Japanese Race Round 14

Lewis Hamilton wins ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.


After his serious crash yesterday in the final seconds of Q3, Red Bulls Daniil Kvyat is ok to race and his Red Bull is rebuilt but he will start in the pit lane.

The lights go out and Hamilton is slightly quicker of the line than Rosberg and both are side by side as they enter turn 1. Rosberg on the outside try’s to go round the outside but Hamilton is on the inside and has turn 2 and forces Rosberg a little wide and Hamilton leads. Rosberg falls behind Sebastian Vettel, who jumped Valterri Bottas at the start.

Turn 1 and turn 2 also sees Sergio Perez skidding wide, Felipe Massa and Daniel Ricciardo are limping around the track with punctures.

So Hamilton leads then its Vettel, Bottas, Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean, Pastor Maldonado, Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz.

Lap 9, Kvyat who started from the pit lane has now pitted, it’s an early stop. Lap 10, Alonso and Max Verstappen pits. Lap 11, Hulkenberg, Jenson Button, Felipe Nasr pits as there is yellow flags in sector 2. Marcus Ericsson spins but continues. Lap 12, Bottas and Grosjean pit. Lap 14 and Vettel pits from 3rd. Lap 15, Raikkonen and Sainz pit. Lap 16, Rosberg pits. Lap 17, race leader Hamilton pits and is the last one to pit expect both the Manor cars of Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi.

Lap 18, Kvyat is told by team radio that he has reliability issues. Lap 20, Hamilton’s lead to Vettel is up to 9.749 seconds. To prove that he is building a gap he sets the fastest lap of the race the next lap of 1:37:961. Kvyat pits again that lap as he is down on power. Lap 24, after passing Bottas a couple of laps earlier, Rosberg has the gap to 2nd place Vettel to 1.7 seconds.

Lap 29, in a battle with Bottas, Raikkonen pits and try’s for the undercut. Lap 30, Bottas pits in reaction to Raikkonen. Down the pit straight and Raikkonen is clear of Bottas.  Rosberg also pits to undercut Vettel. Vettel pits from 2nd on lap 31 and Rosberg has made it past him and is into 2nd place. Lap 32, Hamilton pits from the lead and emerges back into 1st place. Lap 34, on a brand new set of tyres, Hamilton sets the fastest lap of the race by smashing his previous best of 1:37:961 to 1:36:145.

Lap 45, Stevens out of turn 16 and his team-mate Rossi has to take avoiding action. Stevens continues as Verstappen passes team-mate Sainz at the Chicane.

Lap 51 as we though we were going to have all 20 cars finish the race, Felipe Nasr drops out and into retirement. Hamilton wins ahead of Rosberg and Vettel.

Race Result

1.Hamilton  2.Rosberg  3.Vettel  4.Raikkonen  5.Bottas  6.Hulkenberg  7.Grosjean  8.Maldonado  9.Verstappen  10.Sainz  11.Alonso  12.Perez  13.Kvyat  14.Ericsson  15.Ricciardo  16.Button  17.Massa  18.Rossi  19.Stevens  20.Nasr*

Nasr* althought he retired, Nasr was classed as finishing the race.

Drivers Championship

1.Hamilton 277pts  2.Rosberg 229pts  3.Vettel 218pts  4.Raikkonen 119pts  5.Bottas 111pts

My View

A good race to show that Mercedes have not lost their winning touch. Good result for Lotus with Grosjean 7th and Maldonado 8th during difficult times as it looks like that Renault are purchasing the team. This was Honda’s home race and to be not far from the points with Alonso in 11th. This was not a bad result as both cars finished.

I hope Button and Alonso stay for next year as their futures are in doubt.

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