Sunday, September 30, 2007
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton starting from pole wins the FIA Formula-1 2007 Japanese Grand Prix at the Fuji Speedway, Oyama, Japan. It was the first race on this circuit since 1977, when James Hunt won the race for McLaren-Ford.
A rainy and foggy weekend at Fuji appeared to be very hard for all drivers as the race ran longer then expected and the drivers have to concentrate more due to severe weather conditions. The race started behind the safety car which stayed on a track for an unusually long time, about 40 minutes.
Both Ferrari drivers, who managed to get the second row on the starting grid in the Saturday qualifying session were out of the game on the first laps due to their tyre selection mistake - drivers were forced to change to extreme wet tyres after a few driving errors. When the pace car finally turned off the lights giving the drivers a clear road Hamilton quickly got away from his teammate, Fernando Alonso, who had more fuel on board and thus had a heavier car. Alonso would be eliminated after 41 laps in a driving accident.
Heikki Kovalainen driving for Renault finally leads to a first podium finish for the team in this season, the Finn managed to get second place. On the final laps of the race he masterly defended his position from Kimi Räikkönen, who returned to the battle for podium after the Ferrari start failure.
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber both nearly finished on the podium, but a collision between their Toro Rosso and Red Bull sponsored vehicles took them out of the race.
Renault-engined cars did well in the race with David Coulthard and Giancarlo Fisichella finishing in 4th and 5th places.
Robert Kubica got a drive through the pit-lane penalty after some dangerous driving and a collision with Hamilton, causing the Polish driver to be rolled back to 7th place. Felipe Massa took 6th place for Ferrari in his hard battle with Kubica in the sprint to the finish line.
Vitantonio Liuzzi rounded out the top eight for Toro Rosso.
Adrian Sutil did his best for Spyker, finishing ahead of both Hondas. It was confirmed that Spyker will change owners next season becoming the first Indian national Formula One team in history.
In the Drivers' Championship Hamilton, with 107 points, has increased his lead over teammate Alonso to 12 points. Kimi narrowed the gap to the McLaren drivers, now only five points behind Alonso.
== Sources ==
FIA Formula-1 2007 Japanese Grand Prix, live TV broadcast, 30.09.2007 14:00 UTC
"Masterful Hamilton reigns supreme in Fuji thriller" — Formula-1.com, September 30, 2007
Andrew Benson. "Hamilton moves to brink of title" — BBC SPORT, September 30, 2007
"Hamilton takes pole at rainy Japanese GP" — CNN Sports Illustrated, September 30, 2007
"Spyker sale approved by shareholders" — Formula-1.com, September 30, 2007