The boss took his place again. After the painful weekend in Singapore, Max Verstappen resumed his march forward and won with great ease the Japanese Grand Prix, the sixteenth round of the Formula 1 season, thus offering the constructors' title to Red Bull. The 48th career victory for the Dutchman and the 13th already of the season. The McLarens of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri complete the podium.
And let's be very honest, apart from at the start, Verstappen had a very quiet Sunday. Surrounded by the McLarens on the grid, the Dutchman was a little less successful in his takeoff but resisted the attacks of Norris and Piastri, at the first corner, to maintain the lead. Behind, multiple collisions (Albon, Ocon, Zhou, Bottas) caused the safety car to come out for three laps. In the fourth, everything was restarted and Verstappen took off immediately, thus ending the suspense. The rivals launched into a strategic battle. Everyone then opted for a two-stop strategy except...George Russell.
Also read Tops/flops of the Japanese GP: Verstappen's lesson, Perez's ordeal
The Briton then attempted the only stop in the race. He pushed his mediums until lap 25 and then put on the hard ones. A losing bet, like that of Singapore, since the Mercedes number 2 suffered the law of new tires at the end of the race. Swallowed by the McLarens, excellent all weekend at Suzuka, and Leclerc (4th), he had to let Hamilton (5th) pass and was eaten by Sainz (6th) to finish seventh, ahead of Alonso and the Tricolores.
Because that’s the satisfaction of the weekend for the Blues. Eliminated in Q2 on Saturday, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly took the top 10. On a two-stop strategy, the French had pace throughout the race and at the finish, Ocon took 9th place ahead of Gasly . Three precious points for Alpine which will do a lot of good. Now, everyone has a meeting in Qatar in two weeks with a sprint race on the program.