|Just seconds before the warm-up lap begins, Montoya jumps out of his car and has to start the race with the backup car out of the pits. (Montoya is later disqualified for this) At the start, the Ferraris are able to stay in front, but Alonso is able to get from position 9 to 3.
Unfortunately, Alonso has a tyre puncture, just like Ralf Schumacher and Fisichella.
In the safety car phases, the cars are shuffled and Sato is able to get to 3rd place with a series of very interesting overtaking maneuvers.
With this 3rd place, Sato is the best "non-Ferrari" and becomes the most likely next Grand Prix winner - - and the first Japanese Grand Prix winner.