- Valtteri Bottas stormed to the sixth grand prix victory of his Formula 1 career on Sunday at Suzuka, seizing the lead at the start of the race before dominating proceedings as he crossed the line more than 10 seconds clear of the pack.

- It marked Bottas' first win since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in April, giving his fading title hopes a late boost as he took 10 points out of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton's points lead. The gap stands at 64 points with 104 still available. Bottas became the third Finnish winner of the Japanese Grand Prix after Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Hakkinen.

- Hamilton could only finish the race third after failing to get ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages. Hamilton was kept out longer than Bottas or Vettel in the first stint, prompting the Briton to call for talks with Mercedes to review the strategy, believing the team had deserved a one-two finish.

- Nevertheless, the 1-3 finish was enough to clinch Mercedes the constructors' championship with four races to spare, marking its sixth triumph in a row to match Ferrari's record (1999-2004). The drivers' championship can now only be won by either Hamilton or Bottas, meaning the team will complete a historic sixth 'double' title win in 2019.

- Ferrari's race came undone at the start despite locking out the front row of the grid in Sunday morning's qualifying session. A poor start - seemingly jumping the lights - from Vettel cost him the lead, while Charles Leclerc got caught up in an incident with Max Verstappen at Turn 2, compromising his race.

- Vettel avoided a penalty for jumping the start as it remained within the tolerances permitted under the FIA regulations, as per race director Michael Masi. Masi would not clarify if these tolerances related to time or distance. Vettel said he did not think he had jumped the start, to which fellow podium finishers Hamilton and Bottas both laughed in the post-race press conference after watching the video.

- Leclerc was hit with a 15-second time penalty after the race: five seconds for the clash with Verstappen, and 10 seconds for driving an unsafe car. Ferrari ignored the FIA's call to pit Leclerc after sustaining damage on Lap 1, eventually bringing him in at the second time of asking two laps later to trigger the penalty. This dropped Leclerc from P6 to P7 in the final standings.

- But the result is not yet finalised after Racing Point lodged a protest against both Renault cars over an alleged automatic brake bias system. The FIA deemed the protest to be admissible, and will review the case in the coming days with its technical department before deciding whether or not to refer the matter to the stewards.

- Alexander Albon recorded his best F1 finish to date, taking P4 for Red Bull. Teammate Verstappen retired early on as a result of damage sustained in the clash with Leclerc.

- Masi confirmed after the race that the stewards had decided to re-open the case with Verstappen and Leclerc after new evidence came to light. The stewards had initially dismissed it and said there was no need to take any action, but reversed their decision after seeing a new camera angle.

- A key part of Albon's charge was a bold pass on Lando Norris in the early stages, with the two appearing to make contact. Norris brushed off the incident after the race, saying it was a hard but fair move. Carlos Sainz topped the midfield yet again for McLaren in P5, strengthening the team's grip on P5 in the constructors' championship.

- The final race classification at Suzuka was taken back to Lap 52 after a glitch in the timing system meant the chequered flag was shown on the electronic board one lap early. The FIA confirmed it would be investigating the issue, but denied it had anything to do with the rebuild on Sunday after the typhoon fears.

- This inadvertently saved Sergio Perez's race after the Mexican was initially taken out in a clash with Pierre Gasly on the final lap while fighting for eighth place. The stewards still investigated the incident, deeming neither driver to be wholly responsible and therefore taking no action.

- Robert Kubica was left fuming after Williams took the new front wing off his FW42 car without him knowing ahead of qualifying. Kubica referred to them as "decisions taken before qualifying without even letting me know," adding: "I think this is not the right way." The Pole crashed out early in Q1 before finishing almost a lap behind teammate George Russell in the race.



Loading Comments...