Tokyo, Japan - Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton suffered his first retirement of the season in Singapore and saw his lead over team mate Nico Rosberg cut to 41 points.
For the upcoming Japanese GP on Sunday (September 27) at Suzuka, the fast and demanding track should suit the Mercedes duo.
The late Jules Bianchi will be foremost in the thoughts of the Manor Marussia F1 team this weekend as they brace for a return to the Japanese GP circuit where he had his horrific accident in 2014.Race and track statistics for the 2015 Japanese GP:
Lap distance: 5.807km.
Total distance: 307.471km (53 laps)
Race lap record: Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) 1min31.540 seconds (McLaren, 2005)
2014 pole: Nico Rosberg 1min32.506
2014 winner: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes
Start time: 7am (SA local)
Tyres: Hard (orange), Medium (white)
Japanese GP history
Mercedes heads into the 2015 Japanese GP hoping to show that its
baffling lack of pace in Singapore was just a one-off but Lewis Hamilton
and team mate Nico Rosberg need some convincing.
Ferrari have not won at Suzuka since Michael Schumacher in 2004.
Sebastian Vettel has won four of the last six Japanese GP's. He has also been on pole in four of six. Only Schumacher (six times) has won more Japanese GP's.
Lewis Hamilton (2007 and 2014), Fernando Alonso (2006 and 2008), Jenson Button (2011) and Kimi Raikkonen (2005) are all past winners in Japan.
In 26 races at Suzuka, the winner has come from the front row on 22 occasions and been on pole in 12. Raikkonen is the standout exception, winning from 17th on the grid in 2005.
Five of the last 10 winners have started on pole.
There have been 30 Japanese GP's since 1976, four of them at Fuji.
Mercedes have had seven one-two's in 2015 and won 10 of the 13 races. Double world champion Hamilton has won seven. No driver has ever failed to take the title after winning eight or more races in a season.
Four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel has won three races for Ferrari in 2015, including the most recent in Singapore. That is the same number that Michael Schumacher won in his first season at Ferrari in 1996.
Vettel now has 42 career wins and is third on the all-time list, behind Schumacher (91) and Alain Prost (51). Hamilton is on 40 and Fernando Alonso 32. Kimi Raikkonen has won 20 races, Jenson Button 15 and Rosberg 11.
One more win for Hamilton would equal the career tally of the late Brazilian triple champion Ayrton Senna, his boyhood idol.
Ferrari have won 224 races, McLaren 182, Williams 114 and Red Bull 50. Mercedes have won 39.
McLaren have not won for 51 races, a run that dates back to Brazil 2012 and is the team's worst since they went 53 races without a win between the 1977 Japanese GP and 1981 British GP.
Williams driver Felipe Massa posted an a video on Instagram exploring Tokyo with friends:
Hamilton vs Senna vs Vettel
Hamilton, Senna, Vettel
Races started: 161, 161, 152
Wins: 40, 41, 42
Poles: 49, 65, 46
Podiums 81, 80 75
Titles 2, 3, 4
Front row starts: 84, 87, 70
Fastest laps: 25, 19, 24
Mercedes saw their run of 23 poles in a row end in Singapore, one short of the record of 24 set by Williams in 1992-93.
Hamilton has been on pole in 11 of 13 races this season. The Briton has 49 career poles, Rosberg 16.
Vettel's pole in Singapore was his first for Ferrari and 46th of his career. It was also the Italian team's first since Germany with Alonso in 2012.
The last non-Mercedes pole before last weekend was Austria in 2014, with Felipe Massa for Williams.
Only two drivers in F1 history have had 50 poles or more - Michael Schumacher (68) and Senna (65).
Hamilton's run of seven successive poles and 19 front row starts ended in Singapore.
Nine drivers from five teams have been on the podium in 2015: Hamilton, Rosberg (Mercedes), Vettel, Raikkonen (Ferrari), Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa (Williams), Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus).
Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel have shared the podium in six races.
Singapore was the first time since Spain 2013, 46 races ago, that two Ferrari drivers had been together on the podium and second time in 2015 with no Mercedes driver in the top three.
Sunday's (September 27) race will be Max Verstappen's last as a 17-year-old. The Toro Rosso driver turns 18 on September 30.
Alonso's retirement in Singapore was his sixth of the season - the same number he had in five seasons with Ferrari between 2010 and 2014.