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The 2008 Japanese Grand Prix, formally known as the 2008 Formula 1 Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix (XXXIV フジテレビ日本グランプリ in Japanese), was the sixteenth race of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Fuji Speedway in Sunto District, Japan, on 12 October 2008.[1][2] The race would see Fernando Alonso sweep to victory for the second race in succession, after title protagonists Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa clashed.[2]

Championship leader Hamilton was the man to beat in qualifying, the Brit sweeping to pole position ahead of Kimi Räikkönen of Ferrari.[2] Heikki Kovalainen and Alonso would share the second row, leaving Massa down in fifth ahead of Robert Kubica.[2]

The start of the race saw Räikkönen get the jump on Hamilton, easing ahead of the #22 McLaren-Mercedes on the run to the first corner.[2] Hamilton tucked in behind the Finn before sending a lunge inside the #1 Ferrari, which forced both wide and into the path of Kovalainen.[2]

Kubica hence emerged from the first corner in the lead ahead of Alonso, while further down the field a series of collisions saw Giancarlo Fisichella smack into the back of Rubens Barrichello, while David Coulthard hit both Sébastien Bourdais and Nelson Piquet, Jr.[2] Hamilton, meanwhile, would rejoin in sixth behind Massa, with Räikkönen on his tail, with Hamilton placed under investigation for his antics at turn one.[2]

A lap later however and Massa was the man under scrutiny for a mistake at the turn ten chicane saw the Brazilian let Hamilton through, before smacking into the McLaren mid-corner.[2] Hamilton was left to limp back to the pits for a new set of tyres, while Massa dropped to eighth before being slapped with a drive-through penalty.[2] Hamilton was given the same penalty for his turn one incident.[2]

Hamilton would serve his penalty instantly having climbed up to fifteenth, while Massa first took a pitstop before serving his punishment, dumping him down to fourteenth.[2] Out front, meanwhile, Kubica would lead through until he made his stop on lap seventeen, joined by Räikkönen in the pitlane, while Alonso stayed out a lap longer and took on less fuel to grab the de facto lead.[2]

Once those on longer first stints pitted the order read as Alonso leading from Kubica and Räikkönen, with the rest of the field spreading out as Massa and Hamilton inched back towards the top ten.[2] Yet, there would be no major changes tot he order in the middle stint, with Alonso pitting and rejoining ahead of Kubica, who would himself retain second from Räikkönen.[2]

Massa's challenge would be damaged during the second pit-phase, for the Brazilian collided with Bourdais as the Frenchman exited the pits sending the Brazilian into a spin, recovering to eighth, while Bourdais was slapped with a post-race time penalty.[2] Hamilton, meanwhile, would fail to make an impact with the Brit carrying a fair amount of damage, and would never threaten the top ten.[2]

Out front, meanwhile, Alonso held a commanding lead through to the chequered flag, securing his second straight victory.[2] Behind, Kubica fended off a challenge from Räikkönen to secure second, while the Finn just kept Piquet at bay to retain third and complete the podium.[2] They were followed by Jarno Trulli, Bourdais, Sebastian Vettel and Massa, although once Bourdais served his penalty Mark Webber would be promoted into eighth.[2]

Background[]

Lewis Hamilton managed to increase his Championship lead as a result of the mid-race chaos in the Singapore Grand Prix, leaving the city-state seven points clear of his closest challenger. Indeed, Felipe Massa had lost ground in the title hunt after his team's pit-lane mistakes, although he was still a safety thirteen point clear of third placed Robert Kubica. Behind, Kimi Räikkönen was running out of time to make a title bid in fourth, while Nick Heidfeld had retained his top five status.

There was a change in the Constructors Championship as McLaren-Mercedes hit the top of the title hunt, leaving Singapore with 135 points. With Ferrari failing to score the British squad had established a one point lead over the Scuderia, with those two still the main protagonists for the title. BMW Sauber were still in contention in third but were fifteen points off the lead, while Renault had moved into fourth ahead of Toyota as a result of Fernando Alonso's controversial triumph.

Entry list[]

The full entry list for the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2008 Ferrari 056 2008 2.4 V8 B
2 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2008 Ferrari 056 2008 2.4 V8 B
3 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW P86/8 2.4 V8 B
4 Poland Robert Kubica Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW P86/8 2.4 V8 B
5 Spain Fernando Alonso France ING Renault F1 Team Renault R28 Renault RS27 2.4 V8 B
6 Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. France ING Renault F1 Team Renault R28 Renault RS27 2.4 V8 B
7 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom AT&T Williams Williams FW30 Toyota RVX-08 2.4 V8 B
8 Japan Kazuki Nakajima United Kingdom AT&T Williams Williams FW30 Toyota RVX-08 2.4 V8 B
9 United Kingdom David Coulthard Austria Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB4 Renault RS27 2.4 V8 B
10 Australia Mark Webber Austria Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB4 Renault RS27 2.4 V8 B
11 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF108 Toyota RVX-08 2.4 V8 B
12 Germany Timo Glock Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF108 Toyota RVX-08 2.4 V8 B
14 France Sébastien Bourdais Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR3 Ferrari 056 2007 2.4 V8 B
15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR3 Ferrari 056 2007 2.4 V8 B
16 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA108 Honda RA808E 2.4 V8 B
17 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA108 Honda RA808E 2.4 V8 B
20 Germany Adrian Sutil India Force India F1 Team Force India VJM01 Ferrari 056 2007 2.4 V8 B
21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella India Force India F1 Team Force India VJM01 Ferrari 056 2007 2.4 V8 B
22 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-23 Mercedes FO 108V 2.4 V8 B
23 Finland Heikki Kovalainen United Kingdom Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-23 Mercedes FO 108V 2.4 V8 B
Source:[3]

