Red Bull entered Japan looking for redemption after last week’s loss and they delivered in full with Max Verstappen winning the Japanese Grand Prix giving Red Bull their sixth Constructors’ Championship.
Apart from Max dominating the race, from 2nd to last place was an exciting battle with lots of mechanical attrition, DNF’s and some decent passing as well. The podium finish for both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri was a terrific result for McLaren and tightens up the battle in the championship with Aston Martin.
A huge win for Red Bull who looked widely off the mark in Singapore to bounce back and dominate the Japanese GP. The dominant performance from Max gave the team their 6th world championship as constructors and sets the stage for Max’s 3rd world championship driver title if we wins the Sprint race in Qatar. It’s a superlative season for Red Bull and Japan also showed that concerns, mine included, over the recent technical directive hobbling their car may have been wide of the mark.
A win for McLaren who have come on song late in the season and one has to go back to Zak Brown’s comments early in the season that it wouldn’t be until after summer break that they would start to improve. He was right. A huge win for rookie Oscar Piastri with his first podium finish and Lando drove sublimely.
A win for Ferrari despite finishing 4th and 6th and the fact that they won the last race. They are not in a fight with Red Bull but Mercedes so finishing ahead of both Merc drivers is a good result. They are now only 30 points behind Mercedes.
A team-ordered assist for Lewis Hamilton but that doesn’t take away his chippy drive this weekend to P5. They split the strategies for Lewis and George Russell and this left the latter a sitting duck late in the race. A good result for Lewis despite his being somewhat negative all weekend about his chances and the car.
A big win for Yuki Tusnoda and Daniel Ricciardo announced as drivers for next year at Alpha Tauri but a bigger win for Liam Lawson who beat Yuki to P11 in Japan adding more steam to my argument that if it were me, I would have signed Liam and Daniel, Yuki has had several season to do what Liam has already been doing in just three races. Of course that’s easy to say but I suspect Honda and the team’s relationship has something to do with it.
A win for Alpine with both cars in the top ten and they did it quietly until the last lap and after the race when fireworks flew about the team orders for Gasly to give up the position to Ocon.
A fail for Red Bull’s Sergio Perez who managed to get hit, hit and retire his car with a DNF and rain a little on Red Bull’s championship-winning weekend.
A fail for Alfa Romeo who lost out with Valtteri Bottas on the first lap and then retired the car after getting clouted by Logan Sargeant. Zho Guanyu didn’t fare much better with a damaged wing and run to P13 with 5 cars out of the race no less.
A fail for Logan Sargeant who managed to make the question mark over his F1 career even bigger by hitting Valtteri Bottas and then having to retire the car. For Alex Albon, he was a victim of the first corner madness and retired as well.
A fail for Haas F1 with both Kevin Magnuseen and Nico Hulkenberg finishing P15 and P14 respectively.
I was thinking this race would have a lot of tire degradation issues and strategy and it did but I wasn’t expecting it to have the amount of DNF’s and attrition that it had.
I understand Mercedes saying they made the right call by issuing team orders to let Lewis past George and maybe they are right but I feel like early in that situation, Lewis had more pace and with DRS, hew Ould have been safe against Carlos Sainz and that also would have protected George. The team say no, and Lewis was a bit sharp post-race in his criticism of George but I’m with Anthony Davidson on this one, I think it was the wrong call or at least too early for the call. If George needed a reminder of who this team is behind, he just got it.
What happened to Sergio this weekend?
How long is Lawrence willing to sacrifice millions just so his son can be a driver in F1? They are losing their position in the world constructor’s championship because Fernando is the only one scoring points. This makes very little sense to me and one day, if they are teetering on whether to stay or leave F1, they might remind themselves of the millions they left on the table over the question of Lance. If they had Liam Lawson, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, even Sergio
Perez, they’d be scoring more points and keeping their championship hopes alive for 4th. At this point, McLaren may very well beat them.
What’s up with Seb? I think he’s looking really hard for a return to F1.
For the start, 13 drivers went with the Medium for the first stint, seven for the Soft. Apart from those who had to rapidly change their plans because of collisions in the opening moments of the race, it was clear to see that the great majority of drivers had opted for a two-stop strategy, making the most efficient use of the sets of tyres available. In fact, those who had two new Hard sets used them both, with the exception of Russell who – having done a good job of managing his Medium set from the start – tried to mix things up by going for a one-stop strategy, using the Hard for no fewer than 29 laps. The Mercedes driver also did the most laps (24) on one set of Medium tyres, while Zhou (Alfa Romeo) did the most (19) on the Soft.
Japanese Grand Prix Result:
|1||1||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||53||1:30:58.421||26|
|8||14||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||53||+74.725s||4|
|11||40||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||52||+1 lap||0|
|12||22||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||52||+1 lap||0|
|13||24||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||52||+1 lap||0|
|14||27||HAAS FERRARI||52||+1 lap||0|
|15||20||HAAS FERRARI||52||+1 lap||0|
|NC||18||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||20||DNF||0|
|NC||11||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||15||DNF||0|
|NC||77||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||7||DNF||0|