Here are the key moments of the Japanese Grand Prix as described by the drivers:
Starting from tenth on the grid was always going to make for a tough race but my pace was really good in the race and I was very happy with the performance of the car. I was pulling massive amounts of time out of the guys in front me but they were on heavier fuel loads which held me up as it’s difficult to overtake here.
Fourth place was within reach but several things went wrong today, especially at the second pit stop when the rear right wheel nut got stuck. But certainly I don?óÔé¼Ôäót want to complain. These things can happen and normally we have very good pit stops. That was when I lost a position to Kimi, and I rejoined the race just behind him. When the safety car came out I lost another position to Nico, who was lucky to refuel while the safety car was out.
As I exited the pits after my second stop, I lost time with a gearbox problem, which meant I coasted about 100 metres down the pitlane ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ that cost me about a second. To be honest, it wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót a surprise to be jumped by Jarno at the final stops ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ we needed every tenth to make the gap up to three seconds and we couldn?óÔé¼Ôäót quite make it.
When we were behind the Safety Car, I asked the team if they could get the KERS working again so that I could shoot past Jarno. but they couldn?óÔé¼Ôäót do it and I wasn?óÔé¼Ôäót close enough to get in his slipstream at the restart.
Adrian tried to make a move but only went halfway, so I was able to stay beside him. When he tried to turn in, I was already on the kerb and I had no more room to avoid him, so I had to lean on him and that was more a problem for him.
I got past [Kovalainen] at the chicane but then he cut back across and I spun and lost a lot of time. That was really the end of the race for me. When that happens it’s obviously very disappointing as I thought we could have done really well today and got some points.
My accident came on the lap after my second pit stop, when I fitted the soft tyres. At turn 15, which you take flat, I lost the rear end of the car and crashed into the wall, but I?óÔé¼Ôäóm not sure why, as it was inexplicable and I would like to see the data, in case there might have been something wrong with the pressure of the rear tyres or a puncture. I am really, really sorry for what happened. I was pushing every lap and running consistently, in terms of my lap times being almost always within the same tenth. Hopefully, we can have a better race in Brazil.
I had a problem with the clutch, right from the start of the parade lap, when I couldn?óÔé¼Ôäót get off the grid. We tried to fix the problem by adjusting the clutch map, but again for the real start, it didn?óÔé¼Ôäót work. Then, after a few laps the clutch failed and I had to retire in the pits.
I had to make two pit stops on the first two laps, so it was all over from there. On the first lap, the headrest came loose in the car, so I had to come in and get that fixed. I went back out, but the same thing happened so I had to come in again in order for the guys to tape it down. We tested some things today, and tried some other items for future races. That?óÔé¼Ôäós all we could really do from there.
I was screaming with happiness on the radio at the end of the race. The last couple of races have been a bit up and down, sometimes we had pace and sometimes not, but finally we made it. It?óÔé¼Ôäós good to be back in first position on Sunday. A huge thanks to all the team and everyone at Red Bull for this.