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2023 Japan Thoughts

THE BIG PICTURE: Adrian Newey once famously said, "There is no such thing as the spirit of the regulations. There are only the regulations." What Red Bull did with Sergio Perez was ingenious, even if it felt wrong. Racers live by that dictum since the beginning of the sport. If people don't like it, change the rules.

EVENT: Ever the enthusiasts, the Japanese crowd never stopped cheering their home driver.

TRACK: Suzuka can bite you. As some learned over the weekend.

QUALIFYING: Verstappen and Red Bull are easily back on top, not so much for Perez, McLaren were the only team which pretended to be competitive as Piastri topped that duo, Tsunoda gets a push from his home fans to get to Q3, Alonso barely keeps his season's undefeated Q3 accomplishment, and Stroll and Sargeant continue to regress.

RACE: Another great race ... behind Verstappen.

START: Verstappen has to get aggressive to keep both McLarens at bay, while behind them all kinds of bumping and grinding and flying carbon fiber bits occur, with Zhou, Albon, Perez, and Bottas ending up the worst of it.

VERSTAPPEN: 19.387 second margin of victory. And it probably could have been double that. Wow. Just wow.

PEREZ: Could Sergio possibly have had a worse race? Hit at the start. Replaced front wing. Five second safety car infringement penalty. Ridiculous attempt to pass Magnussen. Another front wing. Another five second penalty for causing a collision. Finally ... mercifully ... a DNF. But wait, there's more. They pull him back from the showers to do two laps of shame to wipe that last penalty off the board. Oh, and a total of four points on his license, which is more than the actual points he scored the past two races.

RED BULL: We can wipe that absurd talk about the technical directive having anything to do with their poor Singapore performance. Last week was an aberration. This week is the norm. And it's the reason they just clinched their sixth constructors championship.

NORRIS: Lance continues to show off his stuff as the car keeps getting better and better. A win before the season is out? Will probably need some bad luck to befall his friend, but it's possible.

PIASTRI: Is it us, or did Oscar appear upset with his first podium finish because he felt it could have been a second? If so, that bodes well for his racing mentality. He's got to be thrilled he escaped Alpine.

MCLAREN: Officially usurped Aston Martin as the best of the rest.

FERRARI: Not necessarily a letdown, as they are probably back to where they should be on most tracks. But, there were still positive signs this weekend.

MERCEDES: Toto Wolff, from afar, must have suffered flashbacks of the Hamilton vs. Rosberg era.

HAMILTON: Mighty aggressive.

RUSSELL: The one stop gamble did not work.

ALONSO: Now that his car is no longer as competitive, Fernando's trademark frustration is starting to come out again.

STROLL: Another useless Lance weekend.

ALPINE: They must feel even more idiotic over how they handled the Piastri contract situation last year.

ALPHATAURI: Again, we don't get it. Nothing against Tsunoda, who has improved and is certainly quick at times. But if you are never going to promote him, why keep him around and not put the two drivers who are promotable on the team?

LAWSON: If Liam isn't on the grid next year, the Red Bull junior driver program is irrevocably broken.

TSUNODA: Yuki had a fun time in his native country.

WILLIAMS: We don't see Williams accepting Lawson for just one year. And there doesn't appear to be any other better option for Sargeant. But they must be wondering how much more crash damage can they put up with?

WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Crushing.

STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 75 -- On the 75th anniversary of Sochiro Honda starting the eponymous company, they power yet again another F1 constructors title.

HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Honda and Toyota are now fierce rivals, both on and off the track. However, Honda got it's start thanks to Toyota. Sochiro Honda sold the remains of a previous company he was involved with to Toyota for ¥450,000. That was the seed money used to form the Honda Technical Research Institute. Eventually, that company was liquidated and the proceeds used to form Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: From the @autosport account:

Sergio Perez's lap 13 pitstop in the #JapaneseGP was officially clocked at 43 minutes long, the longest stop in #F1 since Valtteri Bottas' infamous 43-hour stop at Monaco in 2021

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Carlos Sainz perfectly encapsulates the cliche, sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug, "They're using my trick against me."

QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: While Lewis Hamilton thought the whole idea of using DRS to protect the two Mercedes drivers was ludicrous, "I don't think that was a good idea at all. They had obviously thought of it from the last race, and it made no sense."

SCHEDULE: Off to Qatar where Max can clinch the championship in the sprint race.

Copyright © 2023 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.



RACE RESULTS
  Driver Laps
1. Verstappen 53
2. Norris 53
3. Piastri(R) 53
4. Leclerc 53
5. Hamilton 53
6. Sainz 53
7. Russell 53
8. Alonso 53
9. Ocon 53
10. Gasly 53
11. Lawson(R) 52
12. Tsunoda 52
13. Zhou 52
14. Hulkenberg 52
15. Magnussen 52
NC Albon 26
NC Sargeant(R) 22
NC Stroll 20
NC Perez 15
NC Bottas 7

Time of Race
1:30:58.421

Margin of Victory
19.387 secs.

