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Bottas wins the Japanese GP

Bottas wins the Japanese GP

A terrific start allowed Valtteri Bottas to climb from third to first place. And the Finn never gave up the top, to win a Grand Prix affected by a typhoon.

The driver secured his sixth consecutive constructors’ championship in Formula One for Mercedes.

Bottas was in the lead from the start and held on to win the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, his third win of the season and his first since April.

Third on the grid at Suzuka, Bottas passed Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc almost immediately and then used an effective two-pit-stop strategy to finish 11.376 seconds ahead of Vettel.

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Bottas’ teammate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton was third.

“Starting third is never easy, but there was no point quitting,” Bottas said. “I have a very good car and Sebastian had a problem, so it was good to get up front. Very proud of the team, sixth title in a row, it is very impressive ”.

As the Finn opened up a comfortable lead up front at the Suzuka circuit, the final laps showed a fierce battle between Hamilton and Vettel for second place.

Hamilton made a desperate attempt to overtake Vettel in the final two laps, but failed. However, the podiums from Bottas and Hamilton guarantee that Mercedes will win its sixth championship followed by constructors.

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Vettel started from pole, but got off to a bad start. Race staff investigated whether Vettel might have left early, but concluded that this was not the case.

“The lights were on, but it was my mistake,” Vettel said. “The Mercedes were difficult, they had more rhythm than us and Valtteri was flying.”

Leclerc and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen had contact at the second turn and Verstappen’s car spun out before he was forced to retreat.

Organizers postponed qualifying on Saturday, when Typhoon Hagibis was about to hit Japan’s main island. Vettel finished ahead of teammate Leclerc in the morning’s qualifying to secure the front row of the start for Ferrari.

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In 2004 and 2010 qualifying at Suzuka also had to be postponed due to weather conditions.

Racing Point’s Mexican Sergio Pérez was ninth, while Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault was tenth. AP

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