Max Verstappen secured victory in the Japanese Grand Prix with a dominant performance for Red Bull, clinching the constructors’ title for the team and all but sealing the drivers’ championship as well. The Dutchman delivered a flawless drive from pole position and faced no challenges once he secured the lead at the first corner.
Lando Norris of McLaren claimed second place, while Oscar Piastri celebrated his first-ever podium finish in third. Charles Leclerc of Ferrari came in fourth, with Lewis Hamilton finishing fifth for Mercedes.
Verstappen’s win was characterized by complete control, finishing 19.4 seconds ahead of Norris. It was a performance that showcased Red Bull’s dominance this season, allowing them to secure the constructors’ championship with six races still remaining. This marks their second consecutive title win and their sixth since their establishment in 2005. The RB19 car has been exceptionally dominant, with only one defeat this season, courtesy of Carlos Sainz in the previous round in Singapore.
Verstappen has led Red Bull’s charge, and had Sergio Pérez been closer to his teammate more often, they might have clinched the title even sooner. As it stands, Verstappen leads Pérez by 177 points and needs to maintain a 172-point lead after the sprint race to secure the drivers’ title.
Verstappen managed to hold onto his lead through the first corner, with Piastri and Norris making impressive starts. Norris secured second place by going around the outside, but Verstappen retained his position as they entered Suzuka’s Esses.
After a brief safety car period due to debris on the track, racing resumed on lap five, with Verstappen comfortably maintaining his lead. Meanwhile, George Russell and Hamilton engaged in a fierce battle, with Russell briefly taking seventh place, only for Hamilton to reclaim it at turn one.
Verstappen continued to extend his lead and made his first pit stop on lap 15. Norris lost some time due to Pérez, who was about to retire, slowing him down under a virtual safety car. Norris eventually pitted on lap 17, but Piastri had gained an advantage by pitting during the VSC, allowing him to secure second place behind Verstappen.
The second round of pit stops commenced on lap 35, with Piastri leading the way once again. Norris pitted on lap 36 but maintained his second-place position in front of Russell. Verstappen made his second pit stop on lap 37.
Mercedes’ strategy had moved Russell up to third, but it meant he had to make his tires last for an extended period. Unfortunately for Russell, he was overtaken by Leclerc, who had fresher tires, and then swapped positions with Hamilton. This led to Russell dropping further down the order to seventh.
Meanwhile, Max Verstappen was untouchable at the front, securing the constructors’ title for Red Bull almost single-handedly. Norris and Piastri completed the podium places, ensuring a memorable race day.
Sainz finished sixth for Ferrari, Fernando Alonso came in eighth for Aston Martin, and Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly claimed ninth and tenth for Alpine.
In conclusion, Max Verstappen’s commanding performance in the Japanese Grand Prix solidified Red Bull’s dominance this season and brought them closer to securing both the drivers’ and constructors’ titles.