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Lewis Hamilton Wins Japanese Grand Prix as Bianchi suffers serious accident

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Lewis Hamilton Wins Japanese Grand Prix as Bianchi suffers serious accident
Oct 5, 2014, 10:51 AM

Lewis Hamilton scored his eighth victory of the season in a safety car affected Japanese Grand Prix that concluded seven laps early following a ser...

Lewis Hamilton scored his eighth victory of the season in a safety car affected Japanese Grand Prix that concluded seven laps early following a serious accident for Marussia’s Jules Bianchi.

While Hamilton led muted celebrations on the podium, the Marussia driver was taken to a local hospital.

Hamilton’s 30th career success, and his first ever at Suzuka, was secured with a fearless overtaking overtaking manoueuvre after 29 laps.

He now leads Rosberg by ten points with four races to go in the championship and double points on offer for the final race in Abu Dhabi.

It was a performance of patience and assertiveness from Hamilton, who stalked Rosberg throughout the first half of the rain drenched 46 laps of running before taking his opportunity with a rapier-like thrust just two laps after running wide at the same corner.

Hamilton quickly opened a comfortable advantage over Rosberg who in turn enjoyed a safe lead over the flying Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and only a dramatic turn in the weather or mechanical intervention seemed likely to alter the outcome from then on.

"Obviously a great result for the team," said Hamilton. "I think we're all very concerned about our colleague, Bianchi. Don't really know what to say.

"But again, to have the result, this has been a great weekend with the car; qualifying obviously wasn't perfect for me but generally the car was absolutely fantastic through the race and once I was passed Nico I was able to really manage the gap and enjoy the ride. Obviously didn't finish the way we would have hoped but really, my prayers are with him (Bianchi) and his family."

As had been widely speculated the race started behind the safety car and ran for two laps in torrential rain before the red flag flew to call the cars back to pit lane.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Japanese Grand Prix - Race Day - Suzuka, Japan

Resuming once more behind Bernd Maylander’s Mercedes, the drivers began racing in earnest after nine laps on a fast drying track as Rosberg and Hamilton immediately drew clear of the field led by Valtteri Bottas’s Williams.

Jenson Button’s McLaren immediately peeled off to pit lane to switch to intermediate tyres and his impressive sector times immediately drew the majority of the field in on lap 12.

Rosberg pitted two laps later as Hamilton stayed out for another lap, the mnet result being that Rosberg held his narrow advantage, helped in some small measure by Hamilton running wide at Spoon.

Button had vaulted up to third, his perspicacity in wet weather paying dividends once more but the real movers on intermediate tyres were Vettel and Ricciardo who performed a series of sensational overtaking manoeuvres in turn on the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Bottas.

As Vettel made his move on Bottas for third round the outside of the hairpin on lap 18, Hamilton was on a charge, narrowing the deficit to Rosberg as he sensed his title rival was more ill at ease on his set of intermediate Pirellis.

Hamilton ran wide at turn one on lap 27, but his true pace was clearly evidenced as he raced straight back on to Rosberg’s tail within a handful of corners.

He was well within DRS range at the hairpin at the end of lap 28 and in perfect position to dart to Rosberg’s defending Mercedes on the run to turn one. Turning in ahead, Hamilton was soon into his own groove and into a lead he would retain, save for a brief pit stop turnaround to Daniel Ricciardo, through to the end.

"The move felt quite textbook really. I was really surprised about how close I was able to follow Nico. I had great pace," Hamilton said.

Rosberg was 5.6s behind Hamilton when he stopped on lap 33 with Hamilton making his final stop three laps later, briefly ceding the lead to the flying Ricciardo who pitted a lap later and dropped back to fourth behind the two Mercedes and Vettel.

Jenson Button

Button had a lonely run to fifth from eighth on the grid, his early move paying dividends and showing the value of experience.

Behind him, it was a tough but rewarding day for Williams with Bottas ahead of team mate Massa scoring valuable constructor’s championship points.

Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were classified eighth and tenth for Force India, Hulkneberg scoring points on countback despite being stopped at pit lane exit when the red flag came out.

Splitting the Force India’s, Jean Eric Vergne scored important points in his quest to impress team owners while Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat was 11th on his Suzuka debut.

It was a fraught day for Ferrari for whom Kimi Raikkonen was the only finisher after Fernando Alonso was forced out with an apparent electrical failure while running under the safety car at the start.

Esteban Guttierez briefly ran in the points early on but faded to 13th in the Sauber with team mate Adrian Sutil acquaplaning into a spectacular crash at Dunlop on lap 43 starting a chain of events that le to Bianchi’s terrible accident soon after.

Romain Grosjean led home team mate Pastro Maldonado on another tough weekend for Lotus while, by contrast, Marcus Ericsson produced another strong weekend, taking 17th for Caterham after earlier spinning behind the safety car.

Max Chilton’s Marussia and Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi rounded out the finishers while Sutil and Bianchi were also classified.

 Japanese Grand Prix - 44 Laps

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h51m43.021s -
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h51m52.201s 9.180s
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1h52m12.143s 29.122s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1h52m21.839s 38.818s
5 Jenson Button McLaren 1h52m50.571s 1m07.550s
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1h53m36.794s 1m53.773s
7 Felipe Massa Williams 1h53m38.147s 1m55.126s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1h53m38.969s 1m55.948s
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1h53m50.659s 2m07.638s
10 Sergio Perez Force India 1h51m22.646s 1 Lap
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1h51m48.409s 1 Lap
12 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1h51m49.838s 1 Lap
13 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari 1h52m14.678s 1 Lap
14 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1h52m22.070s 1 Lap
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1h52m22.780s 1 Lap
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1h52m42.898s 1 Lap
17 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1h52m50.427s 1 Lap
18 Max Chilton Marussia 1h53m36.282s 1 Lap
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1h53m59.121s 1 Lap
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1h48m14.109s Spun off
21 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1h46m17.524s Spun off
- Fernando Alonso Ferrari 6m19.243s Retirement

 

 
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