After a stunning drive by Valtteri Bottas to take the chequered flag at the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix, Mercedes have claimed their record-equaling sixth Constructors' Championship, including a record-breaking sixth consecutive double Drivers Championship as the Mercedes duo are guaranteed the two tops spots for the 2019 Formula 1 season.
The F1 race in Japan this season must have made the Mercedes team very happy. Not only did Valtteri Bottas have a "perfect day", but his win secured the 2019 Formula 1 Constructors' Championship for the sixth time on the trot, equalling Ferrari's performance between 1999 and 2004.
The victory has also placed him and Lewis Hamilton in an unassailable lead in the chase for the Driver's Championship. This means that the duo will take the double championship for a record-breaking sixth time.
Bottas got a quick start from third on the grid, taking advantage of a mistake by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in pole position and leap-frogging Charles Leclerc to lead into the first corner.
The Fin controlled the race from the front, with team Mercedes managing a two-stop strategy to perfection, giving him victory number six of his career.
Leclerc, who was desperately trying to defend his position to a charging Max Verstappen from the lights, overcooked the first turn and collided with the Red Bull, pushing Verstappen onto the grass and damaging his own front wing. The Monegasque returned to the race in last position after pitting on Lap 4 for a new front end, while Verstappen retired on Lap 14 citing the damage from the incident to be to bad to continue.
Leclerc managed to pull off some fantastic overtakes to get himself into sixth place at the final flag, but a post-race penalty by the officials for "the Verstappen clash and for driving with a damaged front wing afterwards" dropped him to seventh.
The battle for spots two and three between Vettel and Hamilton was a nail-biting affair, with the former holding off the Brit by just 0.4-seconds as they crossed the line.
Alexander Albon in the other Red Bull finished in fourth after fighting back the two places he lost at the start to Carlos Sainz – who finished fifth – and Lando Norris, although a clash with the latter saw Norris run off the track and having to pit early.
Daniel Ricardo, who started in P16 after an awful qualifying session, drove an excellent race to take sixth, although gifted to him after Leclerc's post-race penalty.
Pierre Gasly in the Torro Rosso claimed the eighth spot and Sergio Peres, ninth, even though he ended the race with his Racing Point in the barriers. Nico Hulkenberg brought the second Renault home in 10th to collect the final available point.
Check out the race highlights from the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix 2019 here.
The race result was as follows:
1 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES
2 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI
3 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES
4 Alexander Albon RED BULL RACING HONDA
5 Carlos Sainz MCLAREN RENAULT
6 Daniel Ricciardo RENAULT
7 Charles Leclerc FERRARI
8 Pierre Gasly SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA
9 Sergio Perez RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES
10 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT
11 Lance Stroll RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES
12 Daniil Kvyat SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA
13 Lando Norris MCLAREN RENAULT
14 Kimi Räikkönen ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI
15 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI
16 Antonio Giovinazzi ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI
17 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI
18 George Russell WILLIAMS MERCEDES
19 Robert Kubica WILLIAMS MERCEDES
NC Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA – DNF