Saturday, October 11, 2008

Japanese Grand Prix: Hamilton on pole

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton scores pole position for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. He is looking ready to put the title out of reach of Ferrari's Felipe Massa. Massa could only manage 5th and certainly has made it difficult for himself as Alonso, Raikkonen and Kovalainen out qualified him. So, he will have to do a lot of work if he is to keep pace Hamilton given that Massa's comments and the season's general trend leads me to conclude that he has less fuel than his rivals with Alonso being the possible exception.

In terms of points of interest:

1. Toyota. There is nothing inparticular about their qualifying performance. In the last 4 races Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock have averaged starting slots of 9th and 10th respectively. The will be starting 7th and 8th. With Renault's Nelson Piquet having a dismal qualifying session, it is imparative for both Toyota's to score points if they are to keep pace or make up ground on Renault. They are only 5 points behind them in the Constructor's title.

2. Honda. If qualifying is any indication, they will do very poorly in front of the home Japanese crowd. Button says he is struggling with the car, but I suspect that he simply could care less and is resigned to the idea if it is not raining, what the point of us being out here. Button qualified 18th. Barrichello has been more positive but not by much. He qualified 17th. They will be looking for rain.

3. Kazuki Nakajima. He has outqualified his Williams teammate Nico Rosberg in front of his home crowd which should give him an emotional boost since this is only the 4th time this season he has outqualified Rosebrg. With Rosberg openly admitting that Nakajima has been quicker than him this weekend, it bodes well for Nakajima but not for the team as a whole for it will be very difficult for them to score points. Just as Honda, Williams will be looking for rain; they start 14th and 15th.

No comments: