Unexpected event during start, Vettel is forced to drop-out after few laps due to a technical problem to a spark-plug. Hamilton is the winner of this Japanese GP while a malfunction to that spark-plug on Ferrari SF70H, cut Vettel off from the championship.
Vettel never started to race, a problem to one spark-plug it came-out at the lap before start but it was not possible to fix on time. Hamilton is able to use this opportunity to win the race with an unwanted cooperation of Bottas and Alonso, very useful to block Verstappen from achieving a recovery over him. Max is forced to accept a second position before our Ricciardo who finished his race with a Bottas very close behind him. Just 5th Raikkonen, forced to recover after being pushed-out of track during the first lap.
Force India surprised with Ocon 6th and Perez behind, like Magnussen and Grosejan: a good result for Haas Formula 1 team before their home race. Massa defended the last position useful to obtain some points against Alonso and Palmer who was more lucky than his team-mate Hulkenberg forced to leave by a simple problem at his DRS: blocked in open position.
This result gives the opportunity to Hamilton to increase his advantage to 59 points over Vettel who is even forced to defend himself against Bottas at just 13 points. Now, there are just four races to go and the next one is Austin, in the United States. After the race Hamilton said:
“I am sure the public does not think this kind of engine might use a spark-plug… We are talking about very complex engines!
It sounds invented and yet it is quite true !”
It was reasonable for the British pilot to laugh but Sebastian Vettel is not laughing at all. This was the last call, that one to do not miss to keep alive the championship. Instead a simple spark-plug, not the same like those ones used on a normal car, betrayed the Ferrari’s pilot during an important moment. Very upset, Vettel said:
“We got a little problem that created a more important one.
We did not have enough engine power on the lap before start. We gave a try and we reset the system but we did not find a positive result. It was an ignition problem, now we must understand the reason and what prevented us to fix it from the box.
After start, I noticed we did not have a normal engine power. We gave a try to stay-out on track but it was clear we could not do too much about it.
Today, we were not lucky enough.
It is clear that the fight for this championship is compromised. It is not necessary to be a genius to understand it. What we have to do, it is to go home and relax a bit. Our engineers are tired, our team is tired, we must take a rest.
We have an opportunity but our destiny is not in our hands”
It is a cold comfort for Vettel but the team principal hugged him in the box and talked for a long period of time with him to cheer him up…
Will it be enough ? We will see in about two weeks at Austin, in Texas. Meanwhile Ricciardo and Lewis have fun on the podium…