Fernando Alonso took a surprise victory in the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji, the Spaniard capitalising on a chaotic opening lap that saw Ferrari and McLaren give up their start-line advantage.
Once Lewis Hamilton had forced both team-mate Heikki Kovalainen and both Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa wide at the first turn, and he ahd overcome initial leader Robert Kubica, Alonso took control of the race, only allowing anyone else a look at the lead during the two pit-stop windows as he cruised to his 21st grand prix victory.
Kubica and Raikkonen completed the podium after the Finn proved unable to overcome the BMW Sauber, which also took advantage of the scuffles at the start, while Nelson Piquet Jr went some way to perhaps extending his F1 career with an assured drive to fourth.
Jarno Trulli claimed fifth for home favourites Toyota, while both
Toro Rosso cars scored points as Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Vettel came home line astern.
The final point, however, was almost as important as Alonso's win as Massa recovered from his collision with title rival Hamilton on lap two - and the ensuing penalty - to catch and pass Red Bull's Mark Webber in the closing stages and reduce the championship deficit to six points with two races remaining.
The Brazilian, however, faces another, post-race, investigation for a clash with Bourdais in which the Ferrari came off worst.
Hamilton, who also suffered a penalty for his move on Raikkonen at the opening corner, came home twelfth.
Full report and result to follow.....