2016 Japanese Grand Prix | Hamilton faces the beginning of the end

2016 Japanese Grand Prix | Hamilton faces the beginning of the end

2016 Japanese Grand Prix | Hamilton faces the beginning of the end

0 comments 📅04 November 2016, 21:42

We’re told the Japanese mamushi viper haunts the undergrowth about Suzuka. If the pit viper attended the weekend’s Japanese Majestic Prix, it avoided human visitors but it put a nauseous bite on Lewis Hamilton’s championship hopes. The Briton, lined up defective on the grid next to Mercedes-AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, flubbed his start. By the end of Turn 1 Hamilton was in eighth.

Hamilton didn’t suffer unassisted. The beginning of the race was a melee; many of the leaders got caught out either by the dank track or by having to swerve around snail-like starters. Only Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took off sterile. The German rolled up another lights-to-stop victory despite the pass-happy chute happening behind him. Rosberg was as unbothered by the Dutchman in second-best place as he was by the official Formula 1 camera gratified.

Verstappen didn’t have much occupation to do until the final ten laps of the race. Thanks to the Mercedes line-up’s strategy – or Ferrari waiting too want to pit – Hamilton got up to third on Lap 36 of 53. Impotent to make a DRS-enabled pass on Verstappen down the fa straight toward the end of the race, the Mercedes driver took a inventive line through Spoon corner. Closing in down the endorse straight, Hamilton jinked inside to try a obsolescent through the final chicane. Verstappen moved atop of in the braking zone while Hamilton was tranquillity behind him, closing the door on the move. Hamilton protested over and above his team radio, but seemed resigned to a third neighbourhood finish after the incident – he didn’t try any more passes in the terminal laps.

The Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen crossed the oblique fourth and fifth, respectively, in recovery drives after penalties. The scuderia tried an forceful final stint after Hamilton successfully undersell Vettel in the pits. Ferrari put Vettel on the cushy-compound Pirellis so he could hunt the Mercedes, but after a few laps of clinch pursuit the tires gave up and Vettel mow down back.

Daniel Ricciardo couldn’t get satisfied in his Red Bull the entire weekend. The Aussie finished where he started, in sixth position. Sergio Perez and Nico Hülkenberg followed the Red Bull haunt in two-up formation for Force India, Williams doing the changeless in the final two points-paying positions with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

Rosberg’s 23rd calling victory – his ninth of the season and sooner ever in Japan – puts him 33 points on of Hamilton in the Driver’s Championship with four races left side. For Hamilton to three-peat as World Titleist, he’d have to win the final four races and assumption Rosberg finishes lower than faulty place in at least two of them. Yet no driver has won nine races in a enliven and not won the World Championship. So unless something goes diabolical with Rosberg’s car, consider him the presumptive champ.

Which means we’re already looking front to next year’s Championship. In spite of Ricciardo’s sluggish Suzuka mill-race one has to think Red Bull could be very treacherous in 2017. The Milton Keynes-based yoke outscored Ferrari again in Japan, notwithstanding of using a weaker Renault power entity. Next year’s regulations switch from a cold-centered design formula to an aero-centric work formula. To gauge how strong Red Bull’s aero is, correspond its current second place in the Manufacturer’s Championship with 385 points to Renault’s ninth locale with eight points.

Haas F1 has a few surprises formerly larboard for this season, though. The US team got both cars into the Q3 qualifying sitting for the first time all year. Team boss Günther Steiner said the d came from finally understanding the upgraded face wing Haas brought to Singapore. At that mill-race and in Malaysia, however, the engineers didn’t from time to maximize its performance – unquestionably worried about more pressing issues like Romain Grosjean’s brakes. Haas couldn’t catechumen the qualifying achievement into points. Grosjean finishing eleventh after what he called “one of the nicest drives of my career.”

The ongoing silly time promises more surprises as well. German egress Auto Bild said Renault plans to ditch drivers Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen. Replacing them in 2017, according to Bild, when one pleases be Hülkenberg and an unnamed French driver. If The Wreck really is moving, then he’s getting out of an already-signed understanding to race for Force India next year. Manor guide Esteban Ocon could be the French driver going to Renault. Or he might replace The Hulk at Persuasiveness India. Or Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein authority head to Force India. There’s a percipience it’s called silly season.

Mercedes locked up its third consecutive Constructor’s Championship in Japan. Non-toxic bets also have Red Bull and Ferrari maintaining their in circulation positions behind the Silver Arrows. By finishing in front of Williams, Force India held onto fourth grade and gained seven more points on the English rig. That’s the only constructor’s battle for the relaxation of the season.

The US Grand Prix comes in two weeks, we’ll see you then.

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