Race incidents from Suzuka

Takuma Sato, Rubens Barrichello, Japanese GP 2005

Takuma Sato, Rubens Barrichello, Japanese GP 2005 

 © The Cahier Archive

A huge crowd is at Suzuka to watch the race and the weather is good. Jarno Trulli is in the pits as the field lines up for the start, the Toyota driver having decided to start the race from there after his qualifying problems.

* Lap 1: At the start Button is slow away and Ralf Schumacher leads into the first corner with Giancarlo Fisichella second and Button side by side with a fast-starting David Coulthard. Behind them Christian Klien and Takuma Sato are fighting for fifth. Sato goes wide and into the gravel trap and is followed in Rubens Barrichello, who cuts across the nose of the BAR. This hands fifth place to Mark Webber. Further around the lap Klien has a big moment and goes onto the grass at 130R but manages to hold on to fifth place. At the chicane Kimi Raikkonen also goes off, as he tries to work his way through the backmarkers. At the end of the lap Juan Pablo Montoya and Jacques Villeneuve tangle on the run down the hill towards the start-finish line. Montoya goes off and crashes heavily into the barriers on the outside. A Safety Car is despatched but does not pick up the leaders until the end of the second lap. Barrichello pits for repairs.

* Lap 2: Sato pits.

* Lap 3: The order behind the Safety Cars is Schumacher R, Fisichella, Button, Coulthard, Webber, Klien, Michael Schumacher (up from 14th on the grid), Fernando Alonso (up from 16th), Jacques Villeneuve and Antonio Pizzonia. Next up is Felipe Massa followed by Raikkonen, Narain Karthikeyan, Christijan Albers, Tiago Monteiro and Robert Doornbos. Behind them were Trulli, Sato and Barrichello.

* Lap 6: With the Safety Car still going, Barrichello has another stop, changing the strategy so that Rubens can stop only once more.

* Lap 8: The race restarts with Michael Schumacher passing Klien on the run down to the first corner. Further back Raikkonen passes Villeneuve for 11th. At the end of the lap Ralf Schumacher is 1.7secs clear of Fisichella, indicating that he has a very low fuel load. At the end of the lap Alonso goes over the chicane and gains an advantage over Klien. He slows and lets the Red Bull go ahead again but retakes the lead on the run down the hill to the first corner on lap nine.

* Lap 9: Ralf increases his lead to two seconds. Raikkonen passes Pizzonia for 10th place.

* Lap 10: Pizzonia spins off at the Degner Curve. Further around the lap Sato and Trulli collide at the chicane. Jarno retires but Sato is able to keep going.

* Lap 11: Schumacher's lead is up to 2.8secs with Fisichella 1.8secs ahead of Button. Further back Alonso slows dramatically, having been instructed by the stewards to let Klien pass him again, following the incident on lap 8.

* Lap 13: Ralf pits and drops down the order to ninth place. Fisichella takes the lead with Button second and Coulthard third. Alonso retakes seventh place from Klien. Further back Karthikeyan stops for fuel.

* Lap 14: Raikkonen passes Klien to move up to seventh.

* Lap 15: Alonso sets the fastest lap of the race and begins to close up to Michael Schumacher. Down at the back Doornbos has his first stop.

* Lap 16: Fisichella's lead is up to 4.2secs while Coulthard has dropped to three seconds behind Button. Raikkonen sets the fastest lap as he closes on the M Schumacher-Alonso fight for fifth place. At the back Christijan Albers has his first pit stop.

* Lap 18: All eyes are on the Schumacher-Alonso-Raikkonen battle. Monteiro pits.

* Lap 20: Fisichella goes into the pits for the first time. He emerges in seventh place. At 130R Alonso goes around the outside of Michael Schumacher in a sensational move to grab fifth place.

* Lap 21: Button leads with Coulthard second and Webber third. Alonso sets the fastest lap as he closes up on the Williams. Behind him Schumacher (M) is under attack from Raikkonen.

