Tweet from @MikeGascoyne: Hello from the pitwall, 5 mins to go to pit lane opening. Heikki just getting iinto his car, jarno a little delayed due to a leak on his car
The pitlane is open and the cars are streaming out now.
There was talk that Hamilton was being investigated for blocking a Williams during qualifying, but he has escaped penalty. For that. He's still got his five place drop for the gearbox.
Lucas di Grassi has had an absolutely huge crash on the formation lap.
We first spotted a tyre, now we see a wrecked Virgin car.
Comment from Stuart Taylor: what the WHAT
We're still not really sure what happened, but he's out of the car safe, and the crane is already in action.
Interview with Schumacher: "It would have been possible to go further forward, but we had a technical issue. Without the F-duct, which is better in other areas... We can't fix it, we have to deal with it. In a way, we were expecting to be too strong here."
Tweet from @clubforce: Our forecast says no sign of rain over the track during the race. The hills close may get some but it should miss circuit
Coulthard on the gridwalk to some burly Mercedes mechanics blocking the back of the car: "You really think anyone would want to copy this??"
Tweet from @VirginRacing: We have no idea what happened there as we haven't heard from Lucas yet. But we will check timo's car and carry on as usual
|Local Timezone||+0900 GMT|
|Number of Laps||53|
Interview with Fernando Alonso: "First two positions, if nothing strange happen, normally should be for Red Bull. They're very strong this weekend. There is some concerns about the start, we did two starts now at the end of the pits with some strange results so we are looking at this."
Hulkenberg's view of the grid.
And we know how good Vettel is at converting his pole positions to wins... ehem... so who is your money on for today?
Tweet from @MyLotusRacing: 7 minutes to go. Fire up's done. Both drivers back on the grid. Tyres on. Radio checks - race and performance engineers. Countdown continues
Virgin still don't know what happened to di Grassi, and he says he doesn't know either. The car felt fine, it wasn't wet, and he wasn't going too fast. A mystery!
The cars head off on their lap to form the grid. No more crashes this time round.
The Japanese Grand Prix is go, go, go!
Petrov spins off into the wall instantly.
Safety car deployed.
Massa is also out in the gravel.
Hulkenberg is out as well.
Liuzzi is also showing as being out but I haven't spotted his car yet.
Rosberg and Trulli, Glock and Senna all pit.
Kubica is up to second, with Webber behind him. Hamilton has improved to 6th, with Schumacher up to 8th.
Replays of the start. Incident 1. Petrov surged forward, swiped across the front of Hulk. Both of them out.
Incident 2. Massa got the corner completely wrong, bounced over the kerb and lost control.
Massa took out Liuzzi in the process.
It seems far too early for one of these, but what the hey.
|Lucas di Grassi||Accident||0|
Vettel is reminded on the radio of the safety car rules. At first it sounds patronising, but then it sounded like Seb was grateful for the information.
Kubica has pulled off track. Retiring from second place. Bad day for Renault.
Kubica's wheel just came right off, hence his retirement.
Team radio from Hamilton: "The Safety Car lights are still off." Pit replied that the safety car lights are on and it should be going one more lap.
Tweet from @ManipeF1: That's pretty gutting for KUB. He would surely have finished on the podium given the pace of the Renault this weekend.
Both McLaren drivers have a slight problem with their brakes being too hot. They'll be hoping the Safety Car comes in soon.
Tweet from @autosportlive: Yamamoto has made a good start at home, passing Glock, Senna and Trulli on his way to 15th place.
Track is clear.
Tweet from @clubforce: Tonio says he was hit by massa in first corner. He had had a good start but then massa came out of nowhere and tonio was just a passenger
The restart is clean, Vettel starts pulling out an instant lead.
The Mercedes pair on a charge - Rosberg passed Buemi, running a bit wide but keeping it under control. Schumacher passed Rubens for 6th place.
Report from Holly Samos on 5live: Massa says Rosberg pushed him across and that's why he ended up crashing out of the race. Kubica's in the paddock but has not yet taken his helmet off.
Interview with Kubica: "We managed good start, gained one position, in the second lap I was behind the safety car warming up the tyres, I nearly lost the car. Apparently, the wheel, I don't know if there was a technical problem. I moved to the side and lost the wheel."
He must have taken his helmet off then.
|Jenson Button||vs.||Lewis Hamilton|
A moment of calm. Everyone has crashed out who is going to crash out for now, whilst the Red Bulls scamper away at the front.
Interview with Hulkenberg: "I had an incredibly bad start, didn't get off the line at all, a lot of wheelspin. I just saw a yellow arrow crashing into my front, and that was Petrov obviously. Very unfortunate for us. You never want to finish a Grand Prix that early but... today happened."
Kobayashi barges his way past Alguersuari for 11th.
Tweet from SauberRG: Why is everyone saying Yamamoto made a great start. Its only because Trulli, Glock and Senna have made a pitstop
Trulli has passed Yamamoto for 15th.
Tweet from @InsideFerrari: This pace looks not bad compared to McLaren
Kobayashi passes Sutil in a superb move. Sutil tries to get the position back around the outside but decides against it.
Heidfeld and Sutil both pit.
The stewards are going to look at the incident between Hulkenberg and Petrov after the race. Both are out of the race, so no rush for that decision.
Stewards also going to look at Massa and Liuzzi as well. Wurz is on the case!
Vettel posts the fastest lap of the race so far - 1:36.545.
Glock is battling to try and pass Yamamoto for 16th place, but for now the HRT is staying ahead, playing a good defensive game.
Hamilton pits on lap 23. He pitted from 5th. Where will he come out?
