After a demanding race for the drivers in Singapore, this time at Suzuka a huge effort awaited, especially the strategists and mechanics. Due to the enormous temperatures, many experts predicted that most competitors would make as many as three pitstops. Tires in Japan were wearing out at an alarming rate during training and qualifying. This did not work in favor of the pole position winner, Max Verstappen. Behind the Dutchman, the McLaren duo lined up, wanting to outsmart Red Bull in the pit lane. The pace on the track is worse, because from the beginning of the weekend the current champion practically does whatever he wants.
The “Red Bulls”, despite a relatively comfortable situation, did not have an easy Sunday. Sergio Perez failed once again in the season, attracting problems like a magnet. Initially, in the confusion immediately after take-off, it damaged its front wing. Then he criticized the judges for his behavior during neutralization, for which he received a five-second penalty. That’s not all, because the Mexican got into a fight with Kevin Magnussen and caused an unpleasant incident, causing the Haas representative to turn around. – The car is not behaving well – added Perez over the radio and the team withdrew him from the competition, sparing him additional suffering.
An unexpected return to the track. A surprising decision by Red Bull
Fans on social media laughed that most drivers seemed to have been stung by bees living in Sebastian Vettel’s newly created special hotel near the track. Every now and then someone withdrew from the competition and it came to the point that on the thirtieth lap there were as many as five names in gray. At one point we also witnessed unusual scenes, as the previously mentioned Sergio Perez left the pit lane for a few minutes, with a loss of a dozen or so laps.. The reason was a ten-second penalty.
Max Verstappen felt completely safe at the front and did not even lose the lead after the second pit stop. For a long time, George Russell was behind the Dutchman, but badly worn hard tires made it difficult for him at the end. The young Briton was quickly defeated by other rivals, including Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri from McLren. It was the duo competing in orange cars that completed today’s podium.
Japanese Grand Prix race results: