Lewis Hamilton looked lazy and laid back as he stroked his way to victory in the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday. I watched it in Telaviv but it’s great to be back in the sunny south to share the excitement with all of you now. Hamilton and Bottas made it a one two for the Silver Arrows and a 50th win for Mercedes. It was Lewis Hamilton’s 71st career victory and he now leads the championship by 67 points over Sebastian Vettel.
For Vettel it was an unlucky race after tangling with Max Verstappen, he only finished 6th. Max Verstappen himself drove a usual aggressive race and beat both Ferrari’s coming home on the podium in 3rd position despite having to overcome a time penalty for his collision with Vettel. In 4th place was Daniel Ricciardo in the sister Red Bull after a very good drive from 15th position on the grid. The two Ferrari’s were in line astern but only 5th and 6th with Kimi Raikkonen ahead of Vettel.
Sergio Perez and team mate Esteban Ocon in their Force India’s were 7th and 9th being separated by the Frenchman Romain Grosjean in his ever quick Haas Ferrari. Carlos Sainz was in the last points scoring position coming home 10th in the works Renault while it must be said that both Toro Rosso Honda’s performed much better here on Honda’s home track. In qualifying both cars were in the top 10 with Gasly 7th and in the race he finished 11th. A positive sign of more good things to come from Honda. I believe that by the start of next season the Honda engine will be competitive enough to power Red Bull into contention with both Ferrari and Mercedes. Time will tell us the answer to that one!
Driver of the day was Daniel Ricciardo although if it wasn’t for team mates Max Verstappen’s collision with Vettel, I would have given it to him. They are both very good drivers but I am sad that Daniel is leaving for Renault, as I think he would have done better to stay with Red Bull. The circus travels across the ocean to the United States for the next race in Austin Texas on the 21st October.