Rosberg Cruises to Victory after First Lap Collision for Hamilton

If ever there was a race that showcased the brilliance of close racing in F1, Sundays race in Bahrain was it.

After the controversial changes to Qualifying in an attempt to spice up race day, this race highlighted that what isn’t broke doesn’t need fixing.

Beautiful overtaking, all down the field, provided nail biting action which even the most cynical fan would have been enthralled by.

Although the win never really seemed in doubt for Rosberg, after a first corner collision for Hamilton, there was enough place swapping to keep the race alive.

A prime example was Kimi Raikkonen, who came alive after a poor start saw him jumped by the two Williams drivers and Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull. Raikkonen charged back through the field and at many times was the fastest driver on track.

Raikkonen was not the only driver to suffer at the start, Lewis Hamilton struggled to get away, for the second race in a row, allowing his teammate to take the lead into turn one. Meanwhile behind, the Williams’ of Massa and Bottas both had fantastic starts, leapfrogging Raikkonen, which caused Bottas to come steaming up the inside of Hamilton in turn one. Hamilton appeared to have left a large wedge of room for Bottas but this quickly disappeared as they both took the racing lane, causing an inevitable collision and pushing both drivers down the field with damage.

Arguably the collision could have been avoided by Bottas, and the stewards awarded the Finn a drive through penalty for causing a collision. The collision caused severe floor damage to Hamilton’s Mercedes, reportedly losing him around a second a lap in pace, and depriving us, the viewers, a good fight between him and his teammate for the win.

Ricciardo also found himself with front wing damage after colliding with the retreating Hamilton, which ultimately damaged his pace and meant he could not capitalise fully on his fantastic qualifying, but he still managed a great fourth place.

Sebastian Vettel, the main hope of a challenge to the Mercedes, did not even make it to the start after an engine failure on the formation lap. Jolyon Palmer joined the early retiree list after a hydraulics problem halted his Renault.

All this happened in just the two opening laps! What followed was a succession of thrilling overtakes and tyre strategy battles.

By lap six Raikkonen had made his way back to fourth place with a great move around the outside of Ricciardo after the Australian went deep into turn one- a clear result of his front wing damage. A lap later Ricciardo pitted, whilst Raikkonen quickly moved into third with a great move around the outside of Bottas in the DRS zone.

After stopping on lap thirteen to change to the soft tyres Raikkonen was up to second in a single lap after an opportunistic move on Massa as he exited the pits and he passed Kyvat a few corners later.

Mclaren’s woes continued with an early retirement for Jenson Button on lap seven with a hybrid boost problem, leaving their last hope for points with debutant Stoffel Vandoorne who was standing in for Fernando Alonso who was deemed unfit to race by the stewards after his crash in Australia. Vandoorne stepped up to the challenge beautifully, capitalising on his good qualifying position, running as high as eighth throughout the race, ultimately finishing tenth for Mclaren’s first points of the season- illustrating that he is another driver to watch.

Yet again the new Haas team enjoyed a fantastic race with Romain Grosjean, by lap seventeen Grosjean had hustled his way up to sixth place and was battling Massa for fifth. The Ferrari engine allowed him to easily dispose of Felipe Massa on the straight and go charging after Ricciardo in fourth. Ultimately Romain secured a fantastic bag of points for the new team with a fifth place finish, which places Romain fifth in the driver’s championship and exulting to the team that he is experiencing, “the American Dream.”

Despite a fierce amount of speed in the early stages by the final rounds of pit stops it became clear that Raikkonen would have to settle for second when Rosberg exited the pits with a considerable lead on the Ferrari and the fastest lap of the race a lap later.

Hamilton drove a good recovery drive to gain third, with Ricciardo, Grosjean, and young Max Verstappen collecting well deserved points behind him. Pascal Wehrlein also finished a fantastic thirteenth for the Manor team- showcasing what a promising talent he is for the future.

