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  • Thank you for your company today. It's been another impressive display from Vettel and this Championship is alive and kicking. Do join us again next week for the Korean Grand Prix.

  • The big stories of the day were: Alonso's DNF, Vettel closing the gap in the Championship standings to four points, Massa claiming his first podium since 2010 and Kobayashi's first ever podium.

  • Here's your top 10 at Suzuka: Vettel, Massa, Kobayashi, Button, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Webber and Ricciardo.

  • The Ferrari pit wall looks stunned by Felipe Massa's podium. Smedley almost has a smile on his face.

  • Vettel wins the Japanese GP with ease. Felipe Massa, yes, Felipe Massa claims his first podium since Korea 2010. Button has managed to get right on Kobayashi's tail, but the Sauber driver manages to hold on. The fans go wild in the stands.

  • A commanding performance from Vettel at the front. He has a 20s lead over Massa. The German is told to 'be careful'. He's going for the fastest lap again. He does it easily with a 1:35.774. Grosjean's car is pushed back into the pits.

    Lap 53
  • Kobayashi looks like he has the podium wrapped up as he still has a 1.1s gap over the McLaren of Button.

    Lap 52
  • Button has reduced the gap to 1.2s. He will be in the DRS zone soon, but has he left it too late?

    Lap 52
  • A couple of laps remaining and here are your points scorers: Vettel, Massa, Kobayashi, Button, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Webber and Ricciardo.

    Lap 51
  • Schumacher looks to go on the outside of Ricciardo, but he's not quite close enough to get a proper look in. The Toro Rosso pulls away again in the first sector.

    Lap 50
  • Schumacher is right on the tail of Ricciardo's Toro Rosso. They are battling for the final point.

    Lap 49
  • Vitaly Petrov gets drive-through penalty for ignoring blue flags.

    Lap 49
  • Button is hunting down Kobayashi with the gap now just 1.8s.

    Lap 48
  • It's still very tight in the Championship race, but it looks like McLaren will not be 'helping' Hamilton. Jonathan Neal was asked by BBC if they will ask Button to yield and he replied 'I think it's highly unlikely'.

    Lap 47
  • Kobayashi and Button make their way through traffic.

    Lap 46
  • Button is starting to put pressure on Kobayashi as the gap has been reduced to 2.2s. He is told by his engineer that there is a podium on offer. Meanwhile at the back of the grid, Petrov runs wide and off the track. He manages to keep it together though and can continue.

    Lap 45
  • Vettel has opened an 18.3s lead over Massa. If he goes onto win, then he will be the first driver to win back-to-back races this season. That Red Bull is looking very impressive.

    Lap 44
  • Senna is finally close enough to make a move on the Lotus of Grosjean. The Williams driver goes on the outside and there's not much fight left in Grosjean.

    Lap 43
  • Pic makes his way back to the pits, but he's not coming back out as his Marussia has been pushed back into the garage.

    Lap 42
  • Senna makes good use of his fresh set of soft rubber as he sets a new fastest lap of 1:37.337. The Brazilian is also keeping pressure on Grosjean in 14th place.

    Lap 41
  • Sauber and Kobayashi have done well as the Japanese driver has managed to open a 3.7s gap over Button in fourth place.

    Lap 40
  • Here's the top 10 after the latest round of pit stops: Vettel, Massa, Kobayashi, Button, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Webber and Ricciardo.

    Lap 39
  • Schumacher is into the pits and changes to the softer compound. Here comes the race leader Vettel. Clean stop and he is on his way again as he rejoins in P1. Another dominant display from the double World Champion.

    Lap 38
  • Massa pits from second place and he rejoins comfortably behind Vettel.

    Lap 37
  • The McLaren mechanics are out and in comes Button. Can they get him out in front of Kobayashi? There is a bit of a hiccup with the left-rear change and Kobayashi has gone through already. To be fair to the Sauber driver, he had enough time with or without that mishap in the pits.

    Lap 36
  • Narain Karthikeyan's car is pushed back into the garage. He's still in the car, so we are not sure if he's coming back out. Or maybe he is worried if he gets out of the car someone will take his race seat.

    Lap 35
  • Button is told it's 'target plus two'. Whatever that means. McLaren will probably look to keep him out a bit longer now in an attempt to get ahead of Kobayashi.

