09/10/11 - 07:00
Finished
Japanese Grand Prix
LIVE
Suzuka Circuit • Race
avant-match

Race

Follow the Japanese Grand Prix live with Eurosport. The race starts at 07:00 on 9 October 2011. Find race results, standings, stats, scores and track info. Keep up with the top F1 drivers and teams including Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).
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Highlights 
 
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Thanks for your company this morning. There are still four more races this season, and we will do it all again in Korea next weekend.

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Button parks up at the end of the pit wall! Is he out of fuel? He salutes the crowd, but this will be remembered as Sebastian Vettel's day!

53/53

JENSON BUTTON WINS THE JAPANESE GRAND PRIX!! AND SEBASTIAN VETTEL IS THE WORLD CHAMPION!!

53/53 

Alonso's challenge is fading, but what a performance from the Ferrari... Liuzzi gets in Button's way and that was a bit of a hairy moment! He's now through...

52/53 

Great stuff from Button, who is now 1.8 seconds clear of Alonso - he should have enough to hold him off. Fastest lap 1:36.568.

52/53 

Button responds! He clocks a 1:36.574, three tenths quicker than Alonso. 1.2 seconds the gap with two seconds remaining.

51/53 

Oh my, Alonso is just a second away - he's in DRS range and this could be an absolutely remarkable victory if he pulls this off.

50/53 

Button's lead is down to 1.6 seconds, with Vettel a further 1.5 seconds adrift. Exciting stuff, and this could be a grandstand finish.

49/53 

And even more excitingly, Fernando Alosno has closed to within 2.1 seconds of Button and could be in position to have a real go as this race reaches its climax.

48/53 

Massa is closing on his former Ferrari team-mate Schumacher, so that could be a fun battle.

47/53 

Petrov gets the better of Kobayashi to go into 10th place... he's in the points.

46/53 

Now Petrov is past Di Resta. Rosberg is next, and sadly Di Resta is in freefall.

46/53 

Ooh, chippy! Vettel makes it past a back marker and shakes his fist! He's not happy...

45/53 

Sutil makes it past Di Resta to go 10th, and now Petrov is all over the Scot's backside.

45/53 

How they stand: 1-Button, 2-Alonso, 3-Vettel, 4-Webber, 5-Hamilton, 6-Schumacher, 7-Massa, 8-Perez, 9-Kobayashi, 10-Di Resta.

44/53 

The real battle is for second place between Alonso and Vettel, who has got his tail up now. If (and it's a big IF) Vettel were somehow to welly into Alonso and not finish, then a Button victory would keep the title battle alive. For a bit.

43/53 

Schumacher has finally pitted and comes out in P6 - that's smack in between Hamilton and Massa.

42/53 

Vettel is all over the back of Alonso, who fights like mad to repel the Red Bull! Contrast Alonso's defence with his team-mates. And guess which one is a world champion...

41/53 

And Hamilton is past Rosberg! He gives it the DRS down the short start-finish straight and moves into sixth.

41/53 

The other Mercedes, Nico Rosberg, is also out of sequence with his pit stops - and he is in sixth holding up Hamilton and Massa.

40/53 

This is the first time Michael Schumacher has led a Grand Prix since 2006. But it seems unlikely that he will be able to make his tyres last until the end of the race.

39/53 

Michael Schumacher is still winning the race, and he will be able to stay there for some time because he pitted under the safety car. A shrewd move, and what a coup it will be if he can somehow cling on. He's got a nine-second cushion.

38/53 

Alonso overtakes Vettel! The Ferrari streaks into second place, and Vettel looks like he is playing it safe here.

38/53 

Hamilton makes a move on Massa... makes it stick! And no contact this time!

37/53 

Button pits from the lead... and gets out well ahead of Vettel. This race appears to be his to lose...

36/53 

Vettel has come out of the pits behind Sutil, who made life difficult for his fellow German. But Vettel comes through. Button can now pit with impunity, it now seems.

35/53 

And now Mark Webber comes in - Red Bull really struggling with tyres today.

34/53 

Vettel is first to pit again - and Red Bull equip him with the slower, harder, white-marked tyres. They have run of of softer rubber (as has everyone else).

