Lewis Hamilton was in imperious form as he overtook Nico Rosberg to win the Japanese Grand Prix.
|Hamilton on top again -Source- The Guardian
Hamilton took back to back victories in Suzuka and in the process equalled Aryton Senna’s winning form by taking his 41st Grand Prix victory.
Rosberg who started from pole finished the race in second after fending off a challenge from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who took the final spot on the podium.
At the start both Mercedes cars got off to good starts but Hamilton was neck and neck with Rosberg by turn one and although the German pushed hard, Hamilton forced his team mate wide after turn two and took the lead.
By forcing Rosberg wide, it allowed Vettel and Valtteri Bottas to slip through. Vettel had a good start are quickly passed Bottas which suited the Singapore GP winner perfectly to pass his fellow German.
Further back their were three first lap punctures as Daniel Ricciardo made contact with Felipe Massa before turn one, which meant a long drive back to the pits to fit new tyres.
|Hamilton took the lead early on Source BBC
Sergio Perez’s Force India also picked up a puncture after some first lap contact and he too was forced to pit early.
Hamilton quickly pulled away from Vettel as the race settled down, and most of the racing action came from further back on the grid with Max Verstappen putting on some brilliant overtakes.
The Dutch driver started further back than expected after breaking down in qualifying and picking up a subsequent penalty, but he pushed hard with the Lotus drivers and his own team mate.
Daniil Kvyat who crashed out in qualifying started from the pit lane, but although he was able to get in the mix with the midfield at times, the Russian suffered numerous issues predominantly with his brakes.
The first wave of pit stops didn’t alter the order much, but the second wave made an impact on the front.
Kimi Raikkonen was trailing Bottas for most of the first half of the race, but used the undercut by pitting a lap earlier than his fellow Finn to get past and stay in front.
For the other Ferrari it very nearly worked out also, but Vettel who pitted a lap late than Rosberg was passed by the Mercedes driver along the pit straight after Rosberg put in a stellar outlap.
In the end Hamilton was unstoppable and stormed to back to back wins in Suzuka by a comfortable margin from Rosberg.
Vettel closed in on Rosberg towards the end of the race but had to settle for third, but Raikkonen taking fourth meant a good points haul for Ferrari.
Bottas followed ahead of Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India and helped keep the team in fifth place in the constructors championship.
The points were crucial as Lotus managed their second double points finish of the season with Romain Grosjean in seventh ahead of Pastor Maldonado.
The Toro Rosso’s rounded off the top ten with Verstappen taking ninth after starting in seventeenth and Carlos Sainz taking the final point, after both rookies finished in the points in Singapore it means that for the first time in the teams 10 seasons, they have taken two successive double points finishes.
There were no points for Red Bull, and McLaren suffered a bad day in front of their home Honda fans after being swamped by various drivers.
Fernando Alonso bemoaned over team radio what he described as a ”GP2 engine” and said it was ”embarrassing’.’