Japanese Grand Prix 2014
Formula One, 05 Oct, 2014 FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
Best Race Team Mercedes
Best Quali Team Mercedes
1 DNF's of 22 starters
|1||1st||L. Hamilton||25 ()|
|1||10th||S. Perez||1||+1 Lap|
|1||11th||D. Kvyat||+1 Lap|
|2||12th||K. Räikkönen||+1 Lap|
|2||13th||E. Gutiérrez||+1 Lap|
|7||14th||K. Magnussen||+1 Lap|
|1||15th||R. Grosjean||+1 Lap|
|6||16th||P. Maldonado||+1 Lap|
|-||17th||M. Ericsson||+1 Lap|
|3||18th||M. Chilton||+1 Lap|
|-||19th||K. Kobayashi||+1 Lap|
|2||20th||J. Bianchi||+3 Laps (Accident)|
|7||21st||A. Sutil||+4 Laps (Accident)|
* indicates fastest lap
Qualifying - The Grid
The 2014 Japanese Grand Prix is a race marked by some as one which shouldn’t have happened. With Typhoon Phanphone closing in on the Sunday the race was considered to be moved to the Saturday or moved to an earlier time slot before eventually sticking with it scheduled programme.
The safety car lead off the cars for the first initial laps before with large amounts of standing water and heavy rain. Fernando Alonso became the first retirement as an electrical fault stopped his Ferrari out on the track. As the cars helped dry the track the race got underway – arguably too late as several cars immediately pitted for intermediate tyres.
Jenson Button was one of the first to pit for intermediate tyres and used them brilliantly to make huge gains in the drying conditions. As the front of the grid completed their first pit-stops Button came out in third place pulling a clear gap over the following Red Bulls.
Once on the intermediate tyres the Williams cars struggled to hold back the higher downforce Red Bulls. Showing no loss of racing skill both Red Bulls managed to pass the Williams in the tighter corners of Suzuka to take fourth and fifth positions.
The Mercedes cars continued to pull out a gap over the rest of the field. As the intermediate tyres started to degrade Nico Rosberg struggled for grip while team-mate Lewis Hamilton had managed to hold on to the life of his tyres. On the home straight Rosberg pulled right to defend the racing line as Hamilton swept passed with DRS assistance.
Further down the pack the grid jostled for position until lap 40 when the rain started to come down once more. As the rain intensified the cars started to make more mistakes. Sebastian Vettel took a trip across the gravel.
Adrian Sutil aquaplaned coming out of the dunlop chicane hitting the barriers hard. As Sutil’s car was recovered by the heavy lifting truck Jules Bianchi is reported to have slipped off the track at 150mph hitting the recovery truck sideways. Images from the track suggest a heavy impact with the rear counterweight of the truck.
The severity of the crash was clear as the race was shortly red flagged with no intention of restarting. Champagne wasn’t sprayed and the celebrations were very sombre for what must be a very severe injury for the much loved Jules Bianchi.