Lewis rejoins the track in 7th place, behind Kobayashi.
MIchael rejoins in 9th, behind Rosberg, who has already pitted.
Alonso has lost about a second on this lap alone due to traffic, and he decides to pit. Vettel also stops.
Lewis passes Kobayashi down the straight.
Fernando won that battle, quicker throughout, but still remains behind Vettel out on track.
Webber has pitted and returns to the track behind Vettel.
Button is leading, but he has not stopped yet. His different strategy is coming in to play.
Schumacher attempted a pass on his teammate Rosberg, but Nico was having none of it.
Team radio to Hamilton: "You are comfortable the fastest car on the circuit." Hence Lewis posting the fastest lap - 1:35.563.
Team radio to Schumacher: "There's no team orders but Nico knows to be sensible if you make a move."
Comment from RG: "No team orders" = "Team orders"
We know what the top five is, because it is always the same drivers so here is an update for the rest of the points.
Schumacher continues to chase down Rosberg.
Buemi ruins the table by pitting from 7th place.
Tweet from @autosportlive: Hamilton is fading from the chase of Alonso, but still looks on course to beat Button to fourth when the leader stops.
|Adrian Sutil||vs.||Jaime Alguersuari|
Hamilton's car spews brake dust as he approaches a corner. They were complaining of overheating brakes under the safety car as well.
From Holly Samos: Barrichello is reporting vibrations on the car.
Tweet from @LucasdiGrassi: Really appreciated all the msgs. I'm feeling fine, ready for next one. We will overcome any problems and come back stronger. Watch us.
Hamilton has lost a lot of time - does he have a problem?
Kobayashi also pits, and returns to the track in 12th position just in front of a Toro Rosso.
Team radio from Hamilton: I have lost third gear.
Third gear is pretty crucial. A new gearbox as well!!
Schumacher is still stuck behind Rosberg. I'd forgotten about them.
Kobayashi actually came out of his pit stop both in front of a Toro Rosso and behind one - he's now trying to overtake Alguersuari.
Button closes up behind Hamilton, will Lewis have to let him past?
It happens, Button is now up in to 4th. As Ant Davidson said: "It's all about damage limitation for Hamilton now."
Kobayashi passes Alguersuari, the two touch but continue onwards.
Smoke pours from the back of Sutil's car, but he manages to make it back to the pitlane. Lots of oil out on track, no doubt.
Alguersuari pits as well, rounding the Force India to hurry to his box.
Kobayashi looks to have a little bit of damage as well, but he doesn't need to stop for now.
Button sets the fastest lap of the race - 1:33.889.
Nico Rosberg crashes off, rear left wheel failed and he's in the barriers.
Nico climbs from the car, and gingerly navigates the tyre barrier. He seems fine. Yellow flags for now.
Kobayashi passed Barrichello and is now tucked up behind his teammate Heidfeld. One attempt is foiled down the home straight, and then they're into the yellow flag section.
He's done it!!
Two laps to go. It doesn't look like the Red Bulls are either fighting each other, or in real trouble from anyone else. Alonso is there but not pushing too hard.
Kobayashi has about six seconds to make up on Schumacher if he wants to continue his charge. You might say it's Kubica-esque.
Notably, Kovalainen is up to 12th position. So close to the points!
Sebastian Vettel wins the Japanese Grand Prix!
Fastest lap of the race from Mark Webber: 1:33.474.
Here are the points finishers, with added arrow goodness (from their grid position).
These guys did not make it to the end. Some of them didn't even make it to the start.
|Lucas di Grassi||Accident||0|
Goodness me, that is quite the smile from Vettel on the podium. Haven't seen that for a while.
Interview with Hamilton: "Bit disappointing for myself and my team, we worked very hard as always. We're doing everything we can to score points. This weekend, my big mistake on Friday, the gearbox change, then the gearbox broke during the race, so I lost ground to Jenson. I'm just happy I saw the end of the race, it's my first finish for a long time."
Tweet from @tonyfernandes: Absilutlry awesome result. Wow. What a race. 12th and 13th. Great pace. Great result. Our best. Really really happy.
I challenge you all to get absilutlry into a sentence today.
Comment from Lukeh: I'm absilutlry knackered.
That should just about be the Japanese GP done and dusted. It wasn't a spectacular race, a couple of good overtaking moves, but most of the excitement on the first lap with four cars out before it even started.
Kobayashi had a stunning race, ploughing through the field. Sometimes it was a bit ragged, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who winced at some of the moves, but 7th place is a job well done.
The new teams had a lot of "best ever finishes" today, thanks to so many retirements, but even so, Kovalainen ended the race 12th - so very close to those points.
Renault had a really fast car, but Petrov didn't have a chance to do anything, and Kubica's second place was robbed from him by a faulty wheel. Meanwhile, Williams appeared to have pace earlier in the weekend, but it came to very little in the race.
Shocking performance from Di Grassi. No one is saying what the problem is, but for a driver who is trying to cling on to his seat, not even getting to the start is a one-way ticket to the job centre.
The championship still remains wide open, with Vettel notably jumping Hamilton for third place, and Webber extending his lead by a couple of points. All five are still in with a shot for the title, but the two McLaren drivers are slipping further and further back.
Thanks for joining me (twice!) today. Stay tuned to Sidepodcast for more results, standings and general coverage. We'll be back, maybe, for Korea, if it happens.
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm going back to bed.
All content in the series Japan 2010
Filed under Lap by lap coverage
Previous post Japan 2010 - Qualifying highlights (Part 2)
Next post Japan 2010 - Race results
365 F1 stories