Lewis Hamilton built on his championship run with a start to finish lead at the 2018 Suzuka Japanese GP. Bottas continued his run with a second spot while Ferrari seemed to lose the plot with strategy errors and with an over eager Sebastian Vettel knocking away his efforts with a spin.

Lewis Hamilton had the advantage right at the start with a brilliant pole position. Vettel on the other hand would start under penalties on the grid, bumped up from ninth to eighth, due to Ocon’s own penalty. Vettel took the start eager to make up with a run that took him up to fourth where he had to make a manoeuvre to overtake Verstappen’s Red Bull. The resultant knock sent Vettel’s Ferrari spinning and forced him to wait for the train of cars following to get ahead before rejoining at 19th. Verstappen had already hit the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

The same sort of aggressive driving saw Alonso pushed off track by Lance Stroll’s Williams. Both picked up five second penalties, Stroll for the manoeuvre and Alonso for gaining an advantage as he got back on track.

The safety car had been called out on lap 4 as a result of a bad overtake move going wrong between Charles Leclerc and Kevin Magnussen, with the Haas shedding debris as Magnussen made his way back round the track to the pits on a shredded rear tyre.

Despite some strategy errors the race restart on lap seven saw Vettel back in the race, while Ricciardo was doing his bit to catch up places too. Pit stop errors saw Raikkonen caught out by traffic, allowing Ricciardo up to fourth.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas 2018 Suzuka F1 FP

That’s what the end stages looked like with Lewis Hamilton sailing out front, Valtteri Bottas holding off Max Verstappen for second and Ricciardo bringing in the second Red Bull for fourth. The two Ferrari drivers Raikkonen and Vettel made up the next two spots, giving Hamilton a further 17 point lead over Vettel.

Hamilton said , “I was having so much fun driving this track. I was really able to just embrace the moment and enjoy every single lap, every single corner and the feel of the car. Suzuka is such a unique circuit, you go down a hill into Turn 1, then up-hill, you go underneath the track – it’s one of my favourite circuits. The pace was really great and this is definitely the best weekend I’ve had here and the best feeling I’ve had here balance-wise, it was really lovely. Everyone at the track and back home in the factories deserves a huge thank you for their continued efforts, they just continue to push and deliver, weekend after weekend. This result was really the best way to repay all their hard work. “

With the current positions, the championship may well be decided at the US GP if Mercedes manage a one-two finish.

2018 Formula 1 Drivers

Car NoNameTeam2018 season2017 season
44Lewis HamiltonMercedes358363
5Sebastian VettelFerrari294317
7Kimi RäikkönenFerrari236205
77Valtteri BottasMercedes227305
33Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing216168
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing146200
27Nico HulkenbergRenault6943
11Sergio PerezForce India57100
20Kevin MagnussenHaas5319
14Fernando AlonsoMcLaren5017
31Esteban OconForce India4987
55Carlos SainzRenault4554
8Romain GrosjeanHaas3128
10Pierre GaslyToro Rosso290
16Charles LeclercSauber27 
2Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1213
9Marcus EricssonSauber90
18Lance StrollWilliams640
28Brendan HartleyToro Rosso40
35Sergey SirotkinWilliams1 

2018 Formula 1 Teams

Team2018 season2017 season
Mercedes585668
Ferrari530522
Red Bull Racing362368
Renault11457
Haas Ferrari8447
McLaren Renault6230
Force India Mercedes47187
Sauber Ferrari365
Toro Rosso Honda3353
Williams Mercedes783
2018 Formula 1 Teams

2018 Formula 1 Races

LocationDateFirstSecondThird
Brazil11/11/2018   
Mexico28/10/2018Max VerstappenSebastian Vettel  Kimi Raikkonen
United States21/10/2018Kimi RaikkonenMax VerstappenLewis Hamilton
Japan07/10/2018Lewis HamiltonValtteri Bottas Max Verstappen
Russia20/09/2018Lewis HamiltonValtteri Bottas Sebastian Vettel 
Singapore16/09/2018Lewis HamiltonMax VerstappenSebastian Vettel
Italy02/09/2018Lewis HamiltonKimi RaikkonenValtteri Bottas
Belgium26/08/2018Sebastian VettelLewis HamiltonMax Verstappen
Hungary29/07/2018Lewis HamiltonSebastian VettelKimi Raikkonen
Germany22/07/2018Lewis HamiltonValtteri BottasKimi Raikkonen
Britain08/07/2018Sebastian VettelLewis HamiltonKimi Raikkonen
Austria01/07/2018Max VerstappenKimi RaikkonenSebastian Vettel
France24/06/2018Lewis HamiltonMax VerstappenKimi Raikkonen
Canada10/06/2018Sebastian VettelValtteri BottasMax Verstappen
Monaco27/05/2018Daniel RicciardoSebastian VettelLewis Hamilton
Spain13/05/2018Lewis HamiltonValtteri BottasMax Verstappen
Azerbaijan29/04/2018Lewis HamiltonKimi RaikkonenSergio Perez
China15/04/2018Daniel RicciardoValtteri BottasKimi Raikkonen
Bahrain04/04/2018Sebastian VettelValtteri BottasLewis Hamilton
Australia25/03/2018Sebastian VettelLewis HamiltonKimi Raikkonen
Abu Dhabi25/11/2018   

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