Nico Rosberg wins F1 Japanese Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton third

Nico Rosberg strengthened his grip on the lead of the Formula 1 drivers' title race with victory in the Japanese Grand Prix as another slow start undermined team-mate Lewis Hamilton

Nico Rosberg wins F1 Japanese Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton third

From the 30th pole position of his F1 career Rosberg produced a faultless drive at Suzuka to claim his 23rd win, and ninth this season to open up a 33-point cushion over Hamilton with only 100 now to play for from the final four races.

Hamilton could only manage third, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen taking second as 5.7s covered the top three at the chequered flag.

The result sealed a third successive constructors' championship for Mercedes after it failed to clinch it in Malaysia last Sunday when Hamilton's engine blew.

Hamilton's hopes of a third successive win at this track were over after the first few seconds.

Following overnight rain, come the start of the race there were still damp patches on the circuit, with one of those being Hamilton's grid box, and the three-time champion showed some concern beforehand.

Once the five red lights disappeared Hamilton then bogged down and was swamped, slotting into eighth and apologising to his team shortly afterwards.

While Rosberg enjoyed the lead, what followed was damage limitation from Hamilton, who passed Nico Hulkenberg on lap seven before making up another two places at his first pitstop to get ahead of Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton then soon cleared Ricciardo to leave him with Verstappen and Vettel in between him and Rosberg after all the opening pitstops in which the leaders took on the hard tyres.

Come the second round of stops Hamilton again made up ground, getting ahead of Vettel by pitting before the Ferrari.

Mercedes again gave Hamilton the hard tyre, while Ferrari switched Vettel to softs in an aggressive move, but despite a couple of laps of pressure from the latter he was unable to get close to make a move on the former.

Vettel's irritation over backmarkers this season reached new heights in this race as the four-time champion was continually on the radio bemoaning being held up, and by the end he could only claim fourth, 14.4s behind Rosberg.

Hamilton did close to within a second of Verstappen on lap 44, and on lap 52 he made a move into the chicane, but was forced to take the escape road as the 19-year-old moved to the inside to defend as they hit the brakes.

Behind the leading quartet, Raikkonen, who started the day with a five-place penalty for a gearbox change after qualifying third, and Ricciardo finished fifth and sixth.

Force India pair Perez and Hulkenberg were seventh and eighth, with the team ekeing out a 10-point gap over Williams whose drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished ninth and 10th on a one-stop strategy.

JAPANESE GP RESULT

Pos Driver Car Laps Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 53 1h26m43.333s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 53 4.978s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 53 5.776s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 53 20.269s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 53 28.370s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 53 33.941s
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 53 57.495s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 53 59.177s
9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 53 1m37.763s
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 53 1m38.323s
11 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 53 1m39.254s
12 Jolyon Palmer Renault 52 1 Lap
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 52 1 Lap
14 Kevin Magnussen Renault 52 1 Lap
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 52 1 Lap
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 52 1 Lap
17 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 52 1 Lap
18 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 52 1 Lap
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 52 1 Lap
20 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 52 1 Lap
21 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 52 1 Lap
22 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 52 1 Lap

DRIVERS' STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Nico Rosberg 313
2 Lewis Hamilton 280
3 Daniel Ricciardo 212
4 Kimi Raikkonen 170
5 Max Verstappen 165
6 Sebastian Vettel 165
7 Valtteri Bottas 81
8 Sergio Perez 80
9 Nico Hulkenberg 54
10 Felipe Massa 43
11 Fernando Alonso 42
12 Carlos Sainz Jr. 30
13 Romain Grosjean 28
14 Daniil Kvyat 25
15 Jenson Button 19
16 Kevin Magnussen 7
17 Jolyon Palmer 1
18 Pascal Wehrlein 1
19 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
20 Esteban Gutierrez 0
21 Marcus Ericsson 0
22 Felipe Nasr 0
23 Rio Haryanto 0
24 Esteban Ocon 0

CONSTRUCTORS' STANDINGS

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 593
2 Red Bull/Renault 385
3 Ferrari 335
4 Force India/Mercedes 134
5 Williams/Mercedes 124
6 McLaren/Honda 62
7 Toro Rosso/Ferrari 47
8 Haas/Ferrari 28
9 Renault 8
10 Manor/Mercedes 1
11 Sauber/Ferrari 0


shares
comments
Haas midfield Formula 1 rivals surprised by its 'strange' speed
Previous article

Haas midfield Formula 1 rivals surprised by its 'strange' speed

Next article

Lewis Hamilton takes responsibility for bad start in Japanese GP

Lewis Hamilton takes responsibility for bad start in Japanese GP
Load comments
Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse Plus

Why 2022 could be Leclerc's best chance to end his Monaco F1 curse

Charles Leclerc's ill-fortune at his home Formula 1 race is well-established. But his single lap pace and over longer runs during Friday practice will leave the Ferrari driver upbeat that he can make up for his Barcelona disappointment by finally recording a finish and perhaps even banking 25 world championship points in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 27, 2022
The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom Plus

The inevitable consequence of the Liberty F1 popularity boom

Sell out crowds at Formula 1 races are the norm rather than the exception these days, as grand prix racing is enjoying a massive boom under Liberty Media. But the Spanish Grand Prix highlighted numerous issues some circuits may face as demand for F1 soars

Formula 1
May 26, 2022
The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Plus

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races

Formula 1
May 25, 2022
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Plus

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Plus

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to bounce back in double-quick time Plus

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to bounce back in double-quick time

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
The risk-laden sector at the heart of F1's latest sponsorship arms race Plus

The risk-laden sector at the heart of F1's latest sponsorship arms race

No self-respecting Formula 1 team is complete these days without a cryptocurrency sponsor and a cupboard full of non-fungible tokens. STUART CODLING digs into the new sponsorship battleground and casts an eye on its future

Formula 1
May 22, 2022