33/53 

Now - Alonso is closing on Vettel and is just two seconds behind the German now. Another fine performance from the Spaniard.

32/53 

Button continues to extend his lead, and he now has a 2.5 second cushion on Vettel. Now it's Hamilton's turn to hound Massa - he is within half a second of the Ferrari man.

31/53 

How they stand: 1-Button, 2-Vettel, 3-Alonso, 4-Webber, 5-Massa, 6-Hamilton, 7-Schumacher, 8-Perez, 9-Di Resta, 10-Petrov.

30/53 

DRS has been enabled, and Webber is reeling in Alonso in the battle for third.

30/53 

Button is putting the pressure on Vettel, and is going really well here - a fastest lap 1:37.527 and he extands his lead to 1.7 seconds.

29/53 

Lewis Hamilton is complaining of understeer - he is assured by the pit crew that he sustained no damage in that collision with Massa.

29/53 

Button got a good jump on the field as the safety car went in. He has half a second on Vettel, who cannot get use DRS. That will be enabled in a few laps.

28/53

IN COMES THE SAFETY CAR! And there will be no further action relating to that incident between Massa and Hamilton. Probably the diplomatic outcome. These blokes have got to be allowed to race, haven't they?

27/53 

We're seeing a replay of an incident between Webber and Schumacher - the Aussie tagged Schumi with his nose, though both cars stayed on. You'd think there would be some damage to Webber's front wing, but he hasn't pitted...

27/53 

Why on earth is the safety car still out - there was debris on turns 7 and 16, but that has been cleared away.

26/53 

Massa lost an end plate from his front wing, but his race engineer Rob Smedley has said there is no significant effect on the car.

25/53 

Safety car still out, though the field has not completely bunched up - and the Massa-Hamilton incident is under investigation! Here we go...

24/53

Safety car out - the bits of Massa's car are being cleared off the track. Shouldn't take long.

24/53 

There are some fairly dissastisfied comments at the bottom of the page regarding that Vettel-Button incident. Whatever you think about the incident in question, it does seem spectacularly bitter to call Vettel's driving ability into question. The man is a freaking genius, and if you can't see that then I find it hard to believe you really like F1...

23/53 

Massa and Hamilton both pit - no emergency repairs for the Ferrari man. Hard to believe that bit of bodywork wasn't serving a purpose but there you go...

22/53

CONTACT!! It's Hamilton and Massa again!! The Ferrari makes a move, Hamilton holds him off and they touch - Massa loses a bit of his front wing. Amazing...

22/53 

It's not exactly panic stations for Seb Vettel, but it is nice to see him being made to sing for his supper. Vettel had a quick out lap, so it's amazing to see Button overtake him - in fact the Briton isn't leading; Massa is in front but he has not pitted for the second time.

21/53 

Now Button pits! He comes out in front of Vettel! Great pit stop from McLaren, and we have a new race leader!

21/53 

So Button leads, and it may even be that Red Bull are forced into a four-stop strategy...

20/53 

And Vettel pits! The race leader comes in with his tyres falling apart! Webber follows him in, and Red Bull do a spectacular job pulling off two tyre changes in ultra-quick succession.

19/53 

Button has closed the lead to under a second - Vettel is losing so much speed.

18/53 

Massa is four tenths behind Lewis Hamilton in the battle for fourth. You may be aware of some previous between those two. Somehow I don't think Hamilton will let him through without a fight.

17/53 

Kobayashi makes his way past Jaime Alguersuari at the hairpin and is up into the top 10.

16/53 

Senna is one of the last to pit, but he has a slow getaway and that will compromise his hopes of a points finish. He was running 12th.

15/53 

Schumacher takes Petrov to go into P7. His reward is to be told to look after his tyres by the pit crew. His tyres, apparently, were badly blistered at the end of the first stint.

14/53 

Button has made some inroads into Vettel's lead, closing to within 2.7 seconds.

13/53

Yellow flags are out while Buemi's car is cleared away. Here's how they stand: 1-Vettel, 2-Button, 3-Alonso, 4-Hamilton, 5-Massa, 6-Webber, 7-Petrov, 8-Schumacher, 9-Perez, 10-Sutil.