    Lap 34
  • Vettel continues to fly at the front as he becomes the first driver to dip under the 1.37s mark.

    Lap 33
  • Kobayashi pits from third. They need a solid stop to hold onto the final podium position. Hamilton is also into the pits and he rejoins in P7. He came out just behind Raikkonen, but gets ahead of the Lotus man at the next corner.

    Lap 32
  • Raikkonen pits for a second time and stays on the hard tyres.

    Lap 31
  • Button has found a couple of extra gears and he has reduced that gap to Kobayashi to 2.4s. The Sauber driver, meanwhile, is 6.9s behind second-place Massa.

    Lap 30
  • Vettel is in control of this race. If he goes on to win, then he will reduce Alonso's lead in the Championship standings to four points.

    Lap 29
  • Button is told that his pace is good and 'Kobayashi is there for the taking'. The McLaren driver is currently 3.2s behind the Japanese driver and lapping quicker than the Sauber.

    Lap 28
  • The grip from Webber's rear tyres are gone and he is forced to come into the pits. He rejoins in P12. Schumacher, meanwhile, has managed to get ahead of Di Resta, who was in P10.

    Lap 27
  • Di Resta, who is 10s behind Ricciardo in 10th place, is told he is 'free' to attack. That's one way of giving him the hurry-up.

    Lap 26
  • The top 10 looks like this: Vettel, Massa, Kobayashi, Button, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Webber and Ricciardo. So Webber has moved from the back of the the grid to ninth.

    Lap 25
  • Kobayashi is told that he is 'pulling away from Jenson' who is in fourth.

    Lap 25
  • Vettel continues to be in a class of his own at the front as he sets a fastest lap of 1:38.449. Massa is 10.1s behind with Kobayashi three seconds back.

    Lap 24
  • Hamilton complains that his front tyres have gone off. The McLaren drivers are not having a very good time at the moment.

    Lap 23
  • Senna goes into the pits to serve his penalty and he rejoins in P16.

    Lap 23
  • Button is once again having some problems with his car. Some understeering giving him problems this time.

    Lap 22
  • Senna has received a drive-through penalty for causing an accident on lap one. That incident of course took out Rosberg.

    Lap 21
  • Perez is once again stuck behind a McLaren after the pit stops. He tries to go around the outside of Button, but he spins off. That's fatal.

    Lap 20
  • Vettel is told that he is still in the lead - like he needed someone to tell him that! - and urged to look after his rear tyres.

    Lap 20
  • Button is worried about his car, but his race engineer tells him everything is fine.

    Lap 19
  • Hamilton and Maldonado finally stop as does Vettel and Massa. No surprise as Vettel rejoins in front, but the big news is Massa coming out ahead of Kobayashi and Button. Wow!

    Lap 18
  • Perez pits from P4 and he rejoins in eighth place. He's lost a bit of time and he's behind Raikkonen and Kovalainen.

    Lap 17
  • Raikkonen is stuck behind the Caterham of Kovalainen. After a couple of failed attempts, the Lotus driver finally manages to pass his fellow Finn.

    Lap 16
  • The first-lap incident between Bruno Senna and Nico Rosberg is being investigated by the stewards.

    Lap 15
  • Raikkonen, Button and Hulkenberg are the first to blink from the front-runners as they comes into the pits. Button is out in P8 with Raikkonen in P10.

    Lap 15
  • Here's your top 10: Vettel, Kobayashi, Button, Massa, Raikkonen, Perez, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Maldonado and Ricciardo. Heikki Kovalainen is sitting pretty in P11. Can Caterham score their first points today?

    Lap 14
  • Webber starts to make his way up the pack as he easily passes Caterham's Petrov for 18th place.

    Lap 13
  • Perez, who is down in sixth, is urged not to forget what Plan A is. Sauber are looking very good at the moment as Kobayashi is looking solid in second.

    Lap 12
  • Another disappointing weekend for Mercedes with Rosberg already out of the race and Schumacher down in 14th place. The veteran isn't really making an impression on Di Resta in 13th.

    Lap 11
  • Vettel sets a new fastest lap, a 1:39.341. He has stretched his lead over Kobayashi to 4.7s. Button is now 1.5s ahead of Massa, who leads Raikkonen by 0.7s.

    Lap 10
  • Grosjean has been told that he needs to box this lap to serve his stop-go penalty. Back to the Perez-Hamilton-Hulkenberg scrap. Perez has managed to get away from the latter two and it's Hamilton having to fend off the Force India.

    Lap 9
  • Romain Grosjean has been given a 10-second stop-go penalty for the incident with Webber. Meanwhile, Schumacher has been told that he has lost telemetry. Yet another problem for the seven-time Champion.

    Lap 8
  • Hamilton is looking to get back at Perez, but he has Hulkenberg in his rear view mirror.

    Lap 8
  • Hamilton locks up and Perez goes on the inside of the McLaren. That was a clean, brilliant move from the future McLaren driver.

    Lap 7
  • At the front of the grid, Vettel has already opened a 2.7s gap over Kobayashi, who in turn is less than one second ahead of Button. Massa is also keep pressure on the McLaren man.

    Lap 6
  • The stewards have confirmed that the Webber-Grosjean incident is under investigation. Grosjean already had a ban, so what's the next punishment he will get? Grosjean's Lotus team-mate Raikkonen tells his engineer that there's a piece missing from his car, but the reply is 'that's not an important part Kimi'.

    Lap 5
  • A look back at the start and Alonso's woes started after he made contact with Raikkonen. It's Alonso's second retirement of the season and it's the second time that it was caused by a Lotus. Webber's problems were caused by Grosjean who drove into him.

    Lap 4
  • The race restarts and Vettel makes a quick getaway while Kobayashi struggles to keep Button and Massa in check. Perez is struggling to keep Hamilton at bay and he goes off the road and then rejoins behind the McLaren.

    Lap 3
  • The Safety Car is in this lap. Here's a look at the top 10: Vettel, Kobayashi, Button, Massa, Raikkonen, Perez, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Maldonado and Ricciardo. Glock is in a 11th...yes, you read that right.

    Lap 3
  • Webber is next to make a pit stop and he needs new tyres and a new nose. Slow stop, but he won't lose much as the Safety Car is still out.

    Lap 3
  • Bruno Senna is nursing his car around the track without a front wing. He's about to pit. Speaking of the pits, Grosjean is also in and he also needs a change of front wing.

    Lap 2
  • The Safety Car has been deployed. The big drama from that start was Alonso went spinning off and suddenly Rosberg and Webber also found themselves spinning off the track.

    Lap 1
  • The lights go out and Vettel gets away cleanly. Kobayashi is up into second place with Webber third. Rosberg and one of the Red Bulls are out. The big news though is that Alonso went spinning off.

  • Pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel leads the pack around Suzuka for the formation lap. Everyone in the top 10 are using the soft compound. In fact, only Michael Schumacher, Jean-Eric Vergne and Charles Pic are starting on the harder tyres.

  • The drivers have all lined up and they are ready for action.

  • It's a pretty hot day at Suzuka with air temperatures expected to rise to 26 degrees and the track temperature about 40 Celsius.

  • There's plenty of talk in the paddock about the double DRS that Red Bull are running at Suzuka. Is that the reason for the upturn in form?

  • Marussia fans you can breathe a sigh of relief as Timo's car is up and running again. You gotta love those mechanics. Here's a message from Timo via Twitter: 'Today's race strategy is only based on Schumacher's car to keep him behind. Told him already.'

  • What's happened to Timo? There appears to be problems with Glock's Marussia as it has been pushed back into the garage. Will the mechanics be able to sort it out before the race starts?

  • Pit lane is now open.

  • It's damage control today for Alonso as the Ferrari driver is lacking in pace this weekend. He has failed to match the Red Bulls and McLarens and could see his Championship lead cut yet again. He currently holds a 29-point advantage over Vettel.

  • Third on the grid is Japan's own Kamui Kobayashi as Jenson Button, who had qualified P3 drops to eighth due to a gearbox change penalty. Romain Grosjean is fourth ahead of Sergio Perez and Alonso.

  • Sebastian Vettel is starting the grand prix from pole position having edged his team-mate Mark Webber by a quarter of a second. However, the German was lucky to hold onto the place as he also impeded Fernando Alonso in qualifying for which he was handed just a reprimand.

  • After last week's driver announcements and chaos we are finally down to racing.

  • Welcome to Suzuka for round 15 of the 2012 Formula One World Championship. All times are local.