If you don’t live in Asia the Japanese Grand Prix is an early affair. Luckily I had two sick kids wake me up in time and we watched it from the comfort of our bed. I’ll admit I dosed off a few times, but I caught just enough to tell you the ride of the race was by local hero Kobayashi in his Sauber and that Sebastian Vettel simply creamed it. From pole to first place without so much as a wheel put wrong. Championship leader Alonso crashed out in the first corner and has now seen his comfortable lead been brought back to a mere 4 points. Other big news in the F1 paddock was Hamilton leaving McLaren and going to Mercedes, 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher retiring and making room for Hamilton and Sergio Perez leaving Sauber and going to McLaren.

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Mercedes Formula One driver Schumacher of Germany rides a kick scooter at a paddock area at the Suzuka circuit. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Hamilton of Britain signs an autograph for a fan at the Suzuka circuit. Toru Hanai/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain talks to Sauber Formula One driver Sergio Perez of Mexico attend a news conference at the Suzuka circuit ahead of Sunday's Japanese F1 Grand Prix. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Ferrari Formula One driver Alonso of Spain poses with a figurine of Japanese game character Asbel Lhant in front of his garage at the Suzuka circuit. Toru Hanai/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button of Britain and his girlfriend Jessica Michibata walk together at the Suzuka circuit ahead of Sunday's Japanese F1 Grand Prix. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One fans wear hats attaching the model cars at the Suzuka circuit ahead of Sunday's Japanese F1 Grand Prix. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Mercedes Formula One driver Michael Schumacher of Germany walks in his garage at the Suzuka circuit. Toru Hanai/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Crew members push the car of Ferrari Formula One driver Alonso of Spain on the pit lane at the Suzuka circuit. Toru Hanai/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Hamilton walks in the pit lane during the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Hamilton drives during the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Caterham Formula One driver Petrov drives during the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Lotus F1 Formula One driver Grosjean drives during the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Mercedes Formula One driver Schumacher drives in the pit lane during the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel drives during the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Sauber Formula One driver Kobayashi drives during the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Force India Formula One driver di Resta drives during the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Sauber Formula One driver Perez sits in his car during the second practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Mercedes Formula One mechanics practice pit stops on the car of Rosberg during the second practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Lotus F1 Formula One driver Raikkonen stands in his team garage during the second practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Button drives during the second practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Mercedes Formula One driver Schumacher drives during the second practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Hamilton maneuvers the Casio Triangle chicane near Caterham's Kovalainen during the second practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Sauber Formula One driver Kobayashi talks to the media following the second practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Marussia Formula One driver Glock drives on the gravel during the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

A mechanic holds the steering wheel belonging to Mercedes Formula One driver Schumacher during the third practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Lotus F1 Formula One driver Grosjean and Ferrari Formula One driver Massa drive past pneumatic wrenches during the third practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Mercedes Formula One driver Schumacher is pushed back into his box during the third practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Lotus F1 Formula One driver Raikkonen drives during the third practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Ferrari Formula One driver Massa drives during the third practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Sauber Formula One driver Perez drives during the third practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Caterham Formula One driver Kovalainen regains control of his car after driving wide on a turn during the qualifying session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Webber maneuvers the Casio Triangle chicane during the qualifying session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Button overtakes Sauber Formula One driver Perez during the qualifying session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel drives during the qualifying session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Hamilton brakes during the qualifying session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel celebrates taking pole position following the qualifying session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Sauber Formula One driver Perez and team mate Kobayashi walk in the pit lane following the qualifying session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Webber talks to the media after the qualifying session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Mercedes Formula One driver Rosberg poses for a picture with a fan following the qualifying session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel runs away from fans and media after the qualifying session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Button and his girlfriend Japanese-Argentine model Michibata sign autographs before the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. Toru Hanai/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Hamilton walks beside Mercedes Formula One driver Rosberg before the drivers' parade of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Ferrari Formula One driver Alonso takes part in the drivers' parade of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel leads during the start of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel leads during the start of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel leads during the first corner of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Ferrari Formula One driver Alonso drives with a rear left flat tyre seconds before crashing following contact with Lotus F1 Formula One driver Raikkonen during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel leads the race while Ferrari Formula One driver Alonso loses control at the start of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Ferrari Formula One driver Alonso loses control of his car in the first corner of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Ferrari Formula One driver Alonso rolls back to the track after losing control of his car in the first corner of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

The car of Red Bull Formula One driver Webber sits idle in the grass after colliding with Lotus F1 Formula One driver Raikkonen at the start of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Ferrari Formula One driver Alonso rides on the back of a scooter back to the paddock after crashing at the start of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives during Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Brazil drives during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Hamilton performs a pit stop during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . POOL/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel drives during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Sauber Formula One driver Kobayashi drives during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Mercedes Formula One driver Schumacher performs a pit stop during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . POOL/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel drives followed by Sauber Formula One driver Kobayashi during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

HRT Formula One driver Karthikeyan drives wide during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

McLaren Formula One driver Hamilton drives during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Williams Formula One driver Maldonado brakes during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull mechanics celebrate the victory of Formula One driver Vettel at the end of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel celebrates his victory during the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel celebrates after winning the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel tosses his trophy on podium next to second placed Ferrari Formula One driver Massa and thrid placed Sauber Formula One driver Kobayashi after Japanese F1 Grand Prix at Suzuka circuit . KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Sauber Formula One driver Kobayashi celebrates his third position next to winner Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel after the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Second placed Ferrari Formula One driver Massa celebrates with winner Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel during podium ceremony following Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. ISSEI KATO/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Sauber Formula One driver Kobayashi walks in the paddock after the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel talks to German media following his victory in the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit . TORU HANAI/REUTERS

Formula One 2012: Japanese Grand prix

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel celebrates with crew members his victory in Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS