This picture of the podium in Japan shows Fernando Alonso as the winner, Robert Kubica in 2nd and Kimi Raikkenon in 3rd. Championship contender Felipe Masa gained 1 point with an 8th place finish while Championship leader Lewis Hamilton got no points finishing in 12th.
After being overtaken by Raikkenon at the start, Hamilton took a very aggressive strategy which led to him losing more places, colliding with Masa (well, Masa colliding with him!) and ending up at the back of the field. A drive through penalty for both Hamilton and Masa for separate incidents meant neither were going to add to their Championship totals by much.
Hamilton didn’t need to attack quite so vehemently and in doing so he probably cost himself a decent haul of points and an extension of his lead at the top of the Championship. Hamilton races with the head of a Champion at times, but at others, like in Japan today, he races with a hot head which leads to unnecessary mistakes which put his potential as the Champion at risk. Hamilton needs to learn that he doesn’t need to win every race to win the Championship and sometimes holding back a bit is better in the long run.
We look forward to China and Brazil with the Championship very much still up for grabs and a chasing Kubica even looking like an outside chance – remember Raikkenon last year?
UPDATE: Masa actually scored 2 points after Sébastien Bourdais got penalised post-race and relegated in the race positions, in what is a ridiculous call on the part of the stewards.