Sebastian Vettel dominated the Japanese Grand Prix from start to finish as he closed down the gap to Alonso in the drivers championship to mere 4 points as the latter retired from the race on the very first lap.
On the very first turn, Alonso and Raikkonen made contact as the former ran off the track and spun into retirement. That wasn't all as Grosjean ran into Mark Webber's Red Bull on the very next turn and Senna putting Rosberg out of the race. Alonso along with Rosberg retired from the race while the rest continued. This brought out the Safety Car as the action stopped for next few laps. A few laps later Stewards handed a stop-go penalty to Grosjean and a drive-through to Senna.
The action resumed on lap, with Vettel leading the race from Kobayshi, Button and Massa. Raikkonen was running in 5th place ahead of Segio Perez, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg. Many of these drivers benefited from the first lap accident.
The first round of pit stop started on lap 13 with multiple drivers including Button and Raikkonen making their stops. Race leader Sebastian Vettel increased his lead and only made his stop on lap 17. While Kobayashi and Button lost his time behind traffic, Massa made a late stop to jump both of them as he moved into 2nd place.
On lap 19, Perez ran wide and out of the race after a unsuccessful move to regain his place over Hamilton.
Before the race, it was expected that some drivers will go for a two stop strategy while some will opt for one requiring three stops. However, as the race unfolded, two stops became the default strategy with drivers making their second and final stop from lap 30. Raikkonen was the first to make his pitstop on lap 30 followed by Hamilton on lap 31. Massa and Vettel made their stops on lap 36 and 37 respectively.
Hamilton banged wheels on first few turns of lap 31 and overtook the Finn thanks to a quick 2.5 second stop by McLaren.
Meanwhile, Vettel continued to increase the lead to Massa and rest of the field as he went on to win the race by a comfortable margin of 20 seconds. This is Vettel's third victory at Suzuka in last four race and third victory of the season. Massa went on to finish in a excellent second place, his first podium since Korea 2010. A late charge by Button couldn't prevent home hero Kobayashi from finishing on the podium as Japanese crowd gave a standing ovation to the Sauber driver.
Hamilton finished in 5th place ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg. The latter made into the top 10 on the very first lap making the most of the first lap drama. Pastor Maldonado scored his first points since his victory at Spain with a 8th place finish. Mark Webber switched to hard tyres on the very first lap following the accident and then made only a single stop to finish in 9th place ahead of Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo.
Schumacher made his way to 11th after starting the race from a lowly 21st place thanks to a 10 place grid penalty he incurred at the Singapore Grand Prix. Paul di Resta could finish only in 12th place ahead of Toro Rosso of Jean Eric Vergne.
Alonso's first lap retirement has made the championship wide open with Vettel(190) now just four points behind the Spaniard(194). Raikkonen and Hamilton are 3rd and 4th in the standings with 157 and 152 points respectively.