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Formula One

Formula One - Japanese Grand Prix Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, October 7th
SITE: Suzuka Circuit (1962) -- Suzuka City, Japan
TRACK: 5.807 km (3.608 miles), 18-turn road course
CAPACITY: 100,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 28th
TELEVISION: Speed Channel
START TIME: 2 a.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Jenson Button
RUNNER-UP: Fernando Alonso
POLE WINNER: Sebastian Vettel (Finished 3rd)
LAPS: 53
MILES: 191.117 (307.771 km)
QUALIFYING RECORD: Felipe Massa, 2006 (1 minute, 29.599 seconds)
RACE RECORD: Fernando Alonso, 2006 (1 hour, 23 minutes, 53.413 seconds)
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Jenson Button26Michael Schumacher8
2Fernando Alonso57Felipe Massa4
3Sebastian Vettel18Sergio Perez17
4Mark Webber69Vitaly Petrov10
5Lewis Hamilton310Nico Rosberg23
2011 Japanese Grand Prix Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 202.972 k.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 30 minutes, 53.427 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 1.160 seconds
CARS RUNNING AT FINISH: 23
CARS ON FINAL LAP: 19
FASTEST LAP: Mark Webber, 1:33.474, Lap 53
POLE WINNER: Sebastian Vettel (1:30.466)
Past Japanese Grand Prix Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Jenson Button (2nd) -- McLaren-Mercedes -- 202.972 k.p.h./1:30:53.427
2010 -- Sebastian Vettel (1st) -- Renault -- 203.948 k.p.h./1:30:27.323
2009 -- Sebastian Vettel (1st) -- Renault -- 208.900 k.p.h./1:28:20.443
2008 -- Fernando Alonso (4th) -- Renault -- 202.788 k.p.h./1:30:21.892
2007 -- Lewis Hamilton (1st) -- McLaren -- 151.978 k.p.h./2:00:34.579
2006 -- Fernando Alonso (5th) -- Renault -- 219.982 kph/1:23:53.413 (record)
2005 -- Kimi Raikkonen (17th) -- McLaren-Mercedes -- 207.266 kph/1:29:02.212
2004 -- Michael Schumacher (1st) -- Ferrari -- 218.524 k.p.h./1:24:26.985
2003 -- Rubens Barrichello (1st) -- Ferrari -- 217.136 k.p.h./1:25:11.743
2002 -- Michael Schumacher (1st) -- Ferrari -- 1:26:59.698
2001 -- Michael Schumacher (1st) -- Ferrari -- 1:27:33.298
2000 -- Michael Schumacher (1st) -- Ferrari -- 1:29:53.435
1999 -- Mika Hakkinen (2nd) -- McLaren-Mercedes -- 1:31:18.785
1998 -- Mika Hakkinen (2nd) -- McLaren-Mercedes -- 1:27:22.535
1997 -- Michael Schumacher (2nd) -- Ferrari -- 1:29:48.446
1996 -- Damon Hill (2nd) -- Williams-Renault -- 1:32:33.791
1995 -- Michael Schumacher (1st) -- Benetton-Renault -- 1:36:52.930
1994 -- Damon Hill (2nd) -- Williams-Renault -- 1:55:53.532
1993 -- Ayrton Senna (2nd) -- McLaren-Ford -- 1:40:27.912
1992 -- Riccardo Patrese (2nd) -- Williams-Renault -- 1:33:09.533
1991 -- Gerhard Berger (1st) -- McLaren-Honda -- 1:32:10.695
1990 -- Nelson Piquet (6th) -- Benetton-Ford -- 1:34:36.824
1989 -- Alessandro Nannini (6th) -- Benetton-Ford -- 1:35:06.277
1988 -- Ayrton Senna (1st) -- McLaren-Honda -- 1:33:26.173
1987 -- Gerhard Berger (1st) -- Ferrari -- 1:32:58.072
1986 -- Not Held
1985 -- Not Held
1984 -- Not Held
1983 -- Not Held
1982 -- Not Held
1981 -- Not Held
1980 -- Not Held
1979 -- Not Held
1978 -- Not Held
1977 -- James Hunt (2nd) -- McLaren-Ford -- 1:31:51.68
1976 -- Mario Andretti (1st) -- Lotus-Ford -- 1:43:58.86
 
NOTE: Race was 50 laps in 1997, 51 laps in 1998 and 1987-88, 52 laps in 1996,
73 laps in 1976-77.
 
