Well that race was definitely worth getting up early for, had just about everything in it and just as you think it’s calming down it steps up another level.
Lewis Hamilton started the race on pole with teammate Rosberg alongside in second. But by the end of the first corner Vettel was out of the race and Rosberg in last thanks to a slightly clumsy lunge from Vettel, which has given Vettel a three place penalty for Suzuka and two penalty points. Hamilton comfortably led the first part of the race but thanks to an early stop and alternate strategy Max Verstappen led for several laps after both Hamilton and Ricciardo pitted.
After Verstappen’s second stop it looked like the race was comfortably in the bag for Hamilton, right up until his engine caught fire and he obviously had to retire from the race. From that point on it was either Ricciardo or Verstappen, no team orders and just before the retirement they were fighting hard. In the end Ricciardo manage to hold off and take the win with Verstappen second and Rosberg recovering to third, even with a penalty than in my eyes was undeserved.
Maybe it was purely coincidental but before the race and during the Sky F1 grid walk driver steward Derek Warwick said this to Martin Brundle, “I want Lewis to get away and win this race and get the championship back on”. It may have been a very opportunistic move but despite the minor contact there was no damage and no time lost for either car, surely just a racing incident and let them get on with it.
Fernando Alonso started the race in last place and somehow finished in seventh, gaining FIFTEEN positions in the race while Button, on his 300th race start, both started and finished in ninth.
A few changes again, Raikkonen passes Vettel for fourth, Alonso gains an impressive three positions and as does Jolyon Palmer with his first point in F1. In the Constructors’ Championship absolutely nothing changes.
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||AUS||25||56||01:37.449||4|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||NED||18||56||01:37.376||3|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India||MEX||8||56||01:39.328||7|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||GER||4||56||01:37.793||8|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||ESP||0||56||01:39.243||16|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||RUS||0||55||01:39.798||15|