Sunday, 13 October 2019 15:55

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas surged into the lead at the start and held on to win the typhoon-hit Japanese Grand Prix for his third Formula One victory of the season and first since April.

Bottas, who started third on the grid, pulled ahead of Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc almost immediately and then used an effective two-stop pit strategy to finish 11.376 seconds ahead of Vettel. Bottas’ teammate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton was third.

“Starting third is never easy here but there’s no point giving up,” Bottas said. “I had a really nice car and Sebastian had an issue, so it was good to get the lead. Really proud of the team, sixth title in a row is so impressive.”

Hamilton made a desperate attempt to pass Vettel over the final two laps but was unable to pull ahead. But the podium finishes for Bottas and Hamilton ensured Mercedes won their sixth consecutive constructors’ championship.