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Live: F1 Japanese GP commentary and updates

The fourth round of the 2024 Formula 1 season concludes with the main event of the Japanese Grand Prix and you can follow the action here.

Red Bull locked out the front row of the grid in qualifying, with Max Verstappen on pole once again. It will be on the chasing pack to catch the reigning world champions, with McLaren’s Lando Norris starting at the head of that group in third place.

The majority of the F1 paddock sees the Japan race as a place where the true pecking order will be revealed due to Suzuka’s characteristics and demands on the cars.

The Japanese GP starts at 6am BST.

By: Haydn Cobb, Sam Hall

Summary

Summary
  • Verstappen wins ahead of team-mate Perez
  • Sainz takes the final spot on the podium
  • Tsunoda scores a point at home in 10th
  • List of retirees: Zhou (mechanical), Albon (accident), Ricciardo (accident)
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Perez, Red Bull
  3. Sainz, Ferrari
  4. Leclerc, Ferrari
  5. Norris, McLaren
  6. Alonso, Aston Martin
  7. Russell, Mercedes
  8. Piastri, McLaren
  9. Hamilton, Mercedes
  10. Tsunoda, RB
Status: Stopped
So join us on the 19-21 April for the Chinese GP weekend which also includes the first sprint race of the season. Until then, have a lovely rest of your Sunday. Go well!
The trophies are handed out and the podium finishers get busy with the fizzy! That marks the end of the Japanese GP weekend - but in just two weeks we go again with a return to China.
It is time for the podium, with the very familiar combination of the Dutch and Austrian national anthems playing to mark Verstappen's win for Red Bull.
Sainz lets out a sigh as he watches Verstappen cross the line with nobody else in the picture. That's a good summary of the last couple of years in F1 has generally been. Dominant from Red Bull and Verstappen once again.
They then assess the first-lap clash between Albon and Ricciardo, and Verstappen turns into a steward to say it was unfortunate with Ricciardo looking left towards the corner and not seeing Albon behind him. Maxplaining turns into Maxstewarding?
The podium trio make their way to the cooldown room for a drink and a chat. Sainz asks Verstappen if they considered a one-stop but he shakes his head, and Perez adds the hard was the strong tyre today.
"It was very nice, the critical bit was the start to stay ahead and then the car for me just got better and better during the race, which may have been with the clouds coming in. It couldn't have been any better," Verstappen says on his third win of the season.
"It was a good weekend for the team, with the start and the restart was hard to keep the focus for such a long time. My second start was better but just not enough to get by Max. We paid the price as we were off balance in that first stint which meant we couldn't keep it alive and we had to box and we were undercut by Lando, but then on the hard I was more comfortable so we came back," Perez concludes on his race.
Here's the developing race report on the Japanese GP.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

"I had a good race, so very happy, it was tough out there with the degradation, but then the clouds came and the degradation was lower. Then I had a lot of cars to overtake which is tricky here," Sainz summaries of his race.
The Russell vs Piastri incident at the chicane will be investigated after the race - along with the Ricciardo and Albon clash from the opening lap - to keep the stewards busy today.
A dominant display for Red Bull, but an exciting race with lots of overtakes thanks to differing tyre strategies.
Hulkenberg just misses out in 11th ahead of Stroll, Magnussen, Bottas, Ocon, Gasly and Sargeant as the classified finishers. DNFs for Zhou, Ricciardo and Albon.
Alonso keeps clear of Russell over the final lap to keep sixth, with Piastri taking eighth ahead of Hamilton. Tsunoda completes the points places - a top 10 in his home race for the first time!
Perez completes the Red Bull 1-2, with Sainz taking third place ahead of Leclerc and Norris.
Verstappen rounds the final corner and wins the Japanese GP!
Piastri goes wide out of the chicane and at the start of the final lap Russell gets by to take seventh place.
Verstappen starts the final lap with a 13s lead over Perez. Game, set and match.
Alonso does ease off to give Piastri DRS to defend from Russell. This situation always seems to happen to Russell - last year it was Singapore with Sainz and Norris, now it is with Alonso and Piastri.
Verstappen, as expected, winds up his Red Bull and releases it at maximum pace to grab the fastest lap with a 1m33.706s. That's the extra point taken back from Sainz.
All that has allowed Alonso to scamper clear, but will he ease off again to give Piastri DRS?
Russell dives to the inside of Piastri at the chicane and the Australia cuts the corner, and then they both had DRS and came so close to contact into Turn 1.
The fight for sixth is also on, with Alonso giving DRS to Piastri with Russell hunting them both down.
Hulkenberg now passes Magnussen, who had been trying to make a one-stop strategy work.
"It's unbelievable how bad our speed is in a straight. It's like a different category," says Stroll. He's not a happy camper right now.
Verstappen has got this win tied up with an 11.3s lead over Perez with five laps to go. Sainz currently holds the fastest lap bonus point.
Up to P13 goes Hulkenberg. It's been a tough race for him after a dreadful restart, as Stroll passes Magnussen around the outside of The Esses for P11.
1-2 Red Bull, 3-4 Ferrari - over to you Piastri to make it 5-6 McLaren.
At the start of lap 46, Sainz uses DRS to pull alongside Leclerc and dives around the outside to make the move stick into Turn 1. Sainz is up to third.
Leclerc has been advised to not defend too hard against Sainz because he is racing Norris, while Sainz has been told he is on for the podium and therefore free to attack Leclerc. That's basically team orders, right?
But not for long as Sainz uses DRS to fly by Norris to take fourth place before Turn 1. It is Ferrari vs Ferrari for third.
Unsurprisingly, Williams pit Sargeant for a fresh set of tyres. He's now at the back of the pack, 38s off Gasly in P16.
Norris locks up into the hairpin, feeling the pressure from Sainz, but keeps hold of fourth for now.
Leclerc will be defending from Norris and Sainz until the end of this race in the fight for the final podium spot as we head into the final 10 laps. Leclerc is 1.8s ahead of Norris with Sainz 0.9s back.
Sargeant is reversing back onto the track and is able to continue in his now gravel-coloured Williams. No contact with the barrier but there will likely be some floor damage sustained.
Sargeant has stopped at Degna Two.

"What's the gap ahead? It looks like we lost even more time," says Hamilton. 
Mercedes blame a slow in-lap for the loss. 

Assuming Leclerc sticks with his one-stop strategy, that'll be it for the pitstops for the frontrunners. Verstappen leads by 8.9s from Perez, who has a 6.2s gap to Leclerc in third.
Hamilton duly pits at the end of lap 39 for mediums and comes out in ninth and behind Russell.
It appears Mercedes has abandoned its one-stop gamble given Russell has stopped again, switching to mediums, while Hamilton is weighing up his options. He's sixth but two seconds per lap slower than Alonso behind.

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