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Formula 1 Japanese GP

F1 Japanese GP Live Commentary and Updates - Race

Minute-by-minute updates for the 2023 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix

Max Verstappen will start from pole position as Red Bull stand on the brink of a sixth constructors' championship. Should the Dutchman and team-mate Sergio Perez combine to outscore Mercedes, the title will be secured at Suzuka.

Oscar Piastri became the first rookie to qualify on the front row since Nico Hulkenberg in 2010, and he is followed by his McLaren counterpart Lando Norris in third.

The Ferrari paring of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz sandwich Segio Perez to round out the top six, with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton just behind. 

The Japanese Grand Prix will get under way at 6am BST.

By: Sam Hall, Stefan Mackley

Summary
  • Red Bull secures the constructors' championship with six races to go
  • Verstappen takes his 13th win of 2023 and is set to be champion in the next race in Qatar
  • Perez, penalised for crashing into Magnussen, retires on lap 15 with a damaged car
  • Perez hit with a five-second penalty for SC infringement 
  • Sargeant penalised five seconds for crashing into Bottas, who is forced to retire on lap 9
  • Ocon, Zhou, Perez, Albon and Bottas had to pit after the start chaos. Hamilton's car also damaged
  • Safety car is deployed on lap 1 for debris on track after contact between several cars at the start
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen
  2. Norris
  3. Piastri
  4. Leclerc
  5. Hamilton
  6. Sainz
  7. Russell
  8. Alonso
  9. Ocon
  10. Gasly
Status: Stopped
And with that, we will bid you farewell until Qatar. Congratulations to constructors' champions Red Bull and race winner Verstappen. 

To catch up on all the action, the race report is below. 

https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-japanese-gp-race-report/10524573/


Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

As Verstappen climbs onto the top step of the podium, a familiar pair of anthems ring out at Suzuka.
"Interesting," was Norris' reaction to Perez's crash with Magnussen. Verstappen was noticeably silent when that clip was shown.
"Oh my God," says Verstappen as the top three watch back the lap one carnage.
Reflecting on Perez's dreadful race, Horner adds "it wasn't his day" and that he expects the Mexican to bounce back in Qatar.
Horner gets a word on and pays tribute to "the hard work of everybody in Milton Keynes".
Verstappen hails Red Bull's "incredible year" as he reflects on a "straightforward race" beyond the Turn 1 threat from Norris and Piastri.
With the focus on Verstappen and Piastri, it's very easy to forget that Norris finished in P2 and scored back-to-back podiums. 

"The progress we've made is pretty outstanding," says Norris. The team is consistently second-best now, so expectations for 2024 will inevitably be growing.
"I'll remember this for a very, very long time," says Piastri as he thanks McLaren.
In the constructors' race for P4, things are closing between McLaren and Aston Martin. The former arrived in Japan trailing by 78 points, and the margin is now below 50. With six races to go, this battle has a long way to run.
"We're coming for Red Bull," says Norris. His ambition is clear after another supreme performance.
But for now, let's focus on McLaren as Norris takes second and Piastri scores his maiden F1 podium in third.
Verstappen can clinch the drivers' crown in the Qatar sprint in a fortnight.
The chequered flag is taken by Verstappen, and Red Bull are the 2023 Formula 1 constructors' champions!
While Verstappen has been out of sight for the duration, this has been a striking return to form. A 13th win of the year, a 48th of his career, and the constructors' championship for Red Bull. Not a bad Japanese GP for Red Bull all told!
Verstappen currently has a 20s lead with Norris 16s clear of third-placed Piastri.
Onto the final lap we go and Verstappen has been faultless today.
Hamilton is told to keep giving Russell DRS but Sainz is all over him. Sainz pulls to the inside of Turn 1 and Russell will be apoplectic in his cockpit.
Russell's advice is not heeded, and the positions are swapped. After "playing the team game," Russell does not hide his frustration on the radio.
"Revert positions," says Mercedes. Russell counters that they should "do this on the last lap" and use DRS to copy Sainz's tactic from Singapore last week.
After failing to pass this time, Hamilton tells Mercedes, "We're going to lose both of these positions," if he is not allowed past Russell.
"Give each other room," is the only instruction so far from Mercedes.
The Mercedes battle is not the only one between team-mates, as Ocon is less than 1s behind Gasly, and the same goes for Lawson and Tsunoda.