Nico Rosberg wins the Japanese GP and extends his championship advantage with Red Bulls Max Verstappen 2nd and Lewis Hamilton 3rd after a poor start.
Raikkonen and Wehrlein suffer grid penalties
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein will each take a 5 place grid penalty for a gearbox change after Qualifying yesterday.
Valterri Bottas, Jolyon Palmer and Marcus Ericsson will start on the Medium tyre with Kevin Magnussen, Felipe Nasr and Jenson Button starting on the Hard compound tyre.
The lights go green and Nico Rosberg leads as Lewis Hamilton bogs down and drops to 8th place by turn 2. Behind Rosberg its, Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel. Lap 3, Vettel overtakes Perez into turn 1 and up into 3rd place. Both Force India cars are struggling for pace as Perez’s team-mate Nico Hulkenberg gets overtaken by Kimi Raikkonen into turn 1. Lap 7, Hamilton then overtakes Hulkenberg into turn 1 and up into 7th place.
Lap 9, Nico Rosberg has pulled out a 5.5 second gap to Max Verstappen in 2nd. Lap 10, Fernando Alonso pits for the Hard tyre and is the first car to do so. Lap 11, Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean pit for the Hard tyre. Lap 13, Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen pit for the Hard tyre. Lap 14, Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz pit for the Hard tyre and Hamilton in front of Raikkonen, who has just overtaken Perez and Jolyon Palmer into turn 1. Lap 16, Hamilton overtakes Valterri Bottas into turn 15 and up into 4th place as Raikkonen overtakes Felipe Massa into turn 1 and up into 7th place. Bottas is falling pretty quickly as he is overtaken by Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Perez.
Lap 26, Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen pit for Renault and they take on the Hard and the Medium tyre. Lap 27, Kimi Raikkonen pits for the Hard tyre. Lap 29, Max Verstappen pits for the 2nd and final time onto a new set of Hard tyres. Lap 30, Nico Rosberg and Sergio Perez pit for the Hard and Medium tyres. Lap 33, Daniel Ricciardo pits and goes onto the Hard tyre with Lewis Hamilton pitting the next lap and going onto the Hard tyre as well. Lap 35, Sebastian Vettel pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. He appears behind Hamilton but in front of team-mate Raikkonen.
After the second round of pit stops, Nico Rosberg leads ahead of Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas round out the top 10 at the moment. After a strong qualifying, Haas’s Romain Grosjean is just outside the points in 11th. Verstappen is coming under pressure from Hamilton on lap 46 as the gap is only 1 second. Lap 52, Hamilton closes into the final chicane and moves to the inside of the corner. Verstappen, as late as he wants, moves to block the inside forcing Hamilton to completely miss the chicane. Lap 53, Nico Rosberg wins ahead of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
1.Rosberg 2.Verstappen 3.Hamilton 4.Vettel 5.Raikkonen 6.Ricciardo 7.Perez 8.Hulkenberg 9.Massa 10.Bottas 11.Grosjean 12.Palmer 13.Kvyat 14.Magnussen 15.Ericsson 16.Alonso 17.Sainz 18.Button 19.Nasr 20.Gutierrez 21.Ocon 22.Wehrlein
- Nico Rosberg converted his 30th pole position into his first win in Japan and also extended his championship lead to 33 points ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
- Hamilton, who finished in 3rd place, scored his 100th career podium and helped Mercedes, along with Rosberg, to the Constructors Championship for the 3rd time in a row.
- Nico Rosberg 313pts
- Lewis Hamilton 280pts
- Daniel Ricciardo 212pts
- Kimi Raikkonen 170pts
- Max Verstappen 165pts
- Sebastian Vettel 165pts
- Valterri Bottas 81pts
- Sergio Perez 80pts
- Nico Hulkenberg 54pts
- Felipe Massa 43pts
- Mercedes 593pts
- Red Bull 385pts
- Ferrari 335pts
- Force India 134pts
- Williams 124pts
- McLaren 62pts
- Torro Rosso 47pts
- Haas 28pts
- Renault 7pt
- Manor 1pt
- Sauber 0pts