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  1. #1
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    Race 17: 2023 Japanese GP [Suzuka]



    Top winners of Suzuka GP are as follows:-

    6 Michael Schumacher 1995, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004
    5 Lewis Hamilton 2007, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
    4 Sebastian Vettel 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
    2 Yoshikazu Sunako 1966, 1969
    2 Motoharu Kurosawa 1969, 1973
    2 Gerhard Berger 1987, 1991
    2 Ayrton Senna 1988, 1993
    2 Damon Hill 1994, 1996
    2 Mika Häkkinen 1998, 1999
    2 Fernando Alonso 2006, 2008
    Courtesy wikipedia.com

    On the current grid, Sir Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver on this circuit. Michael Schumacher is still the Duke of Suzuka with an all-time best of 6 wins at this circuit.

    This race, which was earmarked to be the venue where Redbull seals the Constructor's championship, now takes on a new significance. With the surprisingly poor showing of the Redbulls at Singapore, all eyes are now on Redbull to see if Singapore was a blip or a sign of more trouble for the six-times Constructors world champions. A repeat poor race for Redbull would signify a harder rest of season for the championship leader. They clearly have a huge gap to their nearest competitor Mercedes. They can afford a few poor weekends. Especially since Mercedes is mired with troublesome competition from Mclaren and Ferrari. Their chances of gaining the sort of points improvement to concern Redbull is very much unlikely. Hence, it is a matter of when will Redbull seal both championships.

    However, the battle for second in the constructor championship has now doubly intensified. Every team in the running for 2nd cannot afford any sloppy crashes or poor performances at any level. Mercedes shall rue that loss of 15 points by Russell as Ferrari now stands at 24 points away from Mercedes.

    1 Redbull 597
    2 Merccedes 289
    3 Ferrari 265
    4 Aston Martin 217
    5 McLaren 139

    The driver's championship could well be more open if it turns out Redbull is in trouble as suggested by the Singapore GP. With 7 races to go and 175 points on the table for any driver that can win the rest of the races this season, there is a slim mathematical chance of an upset. But highly unlikely as it would require Verstapenn to not take part in the rest of the season. Sergio Perez is the only driver with a slim chance of winning the 2023 driver's championship. But l guess Redbull may see to it that he doesn't with the level of performance he is able to get out of his Redbull at the moment.

    1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 374
    2 Sergio Perez Red Bull 223
    3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 180
    4 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 170
    5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 142
    6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 123
    7 George Russell Mercedes 109
    8 Lando Norris McLaren 97

    By my calculations, Verstappen only needs to win one race or finish on the podium on two occasions within the next two races to clinch the driver's title. The battle for 2nd in the driver's championship is still raging on as Hamilton now closes to 43 points to a stagnant Sergio Perez. Perez cannot seem to shake off the chasing pack as he continues to struggle with his Redbull.

    Can Ferrari repeat their awesome form at Suzuka? Can Mercedes unleash their newfound speed at this race? The battle for 2nd is a head-to-head between two giants; Ferrari and Mercedes. With Mclaren playing the role of kingpin upon which the success of either team hinges. Underlying all of this are the interesting cross-relationships that exist between various levels of the teams. At the driver level, Sainz has a close and good relationship with McLaren and Lando Norris. At a team level, Mercedes is the engine supplier to McLaren. Hence, the question is, would McLaren help Ferrari beat Mercedes?

    Mathematically, Mclaren is only a remote contender for second place, but can realistically aim for third. At this point, you could say their fight at the moment is with Ferrari. Well until they find a way to skip ahead of Mercedes. Ferrari has been quietly on the move upwards. As Aston Martin has notoriously been on the move downwards.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 22nd September 2023 at 08:14.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
    William Shakespeare

  2. #2
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    It's so quiet in here you could hear a cricket. And speaking of bugs, Seb showed up and got the drivers and teams involved in making bug and bee hotels, promoting ways to combat the global biodiversity loss. Though he did mention it would be hard not participating in the race events, he's still fighting battles near the track at Suzuka.



    The curbs on the inside of turn 1 are now yellow and black due to the driver and team efforts.







    The buzz on the track didn't have the teams and drivers so close. RB and Max put a stamp on rumors from the first hot lap in practice, and never looked back. Only the McLarens and Ferraris could manage to stay within 1 second of Max's pole time, and some of them had to work really hard to do that.

