The Grand Prix of Japan heralds a thrilling season final

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Only 4 races to go still 5 drivers are able to win the Formula 1 Driver World Championship. Who will manage this thrilling competition best?

Sebastian Vettel: “We had a trouble free Friday, which is the most important thing, especially on a track like this where you need to get into a rhythm with all the quick corners following each other. The car was reliable and I had a good feeling, the pace looks okay too. The forecast suggests rain, but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be competitive in the wet. The conditions have been quite inconsistent during all the wet races that we’ve had so far this year, so it’s hard to know what everyone’s pace will be.”

Marc Webber: “A good day, we couldn’t have asked for much more – we had faultless running and got
a lot of mileage. The team put the cars together well and we had a smooth day. The balance of the car feels good although it’s a circuit with lots of different types of corners, so you can’t have everything – you need to work out what the priorities are for the best lap times. We‘re not sure what the weather’s
going to do tomorrow, it looks as though it may be a bit wet, but we’ve got good info in the bank, so we’re ready for what happens.”

Fernando Alonso: “In theory, Red Bull look unbeatable here, as they always have done, except in Monza and also there were various races where come Sunday, they were beaten, so again that’s a reason to wait before drawing any conclusions. Today, we did not put together a perfect lap, so there is some room for improvement. We have to analyse the data to see how to do that, but of course the others will be doing the same. The forecast is for rain tomorrow: if that happens, we must concentrate and avoid making any mistakes, which can cost you a lot in the wet. Then it will be down to luck, as to who finds themselves in the right place at the right time on the right tyre. The aim in qualifying is to be in the top five, then we can see how things go in the race.”

Felipe Massa: “I thought Red Bull would be very strong and maybe they are even more so than I had expected. Having said that, it’s likely we will have a wet qualifying tomorrow, so anything could happen: we must try and be ready to make the most of whatever situation presents itself. The aim is still the same, whether the track is dry or if it rains, which means to qualify as well as possible. The track is pretty hard on tyres because of the many high speed corners, therefore managing them properly will be important during the race. We will use the blown rear wing, as on this track it definitely brings an advantage in performance terms. There is still room to improve the handling of our car, but we can’t really expect any sort of change in terms of performance.”

Motorsport