Japanese Grand Prix highlights: Formula One live updates, blog

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    As the 2017 Formula One world championship edges closer to its conclusion, the title race hangs delicately in the balance with the Japanese Grand Prix set to stage yet another exciting race. Join The Roar for live coverage from 3:30pm (AEDT).

    34-points is what separates Lewis Hamilton from Sebastian Vettel, with the onus on the Ferrari driver to strike back and recoup the points that he has haemorrhaged in the past four races.

    Their battleground will be 5.8km technical Suzuka circuit, which on paper appears as a ‘figure of eight’ – but, is very challenging with its variety of high-speed corners.

    53 laps will be contested across the iconic Japanese track, with weather always a variable in the outcome.

    The front row of the grid will be occupied by the two title rivals, with Hamilton claiming his first ever pole position at the Suzuka circuit.

    Vettel had qualified third, but is elevated one position with Valtteri Bottas set to drop five places on the grid, due to a penalty for changing his gearbox.

    The pair have had success before in Japan, with four wins to Vettel and three to Hamilton. The Briton however, has only won two races at Suzuka with that third having come at the Fuji circuit in his maiden campaign.

    Mercedes AMG has won the last three grand prix in Japan, whilst Ferrari have had a drought since 2004.

    The race is set to see a potential three-way battle for the win, with Red Bull having had a strong qualifying. Factoring in the Bottas penalty, Daniel Ricciardo will start third and Malaysian Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen will be fourth.

    Two former world champions and Japanese Grand Prix winners in Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso will unfortunately have to yield their top ten berths, with grid penalties being applied to the Ferrari and the McLaren.

    Räikkönen from sixth will lose five positions, whilst Alonso at Honda’s home race will embarrassingly take a 35-place grid penalty to drop to the rear of the grid, after getting into the top ten.

    Japan has always been a very pivotal race in the past for the championship and for 2017 it looks to be no different.

    Can Mercedes AMG slash any remaining hope that Ferrari have of winning the driver’s title, or can Vettel weave some of his Suzuka magic to claim a fifth victory?

    Join us on The Roar from 3:30pm (AEDT) for a live blog of the Japanese Grand Prix.

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    The Crowd Says (81)

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    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 6:02pm | ! Report

      Lewis Hamilton might as well be declared the champion elect for 2017, with that 59-point lead over Sebastian Vettel in the championship. Will the title be sewn up at the Circuit of the Americas in a fortnight’s time?

      Thanks again for tuning in to The Roar’s live blog coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix and we shall return in the early hours of the morning in two week’s time for the United States Grand Prix.


    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 6:00pm | ! Report

      ——– DRIVER’S ——–

      306 – Lewis Hamilton
      247 – Sebastian Vettel
      234 – Valtteri Bottas
      192 – Daniel Ricciardo
      148 – Kimi Räikkönen
      111 – Max Verstappen
      82 — Sergio Perez
      65 — Esteban Ocon
      48 — Carlos Sainz
      34 — Nico Hulkenberg
      34 — Felipe Massa
      32 — Lance Stroll
      28 — Romain Grosjean
      15 — Kevin Magnussen
      11 — Stoffel Vandoorne
      10 — Fernando Alonso
      8 — Jolyon Palmer
      5 — Pascal Wehrlein
      4 — Daniil Kvyat
      0 — Marcus Ericsson
      0 — Antonio Giovinazzi
      0 — Jenson Button

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 6:00pm | ! Report

      —– CONSTRUCTOR’S —–

      540 – Mercedes AMG
      395 – Scuderia Ferrari
      303 – Red Bull Racing
      147 – Force India Mercedes
      66 — Williams Mercedes
      52 — Scuderia Toro Rosso
      43 — Haas Ferrari
      42 — Renault Sport
      23 — McLaren Honda
      5 — Sauber Ferrari

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 6:00pm | ! Report


      Lewis Hamilton extends his grasp on the 2017 Formula One world championship, having won the Japanese Grand Prix, after his rivals at Ferrari faltered once again.

      On the weekend Ferrari were supposed to deliver a result to resurrect their championship hopes, Sebastian Vettel’s aspirations went out the door with the failed spark plug on his SF70-H.

      The German survived only a handful of laps, being monstered by the opposition, before Ferrari elected to retire from the race – leaving Hamilton to waltz away to an eighth win of the season.

      A regulation one-stop race put Red Bull in the hunt, with Max Verstappen chasing down the race leader in the dying stages of the race, having had the field condensed after a late Virtual Safety Car to recover Lance Stroll’s stricken Williams.

      In the end, the lapped cars of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa who were squabbling for tenth, got in the way of a thrilling showdown between Hamilton and Verstappen.

      Also surviving a late charge, was Daniel Ricciardo who claimed yet another podium finish in 2017 – edging out Valtteri Bottas, who was on the quicker supersoft tyres.

      Having started in tenth with a gearbox penalty, Kimi Räikkönen as the sole Ferrari fought back to claim fifth, well ahead of the Force Indias led by Esteban Ocon.

      A double points finish was also claimed by Haas for only the second time in 2017, with Kevin Magnussen leading Romain Grosjean to eighth and ninth. A bold pass on a napping Felipe Massa, allowed the Dane through on the Williams and eventually Grosjean through too.

      It was a disappointing outing for McLaren at their engine supplier Honda’s home race, as that partnership draws to a conclusion in a matter of races. Alonso missed out on points in tenth, whilst Stoffel Vandoorne after starting from seventh lost ground at the start and finish fourteenth.

      Similarly, Carlos Sainz will depart Toro Rosso for Renault in a bad way, following an early retirement from the race. Sainz replaces Jolyon Palmer at the French team from the next race in Austin, whilst the Briton finds himself out of an F1 drive.

      There were bizarre scenes in the Renault camp, as Nico Hulkenberg was forced out of the race with his DRS having become stuck open. The team were unable to repair it during an unscheduled pit-stop, resulting in the German’s retirement.

      Hamilton’s win puts him 59-points ahead of Vettel in the standings and with a mathematical chance of sewing up the championship at the United States Grand Prix.

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 5:49pm | ! Report


    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 5:46pm | ! Report

      PODIUM INTERVIEWS – Hosted by Takuma Sato

      HAMILTON – “The team did an incredible job and Max drove an amazing race.” “The Red Bulls seemed to be rapid in race trim.”

      VERSTAPPEN – “Suzuka is great to me and the pace was really promising today.” “It was really hard to pass.”

      RICCIARDO – “My first podium here!” “It was good fun.”

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 5:34pm | ! Report


      1 L. Hamilton
      2 M. Verstappen
      3 D. Ricciardo
      4 V. Bottas
      5 K. Räikkönen
      6 E. Ocon
      7 S. Perez
      8 K. Magnussen
      9 R. Grosjean
      10 F. Massa
      11 F. Alonso
      12 J. Palmer
      13 P. Gasly
      14 S. Vandoorne
      15 P. Wehrlein
      RET L. Stroll
      RET N. Hulkenberg
      RET M. Ericsson
      RET S. Vettel
      RET C. Sainz

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 5:32pm | ! Report


      The Mercedes AMG just pips MAX VERSTAPPEN to the chequered flag, with the Red Bull finishing second.

      DANIEL RICCIARDO is on the podium once again, finishing third ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

    • Roar Guru

      Jawad Yaqub said | 5:30pm | ! Report

      Lap 53/53:

      Hamilton gains ground, putting Massa in between himself and Verstappen.

      Alonso loses out in his quest to take tenth.

      But it still could all happen!

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