Overall this thrilling race highlighted all the very best Formula One has to offer; close battles, fantastic tyre strategy, thrilling overtaking and a crop of young talent, illustrating that the powers that be should stop messing around with the rules and let the racing speak for itself.

Bahrain Grand prix final results:

  1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 57 laps
  2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +10.3s
  3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +30.1s
  4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +62.5s
  5. Romain Grosjean, Haas, +78.3s
  6. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, +80.9s
  7. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, +1 lap
  8. Felipe Massa, Williams, +1 lap
  9. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +1 lap
  10. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, +1 lap
  11. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, +1 lap
  12. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +1 lap
  13. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, +1 lap
  14. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, +1 lap
  15. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, +1 lap
  16. Sergio Perez, Force India, +1 lap
  17. Rio Haryanto, Manor, +1 lap

DNF Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso

DNF Esteban Gutierrez, Haas

DNF Jenson Button, McLaren

DNS Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

DNS Jolyon Palmer, Renault

 

 

 

 

 

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Hamilton equals Senna’s record with imperious win in Suzuka

Order was restored in Japan last Sunday,with Lewis Hamilton leading Mercedes to yet another one-two finish, after the shocking lack of pace they showed last time out in Singapore.

In Qualifying on Saturday it was clear that the Mercedes’ pace was back and stronger than ever around the power hungry circuit in Suzuka, with Rosberg securing pole early on before Daniil Kyvat’s crash brought out a red flag, ending the session.

Off the start Lewis Hamilton jumped up alongside Rosberg going into turn one, steadfastly sticking to the outside line and gaining the lead entering turn two. The overtake  forced Rosberg back into the clutches of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari and Valtteri Bottas’ Williams, both of whom moved up demoting Rosberg to fourth.

Meanwhile, on the third row of the grid, Felipe Massa and Daniel Ricciardo were in a battle for sixth place. Ricciardo had a good start and lined up alongside the Williams resulting in contact and punctures for both cars.  Massa’s subsequent fall down the field squeezed Sergio Perez who ran onto the Astroturf.

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado in the Lotus’s had gained sixth and seventh in the midst of the many battles- a positive place for a team who have been in the depths of financial problems in recent weeks.  Fernando Alonso had also managed to place the power deprived McLaren up in ninth place, from 12th at the start.

Hamilton sped off into the distance up front whilst Rosberg and Bottas took their fight into pit stop strategy. Bottas attempted the undercut on Rosberg by pitting early on lap 12 to the harder tyres, a rare proactive move from the Williams team. The move proved to be right one, as when Rosberg pitted three laps later he returned yet again behind the Williams- the undercut had worked.

However, the joy in the Williams garage did not last long as on lap 18 Rosberg finally caught and easily passed Bottas with a move down the inside of the last corner before the straight, and used the DRS to put further distance between them.

McLaren’s party was also spoilt, as on lap 26 promising rookie driver Max Verstappen cruised up behind Fernando Alonso using DRS and passed him easily to take the last point placing position. Alonso complained on the radio of his, “stupid GP2 engine”, presumably much to the chagrin of the host company, and McLaren’s engine supplier, Honda.

The familiar, and seemingly inevitable, sight of a Mercedes one- two emerged on lap 33 as Rosberg finally moved past Vettel into second place as the Ferrari driver exited the pits.

The battle however, did not end there. Unlike his teammate Rosberg was unable to canter off into the distance and Vettel stuck with him until the very end of the race, with the gap staying at around 1.5 seconds as the pair manoeuvred their way through equally battling back markers.

This battle included Marcus Ericcson and Sergio Perez who were fighting tooth and nail for 11th place. It was clear that Perez had a speed advantage – his teammate Hulkenberg was up in 6th at this point- but was seemly unable to pass the Sauber driver. Perez finally made the pass on lap 49 with a move around the outside going into 130R causing Ericsson to run wide and allowing Red Bull teammates Kyvat and Ricciardo to join the fight behind.

Ericcson showed his inexperience or perhaps the pressure he was under on lap 51, when he adhered to blue flags to let Raikkonen pass him through the chicane. Raikkonen appeared unsure if he was being let through in such an unusual place, and the opportunistic young Russian Kyvat took the opportunity to dive down the inside whilst Ericcson was off the racing line.

All in all it was a very successful race for the Mercedes team, so much so that we barely saw them on screen with battles all down the field holding more attention.

Lewis Hamilton not only increased his championship lead to 48 points with five races to go, but emulated his hero Aryton Senna’s 41 wins, and also looks almost assured of a third world championship.

Ferrari didn’t show the pace that they had last race out in Singapore, but finished well with Vettel third and Raikkonen fourth. Bottas and Hulkenberg came away with good points in fifth and sixth respectively, whilst Fernando Alonso bemoaned McLaren’s lack of progress just out of the points in 11th.

Going into the Russian Grand prix in Sochi this weekend it looks all set to be another Mercedes victory, or can Ferrari find that return to form again? We’ll have to wait to see on Sunday.

Rosberg reignites title challenge with win in Brazil

As the title battle between Mercedes teammates Rosberg and Hamilton heated up in Brazil the newly laid tarmac went along with it, with at times over 50 degree track temperatures making it a race determined by tyre preservation.

Rosberg started on pole heeding the lessons he had learnt in Austin concerning being more aggressive with his tyres, taking advantage of the grip and clear air available to him. The high temperature tore away quickly at the softer compound of tyres requested of Pirelli by the drivers spearheaded by Felipe Massa, who had asserted that the medium and hard compound tyres were too conservative a choice for the newly laid tarmac.

By lap five drivers began to put on the harder medium compound and the front running Mercedes complained of blisters on the surface of the tyres as they fought for the lead.

At the start Rosberg got away cleanly from his teammate Hamilton with the Williams’ of home crowd favourite Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas running line astern behind.

Meanwhile both Red Bulls suffered a poor start with Vettel running wide into turn four allowing Kevin Magnussen and race start specialist Fernando Alonso to pass him, and by the end of the first lap Fernando Alonso headed Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo in seventh whilst Button and Magnussen ran fifth and sixth behind the Williams.

Felipe Massa was the first of the front runners to change to the medium tyres triggering the rest of the field to come steaming in. During the stop Massa was deemed to have been speeding in the pit lane and given a five second stop and go penalty, undoing all the advantage he had created by undercutting the field.

On lap seven Nico Rosberg was the first of the Mercedes to come in for a pit stop after complaining of blisters on his tyres. During this round of pit stops Hamilton was unable to make up enough time to pass his teammate; despite the gap being considerably reduced to only half a second as they both came across traffic.

By lap thirteen Alonso was still holding up the Red Bull duo in eleventh place.

Due to the difference in tyre strategy a number of overtakes were taking place throughout the field, first Fernando Alonso made a daring move on Adrian Sutil through the Senna Esses on lap seventeen followed by Felipe Massa passing Daniil Kyvat, who had yet to make a pit stop, for third and Kevin Magnussen passing Romain Grosjean down the pit straight four laps later for sixth position behind his teammate.

On lap twenty five the medium tyres appeared to be losing grip, the first indicator for Nico Rosberg was a lock up that showcased a large blister that brought him back into the pits. As Rosberg pitted Hamilton was given the call to push under the impression he would be pitting a lap later, he put in the fastest lap of the race but was unable to hold onto the pace for a second lap losing rear tyre grip and running off the track at turn one losing seven seconds in the process. It was evident that if Hamilton had not made that mistake he would have easily have passed his teammate after exiting the pit lane.

Amid a mass of drivers struggling with grip Kimi Raikkonen had stealthy made his way up to third place by making one less stop. However, this good work was unravelled during his pit stop on lap thirty six with a front jack failure causing him to lose a significant amount of time.

Trouble in the pits seemed to be becoming a theme of the day as Valtteri Bottas also suffered a slow pit stop during which his Williams mechanics unusually had to tighten his seatbelts, and a second penalty for speeding in the pit lane was handed to Sergio Perez’s Force India. Bottas’ issue dropped him behind the McLarens of Button and Magnussen.

