Scene of the race: The starting lights were not yet out, because Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari already moved to position one. The German stopped again, unlike Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who started behind third from behind and fully pulled through. The Finn took the lead, Vettel had lost his advantage. What looked like a false start, but should not be punished.
Result: Bottas won the Grand Prix of Japan, for him it is the third victory this season. Second was Vettel ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Read the race report here.
Decision: Mercedes can not be beat. This sentence also applies this year, and Ferrari's renaissance in the second half of the season will not change that. After the triumph in Suzuka, the constructors' championship is already decided. It is also clear that the driver title will go to Hamilton or Bottas. For the sixth time, Mercedes wins in both categories, while Ferrari has been waiting for a title since 2008.
Only Lewis or Valtteri can win the title now ...
Which means @ MercedesAMGF1 are the first team in F1 history to win consecutive drivers 'and constructors' titles # JapaneseGP # F1 pic.twitter.com/aLBKjOeMc8
The beauty after the storm: The typhoon "Hagibis" had caused the race director to blow off any activities scheduled for Saturday. The qualifying took place a few hours before the start of the race. "The conditions are obviously very different than on Friday, but the main thing is that the sun is out," said Vettel, after he had driven to 24 degrees and blue sky to the pole position. His team-mate Charles Leclerc started next to him from second place, behind it came the two silver arrows.
Horns repel: The two youngsters in the group of top riders, Max Verstappen (21 years) and Charles Leclerc (22 years) have already delivered this year or a duel. In Suzuka, the two clashed in the first corner: Verstappen had made an excellent start and almost overtook Leclerc on the outside line, when he suddenly broke away and crashed into the Red Bull driver. "Charles just drove me to the side," Verstappen complained after the race: "That was irresponsible." The Dutchman came off the track and had to quit the race after 15 laps, while Leclerc was sixth.
DIEGO AZUBEL / EPA-EFE / REX
Verstappen in the Red Bull on the lawn - the rest of the field passes by
Items on the road: Leclerc's car was also damaged. After the collision ground his front wing over the asphalt, where he sprayed plenty of sparks. Instead of immediately putting in a pit stop for repair, the Monegasse remained a few laps on the track - until the front wing broke in the fourth round. Parts flew through the air and hit Hamilton, who drove behind Leclerc. The Briton was lucky that just broke off his rearview mirror and thus no serious accident. A little later Leclerc's rearview mirror came off at full speed, this time the part flew to the side instead of back.
Rules: Are obviously a matter of interpretation. The crash between Leclerc and Verstappen was rated as a neutral accident, without blame. What was incomprehensible for Verstappen, could be understood according to the video images. The scene was different at the start: It was clear how Vettel's car moved at an early stage, as well as that of Bottas. The race director recognized in the video also a movement, but this had "within the tolerance of the early start system of Formula 1" and therefore no penalty was imposed. "I certainly did not have a good start," said Vettel after the race - whether early start or not.