Bottas wins F1 Japanese GP; Mercedes nails Constructors title

The F1 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka saw Valtteri Bottas capture his sixth win lifetime to help Mercedes firm up the Constructors’ title. Team mate Lewis Hamilton was third, behind rival Sebastien Vettel.

Formel 1 – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Großer Preis von Japan 2019. Valtteri Bottas Lewis Hamilton Formula One – Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Japanese GP 2019. Valtteri Bottas Lewis Hamilton

With 1 and 3, Hamilton and Bottas become the only two drivers in the standings with a shot at the drivers’ trophy.  Mercedes’ constructors title is the sixth consecutive title since the Silver Arrows made its entry in the sport as a factory team.  There are four races left in the season…

The start of the race was clear cut, it was Mercedes versus Ferrari off the grid. Vettel hesitated at the start and that allowed Bottas to shoot ahead. Meantime, Charles LeClerc got a wheelspin and was picked off by Max Verstappen. He tried to block the Red Bull but unsuccessful.

It was Bottas, followed by Vettel, Leclerc, Verstappen and Hamilton on the first lap.  The Mercedes drivers and Vettel went for a two-stopper. After his first stop, he resumed the attack on the lead Mercedes on lap 17.  Bottas managed to come out ahead of Vettel after his stop. Hamilton would pit later and retook the race third.

The order would change slightly after the second stop, Hamilton led -Vettel and Bottas, after Bottas dove in the pitlane. Hamilton would go in lap 42 and  attacked the minute he rejoined the track, but Vettel covered well. Past mid-part of the race, Bottas led the race with Vettel and Hamilton. Six laps from the end, Hamilton made a final push for runner-up spot but Vettel wouldn’t have it. Alex Albon finished fourth for Red Bull from Carlos Sainz, Behind Sainz, everybody finished a lap down on the leaders. LeClerc was demoted from sixth to seventh after a post race review, as he was penalized for blocking Verstappen at the start. Verstappen, meanwhile, didn’t finish the race.

2019 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix results

1     V.Bottas 52   1:21:46.755  25

2     S.Vettel  52   +13.343s       18

3     L.Hamilton    52   +13.858s        16

4     A.Albon 52   +59.537s       12

5     C.Sainz   52   +69.101s       10

6 D.Ricciardo 51   +1 lap     8

7     C.Leclerc       51   +1 lap     6

8     P.Gasly   51   +1 lap     4

9     S.Perez   51   +1 lap     2

10   N.Hulkenberg       51   +1 lap

Drivers standings

1     Hamilton       MERCEDES        338

2     Bottas    MERCEDES    274

3     Leclerc         FERRARI 221

4     Verstappen  RED BULL RACING   212

5     Vettel     FERRARI 212

6     Sainz      MCLAREN        76

7     Gasly      TORO ROSSO     73

8     Albon     RED BULL RACING    64

9     Ricciardo       RENAULT        42

10   Hulkenberg   RENAULT        35

Constructors rankings

1     MERCEDES    612

2     FERRARI 433

3     RED BULL RACING HONDA 323

4     MCLAREN RENAULT    111

5     RENAULT       77

6     SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA  59

7     RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES    54

8     ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 35

9     HAAS FERRARI     28

10   WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1