2019 Japanese Grand Prix preview - Can Mercedes seal 6th constructors title?

09-10-2019 14:00 | Updated: 09-10-2019 15:41
by Matt Gretton
General
2019 Japanese Grand Prix preview - Can Mercedes seal 6th constructors title?

After a week off, Formula 1 racing returns! This weekend, the sport heads to Japan to join forces with the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Hopefully the forces don't grow to strong as a typhoon is on the way! Will Mercedes be able to seal their sixth consecutive constructors' world championship, or will Ferrari be able to delay the celebrations for at least another week?  

Throwback 

Last season, it was Mercedes who ruled the waves in Japan. Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two with Max Verstappen joining the duo on the podium. It was a nightmare for Sebastian Vettel who spun in a duel with Verstappen. 

Vettel, who was doing well to make up places from the start, tried to pass Verstappen where there was little to no room and the two touched. The Ferrari driver lost 15 places while facing backwards. 

The person who profited from Ferrari's woes was Daniel Ricciardo. After a frustrating qualifying session with yet more engine trouble, Ricciardo was able to produce a solid drive to finish in 4th. 

Expectations 

The Formula 1 pecking order is hard to call at the moment. Even though Aston Martin Red Bull Racing have been a distant third best since the summer break, it's impossible to rule out Verstappen and Alex Albon on a track which should suit the RB15. Ferrari have been ahead of Mercedes in terms of pace and performance over the last four Grands Prix. 

In recent times, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel have been involved in some teammate politics. It'll be interesting to see whether the two have managed to cool off during the week break, but we're expecting another chapter this weekend! 

Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso will both have the home support. This is the first time Honda have had their engine in the back of the Red Bull Racing car at their home track. Their factory is right outside the Suzuka circuit! Verstappen has managed to record a P2 and P3 in Japan, but that winners trophy is missing from his cabinet. 

With Hamilton winning four of the last five races in Japan and the Formula 1 world championship insight, we expect Hamilton to be the driver to beat this weekend.

Prediction top 5

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Max Verstappen

3. Sebastian Vettel

4. Valtteri Bottas

5. Charles Leclerc

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