Practice Overview[]

Qualifying[]

Q1[]

Q2[]

Q3[]

Qualifying Results[]

The full qualifying results for the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Grid
Pos. Time Pos. Time Pos. Time
1 22 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 2 1:18.071 3 1:17.462 1 1:18.404 1
2 1 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Italy Ferrari 4 1:18.160 7 1:17.733 2 1:18.644 2
3 23 Finland Heikki Kovalainen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 5 1:18.220 2 1:17.360 3 1:18.821 3
4 5 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault 6 1:18.290 8 1:17.871 4 1:18.852 4
5 2 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Ferrari 3 1:18.110 1 1:17.287 5 1:18.874 5
6 4 Poland Robert Kubica Germany BMW Sauber 14 1:18.684 9 1:17.931 6 1:18.979 6
7 11 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Toyota 10 1:18.501 4 1:17.541 7 1:19.026 7
8 12 Germany Timo Glock Japan Toyota 1 1:17.945 5 1:17.670 8 1:19.118 8
9 15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 11 1:18.559 6 1:17.714 9 1:19.638 9
10 14 France Sébastien Bourdais Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 12 1:18.593 10 1:18.102 10 1:20.167 10
11 9 United Kingdom David Coulthard Austria Red Bull-Renault 8 1:18.303 11 1:18.187 11
12 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. France Renault 7 1:18.300 12 1:18.274 12
13 10 Australia Mark Webber Austria Red Bull-Renault 9 1:18.372 13 1:18.354 13
14 8 Japan Kazuki Nakajima United Kingdom Williams-Toyota 13 1:18.640 14 1:18.594 14
15 7 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Toyota 15 1:18.740 15 1:18.672 15
16 3 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 16 1:18.835 16
17 17 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Honda 17 1:18.882 17
18 16 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda 18 1:19.100 18
19 20 Germany Adrian Sutil India Force India-Ferrari 19 1:19.163 19
20 21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella India Force India-Ferrari 20 1:19.910 20
Source:[4]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
  • Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.

Grid[]

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 1 ______________
Lewis Hamilton 2
______________ Kimi Räikkönen
Row 2 3 ______________
Heikki Kovalainen 4
______________ Fernando Alonso
Row 3 5 ______________
Felipe Massa 6
______________ Robert Kubica
Row 4 7 ______________
Jarno Trulli 8
______________ Timo Glock
Row 5 9 ______________
Sebastian Vettel 10
______________ Sébastien Bourdais
Row 6 11 ______________
David Coulthard 12
______________ Nelson Piquet, Jr.
Row 7 13 ______________
Mark Webber 14
______________ Kazuki Nakajima
Row 8 15 ______________
Nico Rosberg 16
______________ Nick Heidfeld
Row 9 17 ______________
Rubens Barrichello 18
______________ Jenson Button
Row 10 19 ______________
Adrian Sutil 20
______________ Giancarlo Fisichella

Race[]

Report[]

Results[]

The full results for the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 5 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault 67 1:30:21.892 4 10
2 4 Poland Robert Kubica Germany BMW Sauber 67 +5.283s 6 8
3 1 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Italy Ferrari 67 +6.400s 2 6
4 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. France Renault 67 +20.570s 12 5
5 11 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Toyota 67 +23.767s 7 4
6 15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 67 +39.207s 9 3
7 2 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Ferrari 67 +46.158s 5 2
8 10 Australia Mark Webber Austria Red Bull-Renault 67 +50.811s 13 1
9 3 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 67 +54.120s 16
10* 14 France Sébastien Bourdais Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 67 +59.085s 10
11 7 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Toyota 67 +1:02.096 15
12 22 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 67 +1:18.900 1
13 17 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Honda 66 +1 Lap 17
14 16 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda 66 +1 Lap 18
15 8 Japan Kazuki Nakajima United Kingdom Williams-Toyota 66 +1 Lap 14
Ret 21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella India Force India-Ferrari 21 Gearbox 20
Ret 23 Finland Heikki Kovalainen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 16 Engine 3
Ret 20 Germany Adrian Sutil India Force India-Ferrari 8 Puncture 19
Ret 12 Germany Timo Glock Japan Toyota 6 Damage 8
Ret 9 United Kingdom David Coulthard Austria Red Bull-Renault 0 Accident 11
Source:[5]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
  • * Bourdais was handed a 25 second time penalty for causing a collision.[5]

Milestones[]

Standings[]

Lewis Hamilton saw his Championship lead cut by two points as a result of the Japanese Grand Prix, and hence left the Fuji Speedway with a five point advantage. Felipe Massa had hence closed in on the Brit at the head of the field, and was one of only two drivers who could deny Hamilton the crown. Indeed, Robert Kubica still entertained hopes of becoming the 2008 World Champion, although he would have to outscore Hamilton by three points in China just to stay in the hunt.

