F.1 – Japanese GP: THE POINT…by Gian Carlo Minardi

This year Championship is deeply conditioned by outsiders and “second rows”, as proven by Massa and Kobayashi’ podium finish. It is clear that the supremacy shown by Red Bull during the race, make us think about 5 hot GP and make it clear that the fight is between Alonso and Vettel.
It’s a pity that Ferrari scored zero points, even if in this way, all the negativities experienced by drivers during the racing season will be well balanced. Starting from the next race in Korea, a mini-championship made up of 5 races will start.
In Maranello there will be so much work to do, because Vettel’ overwhelming power is alarming. Historically speaking, the Japanese track has never be hostile to the Italian team, as proven by the Brazilian driver’ second place. The Spaniard could have gained many more points. It will be so important to regain the way to victory. Naturally, Alonso is not free from being responsible for what happened, but Kimi would have never been able to pass him in that point. I think responsibility should be shared to 50%. They’ll have to roll up their sleeves. If you start from a front row, it will be harder for you to get involved in accidents.
Four points ahead are few, but they’re enough to maintain the leadership. During the last two-three races they’ve seen their advantage going down and down, so now it’s time to keep on working hard. Massa’ performance was very good and he scored important points. He has proven to be on the rise, creating hardship to Ferrari team who, in my opinion, is thinking about a long-range solution which could go beyond the 2013.
On the contrary, McLaren is backwards. When so important changes occur during a racing season’ hot phase, destabilizations can be created. Probably, Hamilton’s choice has created problems inside the team. The clarification made by the English team after qualifying may sound as a wake-up call. Hamilton and Webber are now out of contention for the World title, even if the Englishman will have to try to regain points to get at least the third place inside the Championship.
The Australian driver’ race was ruined by the umpteenth “Grosjean-style” accident. I just can’t understand where he was trying to go. If he hadn’t found Webber on his way, he would have definitely gone off the track…….Despite all the amendments, he just keeps on making the same mistakes. He’s a fast driver, but the mistakes he makes are too heavy both for himself and for the team. The Lotus may fight for the third place. The Lotus is proving to be the thermometer of the Championship, even with regard to negative events.
Sauber’ great season continues. Unfortunately, a trivial mistake made by Perez at the hairpin, avoid the team to score further points. This car’ performances are so good and Kobayashi wasn’t able to withstand Button’ attacks, getting a podium finish for the first time, in front of his own audience. After Toyota, Honda and Bridgestone’ retreats, Japan needed to recapture that nationalistic spirit on which it can cheer..
Great race also for Force India, Williams and Toro Rosso. Maldonado didn’t make any mistake and Ricciardo withstood Schumacher’ attacks. In the next GP, Sauber and Lotus can become part of the points sharing and, obviously we don’t have to forget about McLaren.
Gian Carlo Minardi