Sunday, October 13, 2019
Valtteri Bottas won the Japanese Grand Prix in Formula One at Mercedes After a chaotic race at Suzuka, Mercedes became the constructor's World Champion – and also the individual World Champion title for one of the two Silver Arrow pilots was only a matter of form.
The wrong starter, Sebastian Vettel lost the lead after a few meters, the collision racer Charles Leclerc destroyed the front wing and thus the race was in the first round: Ferrari had experienced the following Sunday in Formula 1 the disappointment caused by themselves next and Mercedes's big rivals at the Grand Japanese Prix serves the title of premature constructor on a silver platter.
Vettel is on his favorite track at Suzuka even though the first pole position since early June after a failed start with second place behind is only mitigation of Valtteri Bottas. World champion Lewis Hamilton at Silver Arrow second bit his teeth in the final and finished third.
Hamilton's last competitor: Bottas' teammate
"It was worse than the wrong start because I lost all momentum," Vettel said: "Valtteri flew in. It was a difficult race, Mercedes had a better move and in the end, second place was a good result." Bottas said: "I am very happy to start from the second line here, but it was a great race, I really enjoyed it." Significantly worse than Vettel cutting off Leclerc, who was lucky enough to qualify without a penalty after the initial collision with Red Bull driver Max Verstappen. Emmericher Nico Hülkenberg took ninth place at Renault.
Meanwhile, once again Silver Arrows, who had just missed the next double victory two weeks after the race in Russia, made the first perfect World Championship decision: For the sixth time in a row, the constructor's title was given to the Brackley factory team, which is already after the upcoming race . In Mexico again cork tends to emerge: Hamilton can secure his sixth World Cup title there. The advantage at Bottas, his last remaining competitor, is 64 points.
Because of the super typhoon "Hagibis", the team was faced with an unknown challenge. The start of the race is less than three hours after the end of qualifying, which was canceled due to security reasons on Saturday. Vettel performed well in strong wind conditions, but was dry and brought his Ferrari in front of Leclerc. Explosive questions now at first: What strategy pushed Ferrari to remember the situation that was allegedly calmed between Vettel and Leclerc? Are they both allowed to win? Are there new stable orders? The first red line of the race has the potential to contain a lot of explosions.
Vettel escaped punishment, Leclerc fell
Vettel and Leclerc had stressed their good relations before the race, but they did not keep their ambitions a secret. Of course, they want to "give one centimeter on the track," Vettel said. All speculation ends with the beginning. Vettel gave gas before the lights went out, then stopped and accelerated again. Race organizers looked shocking from the penalty, but ranked number one immediately lost to Bottas. Leclerc collided shortly afterwards at the first corner with Verstappen. The Dutchman was far behind and then put his car in the box – a cage game for the engine supplier, Honda, he imagined otherwise.
Leclerc was driving a broken car at first, after the pit stop but also 21 years behind the field again. The high wear caused the race that the car had to pit a second time to change the tire. While Bottas at the top of a comfortable advantage was sent off, the decision fell in the fight for second place in the final. Vettel moved earlier than Hamilton with medium tires, which were clearly unfortunate for the last few laps. Hamilton took a new set of ten rounds of ten soft wheels quickly to go, continuing to shorten the gap. Nevertheless, Hamilton did not qualify for the World Champion four times, who fought as much as he could.