After a minor blip at the previous Singapore Grand Prix, Mercedes AMG continued its dominance in the 2015 Formula One World Championship with a stunning performance yesterday at the Japanese Grand Prix, held at the Suzuka Circuit. It was a one-two finish for the German automaker, with star driver Lewis Hamilton crossing the line first, almost 19 seconds ahead of his teammate Nico Rosberg.
It means Hamilton now has 41 F1 victories under his belt, matching the tally of the legendary Ayrton Senna, with both drivers tied at fourth in the list of all-time winners. Ahead of them are Sebastian Vettel (42), Alain Prost (51) and Michael Schumacher (91).
It was Rosberg who started at pole though Hamilton was right next to him as the lights turned green. The drivers went into Turn 1 next to each other but by Turn 2 Hamilton was in the lead while Rosberg had dropped to fourth. This allowed Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to move up to second though Rosberg managed to fight his way pass his compatriot at the second and final tire change. Vettel would have to settle for third, as he was two seconds behind Rosberg at the end.
Ferrari’s other driver Kimi Räikkönen had a tough race and produced a faultless performance to come home fourth. The Finn finished just ahead of his own compatriot, Valtteri Bottas of Williams. It was a tough day for fellow Williams driver Felipe Massa. After a bad start, he came into contact with Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo. Both suffered punctures and were forced to limp back to the pits.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth after a smooth race, with Lotus drivers Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado finishing seventh and eighth respectively. Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen finished a respectable ninth after he was forced to start at 17th on the grid due to a penalty earned in qualifying. Rounding out the top ten was fellow Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz.
America's Alexander Rossi, in his F1 debut, brought his Marussia home in 18th.
Hamilton now leads the 2015 Drivers' Championship by 48 points. He has 277 points versus Rosberg’s 229. Vettel is third with 218 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes is the clear leader with 506 points versus the 337 of Ferrari and 208 of Williams. The next race on the calendar is the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi on October 11.
Below are the full results for the 2015 Formula One Japanese Grand Prix:
1) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG
2) Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG
3) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
4) Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari
5) Valtteri Bottas, Williams
6) Nico Hulkenberg, Force India
7) Romain Grosjean, Lotus
8) Pastor Maldonado, Lotus
9) Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso
10) Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso
11) Fernando Alonso, McLaren
12) Sergio Perez, Force India
13) Daniil Kvyat, Infiniti Red Bull Racing
14) Marcus Ericsson, Sauber
15) Daniel Ricciardo, Infiniti Red Bull Racing
16) Jenson Button, McLaren
17) Felipe Massa, Williams
18) Alexander Rossi, Marussia
19) Will Stevens, Marussia
20) Felipe Nasr, Sauber