* Lap 22: Button, Alonso and Klien all pit. This puts Coulthard into the lead ahead of Webber and the Schumacher-Alonso duel. Fisichella moves back up to fifth with Ralf Schumacher sixth.

* Lap 23: Coulthard and Webber come into the pits together and Michael Schumacher leads with Raikkonen right on his tail. Fisichella is third, Ralf fourth, Button fifth. Webber rejoins ahead of Coulthard.

* Lap 25: As the fight continues for the lead, in the midfield Massa has his first stop and he falls from 10th to 13th.

* Lap 26: Schumacher and Raikkonen both pit and so Fisichella goes back into the lead ahead of Ralf, Button and Webber. Michael gets out still ahead of Kimi.

* Lap 27: Villeneuve has his first stop and drops from ninth to 13th, behind Massa.

* Lap 28: Ralf heads into the pitlane for his second of three stops. It is clear that the Toyota strategy is not going to work. Further back Alonso overtakes Coulthard for seventh place.

* Lap 29: Fisichella has a 12secs lead on Button, who is under pressure from Webber. Behind them Michael Schumacher is under attack from Raikkonen and Alonso is closing in again. Down at the back Sato has a pit stop and falls behind the two Saubers.

* Lap 30: Fisichella increases his lead by a second. Raikkonen passes Michael Schumacher in a great move on the outside at Turn 1. Schumacher is then attacked by Alonso.

* Lap 33: With Fisichella in control at the front, the attention is on the battle for second between Button and Webber. Raikkonen is closing in fast. Behind them Alonso passes Michael for fifth place going into Turn 1. In the midfield Barrichello has his pit stop and drops from 10th to 12th.

* Lap 34: There is a small fire in the pits as Albers is refuelling. The fire is extinguished and after a delay of just a few minutes the Dutchman rejoins.

* Lap 36: Alonso has caught Raikkonen but is stuck behind him. Hoping to avoid losing time, Renault calls Fernando into the pits. He falls from fifth to eighth.

* Lap 38: Fisichella heads into the pits for his second stop. This puts Button in the lead with Webber on his tail and Raikkonen closing in. Fisichella rejoins in fourth.

* Lap 41: Button and Webber both stop. Raikkonen is in the lead from Fisichella and Michael. Coulthard is fourth and Ralf fifth. Webber rejoins in sixth ahead of Button. In the midfield Klien has another stop and falls from ninth to 10th.

* Lap 42: Michael pits and drops from third to eighth. Coulthard is third but is soon to pit.

* Lap 44: Raikkonen sets the fastest lap of the race. Behind him Coulthard and Ralf pit again, which puts Webber up to third, although he has Alonso right behind him. Button is fifth and Coulthard sixth. Michael is back to seventh. Massa pits again and falls from ninth to 10th, behind Klien.

* Lap 45: Raikkonen pits. Fisichella goes into the lead but Kimi rejoins just five seconds behind. The race is on. Behind them Webber and Alonso scrap for third.

* Lap 49: Raikkonen has driven a series of dramatic laps and is just 1.8secs behind the leader. There looks to be a chance of victory. Behind them Webber makes a small mistake coming out of the chicane and Alonso goes to pass him on the inside, catching the Australian by surprise with the move but running out of tarmac and taking to the grass. The move works and Fernando is third.

* Lap 50: Raikkonen's progress is relentless and he close to within striking distance of Fisichella.

* Lap 51: The two leaders are separated by 0.2secs as they cross the line.

* Lap 53: As they head down to the first corner Raikkonen challenges Fisichella on the outside and pulls off a sensational manoeuvre to take the lead. Raikkonen wins the race and so keeps the Constructors' Championship alive. Renault is second and third but it is not enough. Webber is fourth ahead of Button and Coulthard. Michael Schumacher is seventh ahead of the disappointing Ralf. Klien is ninth ahead of Massa, Villeneuve and Barrichello. A lap down Sato finished 13th.

Follow grandprixdotcom on Twitter

Print News Story