Victory for Nico Rosberg in Japan as Mercedes Take Constructors Title

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It was Nico Rosberg who claimed his ninth win of the 2016 Formula 1 Season at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend, marking his twenty-third win in Formula 1. Finishing in second place for Red Bull Racing was Max Verstappen while Lewis Hamilton finished in third place.

Victory for Nico Rosberg in Japan as Mercedes Take Constructors Title

It was Nico Rosberg who was victorious at the Japanese Grand Prix around the Suzuka circuit, securing a much deserved yet straightforward win. Rosberg lead the race from the very outset, having a strong start and maintaining his advantage throughout. Over the weekend, Rosberg was the fastest driver in FP1, FP2, FP3, and in qualifying, with the race win marking what has been a perfect weekend for the Mercedes driver and title hopeful. Max Verstappen finished in second place for Red Bull Racing, marking a second podium in succession for the 19 year old Danish driver. Lewis Hamilton finished in third place in what was a difficult race for the reigning world champion. At the very start of the race, Hamilton was at a disadvantage, having a poor getaway from the line. After this poor start, Hamilton found himself in eighth place by the end of the first lap after starting in second. It was not until pitting onto the hard compound tyre however, that Hamilton managed to make serious inroads on the competition ahead. In a well deployed strategy from Mercedes, Hamilton still managed to finish on the podium in third place, securing 15 points to his defensive championship campaign. Through this result, Nico Rosberg has once again extended his championship lead, now leading Hamilton by 33 points with four races to go. Through this double podium finish for Mercedes, the German team were once again able to secure the Constructors Championship for the third season in a row, marking three years of dominance in Formula 1 for Mercedes

It was Sebastian Vettel who finished in fourth place for Ferrari after starting in sixth place following a penalty from qualifying. For much of the race, Vettel was running inside the top three places, meaning that a podium finish was looking possible for the former champion. This all but fell away however, in the latter stages of the race, with Ferrari pitting Vettel onto the faster soft compound tyres in an attempt to close into and overtake Lewis Hamilton. Despite being on the faster tyre, Vettel was unable to contest Hamilton for position, with the Mercedes being much more dominant on the straights than the Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen finished in fifth place. This brought Ferrari a haul of 22 points to the Constructors Championship, with the Italian team aiming to beat Red Bull Racing to second in the standings. Daniel Ricciardo finished in sixth place for Red Bull, securing eight points, meaning that the team secured a total points haul of 26 points. This leaves Red Bull Racing with a 50 point advantage over Ferrari with only four races to go this season.

It was Sergio Perez who once again out raced his team mate, Nico Hulkenberg for Force India, finishing in seventh place. Hulkenberg finished in eighth place, once again marking a double points finish for the team. Force India again outscored Williams at this race, with the Williams cars of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finishing in ninth and tenth place. This means that Force India have again extended their points advantage over Williams in the Constructors Standings, now having a 10 point lead over the Oxfordshire based team.

The Japanese Grand Prix marked a very disappointing race weekend for McLaren, with Fernando Alonso finishing in sixteenth place and Jenson Button finishing in eighteenth place in what was their engine supplier’s home race. After qualifying in seventeenth place yesterday, Jenson Button started the race in twenty-second place after changing come components in his Honda power unit, meaning that he was handed with a thirty place grid penalty. Alonso qualified in fifteenth. Despite upgrading the car before this weekend, developing the engine and the floor, the pace was not there for McLaren, explaining their disappointing finish.

Haas F1 also had a disappointing Japanese Grand Prix. After great success in qualifying that saw both of their cars qualify inside the top 10, neither Romain Grosjean or Esteban Gutierrez managed to finish inside the points, with Grosjean finishing in eleventh place and Gutierrez finishing in twentieth place after spinning his car at the Casio chicane early on in the race.

For Renault, there were signs of encouragement, with Jolyon Palmer once again beating his team mate, Kevin Magnussen. Palmer finished in twelfth place after starting in sixteenth while Magnussen finished in fourteenth after starting in seventeenth place.

At Toro Rosso, it was a good day for Daniil Kvyat who out raced his team mate, Carlos Sainz Jr for the second time in three races. Kvyat finsihed in thirteenth place while Sainz finished in seventeenth.

In terms of driver of the day, there is only one driver who I think is worthy and that is Nico Rosberg. Rosberg drove a faultless race and asserted his current position in the Drivers Standings even more. Not only is Rosberg my driver of the day but is also my driver of the weekend, being in a league of his own above the competition.

Results from the Japanese GP:

  1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 25 points
  2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 18 points
  3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 15 points
  4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 12 points
  5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 10 points
  6. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 8 points
  7. Sergio Perez, Force India, 6 points
  8. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 4 points
  9. Felipe Massa, Williams, 2 points
  10. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1 point
  11. Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 0 points
  12. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 0 points
  13. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 0 points
  14. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, 0 points
  15. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 0 points
  16. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 0 points
  17. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 0 points
  18. Jenson Button, McLaren, 0 points
  19. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 0 points
  20. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1, 0 points
  21. Esteban Ocon, Manor, 0 points
  22. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 0 points

Drivers Standings after 17 races:

  1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 313 points
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 280 points
  3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 212 points
  4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 170 points
  5. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 165 points
  6. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 165 points
  7. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 81 points
  8. Sergio Perez, Force India, 80 points
  9. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 54 points
  10. Felipe Massa, Williams, 43 points
  11. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 42 points
  12. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 30 points
  13. Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 28 points
  14. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 25 points
  15. Jenson Button, McLaren, 19 points
  16. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, 7 points
  17. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1 point
  18. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 1 point
  19. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1 point
  20. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1, 0 points
  21. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 0 points
  22. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 0 points
  23. Rio Haryanto, Manor, 0 points
  24. Esteban Ocon, Manor, 0 points

Constructors Standings after 17 races:

  1. Mercedes, 593 points (winners)
  2. Red Bull Racing, 385 points
  3. Ferrari, 335 points
  4. Force India, 134 points
  5. Williams, 124 points
  6. McLaren, 62 points
  7. Toro Rosso, 47 points
  8. Haas F1, 28 points
  9. Renault, 8 points
  10. Manor, 1 point
  11. Sauber, 0 points

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