Hamilton wins truncated Japanese GP

By on Sunday, October 5, 2014
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton won a truncated Japanese Grand Prix, ahead of Nico Rosberg, with the race stopped after lap 46 following a crash for Jules Bianchi.

Medics attended the scene and Bianchi has been taken to hospital by ambulance, with the FIA confirming he was unconscious.

It is understood that Bianchi hit a recovery vehicle, which was being used to clear Adrian Sutil's crashed Sauber.

The race started behind the Safety Car, with conditions deemed too wet. After two laps the race was red flagged and drivers returned to the pits.

Proceedings resumed after 20 minutes with drivers informing race control that conditions were safe to race. However, Fernando Alonso was not part of that action as his Ferrari cut out due to a suspected electrical issue behind the Safety Car and he was forced to stop on track.

The race was green flagged on lap 10, with the two Mercedes drivers immediately bolting into the distance, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa. Jenson Button pitted straight away for Intermediate tyres and his pace was sufficient such that the majority of his rivals soon stopped.

Rosberg was the first Mercedes driver to pit and Hamilton stayed out, with a mistake at Spoon Curve costing him a shot at the lead when he made his stop a lap later.

Rosberg thus led Hamilton, with Button’s early stop elevating him to third position, albeit 16 seconds behind the Mercedes pair.

Red Bull’s wet set-up clearly paid dividends as Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo both dispatched with Bottas and Massa; Vettel making the moves at the hairpin and Ricciardo easing past his rivals through the Esses.

Rosberg started to lose pace and Hamilton cruised up behind the sister Mercedes as DRS was enabled. Hamilton had a twitch at the first corner and went wide but quickly recovered.

Hamilton utilised DRS and as Rosberg took to the inside the Brit swept around the outside to claim the lead of the race.

Hamilton rapidly extended his lead over Rosberg, while behind Vettel jumped Button through the stops as the McLaren driver suffered a slow stop due to a steering wheel change.

Rosberg and Hamilton pitted for fresh Intermediates, while Ricciardo did likewise after a brief stint in the lead. Vettel held third place but lost time after skating through the gravel at the Esses and soon found himself under increasing pressure from Button and Ricciardo.

Heavier rain began to fall and on lap 40 Ricciardo dived up the inside of Button at the hairpin, but the Brit was able to re-pass on the exit of the corner. Due to the increasing intensity of the rain, race control opted to disable DRS.

Sutil was caught out by the conditions and crashed at Dunlop curve as Button stopped for full wet tyres. The Safety Car was deployed on lap 44 but both Mercedes drivers stayed out, while Vettel stopped for fresh Intermediates.

The medical car and ambulances were deployed with Bianchi’s car off at the same place as Sutil’s, with the red flag shown on lap 46.

The race was called, with Hamilton winning ahead of Rosberg and Vettel, with the German taking the podium on countback.

144Lewis HamiltonMercedes441:51:43.021225
26Nico RosbergMercedes44+9.1 secs118
31Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault44+29.1 secs915
43Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault44+38.8 secs612
522Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes44+67.5 secs810
677Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes44+113.7 secs38
719Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes44+115.1 secs46
827Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes44+115.9 secs134
925Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault44+127.6 secs202
1011Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes43+1 Lap111
1126Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault43+1 Lap12
127Kimi RäikkönenFerrari43+1 Lap10
1321Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari43+1 Lap15
1420Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes43+1 Lap7
158Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault43+1 Lap16
1613Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault43+1 Lap22
179Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault43+1 Lap17
184Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari43+1 Lap21
1910Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault43+1 Lap19
2017Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari41Accident18
2199Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari40Accident14
Ret14Fernando AlonsoFerrari2Electronics5

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