12/53

Buemi is out - he pulls his Toro Rosso over, and the front right wheel comes off! It looks simply as though that was not attached properly in his pit stop.

12/53 

Ferrari has snapped the gurneys off Felipe Massa's rear wing - so that's what they were talking about... It's just a black strip at the bottom of the rear wing.

12/53 

Almost everybody has come in, which means it looks like three-stop strategies all round.

11/53 

And now Button and Alonso both pit - Massa is your de facto leader - Button just gets out in front of Alonso, and both are in front of Hamilton.

10/53 

Now Vettel pits! Alles in ordnung, and out comes the champion-elect in sixth. Fernando Alonso is the fastest driver on track.

9/53 

Put your conspiracy theories away - Hamilton had a right rear puncture. Though that has played into Jenson Button's hands.

9/53 

Hamilton pits! He lets Button through, then gets in Massa's way and comes into the pits! Either he lost a lot of pace, or he was doing Jenson Button a favour.

8/53 

Cryptic messages on Massa's radio, with Rob Smedley telling him: "We still think to do the thing with the rear wing." What does that mean?

8/53

NO FURTHER ACTION - Vettel has got away with that aggressive block on Button at the start. On balance, it's probably the right decision - but a penalty would certainly have made things interesting!

7/53 

Tonio Liuzzi sends his HRT sideways, does well to stop it spinning, but runs wide onto the grass. He's had a miserable weekend.

6/53

Alonso takes Massa!! The Spaniard makes an easy pass on his Ferrari team-mate at the end of the start-finish straight, and did Massa even contest that? It looks like he's been told to let Alonso through, and that is fairly soul-destroying stuff.

5/53 

Nico Rosberg, who started in 23rd, is up to 19th place - he'll be looking for a points finish at least.

5/53 

Rare to see Massa in front of Alonso - the Ferrari pair are line astern in fourth and fifth.

4/53 

Still no verdict on that incident at the start - and Vettel has extended his lead over Lewis Hamilton to 1.7 seconds. Button a further 2.5 seconds back. DRS has been enabled.

3/53 

The leaders are lapping in 1:40 - 10 seconds slower than qualifying. That's what a full fuel load and harder tyres will do for you.

2/53 

And the start is under investigation! Vettel's move, closing the door on Jenson Button, will be looked at by race stewards. It wasn't the worst I've ever seen...

2/53 

So, here's how they stand on lap two: 1-Vettel, 2-Hamilton, 3-Button, 4-Massa, 5-Alonso, 6-Webber, 7-Schumacher, 8-Di Resta, 9-Sutil, 10-Petrov.

2/53 

Button on his radio: "(Vettel)'s got to get a penalty for that!"

1/53 

Local hero Kamui Kobayashi has dropped two places to 12th, but Di Resta is up four places to eighth.

1/53

GOOOOOO!!!! Button attacks Vettel down the inside but the German forces him wide onto the grass! Hamilton sweeps through into second, and that was uncompromising stuff from Sebastian Vettel!

07:03 

The cars form up and we are ready to go...

07:00 

Off they go on the formation lap - it's a glorious sunny day in Suzuka. The air temperature is 24C, track temperature 35C. There's a light wind coming from the south but nothing to affect the drivers.

06:55 

So, it's going to be a 53-lap race around this Suzuka track - click the 'venue info' magnifying glass for more info on the circuit.

06:50 

A nice moment here, as a teenage choir from Minami-Soma, near Fukushima, performs the Japanese national anthem. Kamui Kobayashi paid personally to bring them here.

06:50 

So Vettel is on pole yet again, but Lewis Hamilton might have been there but for a timing error that saw him come out too late for his final attempt at a flying lap.

06:45 

Vettel has scored in every race this season - his worst finish was fourth place in Germany.

06:40 

Talking to the BBC, Sebastian Vettel was asked whether he would be playing it safe or going for glory: "For glory, I think that's why we are here. I think (McLaren) have a very strong race pace and the tyres will play the strongest role."

06:35 

As you must be aware, Sebastian Vettel will almost certainly clinch hjis second world title today. If he scores a point, he is champion. And even if he doesn't score, he will be champ unless Jenson Button wins the race.

06:30

Welcome to LIVE coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix from Suzuka!