Formula One Japanese Grand Prix



2005 recap:

"Japan 2005 - Raikkonen at the last

The weather played a crucial role in last year’s Japanese Grand Prix weekend. Nothing as extreme as 2004’s typhoon, but the rain was enough to conjure up a topsy-turvy grid which helped produce one of the most thrilling races in living memory.

Qualifying started with a damp track and ended with a soaked one, the tricky conditions claiming the cars of Jarno Trulli and Tiago Monteiro, both men spinning off at Degner, the latter on his out lap. Ralf Schumacher, at the wheel of the heavily-revised Toyota TF105B, brought consolation for the team in the shape of their first pole position on home soil. As 13th man out, a great lap, fortuitous timing and, as it turned out, a very light car helped him take P1. Just minutes later, heavy rain made running all but impossible, even on full-wet tyres, leaving many of the big guns - Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya among them - languishing in the bottom third of the grid. Joining Ralf on row one was the BAR of Jenson Button, while row two comprised Giancarlo Fisichella (great news for Renault’s constructors’ title hopes) and the Red Bull of Christian Klien.

A dramatic race start saw Takuma Sato understeer off at Turn 1. Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello did the same, tagging the front of the BAR as he did so, though miraculously both were able to crawl from the gravel and rejoin. Less fortunate was Montoya. At the final turn of the opening lap he was forced off track by Jacques Villeneuve’s Sauber and the McLaren star was into the wall and out of the race. The safety car was deployed for five laps, ruining Ralf’s ambitious three-stop strategy. Things got worse for Toyota shortly after racing resumed, when Sato slew into the side of Trulli with a do-or-die overtaking attempt, eliminating the innocent Italian. Then, when Ralf made his first stop, he handed the lead to Fisichella and the real pattern of the race began to emerge.

It featured some classic racing between arguably the three greatest drivers in the field. Alonso twice had to find a way past Michael Schumacher - the first time he audaciously went round the outside in the 130R - while Raikkonen eventually muscled past the Ferrari into Turn 1. It was the Finn who had the real pace, and it was he who moved into the lead when Fisichella made his second stop. That lasted until lap 45 of 53 when Raikkonen made a late final visit to the pits, leaving an apparently straightforward victory within Renault’s grasp.

McLaren and Raikkonen had other ideas. By lap 50 the gap to Fisichella was down to half a second and as the pair crossed the line for the penultimate time it was just a tenth. As they went into the Turn 1 braking zone for the final time Raikkonen was wheel-to-wheel with the Italian and pulled off a fantastic move to go round the outside and into the lead. The win was his. A gutted Fisichella was left to pick up the pieces, while Alonso clawed his way up to third after passing an impressive Mark Webber in the closing stages. The result left Renault leading McLaren by just two points in the constructors’ championship, leaving everything to play for at the final round in China."

Probobly the greatest race of 2005, can this year's race top it?

I don't think this race will top it in terms of excitement but it will definatly be a good race! Michael will win it with Kimi and Alonso following behind.


Zonda said:
I don't think this race will top it in terms of excitement but it will definatly be a good race! Michael will win it with Kimi and Alonso following behind.

Sinister thought of the day . . . Michael leads at Suzuka and Alonso is 2nd, but catching. Last lap! They come up to lap Felipe Massa, who yet again is not earning his pay as Ferrari number two. Schu slides by. Ferrari bosses worried about Schu's bad record under pressure and weary about Brazil. Massa brake tests Alonso at Spoon Curve (corner before 130R). Bang! They're both out!

Schu is heard making a devilish smile over his radio! Surely, he will win the 8th title. He starts waving to fans because no one can stop him now. Bang! Takuma Sato nerfs him off at the Senna S.


Friday practice 1:

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 36 Anthony Davidson Honda 1:45.349
2 40 Neel Jani STR-Cosworth 1:46.138
3 38 Sebastian Vettel Sauber-BMW 1:46.585
4 37 Michael Ammermuller RBR-Ferrari 1:47.162
5 39 Adrian Sutil MF1-Toyota 1:47.773
6 21 Scott Speed STR-Cosworth 1:47.814
7 19 Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 1:47.838
8 41 Franck Montagny Super Aguri-Honda 1:47.918
9 35 Alexander Wurz Williams-Cosworth 1:47.919
10 22 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:48.042
11 23 Sakon Yamamoto Super Aguri-Honda 1:50.479

all other drivers did not register any times since it was very wet.


Practice 2... looks like the Ferrari/Renault war is continuing

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 2 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:34.337
2 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:34.408
3 5 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:34.565
4 1 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:34.863
5 36 Anthony Davidson Honda 1:34.906
6 38 Sebastian Vettel Sauber-BMW 1:34.912
7 12 Jenson Button Honda 1:35.002
8 4 Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.064
9 8 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:35.343
10 3 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.367
11 7 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:35.375
12 37 Michael Ammermuller RBR-Ferrari 1:35.433
13 11 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:35.528
14 9 Mark Webber Williams-Cosworth 1:35.866
15 10 Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 1:36.176
16 19 Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 1:36.180
17 35 Alexander Wurz Williams-Cosworth 1:36.234
18 17 Robert Kubica Sauber-BMW 1:36.299
19 41 Franck Montagny Super Aguri-Honda 1:37.354
20 20 Vitantonio Liuzzi STR-Cosworth 1:37.441
21 21 Scott Speed STR-Cosworth 1:37.501
22 14 David Coulthard RBR-Ferrari 1:37.596
23 18 Tiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 1:37.702
24 40 Neel Jani STR-Cosworth 1:37.741
25 15 Robert Doornbos RBR-Ferrari 1:37.788
26 22 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:38.533
27 16 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-BMW 1:38.779
28 23 Sakon Yamamoto Super Aguri-Honda 1:38.955
29 39 Adrian Sutil MF1-Toyota 1:43.914


Schumacher has this won, Alonso is falling apart.

Alonso turns attack to Fisichella
Moaning champion has a new target

Renault plays down Alonso rift
Alonso creating a stir at Renault

Renault try to diffuse Alonso tensions
Smoothing out the wrinkles at Suzuka

All headlines of


Japanese GP: Weather update

Weather conditions at Suzuka are set to improve after rain interrupted the opening day of the Japanese Grand Prix.

A sodden circuit saw most drivers elect to stay in the pit lane on Friday morning however a more successful outing was had in the afternoon as the track began to dry.

As day broke on Saturday morning sun was shinning through parts of an otherwise cloudy sky.

It hasn’t rained in a number of hours however showers are still predicted for the morning.

For qualifying the outlook is better with conditions expected to clear by mid afternoon.

For Sunday any threat of rain should be all but gone with bright sunshine and temperatures in the high 20’s expected.



Original Poster
Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3

1 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:30.112 1:29.830 1:29.599

2 5 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:31.279 1:28.954 1:29.711

3 7 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:30.595 1:30.299 1:29.989

4 8 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:30.420 1:30.204 1:30.039

5 1 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:30.976 1:30.357 1:30.371

6 2 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:31.696 1:30.306 1:30.599

7 12 Jenson Button Honda 1:30.847 1:30.268 1:30.992

8 11 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:31.972 1:30.598 1:31.478

9 16 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-BMW 1:31.811 1:30.470 1:31.513

10 10 Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 1:30.585 1:30.321 1:31.856

11 3 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.080 1:30.827

12 17 Robert Kubica Sauber-BMW 1:31.204 1:31.094

13 4 Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.581 1:31.254

14 9 Mark Webber Williams-Cosworth 1:31.647 1:31.276

15 20 Vitantonio Liuzzi STR-Cosworth 1:31.741 1:31.943

16 19 Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 1:32.221 1:33.750

17 14 David Coulthard RBR-Ferrari 1:32.252

18 15 Robert Doornbos RBR-Ferrari 1:32.402

19 21 Scott Speed STR-Cosworth 1:32.867

20 22 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:33.666

21 18 Tiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 1:33.709

22 23 Sakon Yamamoto Super Aguri-Honda No time

Sorry for Kimi but Schumi has to go get that title now:D


Impressive performance by the Ferrari boys. Schu may be a little heavier. He had a 1:28.9 in the previous qualifying session.

It's looking good for Ferrari, but at this time last week, it was looking splendid for Renault. Schu needs to make it through the first corner and Renaults have blinding starts off the line.

Alonso started another new line of attack. He's blasting Bridgestone for - get this, giving Toyota super sticky tyres for their home race! Where did Renault find this guy?

For his sake, Alonso better win this year's WDC. It's taken a lot out of him. If he fails to win, he could be a Hakkinen sabbatical waiting to happen. I still think he can do it this year. Ferrari is due for a mechanical breakdown.


I must say I lost all respect for Alonso. I can't stand ppl acting like babies when things go wrong for them.

IMO he should shut up, buckle up and start driving. If not, get the **** out F1.


Well Schumacer blew up. The World championship is pretty much signed and sealed for Alonso. All he has to do it come in the top 8 and he's won.


Original Poster
When MS engine blew I almost started crying, Alonso really doesn't deserve all the luck that he has. I watched the rest of the race with sad eyes. If Alonso does worse than 8th in the next race and MS wins, how will the winner be decided and who would win?


Man, I fell asleep last night watching the race... so I missed everything after the first 15 laps! :t-banghea

I was very surprised this morning when I saw that Alonso had won!

Anyhow, here are the results...

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Fernando Alonso Renault 53 1:23:53.413 5 10
2 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 53 +16.1 secs 1 8
3 2 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 53 +23.9 secs 6 6
4 12 Jenson Button Honda 53 +34.1 secs 7 5
5 3 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 53 +43.5 secs 11 4
6 8 Jarno Trulli Toyota 53 +46.7 secs 4 3
7 7 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 53 +48.8 secs 3 2
8 16 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-BMW 53 +76.0 secs 9 1
9 17 Robert Kubica Sauber-BMW 53 +76.9 secs 12
10 10 Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 52 +1 Lap 10
11 4 Pedro de la Rosa McLaren-Mercedes 52 +1 Lap 13
12 11 Rubens Barrichello Honda 52 +1 Lap 8
13 15 Robert Doornbos RBR-Ferrari 52 +1 Lap 18
14 20 Vitantonio Liuzzi STR-Cosworth 52 +1 Lap 15
15 22 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 52 +1 Lap 20
16 18 Tiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 51 +2 Laps 21
17 23 Sakon Yamamoto Super Aguri-Honda 50 +3 Laps 22
18 21 Scott Speed STR-Cosworth 48 Power steering 19
Ret 9 Mark Webber Williams-Cosworth 39 Accident 14
Ret 5 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 36 Engine 2
Ret 14 David Coulthard RBR-Ferrari 35 Gearbox 17
Ret 19 Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 20 Mechanical 16


I forget what happens when at the end of the season drivers have the same amount of points?

Do they decide the champ based on more poles?