Japanese Grand Prix Final Classification , top 10 -
P. Driver Team Laps Time/Gap
1 st Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport 52 1:21.46.755
2 nd Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow 52 +13.343
3 rd Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport 52 +13.858
4 th Alexander Albon Aston Martin Red Bull Racing 52 +59.537
5 th Carlos Sainz McLaren F1 Team 52 +69.101
6 th Daniel Ricciardo Renault F1 Team 51 +1 lap
7 th Charles Leclerc* Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow 51 +1 lap
8 th Pierre Gasly Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda 51 +1 lap
9 th Sergio Perez SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team 51 +1 lap
10 th Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 Team 51 +1 lap
Extreme weather led to a high pressure Sunday in Suzuka, but despite Ferrari locking out the front row in qualifying, Mercedes rode out the storm and in the end Valtteri Bottas’ sixth career victory, allied to Lewis Hamilton’s third place, handed the Silver Arrows the ultimate silver lining – a sixth consecutive Formula One Constructors’ Championship title.
And as Formula 1 Managing Director, Motorsport Ross Brawn says the achievement is testimony to the leave-
However, he adds, Mercedes weren’t the only ones leaving Japan covered in glory, with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull’s Alex Albon and Suzuka circuit also worthy of high praise.
The compressed weekend in Suzuka also brought up some thought-
Six consecutive titles is a record. In Suzuka, Mercedes not only won the Constructors’ title it also ensured that only one of its drivers can take the Driver’s crown this season. It’s an amazing result and I really want to congratulate Toto Wolff and his team. Twelve world titles in six years is exceptional and beats Ferrari haul from 1999 to 2004, something I well remember as I was technical director of that team at the time.
Back then Maranello missed out on the Drivers’ title in the first of those years, losing out at the final race, in Suzuka in fact, when Mika Häkkinen won, thus shattering Eddie Irvine’s dream of bringing the title back to Ferrari for the first time since Jody Scheckter’s triumph 20 years earlier.
Mercedes deserves this record, having been invincible in the first three years of the hybrid era, after which it showed it was able to still hold off its rivals for the three more years when Ferrari and occasionally Red Bull provided the competition.
Much of this success is down to Lewis Hamilton, an amazing driver who is rewriting the history of this sport in a manner all his own.
It’s always difficult to establish how much is down to the car and how much to the driver, but in the end, for me, it’s the team that counts the most. Formula 1 is a team sport and even if the driver is the star of the show he cannot win without a team behind him.
Mercedes has reached a higher level than its rivals and so far has been almost untouchable. However, without wishing to be the bearer of bad tidings, sooner or later the wind changes. It’s the law of the jungle in every sport. But no matter what may come, the achievements of the men and women of Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart will always be in the history books.
The weather played a big part in the Japanese GP weekend, but after Typhoon Hagibis wiped out Saturday’s programme, Suzuka delivered a great show on Sunday.
The outcome of qualifying was certainly surprising as Ferrari unexpectedly monopolised the front row. However, the role of favourite did not do the Italian team any favours, as any chance of victory evaporated before the second corner, first with Sebastian Vettel's fluffed start and then due to a mistake from Charles Leclerc that led to a collision with Max Verstappen.
From then on the complexion of the race changed, with the front three drivers running different strategies and, in the end, victory went to perhaps the least likely of the trio, Valtteri Bottas who started from third on the grid and who had not won since April.
The strategic variety was determined mainly by the demanding nature of the Suzuka track when it comes to tyres, with heavy degradation leading all the top team drivers to opt for two stops.
This added to the show, as is always the case in Formula 1, a sport where any single aspect can decide the winner.
Typhoon Hagibis was a major player at this year’s Japanese Grand Prix, forcing the organisers to cancel all Saturday track activity and reschedule qualifying for Sunday morning, just four hours before the race.
So, it was a Super Sunday in Suzuka and that naturally reopened the debate about the shape of an F1 weekend. This is an aspect of the sport we have focused on in some detail as we work towards the rules that will govern Formula 1 over the coming years and we have taken into account the voices of all of the key players – the promoters, the teams and last but not least the fans.