Past Japanese Grand Prix Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Sebastian Vettel -- 3rd
2010 -- Sebastian Vettel -- 1st
2009 -- Sebastian Vettel -- 1st
2008 -- Lewis Hamilton -- 12th
2007 -- Lewis Hamilton -- 1st
2006 -- Felipe Massa -- 2nd
2005 -- Ralf Schumacher -- 8th
2004 -- Michael Schumacher -- 1st
2003 -- Rubens Barrichello -- 1st
2002 -- Michael Schumacher -- 1st
2001 -- Michael Schumacher -- 1st
2000 -- Michael Schumacher -- 1st
1999 -- Michael Schumacher -- 2nd
1998 -- Michael Schumacher -- 14th
1997 -- Jacques Villeneuve -- DQ
1996 -- Jacques Villeneuve -- 16th
1995 -- Michael Schumacher -- 1st
1994 -- Michael Schumacher -- 2nd
1993 -- Alain Prost -- 2nd
1992 -- Nigel Mansell -- 16th
1991 -- Gerhard Berger -- 1st
1990 -- Ayrton Senna -- 23rd
1989 -- Ayrton Senna -- DQ
1988 -- Ayrton Senna -- 1st
1987 -- Gerhard Berger -- 1st
1986 -- Not Held
1985 -- Not Held
1984 -- Not Held
1983 -- Not Held
1982 -- Not Held
1981 -- Not Held
1980 -- Not Held
1979 -- Not Held
1978 -- Not Held
1977 -- Mario Andretti -- 21st
1976 -- Mario Andretti -- 1st
Last Race Results
RACE: Singapore Grand Prix (September 23rd)
SITE: Marina Bay Street Circuit -- Singapore
LAPS: 59
MILES: 185.968
WINNER: Sebastian Vettel
RUNNER-UP: Jenson Button
THIRD: Fernando Alonso
FOURTH: Paul di Resta
FIFTH: Nico Rosberg
POLE WINNER: Lewis Hamilton (Finished 24th)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 0 minutes, 26.144 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 149.043 k.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 8.959 seconds
Japanese Grand Prix Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Sebastian Vettel (Heppenheim, Germ)Renault/Red Bull
2Mark Webber (Queanbeyan, Australia)Renault/Red Bull
3 *Jenson Button (Frome, England)Mercedes/McLaren Vodafone
4Lewis Hamilton (Stevenage, England)Mercedes/McLaren Vodafone
5Fernando Alonso (Oviedo, Spain)Ferrari/Scuderia
6Felipe Massa (Sao Paulo, Brazil)Ferrari/Scuderia
7Michael Schumacher (Germany)Mercedes/AMG Petronas
8Nico Rosberg (Wiesbaden, Germany)Mercedes/AMG Petronas
9Kimi Raikkonen (Espoo, Finland)Renault/Lotus
10Romain Grosjean (Geneva,Switzerland)Renault/Lotus
11Paul di Resta (Livingston, Scotland)Mercedes/Force India
12Nico Hulkenberg (Emmerich, Germany)Mercedes/Force India
14Kamui Kobayashi (Amagasaki, Japan)Ferrari/Sauber
15Sergio Perez (Guadalajara, Mexico)Ferrari/Sauber
16Daniel Ricciardo (Perth, Australia)Ferrari/Scuderia Toro Rosso
17Jean-Eric Vergne (Pontoise, France)Ferrari/Scuderia Toro Rosso
18Pastor Maldonado (Maracay,Venezuela)Renault/Williams
19Bruno Senna (Sao Paulo, Brazil)Renault/Williams
20Heikki Kovalainen (Finland)Renault/Caterham
21Vitaly Petrov (Vyborg, Russia)Renault/Caterham
22Pedro de la Rosa (Barcelona, Spain)Cosworth/HRT
23Narain Karthikeyan (Chennai, India)Cosworth/HRT
24Timo Glock (Lindenfels, Germany)Cosworth/Marussia
25Charles Pic (Montelimar, France)Cosworth/Marussia
 
* - defending champion.
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
Jenson Button4th3rd5th4th11th14th8th4thWon
Fernando Alonso18th5th3rdWon21stWon10th3rd2nd
Sebastian Vettel------------19th6thWonWon3rd
Mark Webber11th20th4th19th20th8th17th2nd4th
Lewis Hamilton------------Won12th3rd5th5th
Michael Schumacher8thWon7th20th---------6th6th
Sergio Perez------------------------8th
Nico Rosberg---------10th18th11th5th17th10th
Pastor Maldonado------------------------14th
Kimi Raikkonen2nd6thWon5th3rd3rd4th------
Romain Grosjean------------------16th------
 
Mover of the Week
Timo Glock - Started in the 20th position and finished 12th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Sebastian Vettel
Darkhorse - Michael Schumacher
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Lewis Hamilton) - Finished 24th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Sergio Perez) - Finished 10th
 
NOTES:
Heading into Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso holds a 29-point lead over Red Bull driver and two-time defending Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel, who moved up to second in the standings after winning last week in Singapore. Six races remain on this year's F1 calendar.

Last year, Jenson Button won the Japanese GP, but Vettel clinched the driver's championship, as he became the youngest driver in F1 history to win back-to- back world titles. Vettel's third-place finish in Japan sealed the deal.

Button finished 1.16 seconds ahead of Alonso, while Vettel crossed the line two seconds behind the winner to secure the title with four races to go. Button, the 2009 F1 titleholder, won his third title of 2011 and the 12th of his career. Sixth on the 2012 points list, Button has two wins and nine top-10s in 14 starts.

In 2010, Vettel outlasted Mark Webber to clip his Red Bull teammate by 0.9 seconds. Vettel started from the pole and led most of the 53-lap race at Suzuka.

Starting from the pole position, Vettel led all 53 laps to capture the third of four wins in 2009. Vettel held a sizeable lead over Jarno Trulli before Jaime Alguersuari from Toro Rosso smashed into the tire wall with nine laps remaining. Debris from Alguersuari's car littered turn 15, forcing the deployment of the safety car. When the race resumed, Vettel easily pulled away from Trulli and beat him at the finish by 4.8 seconds.

In 2008, Alonso scored his second consecutive victory by taking the Japanese Grand Prix. Alonso defeated runner-up Robert Kubica by 5.2 seconds for his 21st career F1 title.

Lewis Hamilton raced to victory in 2007, overcoming rain, fog and the field for his fourth victory of the season. Hamilton cruised to a 8.377 seconds victory over Heikki Kovalainen.

Kimi Raikkonen started last in 2005, but finished first, as he crossed the finish line 1.633 seconds ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella for his 10th career F1 title. The win, his seventh of the 2005 season, enabled Raikkonen to finish second behind Alonso in the final grand prix standings.

The October 14 Korean Grand Prix in Yeongam County, South Korea is the next Formula One event. Sebastian Vettel is the defending race winner.

10/02 15:30:43 ET

As of October 2, 2012, at 03:30 PM ET

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