Bottas storms through to win Japanese GP

Sunday 13 October, 2019
Daniel Ricciardo has finished sixth in the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo has enjoyed a brilliant day in Suzuka after finishing sixth in the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, as Valtteri Bottas won his first race since Baku.
 
Starting the race from 16th, it took a while for CAMS Ambassador Ricciardo to make up any ground as a number of incidents affected the opening lap, including a clash between Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen.
 
As the race wore on and drivers began to make their pit stops, Renault made the decision to leave Ricciardo out for as long as they could, choosing to pit him late. 
 

The strategy paid dividends as the West Australian had fresher tyres in the final stages, passing a number of drivers to earn him another top 10 finish since the Italian Grand Prix.

Late on Sunday evening, Leclerc washanded two post-race penalties for the Verstappen contact and driving in unsafe conditions after the collission, which unltimated promoted Ricciardo into sixth place. 

“The team deserved this result today. We’ve been on a bit of a frustrating run recently without scoring, so to take seventh today is excellent,” Ricciardo said post-race.
 
“We had an issue in qualifying with the rear of the car that the boys fixed, which explained why we were quite far down. We had good pace in the race and were coming through quite nicely. 
 
“Starting on the medium tyre worked to our advantage and we came through the pack with some enjoyable battles. It was nice to execute a good strategy, we pulled through and, in the end, it was a deserved and quite comfortable seventh place.”
 
Further up the field, Bottas’ victory came after snatching the lead from pole sitter Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. The Mercedes of Bottas passed Vettel before the first turn and never looked back, comfortably holding the lead for much of the race.
 
Rounding out the podium was reigning champion Lewis Hamilton with the Brit also posting the fastest lap time and scoring the extra bonus point. Bottas and Hamilton’s result, along with the bonus point, all but secured 2019 Constructors’ title for Mercedes for the sixth consecutive season.
 
The Formula 1 season heads to Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico for the Mexican Grand Prix on the weekend of 28 October.
 
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