Formula 1

F1: Bottas wins Japanese GP, Mercedes clinch Constructor’s championship

Bottas
Credit: Mercedes AMG F1

Valterri Bottas took advantage of Ferrari’s slow start to the Japanese Grand Prix to win, securing Mercedes’ sixth consecutive Constructor’s championship title.

Ferrari had locked out the front row for the start of the race, but both drivers got off to a slow start after Vettel momentarily moved before stopping.

Vettel was under investigation for a jump-start but was later deemed to be within the acceptable tolerances, but he fell to second, behind Bottas going into Turn 1.

The other Ferrari of Charles Leclerc made contact with Max Verstappen on the exit of Turn 2, ruining both of their races, with Verstappen later retiring due to the damage caused, while Leclerc had to pit to replace his front wing.

Bottas went on to control the race and win by 11.3s ahead of Vettel while Lewis Hamilton crossed the line in third, having failed to pass Vettel in the closing stages despite being on fresher tyres, having opted for a different strategy to his rival.

The 1-3 finish for Mercedes meant they clinched their sixth consecutive constructor’s title, and means only Hamilton and Bottas are in contention for the driver’s championship.

Alex Albon ended up a distant fourth, ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr, who once again had another strong Grand Prix.

Leclerc managed to recover, battling through the field to finish sixth, while Daniel Ricciardo put in an impressive display to cross the line in seventh, having started 16th.

Pierre Gasly, Nico Hulkenberg and Lance Stroll rounded out the top ten, with the trio taking advantage of late contact between Sergio Perez and Gasly, which saw Perez crash out at Turn 2 with a lap left to go.

The Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat was 11th, while Lando Norris was 12th, having fallen through the field after contact with Albon whilst the pair were fighting for fifth.

The contact meant Norris had to pit, and his brakes caught fire, losing him time and relegating him to last on lap five.

Kimi Raikkonen ended up 13th ahead of Romain Grosjean and Antonio Giovinazzi, while Kevin Magnussen was 16th.

Although Perez failed to finish the race, he was still classified 17th, ahead of the Williams pair of George Russell and Robert Kubica.

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