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Japanese Grand Prix 2014

Fastest Lap Hamilton
Best Race Team Mercedes
Best Quali Team Mercedes

1 DNF's of 22 starters
Pole: Nico Rosberg
Lights to flag? Nope!
20th to 9th11Most Places Gained:
Jean-Eric Vergne
Female/Male Ratio 0:22, Nationalities: 13, Main Nationalities: Germany with 4 drivers, Average Driver Age: 27, Oldest Driver: 34, Youngest Driver: 20

Race Results

11stL. Hamilton25 ()
12ndN. Rosberg18
63rdS. Vettel15
24thD. Ricciardo12
35thJ. Button10
36thV. Bottas8
37thF. Massa6
58thN. Hulkenberg4
119thJ. Vergne2
110thS. Perez1+1 Lap
111thD. Kvyat+1 Lap
212thK. Räikkönen+1 Lap
213thE. Gutiérrez+1 Lap
714thK. Magnussen+1 Lap
115thR. Grosjean+1 Lap
616thP. Maldonado+1 Lap
-17thM. Ericsson+1 Lap
318thM. Chilton+1 Lap
-19thK. Kobayashi+1 Lap
220thJ. Bianchi+3 Laps (Accident)
721stA. Sutil+4 Laps (Accident)
17DNFF. AlonsoElectronics

* indicates fastest lap

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.