In the Constructors Championship Ferrari had moved back to the top of the pack, largely due to the fact that McLaren-Mercedes had failed to score. Indeed, the Brit squad had gone from holding a one point lead to trailing the Scuderia by seven points, with those two still the main protagonists with two rounds to go. BMW Sauber were still in the hunt in third, fourteen off the lead, but had long since acknowledged that their focus was on the 2009 season.

World Championship for Drivers
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 84
2 Brazil Felipe Massa 79
3 Poland Robert Kubica 72
4 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 63
5 Germany Nick Heidfeld 56
6 Finland Heikki Kovalainen 51
7 Spain Fernando Alonso 48
8 Germany Sebastian Vettel 30
9 Italy Jarno Trulli 30
10 Australia Mark Webber 21 ▲1
11 Germany Timo Glock 20 ▼1
12 Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. 18 ▲1
13 Germany Nico Rosberg 17 ▼1
14 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 11
15 Japan Kazuki Nakajima 9
16 United Kingdom David Coulthard 8
17 France Sébastien Bourdais 4
18 United Kingdom Jenson Button 3
World Championship for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 Italy Ferrari 142 ▲1
2 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 135 ▼1
3 Germany BMW Sauber 128
4 France Renault 66
5 Japan Toyota 50
6 Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 34
7 Austria Red Bull-Renault 29
8 United Kingdom Williams-Toyota 26
9 Japan Honda 14

Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.

References[]

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 '16. Japan 2008', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2008/japon.aspx, (Accessed 19/03/2020)
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 'Japan 2008: Alonso stuns for two in row.', crash.net, (Crash Media Group, 12/10/2008), https://www.crash.net/f1/race-report/63903/1/japan-2008-alonso-stuns-for-two-in-row, (Accessed 19/03/2020)
  3. 'Japan 2008: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2008/japon/engages.aspx, (Accessed 19/03/2020)
  4. '2008 FORMULA 1 FUJI TELEVISION JAPANESE GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2006), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2008/races/840/japan/qualifying.html, (Accessed 19/03/2020)
  5. 5.0 5.1 'Japan 2008: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2008/japon/classement.aspx, (Accessed 19/03/2020)
  6. [Archived] '2008 Japanese GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), https://web.archive.org/web/20190409225546/http://chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2008&gp=Japanese%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 19/03/2020) - Original
V T E Japan Japanese Grand Prix
Circuits Fuji (1976–1977, 2007–2008), Suzuka (1987–2006, 2009–present)
SuzukaCircuit2005.png
Races 197619771978–1986 • 19871988198919901991199219931994 • 19951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020
See also Pacific Grand Prix
V T E 2008 Formula One Season
Teams Ferrari • BMW Sauber • Renault • Williams • Red Bull • Toyota • Toro Rosso • Honda • Super Aguri • Force India • McLaren
Engines BMW • Ferrari • Honda • Mercedes • Renault • Toyota
Drivers Räikkönen • 2 Massa • 3 Heidfeld • 4 Kubica • 5 Alonso • 6 Piquet • 7 Rosberg • 8 Nakajima • 9 Coulthard • 10 Webber • 11 Trulli • 12 Glock • 14 Bourdais • 15 Vettel • 16 Button • 17 Barrichello • 18 Sato • 19 Davidson • 20 Sutil • 21 Fisichella • 22 Hamilton • 23 Kovalainen
Other Drivers Badoer • Buemi • Clos • Gené • Grosjean • Hartley • Hülkenberg • Klien • Kobayashi • Liuzzi • Loeb • Paffett • Rossi • Rossiter • M. Schumacher • R. Schumacher • Senna • Van der Garde • Wurz • Yamamoto
Cars Ferrari F2008 • McLaren MP4-23 • BMW Sauber F1.08 • Renault R28 • Toyota TF108 • Toro Rosso STR2B • Toro Rosso STR3 • Red Bull RB4 • Williams FW30 • Honda RA108 • Force India VJM01 • Super Aguri SA08
Tyres Bridgestone
Races Australia • Malaysia • Bahrain • Spain • Turkey • Monaco • Canada • France • Britain • Germany • Hungary • Europe • Belgium • Italy • Singapore • Japan • China • Brazil
See also 2007 Formula One Season • 2009 Formula One Season • Category
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