Japanese Grand Prix - Seb let down by a spark plug

8 Oct 2017

He retires after a few laps. Kimi’s great fight back to fifth

Suzuka – Scuderia Ferrari comes away from Japan with the points for fifth after Kimi made up that same number of places off the grid. From the outset, Sebastian Vettel was robbed of any chance to fight for the win, when a spark plug on one cylinder failed. However, Kimi’s performance proved that the team and the car are capable of getting the job done and until the maths says it’s over, we will keep trying. Moving on to the race: it started wth Seb on the right side alongside Hamilton, with Kimi tenth, after taking a penalty for the gearbox change between P3 and qualifying. Seb got off the line well, but not well enough to take the lead, as Kimi maintained position, before dropping down the order after running off track, while dueling with Hulkenberg. But on Seb’s car there was already a problem with the ignition and he lost one place on the opening lap. The Safety Car came out after Sainz crashed and Sebastian was sixth and losing ground. The number 5 car was called back into the pits and the mechanics tried to fix the problem. However, a few minutes later Seb climbed out of the cockpit. A spark plug was broken and it was pointless to go on. Meanwhile, having started on the Soft tyres he had used in Q2, Kimi found himself eighth, 18 seconds off the lead. He passed Massa on lap 14 and kept chasing. By lap 28, he was fourth before pitting for Supersofts and rejoining in sixth. At the start of lap 33, he set his sights on Hulkenberg and passed him. From then on, he managed the fuel and tyres in the closing stages, also putting in some very quick laps, while the Virtual Safety Car came out with four laps remaining. With two cars on track, it would have been a different story.

Kimi comments about the race
Seb comments about the race
Maurizio comments about the race


Pos

Driver

Car

Laps

Time/Retired

1

Lewis
Hamilton

Mercedes

53

1:27:31.194

2

Max
Verstappen

Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer

53

+1.211s

3

Daniel
Ricciardo

Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer

53

+9.679s

4

Valtteri
Bottas

Mercedes

53

+10.580s

5

Kimi
Räikkönen

Ferrari

53

+32.622s

6

Esteban
Ocon

Force India Mercedes

53

+67.788s

7

Sergio
Perez

Force India Mercedes

53

+71.424s

8

Kevin
Magnussen

Haas Ferrari

53

+88.953s

9

Romain
Grosjean

Haas Ferrari

53

+89.883s

10

Felipe
Massa

Williams Mercedes

52

+1 lap

11

Fernando
Alonso

McLaren Honda

52

+1 lap

12

Jolyon
Palmer

Renault

52

+1 lap

13

Pierre
Gasly

Toro Rosso

52

+1 lap

14

Stoffel
Vandoorne

McLaren Honda

52

+1 lap

15

Pascal
Wehrlein

Sauber Ferrari

51

+2 laps

NC

Lance
Stroll

Williams Mercedes

45

DNF

NC

Nico
Hulkenberg

Renault

40

DNF

NC

Marcus
Ericsson

Sauber Ferrari

7

DNF

NC

Sebastian
Vettel

Ferrari

4

DNF

NC

Carlos
Sainz

Toro Rosso

0

DNF

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