I’ll be honest and say that there has been strong consensus, especially among the organisers, for maintaining the three-
It's true that a day like Sunday in Suzuka offers a great show in just a few hours but it would confine the feeder series races to the previous days.
After careful analysis we have concluded that the best solution is to keep the event over three days, revising the Friday format but leaving the rest untouched, with qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.
In order to meet the demands of the teams and in order to slightly increase the number of Grands Prix, which will be at 22 next year, we have given consideration to reorganising the schedule so that teams and drivers can arrive a day later. We’ll talk about the detail at the end of the month, when the new regulations will be published.
Sunday in Suzuka was a rollercoaster ride for Renault. It had been a terrible morning, with Daniel Ricciardo going out in the first part of qualifying and Nico Hulkenberg finishing in P15 in Q2 due to a hydraulic problem.
But it was a completely different story in the race, with the Australian staging an amazing climb up the order that took him to sixth at the flag, while the German drove a strong race that brought him a point.
Then, much more unexpected than any typhoon, came the protest from Racing Point, alleging a violation of the technical regulations relating to a pre-
The Stewards decided not to rule on such a complex matter in Japan, as it needs a careful investigation by the FIA, but it’s true that this question hovers over a result that was like finding water in the desert for a team that, compared to last year, has not made the progress it might have expected, and which is currently being beaten by its customer team McLaren.
None of this diminishes the team’s strong performance and its efforts to stay in the fight to finish the season as ‘best of the rest’. The gap is big at 34 points, but, with four races to go, it’s not insurmountable.
Honda obviously wanted a strong result at its home race, especially in a season that has seen the Japanese power unit return to winning ways after a 13-
In the end, the power unit saw its best result in Suzuka achieved by rookie star Alexander Albon, who finished just off the podium, taking the best result of his short career to date in Formula 1.
More significant still was his showing in qualifying, given that the Thai was able to equal team-
Once he and his team had worked a two-
Of the three rookies this year, Alex has had the best results, though obviously his chances of scoring received a boost during the summer break when he was drafted into a top team.
However, driving a Red Bull brings a lot more pressure – not just in going up against a superstar such as Verstappen, but also in doing enough to hang onto the seat for 2020.
With four races to go, Albon is eighth in the Drivers’ standings, 12 points behind sixth placed Carlos Sainz. It’s a target that’s within reach and could ensure his place in the sun for next year.
The big number from Japan was obviously Mercedes’ sixth consecutive FIA Formula One Constructors’ Championship title,
but while the record run is a huge achievement there were plenty of milestones to admire in Suzuka…
Valtteri Bottas’ victory in Japan was not only the sixth of his career, it was the Finn’s 100th points finish in Formula 1.
Valtteri first scored points at the 2013 United States Grand Prix when he finished eighth for Williams in his 18th Grand Prix.
With 135 F1 races under his belt, the result in Japan gives him a points strike rate of 74%.
Carlos Sainz’s fifth place in Suzuka was the 50th of his career. The 10 points came at the end of his 98th career Grand Prix, giving him a 51.02% strike rate.
The result in Japan was Carlos’ 10th points finish of the season and his third fifth place of the campaign. His 10 points for McLaren versus the nine scored by Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and
Nico Hulkenberg move McLaren into a 34-
French manufacturer in the Constructors’ Championship.
McLaren are fourth, one place ahead of Renault.
Lewis Hamilton’s fastest lap in Japan draws him level with Kimi Räikkönen in second place on the all-
Both are a long way off matching Michael Schumacher’s record. The German posted a whopping 77 fastest laps across the course of his 306-
Lewis now has five fastest laps this season.
His closest rival is Max Verstappen with three.
Daniel Ricciardo made up 10 places in Japan, the most he’s gained in a race since the same race last year.
The Honey Badger started from P16 at Suzuka and following Charles Leclerc’s post-
The four points Pierre Gasly took for seventh place pushed the French driver past century of points scored in Formula 1.
He has now scored 102 points, 39 points in 31 starts for Toro Rosso and 63 from his 12 races for Red Bull Racing.
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