07/10/12 - 07:00
Japanese Grand Prix
Suzuka Circuit • Race


Follow the Japanese Grand Prix live with Eurosport. The race starts at 07:00 on 7 October 2012. 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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Jenson Button is just edged into fourth, but it's hard to begrudge Kobayashi and Sauber this moment - it's Japan's first F1 podium since 1990!


SEBASTIAN VETTEL WINS THE JAPANESE GP AND CLOSES TO WITHIN FOUR POINTS OF FERNANDO ALONSO! Second place for Felipe Massa, and Kamui Kobayashi claims his first F1 podium finish in front of a delirious home crowd!


Last lap! Vettel on course for victory but all eyes on Kobayashi and Button - the McLaren now in DRS range but has he left it too late?


The Japanese crowd roar Kobayashi on as he keeps Button at bay. He's on course for his first Formula One podium.


Jenson Button posts the fastest first sector time of the race, a 34.6. Maybe this thing is not over yet. He needs to get within a second to take advantage of DRS.


Drive-through penalty for Vitaly Petrov - he is guilty of ignoring blue flags.


Incredibly, Felipe Massa has not been on a Formula One podium since October 2010 in Korea. He is set for second place.


Kobayashi has responded to the challenge from Button, and put in a strong lap of 1:36.847. The gap is back up to 1.8 seconds and Button may have to settle for fourth here.


New fastest lap for Vettel - 1:36.466. That's just showing off.


Jenson Button is 1.6 seconds behind Kobayashi and closing slowly. How Button would love a podium finish at one of his favourite tracks.


Petrov takes his Caterham on an unscheduled trip over the grass. He gets back on to the tarmac and appears to have got away with that one.


Remember, Alonso's retirement on the open corner has opened this title race right up - Vettel will be just four points behind the Spaniard if he completes the job here.


Vettel's gap is steady at 18 seconds at the front of the pack. Meanwhile, Webber is trying to nurse his tyres through to the finish. He's ninth.


A change of position down the field as Bruno Senna bests Grosjean to take P14.


That's the end of Charles Pic's race. He has retired with mechanical trouble. The Marussia man was running 20th and last.


Nico Hulkenberg could be about to give Kimi Raikkonen a problem - he is closing on the sixth-placed Finn with every split time - 1.3 seconds the difference for the moment.


Michael Schumacher pits from ninth but stays on soft tyres - he's hoping to climb into the points.


A perfect pit stop from Red Bull, just 2.6 seconds, Sebastian Vettel comes back out in the lead (on hard tyres) and that is game over unless the German literally falls asleep at the wheel. Which he won't.


Massa pits - and comes out on hard tyres, perhaps surprisingly. I guess Ferrari think he has enough of a gap on Kobayashi to play it safe with harder rubber.


Button is about to pit - his crew tell him to give it "everything you've got" on the in-lap... but he cannot get out in front of Kobayashi.


A quick Vettel update - he remains 16 seconds clear of Felipe Massa and just needs to get through his final pit stop unscathed.


Maldonado pits from fourth place - hard tyres for the Venezuelan.


Di Resta pits - he stays on hard tyres and comes out in 14th.


DRAMA! Hamilton pits, and comes out JUST in front of Raikkoen - they go into turn one side-by-side and Hamilton just squeezes him out as he is on the inside! That could have gone horribly wrong, Kimi deciding discretion was the better part of valour there.


Raikkonen pits from sixth place and comes out on hard tyres! He has gone early - will the gamble pay off? He rejoins in ninth.


Button is closing the gap on Kobayashi - he is just under two seconds behind the third-placed Japanese driver.


If things stay as they are, here's how the title standings look tonight: 1 Alonso 194pts; 2 Vettel 190pts; 3 Raikkonen 159pts; 4 Hamilton 150pts.


Another fastest lap for Vettel - 1:38.246 - he's taking advantage of this soft rubber and will surely be just four points behind Fernando Alonso in about 45 minutes' time.


Webber pits, and comes out on hard tyres - he may be looking to go the distance on these.


Good move by Schumacher! He gets the better of Paul Di Resta and goes into 11th - he started 23rd on the grid, remember.


At half distance in the race here's how they stand: 1-Vettel, 2-Massa, 3-Kobayashi, 4-Button, 5-Raikkonen, 6-Hamilton, 7-Hulkenberg, 8-Maldonado, 9-Ricciardo, 10-Webber.


Mark Webber is up into ninth place, but he is now coming under pressure from Daniel Ricciardo.


Hamilton has complained that his tyres have gone off - and Hulkenberg is right on his tail, just 0.7 back in the battle for sixth.


If you're following this on a PC or Mac, click the link for some photos of the opening lap incident. If you're on the mobile app, just imagine a red car going sideways.


Sebastian Vettel's race lead is over 10 seconds - he sets a fastest lap of 1:38.449.


Button is still reporting problems. His McLaren missing gears, apparently.


Drivethrough penalty for Bruno Senna for causing a collision on the opening lap.


Perez is out! He is all out of shape through turn five and exits the track at turn six, skidding onto the gravel!


Jenson Button is conversing with his pit crew - it seems he might have an issue with his gearbox. But he has just set the fastest lap...