    The RB and the McLarens are just mighty through the twisty stuff, and it seems that the softs couldn't really even handle what the cars would dish out. All drivers had to somewhat compromise laps times at the front, deciding where to push the most on the tires. Both Mercs, Yuki, and Fred all manage to get into the top 10, and the Japanese fans must have been excited to see Yuki manage to finish 9th. The race tomorrow might involve some differing tire strategies, and there are some grumbling rumors that with the high level of deg it's possible some teams might opt for a 3 stop strategy. Sergio still showing he can't keep pace with Max, allowing both McLaren drivers and Leclerc to best him in qually.


    Every year I appreciate the Japanese crowd even more. Rather than a giant stand full of one color to support the Japanese driver, there are mega fans supporting virtually every driver and team through the grid, and they take some of their outfits to a new level. Every person in the stands seems to just genuinely appreciate the sport and all the entrants, and you would be hard pressed to tell that it's the homeland of both Yuki and Honda.




    I think the Mercs might still get into the fight some, but beyond that it's hard to say and down to strategy and tire choices mostly it seems. With Lawson P11 and Yuki in front of Fred, they might be able to keep the AM at bay, and maybe even push him out of the points. The real battle looks like it will be between the McLarens, Ferraris, and Sergio. Unless he screws up, it's looking like an easy win for Max.

    Max did say jokingly after Singapore that since he was 20 seconds behind he should make a point to finish Suzuka 20 seconds ahead. Though he was obviously joking, it looks like one of the races that he could do it unless something goes sideways.

  3. Likes: Bagwan (23rd September 2023)
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    Just how many bees have to die , and how many tear-offs must be used to show Seb the proper placement for bee hives ?
    You don't want your car to break down right there , eh ?

    Just kidding , if it wasn't obvious .
    Good on Seb for getting the message out to the world that the world is at risk .


    Looking at green cars , my team in FGP is worried about a repeat of last week . I hope the factory building jet-lag is over soon as the car is a dog right now .

    Sergio is trying to deal with Max's sharp-nosed car and is struggling .
    It brings to mind the days where Fernando was driving the Renault and Fisi took a beating in the press for not being able to match him . JV tried , and had the same experience , and is the source of the explanation .

    I'd like to see Fred and Max both in that Bull car .
    That would be epic and I wouldn't want to have to predict a winner between them .

    Tomorrow will be all about tires .

  5. Likes: airshifter (25th September 2023)
  6. #4
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    checo is a freakin' bull in a china shop

    Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
    May the forza be with you

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    Redbull and MV detractors left with egg on their faces

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tazio View Post
    checo is a freakin' bull in a china shop

    Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
    Yeah , the trophy wife is pretty angry with Checo for taking out one of her drivers in the FGP .
    I wouldn't want to be him .

    Team Willy will be wondering why they dropped Latifi for Logan right now .

    Max is going too fast to stay in the telecast for most of the race , so he should slow down a little for the sake of the sponsors on his car .
    It just makes good business sense .

  9. Likes: N. Jones (24th September 2023)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagwan View Post
    Team Willy will be wondering why they dropped Latifi for Logan right now .
    Mistake after mistake after mistake. I was pleased to see an American finally get a ride, but he is the wrong one. Gone by end of season if not earlier.

  11. Likes: Bagwan (24th September 2023),N. Jones (24th September 2023)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Used to be Starter View Post
    Mistake after mistake after mistake. I was pleased to see an American finally get a ride, but he is the wrong one. Gone by end of season if not earlier.
    I hoped he would at least perform as well as Rossi. He has squandered his chances and had too many crashes which has cost the team dearly. It is too late for him to turn things around as the damage is done. The question now is who would replace him. My money is on Liam Lawson.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
    William Shakespeare

  13. Likes: N. Jones (24th September 2023)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitrodaze View Post
    I hoped he would at least perform as well as Rossi. He has squandered his chances and had too many crashes which has cost the team dearly. It is too late for him to turn things around as the damage is done. The question now is who would replace him. My money is on Liam Lawson.
    Mine is on Felipe Drugovich.
    Oct. 31, 1999 - one of the blackest days in motorsports.

  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gm99 View Post
    Mine is on Felipe Drugovich.
    Has Felipe had track time to show what he can do?
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
    William Shakespeare

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