Daniel Ricciardo’s day went from bad to worse on lap forty as he slowed down significantly citing a brake failure, the Red Bull team brought him in for a pit stop to inspect the car suspecting that it may have been suspension damage instead but were unable to fix the issue causing him to retire for the first time since Malaysia and ending his point scoring streak.

A number of battles were shaping up throughout the grid with Nico Hulkenberg putting a fantastically daring move on Valtteri Bottas for ninth place down the inside of turn one causing Bottas to run wide which also allowed an opportunistic Kimi Raikkonen to streak past.

On lap sixty one Jenson Button showcased why he should stay in Formula One next year with a fantastic move around the outside of Kimi Raikkonen into Descida do Lago and retaining the position as Raikkonen attempted to fight back. Vettel then followed Button through to take fifth in front of his expected Ferrari teammate next year.

Four laps later Raikkonen’s current teammate Fernando Alonso was close behind him as different strategies by the team had meant he had pitted once more and was clearly faster, however no order was made by the team to Raikkonen to let Alonso through. After the race Alonso stated that this was not an issue as he would have had to fuel save so would not have been able to challenge Vettel in front. Finally on lap sixty seven Alonso passed his teammate for sixth with a move around the outside on the pit straight.

The second retirement of the day came on lap sixty six with Romain Grosjean abandoning his heavily smoking Lotus at the side of the track, ending an otherwise promising weekend for the team.

Meanwhile up in front the battle for the lead was down to half a second with Hamilton faster in the first sector by 3 tenths, but he was unable to challenge for the lead allowing Rosberg to win for the first time in four months and reigniting the title battle going into the final race in Abu Dhabi and of course the double points it will award.

The result was an eleventh one-two for the Mercedes team this season and for Hamilton to win the title he will have to finish no lower than second in Abu Dhabi if his teammate wins the race due to the seventeen point lead Hamilton holds. If Rosberg is second he can afford to finish fifth, the same position as when he won his first title in 2008.

The home favourite Massa finished third adding to his stellar record at the Interlagos circuit with Jenson Button securing fourth amidst concern over his future at McLaren, Sebastian Vettel in fifth and Fernando Alonso once again finished in front of his teammate in sixth.

Classification

1 ROSBERG MERCEDES 1:30:02.555
2 HAMILTON MERCEDES +1.400
3 MASSA WILLIAMS +40.900
4 BUTTON MCLAREN +48.500
5 VETTEL RED BULL +51.200
6 ALONSO FERRARI +61.600
7 RAIKKONEN FERRARI +63.400
8 HULKENBERG FORCE INDIA +63.600
9 MAGNUSSEN MCLAREN +69.700
10 BOTTAS WILLIAMS +1 LAP
11 KVYAT TORO ROSSO +1 LAP
12 MALDONADO LOTUS +1 LAP
13 VERGNE TORO ROSSO +1 LAP
14 GUTIERREZ SAUBER +1 LAP
15 PEREZ FORCE INDIA +1 LAP
16 SUTIL SAUBER +1 LAP
RET GROSJEAN LOTUS
RET RICCIARDO RED BULL

Race Recap: Hamilton reignites championship fight with win in Monza after Rosberg makes mistake

The Italian Grand Prix at Monza started under a cloud of controversy following the incident between the two Mercedes drivers at Spa, a cloud that would not disperse all weekend.

Lewis Hamilton stormed to victory after a perfect weekend which saw him top all three practice sessions, gain pole by over a quarter of second from his teammate and chanter to victory despite a poor start and niggling electrical  issues throughout the weekend.

At the race start Lewis Hamilton looked set to prove that bad luck was truly catching as he suffered yet another failure with the race start setup failing to engage losing three places and vitally the lead to teammate Nico Roseberg. Compounding issues was the fast starting McLaren of Magnussen who had sling-shotted his way up to second in a seemly determined move to demonstrate his worth to the Mclaren team bosses as he continues to fight for his seat at the Woking based outfit.

