Japanese winner Max Verstappen: “The start was important” / Formula 1

Japanese winner Max Verstappen: “The start was important” / Formula 1

Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen managed to get back on track in Japan. The Red Bull Racing star took the win ahead of teammate Sergio Pérez and Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz.

At the Suzuka Circuit, Max Verstappen was able to celebrate his 57th GP victory and his third victory this year. The Dutchman from the Red Bull Racing team also got an extra point for the fastest lap of the race. Behind him, teammate Sergio Pérez and Melbourne winner Carlos Sainz crossed the finish line and were also allowed onto the podium.

“It was very good,” said the winner happily, and explained: “The beginning was important, I had to stay ahead, then the car got better and better as the race went on.” I don’t know if that had anything to do with the cloudiness. But everything went well, the field stood up and the strategy was good,” said the 26-year-old, who was also happy: “The last race was a little bumpy, and I’m happy to be in the competition. up here again. The fans are great and it’s good for Honda to win here too.

“It was a good weekend for the team,” said teammate Sergio Pérez happily. “It’s always very difficult to stay focused until the restart when there’s a red flag. My second start was better, but it wasn’t enough to catch Max. I think we paid the price for not being completely balanced in the first stint,” added the Cup runner-up of the current Earth.

Ferrari star Sainz explained: «I had a good race, I’m actually very happy because it wasn’t easy out there with the high level of tire damage. Then all of a sudden the clouds came and the tires deflated a bit. I was on a 2 stop strategy and thought maybe a 1 stop strategy would be faster. I had to pass a lot of cars and it’s really not easy to pass the opponent here. You have to do the final chicane well to make it work after that, and I did that, but it was very difficult out there.”

Here’s how the race went:

The Formula 1 stars were able to enjoy clear weather with an outside temperature of 22 degrees Celsius at Sunday’s race in Japan. The 102,000 spectators around the Suzuka Circuit were anticipating 53 exciting rounds of racing, but just moments after the start the red flags flew.

The reason: Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon got too close in the third corner and ended up in the tire wall. The GP drivers returned to the pit lane as race officials announced they would investigate the crash more closely.

The FIA ​​also confirmed that the restart will take place from the start, in the following order: Max Verstappen ahead of Sergio Pérez, Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso, Oscar Piastri, Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Nico Hülkenberg, Valtteri Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda , Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly, Lance Stroll, Kevin Magnussen, Logan Sargeant and Guanyu Zhou.

After a mandatory break of 28 minutes, the race continued and now 18 cars arrived on the starting grid. Several drivers took the opportunity to change tyres, so all the Mercedes drivers, Alpine drivers and Logan Sargeant switched to hard tyres, while local hero Tsunoda switched to soft tyres.

Once the race resumed, the positions were reversed. Leclerc overtook Hamilton, while Hülkenberg dropped back to second to last as the big loser. On lap 6, the German from the Haas team pulled into the pits to install a hard tyre. Soon after, Bottas followed suit, and Tsunoda and Zhou also got a clean tire on the eighth lap of the race.

As the Chinese returned to the pits several times in the following laps and eventually abandoned the race, the Mercedes team issued an order because Hamilton was instructed to allow Russell to move up to fifth, which the seven-time world champion did immediately. . In fact, he had previously asked if he would let his colleague pass.

As a result, Norris managed to pass Pérez through the early pit stop, although the Mexican responded and soon stopped to change tyres. Verstappen gets new tires on lap 17 leaving Leclerc in the lead. He should give up the top spot again on lap 21.

Things got interesting on lap 23 when Russell, Magnussen, Sargeant, Tsunoda and Stroll turned into pit stop at the same time. The latter did not want to wait and drove a few meters near the pit road before connecting. Regulators investigated the scene but refrained from imposing a penalty.

On lap 35, Verstappen spun for the second time, allowing Sainz to take the lead. The Spaniard maintained this until lap 37, when he got new tyres, which meant that Verstappen felt ahead of Pérez and Leclerc again. Sainz returned to the track in 7th place behind Russell and Hamilton.

A lap later, Russell turned into the pits, and moments later Sainz passed Hamilton. The seven-time world champion got new tires on the 40th lap of the race. Because the left front was congested, he had to wait 3.3 seconds before continuing to drive.

Sargeant caused a shock on lap 42 when he hit the gravel at Degner’s second corner. The American was unlucky, staying clear of the roadblocks and able to continue climbing after the ride – but fell back to the end of the field.

Ten laps before the checkered flag fell, the order was Verstappen ahead of Pérez, Leclerc, Sainz, Norris, Alonso, Piastri, Russell, Hamilton and Tsunoda. Behind the top ten were Magnussen, Bottas, Stroll, Hülkenberg, Ocon, Gasly and Sargeant.

But it didn’t end there, as Sainz managed to attack his team-mate on lap 46. Thanks to a widened rear wing, he managed to pass the Monegasque at the first corner and was on his way to a podium finish. Moments later, Stroll was impressed by the maneuver past Magnussen. The Canadian overtook Haas on the outside in the sixth corner and was eleventh. Shortly afterwards, Magnussen also had to give way to teammate Hülkenberg, which meant he was now in 13th place.

In the final laps, Russell and Piastri engaged in an entertaining battle that could have consequences, as stewards announced that they would be keeping a close eye on the incident between the two rivals at the 17th corner.

In the end, Verstappen was able to celebrate his 57th GP win. Behind him, Pérez crossed the finish line, Sainz completed the top three. GP stars Leclerc, Norris, Alonso, Russell, Piastri, Hamilton and Tsunoda who finished behind also scored points. Hülkenberg, Stroll, Magnussen, Bottas, Ocon, Gasly and Sargeant saw the checkered flag but left empty-handed.

Japan-GP, Suzuka Circuit

01. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, 1:54:23,566 h
02. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, +12.535 seconds
03. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, +20,866
04. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, +26,522
05. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, +29.700
06. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, +44,272
07. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, +45,951
08. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, +47.525
09. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, +48,626
10. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, +1 Round
11. Nico Hülkenberg (D), Haas, +1 lap
12. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, +1 Round
13. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, +1 Lap
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), clean, +1 lap
15. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, +1 Round
16. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, +1 Round
17. Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams, +1 Round
Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, Elektrik
Alex Albon (T), Williams, Crash
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Racing Bull, Crash

World Championship Standings (after 4 out of 24 Grands Prix)

the driver
01. Verstappen 77 points
02. Perez 64
03. Leclerc 59
04. Sainz 55
05. Norris 37
06. Plate 32
07. Russell 24
08. Alonso 24
09. Hamilton 10
10. Walk 7
11. Tsunoda 7
12. Oliver Bearman (GB) 6
13. Hulkenberg 3
14. Magnussen 1
15. Alboni 0
16. Zhou 0
17. Ricciardo 0
18. Okon 0
19. 0 gas
20. Bota 0
21. Sergeant 0

Builders Cup
01. Red Bull Racing 141 Punkte
02. Ferrari 120
03. McLaren 69
04. Mercedes 34
05. Aston Martin 33
06. Running Bull 7
07. Especially 4
08. Williams 0
09. Sauber 0
10. Alpine 0