The Japanese Grand Prix. A race full of contact and controversy, seeing Bottas cross the line first in a successful effort to make Mercedes the only constructor ever to win 6 double world championships in a row. Pretty impressive right?
“I feel so happy for everybody that was involved. Lots of hard work behind the scenes, lots of painful moments also, but the team was always able to pick themselves up.”- Mercedes team boss; Toto Wolff
The result comes, yet again, to the deficit of Ferrari who somehow managed to turn a front row lock out in Sunday`s windy qualifying session into a disappointing result. For pole-sitter Vettel, a weak getaway that saw him narrowly miss a penalty for jump starting pretty much defined his race, as he had to defend against Hamilton in order to salvage second place. Whilst this doesn’t seem too painful, the same cannot be said for his teammate Leclerc who picked up a 15 second time penalty, after the race, as a result of a feisty tousle with Verstappen. It was probably while he drove 130mph round a corner clinging onto his dismantled wingmirror that Leclerc realised his race wasn’t going too well. The crash pretty much saw the end of both drivers hopes for a podium, particularly for Dutchman Max who continues his fairly disappointing spell post summer-break. Do you think Leclerc’s penalty was justified?
Looking further down the grid, the standout performance comes from Spaniard Sainz as he drove an impressive race that secured his Mclaren a solid 5th place. The result further solidifies his position as best of the rest driver and proves what the car is really capable of in an incredibly consistent season for the English team.
In addition, French team Renault managed a fantastic double points finish following a woeful qualifying session. Ricciardo was able to put his fresh tyres and characteristic opportunism to good use, working his way up from 16th place to 6th, whilst his German teammate Hulkneburg can relish in his 5th consecutive points finish. Ultimately, exciting mid-field battles in the race show positive signs for the future of the sport and only further perpetuate an interesting constructor’s championship fight.
However, like I said, the real winners were Mercedes, who once again were able to capitalise on the mistakes of those around them and take home a satisfying double podium finish. Whilst Hamilton was left feeling disappointed after harsh tyre degradation and a lack of pace didn’t allow him to challenge further up the field, he surely can’t deny the pleasure he must feel in seeing his team the 2019 constructors championship.
Last modified: 29th October 2019