The Williams’ had shown pace all weekend and Felipe Massa managed to pass his teammate Vatterai Bottas to gain third ahead of Hamilton. Bottas, it was later discovered, had suffered an electrical software issue on his race start dropping from fourth to eleventh. Williams’ Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds said after the race that the start was not even recognised as a race start on their telemetry.

However, the flying Finn showcased the raw racers talent that he has shown at so many points in his first two seasons in F1 as he fought his way up the field with some fantastic manoeuvres on Vettel, Magnussen and Ricciardo to take fourth behind his teammate and score some valuable points for Williams in their fight with Ferrari in the constructors championship.

Unfortunately for the avid Tifosi the prancing horse proved more of a leisurely stroller for Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, with Raikkonen qualifying a lowly 11th after a penalty to Daniel Kyat and Fernando Alonso in seventh unable to fight for the second row of the grid let alone pole.

Rosberg began having issues when approaching turn one as early as lap nine, running off the track and through the chicane losing 1.8 seconds of his lead and allowing Felipe Mass’s Williams and his teammate to close in on him.

As Massa sat in second his Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas was fantastically fighting his way through the field from eleventh and by lap fourteen had passed local hero Fernando Alonso easily around the outside on the main straight for seventh place and two laps later put the same beautiful move on Jenson Button to gain sixth.

Meanwhile, Hamilton had also been steaming through the field passing Felipe Massa easily around the outside of the chicane for second place and had been cutting into his teammates lead by half a second a lap despite calls from his team to hang back and preserve his tyres.

Hamilton’s determination paid off as on lap twenty eight Roseberg run off the track at the chicane for a second time, this time allowing his teammate to take the lead. Within the space of a few laps Hamilton had extended his lead to four seconds and it was Rosberg’s turn to be asked to slow down and preserve tyres and fuel by the team.  The mistake by Rosberg was considered b many after the race as a sign that the pressure mounted on him after Spa was being to show, whilst others formed conspiracy theories after Toto Wolff was deemed to have smiled after the mistake.

As Mercedes held a comfortable one- two the prancing horses of Ferrari were looking a little lame as Fernando Alonso’s car slowed to a stop at the side of turn one with an electrical problem, his first mechanical retirement since 2010 and the only time he had not been on the podium at Monza in his Ferrari career. His teammate Kimi Raikkonen meanwhile appeared to be off the pace down in ninth place.

Further down the field an epic battle was occurring between the two McLaren’s and Sergio Perez’s Force India. Kevin Magnussen had received a five second penalty for an earlier incident with Valtteri Bottas where the stewards had deemed him to have forced Bottas off the track; this was added to his time after the race placing him down in tenth and with a solitary point.

On lap thirty seven Bottas finally managed to pass Magnussen with a move down the main straight after being held up for at least four laps. He then set off after Vettel passing him for fourth.

Meanwhile Magnussen’s teammate Jenson Button sparred with Perez for seventh place passing him into the first corner on lap thirty nine only to run wide and allow Perez to regain the position, the constant changing of positions carried on until the end of the race with Perez ultimately the winner holding onto seventh place.

Riccardo on lap forty seven illustrated to the world and his team that his teammate four time world champion Sebastian Vettel did not intimidate him with a fantastic move down the inside of the second chicane, taking fifth place behind Bottas.

Raikkonen continued Ferrari’s 80 race long point scoring streak despite a poor weekend for the Scuderia, gaining ninth after Kevin Magnussen’s penalty and Daniel Kyvat, who had been closing in for a number of laps, suffered a brake issue going straight on through turn one.

Overall not the renaissance that Ferrari had be hoping for at their home Grand Prix and on Monday it was announced that their long time president Luca di Montezemolo will be stepping down, rumoured to be caused by a wish for a fresh start and return to winning ways for the majestic team.