Safety Car
1 for 3 laps

Virtual Safety Car
1 for 1 lap

Lead Changes
3 among 3 drivers

Lap Leaders
Max Verstappen, Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz

Fastest Race Lap
Max Verstappen

Pole Position
Max Verstappen

CURRENT STANDINGS
  Driver Pts.
1. Verstappen 400
2. Perez 223
3. Hamilton 190
4. Alonso 174
5. Sainz 150
6. Leclerc 135
7. Russell 115
  Norris 115
9. Piastri(R) 57
10. Stroll 47
11. Gasly 46
12. Ocon 38
13. Albon 21
14. Hulkenberg 9
15. Bottas 6
16. Zhou 4
17. Tsunoda 3
  Magnussen 3
19. Lawson(R) 2

  Team Pts.
1. Red Bull 623
2. Mercedes 305
3. Ferrari 285
4. Aston Martin 221
5. McLaren 172
6. Alpine 84
7. Williams 21
8. Haas 12
9. Alfa Romeo 10
10. AlphaTauri 5
 
 

2023 Thoughts
Bahrain Saudi Arabia Australia Azerbaijan
Miami Emilia Romagna Monaco Spain
Canada Austria Great Britain Hungary
Belgium Holland Italy Singapore
Japan Qatar United States Mexico City
Sao Paulo Las Vegas Abu Dhabi

2022 Thoughts
Bahrain Saudi Arabia Australia Emilia Romagna
Miami Spain Monaco Azerbaijan
Canada Great Britain Austria France
Hungary Belgium Holland Italy
Singapore Japan United States
Mexico City Sao Paulo Abu Dhabi

2021 Thoughts
Bahrain Emilia Romagna Portugal Spain Monaco
Azerbaijan France Steiermark Austria Great Britain
Hungary Belgium Holland Italy
Russia Turkey United States Mexico City
Sao Paulo Qatar Saudi Arabia Abu Dhabi

2020 Thoughts
Austria Steiermark Hungary Great Britain Anniversary
Spain Belgium Italy Tuscany
Russia Eifel Portugal Emilia Romagna
Turkey Bahrain Sakhir Abu Dhabi

2019 Thoughts
Australia Bahrain China Azerbaijan Spain
Monaco Canada France Austria
Great Britain Germany Hungary Belgium
Italy Singapore Russia Japan
Mexico United States Brazil Abu Dhabi

2018 Thoughts
Australia Bahrain China Azerbaijan Spain
Monaco Canada France Austria
Great Britain Germany Hungary Belgium
Italy Singapore Russia Japan
United States Mexico Brazil Abu Dhabi

2017 Thoughts
Australia China Bahrain Russia
Spain Monaco Canada Azerbaijan
Austria Great Britain Hungary Belgium
Italy Singapore Malaysia Japan
United States Mexico Brazil Abu Dhabi

2016 Thoughts
Australia Bahrain China Russia Spain
Monaco Canada Europe Austria
Great Britain Hungary Germany Belgium
Italy Singapore Malaysia Japan
United States Mexico Brazil Abu Dhabi

2015 Thoughts
Australia Malaysia China Bahrain
Spain Monaco Canada Austria
Great Britain Hungary Belgium Italy
Singapore Japan Russia United States
Mexico Brazil Abu Dhabi

2014 Thoughts
Australia Malaysia Bahrain China
Spain Monaco Canada Austria
Great Britain Germany Hungary Belgium
Italy Singapore Japan Russia
United States Brazil Abu Dhabi

2013 Thoughts
Australia Malaysia China Bahrain
Spain Monaco Canada Great Britain
Germany Hungary Belgium Italy
Singapore South Korea Japan India
Abu Dhabi United States Brazil

2012 Thoughts
Australia Malaysia China Bahrain
Spain Monaco Canada Europe
Great Britain Germany Hungary Belgium
Italy Singapore Japan South Korea
India Abu Dhabi United States Brazil

2011 Thoughts
Australia Malaysia China Turkey
Spain Monaco Canada Europe
Great Britain Germany Hungary Belgium
Italy Singapore Japan South Korea
India Abu Dhabi Brazil

2010 Thoughts
Bahrain Australia Malaysia China
Spain Monaco Turkey Canada
Europe Great Britain Germany Hungary
Belgium Italy Singapore Japan
South Korea Brazil Abu Dhabi

2009 Thoughts
Australia Malaysia China Bahrain
Spain Monaco Turkey Great Britain
Germany Hungary Europe
Belgium Italy Singapore
Japan Brazil Abu Dhabi


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