Eleven kilometres and five hundred and seventy metres split in two. It was definitely not a particularly stressful day for the engines in the two F10s of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, after they each completed just one installation lap, ...
Eleven kilometres and five hundred and seventy metres split in two. It was definitely not a particularly stressful day for the engines in the two F10s of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, after they each completed just one installation lap, equivalent to 5.785 kilometres, slightly under the official track length of 5.807 km.
Tomorrow however will be a very different story, which will see qualifying at ten o'clock and the race at its usual 15h00, effectively condensing the day into less than seven hours. It is not the first time that qualifying and the race have taken place on the same day, as it happened here six years ago, even if the situation was somewhat different. Back then there had already been a lot of rain on Friday and a typhoon was predicted to be heading for the track, so that the Suzuka circuit bosses cancelled all Saturday's track action, with qualifying therefore moved on to Sunday. The outcome of that day, also the 10th October, was a good one for Ferrari, or at least for one of its drivers: Michael Schumacher took pole and dominated the race, while team-mate Rubens Barrichello collided with David Coulthard. It was a magic year for the Scuderia and on that day it took its fifteenth win of the season, the thirteenth for the German driver.
This time, the situation is very different. Tomorrow will be a tense time because the stakes are very high. There are only four races to go and the fight for the Drivers' title still involves five competitors, while three teams are still in the running for the Constructors' crown. Tomorrow morning, there will not be a moment to spare, neither for the engineers nor the mechanics. The forecast is for a dry race, while there is still a strong threat of rain for qualifying. If it proves to be the case, then it adds an another element of uncertainty which will add to the excitement of the day. Meanwhile news has come through that Lewis Hamilton has a five place grid penalty having had to change the gearbox on his McLaren: after his accident yesterday, this is yet another unfortunate incident for the 2008 champion, one of the "magnificent five."