The win for Hamilton signalled the turnaround of his championship fight with a dominant performance to reduce the points deficit to twenty two points with six races to go.

Race Recap: Ricciardo secures third win in Belgium after Mercedes clash

War. That was the residing feeling from the Belgian Grand Prix as teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg connected on lap one causing a puncture for Hamilton, front wing damage for Rosberg and handed a third win to the ever present Daniel Ricciardo.

The feeling around the paddock and amongst fans appeared to be that this was inevitable; a collision when fighting for the title in such a dominant car between two incredibly talented drivers appearing unavoidable.

Since the third race of the season in Bahrain the tension between the teammates appeared to be building at Qualifying in Monaco and an on-track fight in Hungary and finally that tension came to a head in the Belgium grand prix.

In Qualifying it was Rosberg who secured pole by a comfortable two tenths of a second but a fantastic start for Hamilton allowed him to take the lead of the race with an overtaking move around the outside of turn one.

Vettel then attempted to take Hamilton on the outside of La Combes, but ran wide off the track and along the sleeping policeman which allowed Rosberg to re-pass for second.

On the next lap Hamilton ran wide through Eau Rouge and Rosberg lined up alongside him before backing out of the move, tapping Lewis’s left rear tyre with his front wing end plate in the process and giving his teammate an instant puncture.

The contact damaged Hamilton’s floor as he dragged his three wheeled wagon back to the pits and came out at the back of the field where he stayed until his retirement on lap 40 to save his engine. Rosberg, meanwhile, had sustained damage to his front wing and decided to err on the side of caution and changed his front wing in his first pit stop.

Hamilton was on the racing line and Hamilton reported that apparently Rosberg had said after the race during a team briefing that he did not back out of the move to make a point to his teammate. He has been reprimanded by Mercedes with a fine after Toto Wolff stated that it was “unacceptable”. Rosberg’s action meant he was booed on the podium despite his assertion at the time that he had done nothing wrong and that the fans were wrong to boo without understanding the regulations. On the Friday after the race Rosberg issued a statement on his Facebook page apologising to his teammate to which Hamilton responded by releasing a statement saying both had done things that could be considered wrong.

Teammate battles seemed the issue of the day as Ricciardo started honing on Vettel in the sister Red Bull and on lap 9 he had passed for second place after Vettel ran wide into Pouhon. Despite Vettel pitting earlier Ricciardo managed to stay ahead of his teammate and ultimately Rosberg to take his third race win of the season and his career.

Rosberg’s day went from bad to worse as on lap 16 the Mercedes powered Williams of Bottas glided past him on the Kemmel straight to take fourth place and a later pass on Jenson Button was deemed illegal by the stewards as he had run off track limits. However, he quickly showcased his pace by steaming past Alonso for third place on lap 26 and began chasing after Valtteri Bottas’ Williams and leader Ricciardo.

After the second round of pit stops on lap 36 Rosberg came out just front of Bottas allowing Valtteri to showcase his speed and skill with a move around the outside coming into the chicane.  However, he did not hold onto third for long as Rosberg made a daring move around the inside of Bottas going into Blanchimont .

Rosberg then quickly despatched a struggling Kimi Raikkonen on older tyres for second place and then set about cutting into the one stopping Daniel Ricciardo’s 20 second lead by over three seconds a lap.

Meanwhile Fernando Alonso was fighting with Kevin Magnussen’s Mclaren for fifth place, Magnussen fantastically defended a move around the outside by Alonso and Alonso was pushed onto the grass, a move that Fernando and the stewards believed was too aggressive. After the race Kevin Magnussen was awarded a 20 second time penalty and fell from sixth to twelfth.

Despite the late charge from Rosberg Daniel Ricciardo held onto a three second gap and secured his third win of the season with Valtteri Bottas gaining a fantastic third for Williams. Rosberg extended his championship lead over Hamilton by 18 points but as was clear after the race the ramifications and price of those points was incredibly high.

Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes to first constructor’s title at inaugural Russian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton led from practically start to finish at the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi to bring his Mercedes team their first constructor title with a one two with teammate Nico Rosberg.

The weekend was over-clouded by the critical but stable state of Marussia driver Jules Bianchi at a Japanese hospital after last week’s race at Suzuka. As a sign of respect the Marussia team decided to run only one car for the weekend instead of seeking a replacement as a sign of support for Bianchi and his family.

Hamilton secured pole on Saturday by two tenths of a second from teammate Nico Rosberg with Bottas third and Jenson button with the second best qualifying of the year in fourth, Daniil Kyvat put in a stunning performance to take fifth for Torro Rosso in front of his home crowd and Daniel Ricciardo out performed his teammate Sebastian Vettel yet again with sixth place on the grid.

The start of the race held memories of Spa with Nico Rosberg shooting up behind his teammate for the lead in the second phase of the start going into turn two, the move caused him to go shooting off the track as he missed his braking forcing him to give the place back to Lewis and pit at the end of the first lap as he had severely flat spotted his tyres causing severe vibrations to his car.

Fernando Alonso made a characteristically good start moving to fifth from seventh past Kyvat.

Kyvat continued to fall down the field steadily with Vettel and Ricciardo moving past him for seventh and eighth as Ricciardo lost places on the start.

The poor start by Ricciardo proved costly as he ended up behind his teammate Vettel who was causing a queue to form behind him with Ricciardo, Jean Eric Vergne and Kimi Raikkonen all fighting to pass him. Vettel did not appear to be asked to move over by the team and Ricciardo pitted at lap 12 releasing Vergne, Raikkonen and Kyvat.

Meanwhile up front Bottas was doing a good job to keep Lewis Hamilton within his sights, however it was clear that Hamilton was clearly coasting after his teammate, and championship rival’s, earlier mistake.

Marussia’s awful weekend continued with their only car of Max Chilton retiring on lap 12 after complaining of vibrations on his tyres.

Bottas had been fighting Vettel for second but as he failed to make his way through Rosberg began closing the gap to the fighting duo. Bottas was released when Vettel pitted allowing him and Rosberg to fight each other for the second step on the podium.

Unleashed by Vettel’s pit stop Rosberg made a daring move on Bottas for second down the inside of turn two which forced Bottas wide and onto the tarmac and giving Mercedes a one-two finish to dominantly secure their first constructors world championship title.

On lap thirty three Kamui Kobayashi retired from the race, and stated that he was not sure why the car was retired as he was only informed by his team that there was an issue. After the race the team stated the retirement was due to safety and the misunderstanding was simply down to a lack of communication.

At the end of the race Jenson Button in fourth was closing in on Bottas with Magnussen also running well in fifth; illustrating that McLaren’s promise on Friday was an indication of real improvement and pace. Furthermore, the fourth and fifth places for Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen whilst Perez and Hulkenberg did not score allowed McLaren to go to fifth, ahead of Force India in the World Championship.

Meanwhile home favourite Daniil Kyvat was steadily falling down the field from fifth and by lap 37 Nico Hulkenberg was sizing up the young Russian for fourteenth place. Kyvat ran wide at turn two and Hulkenberg streaked past.

Hamilton’s stunning victory in Russia both solidified Mercedes the constructors and extended his championship lead over his teammate Rosberg to seventeen points with only three races to go.  Going into the Circuit of the Americas in Austin this weekend, a track Hamilton claims is one of his favourites, the title battle has never been hotter.

As we gear up for Austin I will be releasing race recaps to  charter Lewis Hamilton’s fight back in the championship from a thirty two point deficit to a seventeen point lead in a mere matter of races.

Hamilton’s third consecutive win overshadowed by a horrific head injury for Bianchi in Suzuka

Marussia’s Jules Bianchi is fighting for his life after sustaining a severe head injury after colliding with the back of a tractor which was retrieving Adrian Sutil’s Sauber during the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.

