Japanese GP: Tyre and Pit Stop Strategy
A dominant performance saw Sebastian Vettel lead from lights to chequered flag as he closed within touching distance of Fernando Alonso in the Championship. The Ferrari driver crashed out at the start but team mate Felipe Massa had a better day after an opportunistic start propelled him on his way to a second-place finish. Kamui Kobayashi rounded out the podium to the delight of the enthusiastic local support.
Strategically, the race wasn’t so eventful and two-stop strategies accounted for almost everyone. Pastor Maldonado and Daniel Ricciardo provided the only significant variation and that was only in the selection of tyre compounds. However, the latter’s slightly late first stop was to prove crucial to Massa’s fortunes as the Toro Rosso briefly held up Kobayashi and Jenson Button. Michael Schumacher’s bid to recover from starting at the back of the grid on the harder compound saw him fall one place shy of the points.
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