In the round-up: Jenson Button says “difficult” tyres could give him a chance to win at Suzuka.
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“The tyres are difficult for everyone here. They have been difficult all year but especially here with blistering and graining – strategy is going to be important.”
“Right now we try to gain on points on Alonso. Hopefully at the next races we can get the maximum out of whatever package we have.”
Paul di Resta: “It’s dangerous, the closing speed, with a car that’s doing 315kph [compared] to a car that’s in first gear doing probably 60kph. It probably needs to be looked into, for getting gaps, how slow you can actually be going.”
“I also love sombreros and, for me, that is key. When Martin [Whitmarsh, McLaren?óÔé¼Ôäós team principal] told me Perez was coming, it made me smile because I love margaritas and sombreros. There is a good picture of me somewhere wearing a sombrero and not much else.”
“Unfortunately in this sport as soon as you start qualifying you?óÔé¼Ôäóre stuck with it,?óÔé¼?Ø said Hamilton of his choice. As soon as I did my first lap I thought immediately this is wrong. I did everything with the adjustments that I have with the steering, I had the front wing maxed out, but it just wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót enough to overcome the issue I had.”
Sebastian Vettel on Michael Schumacher’s second retirement: “I think it’s a loss for Formula One. It’s a shame, obviously, I think it was good fun to have him around, race against him and joke with him, so I think I will miss that but obviously you can understand his decision and, as I said, we will miss him, but obviously wish him all the best for his future, and hope we still have him around somehow in some function.”
Button: “I was very surprised when I heard Lewis was going. Because every season you race for this team you win grands prix. We all have different challenges and things we want to achieve. He wants to try something new.”
“There was speculation in the paddock that the changes were also to better comply with the more severe FIA load tests introduced at Suzuka.”
“This sounded like a man who will succeed better in retirement this time around. It sounded very much like a much more mellow and complete person, who has grown from his latest foray into racing.”
“That Sunday at Fuji truly seemed like the day that would never end. In modern day Formula 1 at some of the more far-flung races the press corps are quite accustomed to being bussed-in from outlying hotels and guest houses. But back in 1976 it all seemed most unusual.”
My latest column for Unibet looking ahead to today’s race.
Japanese fans still at the track at 18:30 in the dark!! Full grandstand, they love it! http://t.co/5aIE9tJg
Comment of the day
Alex Brown (@Splittimes) on Vettel’s reprimand for impeding Alonso during qualifying:
After watching the footage again (first saw it on BBC highlights program), I?óÔé¼Ôäód say that whilst Alonso probably brakes around the same point he normally would, Vettel?óÔé¼Ôäós presence compromises his line.
This does affect the braking as he has to turn in slightly earlier. You can?óÔé¼Ôäót turn and brake hard at the same time (see the countless lock-ups at this corner as drivers attempt to trail brake into it), so turning in earlier means coming off the brakes earlier. This creates an over-speed into the apex. You can see Alonso turns in twice. I?óÔé¼Ôäód call that cadence braking, as in: brake, off brakes, turn, straighten, on brakes, off brakes, turn again. That?óÔé¼Ôäós not a quick way to drive a car. And the whole incident was avoidable.
These things happen though. What is immeasurably more annoying is that it took three hours to get a decision, an inconsistent decision, and then no explanation from the stewards. Vettel and Alonso are doing their thing at 200mph-plus and 5G braking, so a slip up here and there is to be expected.
I expect the same level of performance from the organisers as I do the participants, and this does not demonstrate that.
Alex Brown (@Splittimes)
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Happy birthday to Alexandre Carvalho!
On this day in F1
Victory for Jim Clark in the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen 50 years ago today meant he remained in with a chance of clinching the championship in the final race.
But that wouldn’t come for over two-and-a-half months, with the season finale not until December 29th in South Africa.
Behind Clark’s Lotus came championship leader Graham Hill (BRM) followed by Bruce McLaren’s Cooper.
Image ?é?® McLaren/Hoch Zwei