This weekend's race for Formula 1 FORMULA 1 LINK was in Japan. Good news: MORE RACING! Bad news: The time difference from Japan means Sunday's race was live at 2AM Eastern! Oh well, who needed to sleep anyway!
Following last week's exciting race in Singapore, here's a few questions to be answered this weekend:
-Can Mercedes return to their dominating form after failing to finish on the podium a week ago? YES, Hamilton 1st and Rosberg 2nd mean Mercedes continue to have their way with the rest of the field.
-Can Sebastian Vettel or Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari repeat their win and 3rd place from last week? No, but Vettel was 3rd and Raikkonen finished 4th, so a good weekend against the dominate Silver Arrows.
-Will the rain in practice sessions 1 and 2 on Friday return for qualifying or the race? No, luckily it was all dry the rest of the way.
-Can American driver Alexander Rossi repeat his debut last weekend and again not only finish the race, but also beat his team mate Will Stevens who has driven all the races this year? YES, Rossi was able to get ahead of Stevens near the end of the race for two reasons. First, Stevens spun with Rossi just behind him, and both driver's managed to continue without making contact, and that's where Rossi got ahead of the other Manor car. Also, Stevens had to pull into the pits an extra time to serve a 5 second penalty for speeding on the pit lane earlier in the race.
-Who will Haas F1 announce as their drivers for next year? HAAS F1 TEAM LINK We have to wait until 11am Eastern time on Tuesday to find out...all rumors point to current Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, and someone like Esteban Guiterrez as two drivers for Haas next year. Tuesday we should learn at least one name if not both.
-What will happen with the Lotus team and their financial challenges? This is a tough one, but at least they had a pretty good race in Japan! Long term money problems will also have the team Lotus fate affected by a British court ruling this week. Most likely they end up getting sold to Renault, which is the next question. One indicator of the team's money problems is that the crew working at the race in Japan this weekend had to be fed by the other teams, and reports are that they haven't received their pay lately. Not good.
-Will French auto maker and current engine-only supplier Renault close a deal to take over and run their factory team for next year? Probably yes!
As far as the brand new Haas F1 team goes, they have a press conference scheduled for Tuesday next week to make some driver announcements! As the first American team to enter F1 (next year) in many years, I'm just going to suggest that it's our patriotic duty to cheer for these guys no matter what next year!
The USA doesn't have a huge amount of F1 history, but with former world champions such as Mario Andretti and Phil Hill to claim as our own, we can do it again with the Haas team!