The race was red flagged after 44 laps due to the collision and results were counted back a lap giving Hamilton the win, Rosberg second and Vettel third.

Questions over the start time of the race circulated the paddock all weekend as there was knowledge of the bad weather coming in since Friday but the race promoters refused  to bring the race forward four hours.

A safety car was decided on for the start of the grand prix with only two laps being completed before the red flag came out to stop the race after drivers complained of poor visibility and a high level of standing water.

Under the safety car Marcus Ericcson’s Caterham had spun onto the gravel trap with marshals helping to push his car so he could rejoin the race. Shortly after Lewis Hamilton stated that he could not see his teammate Rosberg in the lead due to the conditions.

The teams run out into the pit lane as work on the car was allowed under these conditions and after fifteen minutes the race was restarted under the safety car.

Four corners into the restart Fernando Alonso became the first car to retire from the Japanese grand prix after suffering from a suspected electronics problem.

When the race had been restarted the rain had sufficiently eased causing many drivers to call for the safety car to release them and allow the race to resume well before it eventually did after 9 laps.

Jenson Button, a well known master of changeable conditions, was the first to jump for intermediate tyres coming in just after the safety car’s release on lap 10, a move that proved to be highly successful as he matched the pace of the leaders triggering the rest of the field to come in soon after.

The Williams cars quickly became detached from the Mercedes as they proved the car was not best suited to wet conditions. The Red bull of Ricciardo, which was set up for wet weather conditions, soon closed up on the back of Felipe Massa.

Quickly intermediate tyres proved to be the best tyre with most of the field coming into the pits placing Button in third from eighth. However, the Mercedes duo stayed out longer choosing to pit five laps later with Hamilton unable to jump his teammate for the lead.

Their wet weather set up proved handy for both Red Bull drivers as Vettel passed Massa around the outside on lap 16 quickly followed by his teammate Riccardo around the outside before the Dunlop curve. A few laps later both Red Bulls made their way past Bottas in the other Williams for fourth and fifth places respectively.

The pace of the Red Bull’s began to trouble the Mercedes in front as they began to lap considerably slower with leader Nico Rosberg suffering from oversteer as his teammate Hamilton clung to his rear wing. When DRS was enabled on lap twenty five Hamilton was obviously faster and a move for both the lead of the race and the championship soon appeared inevitable.

That move finally came on lap 29 as Hamilton pulled off a beautifully daring move around the outside of turn one as his teammate heavily defended his line around the previous corner. Hamilton quickly proved that he did in fact have vastly superior speed as he pulled out a two second gap by the end of the lap.

A slow pit stop for Jenson Button on lap thirty two caused him to lose third place to Sebastian Vettel, the issue being an electronics problem which affected both McLaren cars causing the steering wheel to have to be changed during the stop.

The rain started falling fairly heavily again around lap thirty eight with some, such as Kevin Magnussen coming in for extreme wet tyres. As the rain fell a few incidents occurred throughout the grid, with Sebastian Vettel aquaplaning off the track allowing Jenson Button to close in on him for third place.

An almighty fight occurred between Button and Riccardo for fourth place over the next few laps with the Australian managing to pass several times but unable to make the move stick.

Then on lap forty three Adrian Sutil of Sauber suffered an accident on the Dunlop curve colliding with the tyre barrier, Sutil walked away unharmed and a tractor was brought out to clear his car under double waved yellows.

On the next lap Jules Bianchi’s Marussia suffered a similar accident to Sutil, unfortunately however his car made contact with the back of the recovery tractor causing a severe head injury and for him to lose consciousness.

The podium was a sombre affair with Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel refraining from spraying the champagne as it was clear their thoughts, and the rest of the paddock’s, were with their colleague.

As of Thursday afternoon Jules Bianchi had received one operation at a local Japanese hospital for diffuse axonal injury, a severe head injury, and was claimed to be in a critical but stable condition requiring aid to breathe.

Going into the next race this Sunday at Sochi in Russia Hamilton leads Rosberg in the championship by ten points with four races to go.