Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Japanese Grand Prix preview: time to make history

One point. That’s all he needs. The man who’s won nine races so far this season, started on pole for 11 of them and finished no lower than fourth since October last year needs to take just a single point from this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix to claim his second consecutive Formula One world championship. He’ll also become the youngest double champ in the sport’s history. Oh, and he also topped the Top Gear leaderboard this year. Not a bad 2011, all told.

Only Jenson Button has the power to stop Sebastian Vettel now (if Jenson wins on Sunday and Seb fails to score, the fight goes to Korea), but even he’s admitted the season ‘is all but over’. We’d say that stranger things have happened – after all, the German did crash in P1 this morning – but they really haven’t.
For starters, there’s no way Seb’ll be willing to settle for 10th place. Not in his special season. He’s won at Suzuka for the last two years in a row – both times from pole – and we reckon it’ll take an impromptu cameo from Godzilla (or, as the case may be, another kamikaze lunge from Lewis Hamilton) to stop him getting his hat-trick.
Here’s our prediction for Sunday’s starting grid:
1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Lewis Hamilton
3. Jenson Button
4. Mark Webber
5. Fernando Alonso
6. Nico Rosberg
7. Felipe Massa
8. Michael Schumacher
9. Kamui Kobayashi
10. Paul Di Resta

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