with JEV.

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Post by Hulking_up on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 4:10 pm

Everyone predicting wet conditions tomorrow so expect a dry race then.

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Post by sportform on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 10:34 pm

Despite what the pundits are saying, I expect McLaren to go with Alonso and Button next year. Button has good relations with Honda and has reportedly been in talks with them over the weekend. He also seems to be quite jovial in the interviews I have seen today.
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Post by sportform on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 10:57 pm

Also noticed on the f1.com website that 20 races have been scheduled for next year with Mexico being the only addition to the calendar.
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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 6:16 am

Hulking_up wrote:Everyone predicting wet conditions tomorrow so expect a dry race then.

Looks wet to me

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 6:58 am

It's so wet, could be incredible this race, but doubt race will even end up finishing. SC start

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 7:11 am

John wrote:I can see them starting under safety car, doing two or three laps, the inevitable complaints from the drivers & then it being red flagged. Half points could then be awarded & would actually suit Hamilton, seeing as he would get 9 points & Rosberg would be awarded 12.5.

I really didn't need to get up. Confusion over whether they've completed two laps or not, if they have, Rosberg leads the Championship by 0.5 pts Laugh

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 7:27 am

Race restarted under SC & Alonso out

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Post by sportform on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 7:34 am

It looks like Alonso's car might of got wet...

Nikki Lauda win the World Championship one year by half a point.

It's a bit premature to give those points to Hamilton and Rosberg. Let's see if they can stay on the track first.
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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 8:09 am

Red bull are quickest but i think rosberg is slowing hamilton down.

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 8:15 am

Hamilton needs to make this move. Rosberg is too slow

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Post by sportform on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 8:20 am

LiamB wrote:Hamilton needs to make this move. Rosberg is too slow
Button could be in the lead in a minute.
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Post by sportform on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 8:22 am

Hamilton has surely won this now? I can't see Rosberg going back passed in the wet.
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Post by mystiroakey on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 8:24 am

Nice move. Couldn't see anything with the spray.. He is almost 4 secs up in 2 laps as well.

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Post by mystiroakey on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 8:45 am

Lewis is piling on the advantage.

Weathers getting bad though and DRS has been taken away again.

Button and Ricardo having fun and games.

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 8:59 am

Hamilton deserves the win. Worried for Bianchi?

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Post by mystiroakey on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 9:01 am

No one knows what has happened yet. Hopefully no major injuries ..


Race over LH wins. Good race by him. But more important things to worry about at the moment..


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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 9:03 am

Race red flagged and Bianchi involved in a crash and an ambulance is on the track. With daylight fading fast with seven laps remaining I would say this race is run.

Hamilton leads and he has shown today he is the better driver than Rosberg reeling him in the wet and passing him. Rosberg second and Ricciardo snatching third fortunately from Vettel who chose to pit under the safety car. A great drive from Button to finish fifth and if there are to be changes at McLaren I'd keep Button and bin Magnusson. On the Red Bull being stronger than Ferrari that was demonstrated perfectly today. Red Bull third and fourth and Ferrari plum out of the points.

Fingers crossed for Bianchi as this looks worryingly serious.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 9:11 am

Seems Vettel has finished third overall and Ricciardo finished 17th. Good result for Vettel - all celebrations very low key. Worrying times.
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Post by mystiroakey on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 9:14 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:Seems Vettel has finished third overall and Ricciardo finished 17th. Good result for Vettel - all celebrations very low key. Worrying times.

How on your first point?

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