Confirmation from Ferrari: "It was a puncture provoked by a contact with Kimi's front wing who made Fernando spin."


Vettel is out safely in the lead and Massa comes out in front of Kobayashi! He has leapfrogged into second place, good work from the Brazilian. No such luck for Hamilton who is sixth.


Vettel, Massa and Hamilton all pit - where will they come out?


Ricciardo in P5 is holding up Kobayashi and Button, both of whom have pitted. Massa has not yet pitted, has clean air, and this is playing into his hands.


Perez pits - he is hoping to come out in front of Raikkoen but just fails to beat the Finn to turn one.


Everyone has switched to hard tyres, but they will still need a two-stop strategy, surely. Perhaps the planis to do a long middle stint before going back onto softs for the end of the race.


Kobayashi pits from P2 - he comes out in front of Jenson Button so when the positions all shake out he will still be second.


Pits! Button, Raikkonen and Hulkenberg are in... and out. Raikkonen comes out in 10th behind Kovalainen and Vergne. That's not good for Lotus.


Webber is past Vitaly Petrov into 18th position Pedro de la Rosa, Bruno Senna and Timo Glock are the next drivers in his sights.


Nico Rosberg tells Sky: "It sucks to finish a race like that." Pure bad luck from the German's point of view. He has been the victim of another error from Romain Grosjean.


Vettel is comfortably the fastest man on the track, and barring mechanical trouble he will win this race. Perez is looking frisky in sixth.


We have talked about Vettel, but this is also a great opportunity for Raikkonen and Hamilton to close the gap on Alonso in the championship. They are running fifth and seventh. But with Webber indisposed, there are surely podium places up for grabs.


Fastest lap of 1:39.450 for Vettel who is now 4.1 seconds clear. His Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber is down in 21st. If he can wangle a points finish that will be a decent result.


Michael Schumacher's pit crew tell him they have lost telemetry! He is running 14th at the moment.


A 10-second stop-go penalty for Romain Grosjean for that first-lap collision with Mark Webber. Grosjean is no stranger to disciplinary measures.


It's tempting to call the race win for Sebastian Vettel now. He is three seconds clear and already being told to conserve his tyres. Meanwhile Perez outbrakes Hamilton to retake sixth place! Great move.


DRS is now activated - and Lewis Hamilton is up to sixth ahead of Sergio Perez. We now hear that Alonso-Raikkonen is NOT under investigation - just Webber-Grosjean.


The stewards are now investigating the contact between Webber and Grosjean at the start, as well as the Raikkonen-Alonso incident. Raikkonen's pit crew tell him he is missing a "not important" part of his Lotus.


Right - we have seen a replay of the start. Alonso was squeezing Raikkonen off on the left side of the track and the Lotus man had no option but to clip the Ferrari man. That was Alonso's fault.


In comes the safety car and off we go! Vettel is already clear and Kobayashi could be his best friend here, holding up the rest. Perez and Raikkonen go into turn one side by side and the Mexican is forced off! He manages to get back on the black stuff, but he has lost ground.


The safety car comes in at the end of this lap. It's 1-Vettel, 2-Kobayashi, 3-Button, 4-Massa, 5-Raikkonen, 6-Perez, 7-Hamilton, 8-Hulkenberg, 9-Maldonado, 10-Ricciardo.


Grosjean into the pits following a puncture - he may have made contact with Alonso. Webber also into the pits now. Apparently it was Raikkonen who took Alonso out, but we have yet to see a decent replay.


Out comes the safety car and let's sort this mess out. FERNANDO ALONSO IS OUT OF THE RACE! Nico Rosberg is also out of the car. They appear to be the only two unable to restart - Mark Webber up and running again. What a moment for Sebastian Vettel, who can pull to within four points in the driver standings.


GOOOOOO!!! Chaos at the start! Kobayashi surges into second, but further down there is contact as Alonso spins and takes out several other cars including Mark Webber! Yellow flags out!


They're off on the formation lap. All the drivers are on soft tyres apart from Vergne, Pic and Schumacher who are on harder rubber.


While the anthem is played, why not have a read of these quotes from Stirling Moss on Lewis Hamilton's move to Mercedes. 'Not too clever' according to the great man.


Asked on the grid if Red Bull are operating a 'Double DRS' setup, Adrian Newey says: "No comment." They obviously are...


Just a reminder that Michael Schumacher is serving a 10-place grid penalty for causing a crash in Singapore - he starts 23rd on the grid.


Let's take a look at the drivers championship. Fernando Alonso leads the way on 194 points but it is hard not to feel like Vettel is making a decisive charge after his win in Singapore. He lies 29 points back. Betting odds: Alonso 8/11, Vettel 7/4, Hamilton 10/1, Raikkonen 40/1, Webber 66/1, Button 100/1.


It was an interesting session yesterday, and Vettel was reprimanded for impeding Fernando Alonso. However, he did not lose pole position as a result.


As ever in Japan, Sebastian Vettel starts from pole position - he and Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber man the front row of the grid. As for the Brits - Jenson Button qualified third but starts from eighth after changing his gearbox; Lewis Hamilton is ninth.


Welcome to our live coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix from Suzuka!