Event: Japanese Grand Prix
Track: Suzuka Circuit
Weather: Dry 22.2-21.3°C
Tarmac: Dry 34.1-27.7°C
Wind: 5.9 m/s SSE
Pressure: 1009.2 bar
He started from P3 and won his 6th F1 race in Suzka. It was the 99th victory for Mercedes and Bottas his 3rd win of the 2019 season. Mercedes also won their 6th consecutive constructors F1 title in Japan.
Pole sitter Sebastian Vettel had a poor start in the Ferrari and saw Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who started from P3 flying past for the lead. All cars got away clean. Max Verstappen also had a good start in the Red Bull and was passing Leclerc in turn 1 for P3. Leclerc didn’t want to give up and understeer in turn 2 caused him to collide into Verstappen’s RB15. The Red Bull spun and Verstappen, but able to return to the track on P18. Leclerc damaged his front wing and lost the left frontend plate at the back straight and lost a lot of debris. The Ferrari driver had to pit for een new nose and lost a lot of places and had to try to pass all cars from the back.
In lap 10 it was announced that Vettel made a valse start. But now further action was done by the stewards. Verstappen retired his car in lap 15. The damage on his car made it undrivable. One lap later Vettel pitted to get new soft tyres. Bottas reacted and also pitted one lap later to switch to medium tyres. Lewis Hamilton was now driving in the lead.
In lap 22 Hamilton pitted for new medium tyres and returned to the track as 3rd.Vettel pitted again in lap 32 for a new set of mediums and lost P2 to Hamilton who looked to be on a 1 stopper. Bottas did his 2nd pitstop in lap 37 and lost the lead to Hamilton. The Finn was 8.5s behind his teammate when he came back on the circuit.
In lap 43 Hamilton surprisingly pitted for the 2nd time and lost the lead again to his teammate Bottas. He entered the circuit 5s behind Vettel and 15s to Bottas. In lap 47 Hamilton had closed the gap to Vettel and now was able to use his DRS. The fight for P2 was on, but Vettel could defend his second place.
After the race it was announced that the FIA made an error with the finishing system. It was shown 1 lap to early. That’s why Sergio Perez is classified as 9th although he crashed in lap 53.