In recent years, the F1 Championship has headed to both Suzuka and Fuji for the Japanese Grand Prix. Ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix, theCheckeredflag.co.uk takes a look back at the top moments from both venues, starting with the Fuji Speedway.
5. Vettel takes Webber out behind safety car – 2007
The Grand Prix from Fuji, 2007, has gone down as one of the wettest races in recent memory. In fact, it was so wet, the race almost didn’t go ahead.
When it did get going though, it was a classic. Lewis Hamilton took victory in the appalling conditions, while championship rival Fernando Alonso made a rare error and crashed out. However, the race will probably be most remembered for an infamous clash between future team mates.
Mark Webber had been having a strong race, and as a quick YouTube search shows, was in fact battling food poisoning throughout. Despite this, he carried on, and his heroic performance looked like it would be rewarded. He was running in second place behind Hamilton under the safety car following Alonso’s crash. Behind him, having an equally impressive race, was a young Sebastian Vettel, driving for Toro Rosso.
Any hope of both drivers finishing on the podium soon disappeared. Vettel, blinded by the spray even at the safety car reduced speed, was caught out by Hamilton’s attempts to generate heat in his brakes, and clattered into the back of the hapless Webber. The Australian was out on the spot, angrily throwing his steering wheel out of the cockpit, while Vettel limped back to the pits before also retiring.
It was an embarrassing blunder by the young German, and a furious Webber later let his feelings known in an expletive filled interview.
Image Credit: GEPA pictures/ Bildagentur Kraeling