Normal service was restored at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday as Mercedes, having scored their 10th front row lockout to start the race, finished one, two with Lewis Hamilton taking victory and equaling his childhood hero, Ayrton Senna, with 41 wins.
Lewis started behind teammate Nico Rosberg but managed to muscle him at turn two forcing the German wide and taking the lead. He never looked back having run a perfect race managing gaps, tires and fuel. Hamilton looked like the champ he is and offered a clinical performance on how to take command of a race and manage its outcome.
A big win for Mercedes who had some fans concerned after their lackluster Singapore Grand Prix. The team bounced back on this 3.6 mile power circuit and even Nico Rosberg managed to undercut the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel to secure second. Nico had some engine heating issues early but later drove an impeccable race with a nice pass at the Casio chicane on Williams F1’s Valtteri Bottas.
A win also for Lotus F1 teammates, Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, who stayed out of trouble and amidst serious and comprehensive financial struggles, managed to finish 7th and 8th respectively in a much-needed result.
A win for Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg who started the race with a 3-place grid penalty and managed to offer a recovery drive all the way up to 6th on a day when his teammate Sergio Perez, who was hit on the first lap and struggled to recover, finished outside the points.
Equallya win for Max Verstappen who started toward the back of the grid and sliced his way up through the traffic to finish ahead of his teammate, Carlos Sainz, and gave the team a double-points finish in 9th and 10th respectively. I’ve said it before but that STR chassis is a damn nice car.
A win for American Alexander Rossi who beat his teammate for the second race in a row at Manor and perhaps you could call Fernando Alonso’s 11th place finish a slight win for the team even though the two-time champ called the engine a GP2 engine. Ouch.
Japanese fans…enough said.
Red Bull comes to mind having both cars finish outside the points for the first time in more than 30 races. A bad weekend that started so promising on Friday. In fact, the team looked to have the measure of Ferrari up until Q2 and things only went downhill from there. If anything, you could say that Daniil Kvyat’s recovery drive from dead last was a hell of a drive and he struggled with multiple issues as the car was completely built from scratch after he killed the main chassis during Q3 in qualifying.
Williams F1 missed the boat with the some put stops and Bottas missing the podium and finish 5th.
Will Stevens had a bad race and spun at 130R right in front his teammate Alexander Rossi which was a scary moment.
Ultimately if you are trying to win the championship, you have to convert your pole position to wins and Nico Rosberg allowed himself to be muscled out on turn two by Hamilton thus losing critical points in the title bid.
Japanese podium microphone system experiencing intermod or something. It was the pants Kai was wearing I think.
Massa getting involved in a dustup with Daniel Ricciardo at the start and cutting his and Daniel’s tires down. Both spent the rest of the race trying to make a recovery drive into the points and couldn’t make it happen.
So what is going on with Nico’s new engine? Lewis has been enjoying his since Monza, when Nico’s got contaminated by coolant, and they chose not to run it in Singapore. Now he runs it in Japan and by lap 8, the team were telling him to slow down, the engine was overheating.
NBC Sports seems intent on taking valuable F1 broadcast time by posting NASCAR schedules and then running down the points for the top 20 drivers…please stop it.
So, Fernando says the Honda is like a GP2 engine…while driving it…at Japan. Ouch.
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||53||1h 28:06.508|
|6||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||53||55.559|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||53||1:35.315|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||52||1 Lap|
|11||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||52||1 Lap|
|12||Sergio Pérez||Force India/Mercedes||52||1 Lap|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||52||1 Lap|
|14||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||52||1 Lap|
|15||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||52||1 Lap|
|16||Jenson Button||McLaren/Honda||52||1 Lap|
|17||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||51||2 Laps|
|18||Alexander Rossi||Marussia/Ferrari||51||2 Laps|
|19||Will Stevens||Marussia/Ferrari||50||3 Laps|
|20||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||49||Not running|