Japanese F1 Grand Prix 2019 Results: Winner, Standings, Highlights, Reaction

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 13, 2019

SUZUKA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 13: Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF90 and the rest of the field into turn one at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on October 13, 2019 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Valtteri Bottas took victory in a fascinating 2019 Formula One Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday as Mercedes wrapped up the constructors' championship for a sixth year running.

Ferrari claimed a one-two on the grid in Sunday's qualifying session—postponed from Saturday because of to Typhoon Hagibis—but Bottas jumped both pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc at the start before the latter collided with Red Bull's Max Verstappen at Turn 2.

An action-packed start finished with Bottas first, Vettel second and Lewis Hamilton third, and after plenty of chopping and changing throughout the race, that is how things finished.

Despite persisting with major damage to his car after being hit by Leclerc, a justly angry Verstappen had to retire after 15 laps:

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing @redbullracing

Due to the amount of damage Max received on lap one he is forced to retire at the end of lap 15 😔🇯🇵 #JapaneseGP https://t.co/iyBODXhOGk

Mercedes secured their constructors' title despite failing to get a one-two finish thanks to Hamilton's bonus point for the fastest lap of the race.

They are also guaranteed the drivers' championship this season because Vettel, Leclerc and Verstappen are now all out the running:

Chris Medland @ChrisMedlandF1

That result also guarantees a Mercedes driver will win the drivers' championship - only Bottas can catch Hamilton now - so that's going to be six consecutive championship doubles for Mercedes for the first time in #F1 history #JapaneseGP https://t.co/cnpWlJbrzE

Here is the top 10 from the Suzuka Circuit:

Formula 1 @F1

LAP 53/53: 🏁 TOP 10 BOT VET HAM ALB SAI LEC RIC GAS PER HUL #JapaneseGP 🇯🇵 #F1 https://t.co/xWxlS6JF5r

Leclerc managed to fight back to sixth after he fell to the rear of the pack following his collision with Verstappen.

He had to pit early for a new front wing, but that was just one aspect of Ferrari's disastrous start. Vettel got away terribly after having to stop himself following a jump-start, and Bottas cruised past him to take first place.

With Hamilton also up to third, Mercedes had taken the initiative, and they never let it go despite sending out numerous mixed messages on strategy.

Initial indications seemed to suggest Bottas, who pitted first, was on a two-stop strategy, while Hamilton was on a one-stop:

Pirelli Motorsport @pirellisport

Medium tyres (rather than hards) for @LewisHamilton - who we believe is not stopping again. We’re now at half distance. #JapaneseGP

However, when the world champion got medium tyres on his first stop, it was made clear he would have to pit again, which the Englishman was not happy about:

BBC 5 Live Sport @5liveSport

Hamilton is not happy! It seems his strategy has put the race win out of reach! Still a long way to go though. How will the Brit approach the second half of the race? 📻 Listen 👉 https://t.co/0kUniX6SeW #BBCF1 #JapaneseGP https://t.co/pCjEgMd1k5

With the end in sight, Hamilton had the lead, and Bottas had to check with his engineer that his team-mate would definitely stop again:

Formula 1 @F1

A real roller coaster for some drivers today 😮 #JapaneseGP 🇯🇵 #F1 https://t.co/uv3ZPZIOIf

Ten laps from the end, Hamilton went back into the pits, but it is possible he could have got the race victory had he stayed out:

Tom Bellingham @TommyWTF1

Also if Hamilton can’t pass Vettel, they’ll have cost a 1-2 by pitting Hamilton just to save Bottas’s embarrassment?

Hamilton had to settle for third after failing to get past Vettel in the closing laps despite being all over the back of his Ferrari. For Bottas, it was his first victory since Baku, the fourth race of the season.

With four races remaining in 2019, the Finn is 64 points behind Hamilton, who remains on course for a third consecutive world title.