2016 Japanese Grand Prix

Emirates Japanese Grand Prix

Sunday, October 9, 2016
Round:
17
Weather:
Warm, dry and overcast
Laps:
53
Fastest Lap:
Vettel, 1m35.118
Country:
Japan
Circuit:
2016 season:
Report

Mark Hughes on Nico Rosberg's controlled win, and team-mate Lewis Hamilton's continued woes =

Mercedes-Benz left Suzuka as world champion constructors. Its race-winning driver Nico Rosberg left there walking on the air cushion of a 33-point lead with four races left. The team’s other driver, Lewis Hamilton – a busy third after blowing his start from the front row and completing the first lap eighth – left still beneath the cloud that had covered him since that anguished cry in Malaysia. He was out of sorts all weekend, creating bother for himself with his antics in the various media sessions, made a great recovery in qualifying from a difficult start by almost snatching pole, then dumped the clutch on Sunday in a way that made the car shudder and allowed past six other cars almost immediately.

That of course made Rosberg’s task vastly simpler. He was helped further by the fact that it was Max Verstappen’s Red Bull in his mirrors rather a Ferrari, for the red cars were faster than the blues this weekend courtesy of a very effective aero upgrade, but both had started from penalised grid positions behind the Red Bulls despite qualifying ahead.

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