A glitch with the timing system resulted in Formula 1’s Japanese Grand Prix being called a lap early.

Valtteri Bottas leapfrogged the slow-starting Ferrari pair as the lights went out and went on to claim his third victory of the season ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, with Mercedes clinching a sixth straight constructors’ world championship.

But an issue with the timing system led to the race ending a lap earlier than it should have on Lap 52, instead of the scheduled 53 laps.

The biggest consequence of the systems failure meant that Sergio Perez kept his ninth place finish and two subsequent points, despite crashing out of the race on Lap 53.

Perez swept around the outside of Gasly’s Toro Rosso at Turn 1 as he looked to gain eight spot on the final tour, but the Frenchman touched Perez at the apex of Turn 2, sending the Racing Point driver spinning out into the barriers.

As a result, Nico Hulkenberg has dropped down to 10th place and scored just a single point for Renault, while Lance Stroll missed out on the final point on offer in the second Racing Point.

Only the top five - Bottas, Vettel, Hamilton, Red Bull driver Alexander Albon and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr - finished on the lead lap, with everyone else a lap down aside from the Williams pair.

George Russell ended up two laps down in 18th place, one position ahead of teammate Robert Kubica, who started from the pitlane after a hefty crash during qualifying.

 

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