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Update 2: Bianchi crash halts Suzuka

2014-10-05 10:10

PITS PARKING ONLY: The pace car blocks the exit to the Suzuka pits after the race was stopped by rain and cars told to park there instead of on track. Image: AFP

  • Hamilton extends lead to 10 points
  • Wet race starts behind pace car
  • Muted podium after Bianchi crash
  • Drive unconscious in hospital


SUZUKA, Japan - Britain's Lewis Hamilton won a wet and at the end sombre 2014 Japanese Formula 1 GP on Sunday (Oct 5) to extend his Drivers’ championship lead over Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg to 10 points with four races left.

VIDEO: Bianchi crash at Suzuka

The race started behind the safety car due to heavy rain and ended without celebration after Marussia's Jules Bianchi was taken to hospital after a crash that left the young Frenchman ‘critical’ and unconscious.

Rosberg started on pole but was second at the end after a third deployment of the pace car and red flags being displayed to stop the race. German four-times Drivers’ champion Sebastian Vettel, quitting Red Bull for Ferrari at the end of the 2014 season, was third from results based on car positions after 44 of the scheduled 53 laps.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who would otherwise have been on the podium, was fourth for Red Bull.

The drivers’ faces, tense as they waited to step on to the podium, told the true story of the afternoon, with Bianchi foremost in their thoughts. No sparkling wine was sprayed, the top three merely clinking the bottles and taking a quiet swig before placing them back on the floor.


A spokesman for the governing International Automobile Federation announced: "The driver (Bianchi) is not conscious and has been sent to the hospital by road ambulance because the helicopter cannot go in these conditions.”

He apparently crashed (under pace car control) at the turn where Sauber's Adrian Sutil went off and into the barrier a lap earlier but Bianchi's car hit the tractor that was lifting the Sauber.

Race-winner Hamilton said: "It's a real anti-climax to hear that one of our colleagues is seriously injured - that's really the main worry.” Hamilton would otherwise have been delighted by his third win in a row and one of his most impressive performances in the appalling weather conditions.

The win was Hamilton's eighth of 2014 but his first at Suzuka. The 2008 champion's only other wins in Japan was at the Fuji circuit, for McLaren, in 2007.


The race started as scheduled but behind the pace car due to rain from an approaching typhoon that threatened to intensify through the afternoon. The cars completed two laps and were then led back, single file, into the pits lane to await a re-start.

Rosberg's race engineer told Rosberg as the two Mercedes threaded their way carefully around the circuit: "Lewis is saying the conditions are so poor he cannot see you.”

When the race resumed, again behind the pace car, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was an immediate casualty, his car freewheeling to trackside.

"It was a shame,” he said. “I had power down in the car, an electricity problem, and the car switched off. Maybe some water in some connectors. Probably we lost an opportunity today."

When the pace car came in after eight laps the battle was back on with Hamilton chasing Rosberg in the spray and passing him in a breathtaking moment of bravery on Lap 29 after their first pit stops.

The Briton was 16 seconds clear of the German when the race was stopped, the margin later reduced to 9.160sec in the final results.


Compatriot Jenson Button also shone in the wet, making the right call to run in third place for McLaren before then dropping back to fifth at the finish.

Finland's Valtteri Bottas was sixth for Williams, ahead of Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa, as the team consolidated third place overall and pulled further away from Ferrari.

Germany's Nico Hulkenberg was eighth for Force India, with Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne ninth for Toro Rosso and Mexican Sergio Perez 10th for Force India.

2014 Japanese F1 GP result from Suzuka
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1hr51min43.021
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes +9.180
3 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault +29.122
4 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull - Renault +38.818
5 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren +1min07.550
6 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes +1min53.773
7 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes +1min55.126
8 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes +1min55.948
9 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - Renault +2min07.638
10 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1 +lap
11 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - Renault +1 lap
12 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari +1 lap
13 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 1 +lap
14 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren +1 lap
15 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault +1 lap
16 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Renault +1 lap
17 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham - Renault +1 lap
18 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia - Ferrari +1 lap
19 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham - Renault +1 lap

20 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia - Ferrari
21 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari
Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari

Fastest lap: Lewis Hamilton, 1min51.600, Lap 39

Drivers’ and Constructor points after the 2014 Japanese F1 GP a Suzuka
Drivers’ points
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes - 266
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes - 256
3 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull- 193
4 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - 139
5 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari - 133
6 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams - 130
7 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren - 82
8 Nico Hukenberg (Germany) Force India - 76
9 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams - 71
10 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - 46
11 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari - 45
12 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren - 39
13 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - 21
14 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - 8
15 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - 8
16 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia - 2
17 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - 0
18 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham - 0
19 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - 0
20 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - 0
21 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia - 0
22 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham - 0
Constructors’ points
1 Mercedes - 522
2 Red Bull - Renault - 332
3 Williams-Mercedes - 201
4 Ferrari - 178
5 Force India – Mercede-s - 122
6 McLaren - 121
7 Toro Rosso - Renault - 29
8 Lotus - Renault - 8
9 Marussia - Ferrari - 2
10 Sauber - Ferrari - 0
11 Caterham - Renault - 0
Read more on:    suzuka  |  2014 japanese f1 gp

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