Motor racing-Japanese Grand Prix team by team


Formula One F1 - Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Japan - April 7, 2024 Red Bull's Max Verstappen, Red Bull's Sergio Perez, McLaren's Lando Norris and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz Jr. resume the race after the red flag REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool

SUZUKA, Japan (Reuters) - Team by team review of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix, round four of the 24-race season (listed in current championship order):

RED BULL (Max Verstappen 1, Sergio Perez 2)

Max Verstappen secured his third straight victory at the Japanese Grand Prix, with team mate Sergio Perez in second. It was Red Bull's third 1-2 finish in four races this season and sent them 21 points clear of Ferrari.

Verstappen started on pole for the 36th time in his career, with Perez alongside, and cruised to a dominant 57th career win. Perez was also comfortable in second place and pulled off two excellent overtakes at the 130R corner, hurtling past Mercedes's Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in back-to-back laps.

FERRARI (Carlos Sainz 3, Charles Leclerc 4)

Starting in eighth, Charles Leclerc was voted Driver of the Day after executing a one-stop strategy to perfection as he battled it out for 27 laps on mediums before pitting.

Leclerc was unable to keep pace with the Red Bulls but held firm in third place until the 46th lap, when team mate Sainz passed him on a set of fresh hard tyres to finish on the podium.

Sainz did well to cleverly manage his tyres and aggressively chased down McLaren's Lando Norris in the latter stages of the race, before breezing past Leclerc.

MCLAREN (Lando Norris 5, Oscar Piastri 8)

Norris was aiming for a spot on the podium having started third on the grid, but found himself behind Leclerc after pitting on lap 12.

The Briton was frustrated by McLaren's decision to call him into the pitlane right behind Leclerc, which scuppered his plans to overtake the Monegasque.

Piastri looked in line for a seventh-placed finish, but he was unable to hold off a charging George Russell, who overtook him on the straight heading into the final lap.

MERCEDES (George Russell 7, Lewis Hamilton 9)

Mercedes are now just one point ahead of Aston Martin in the constructor standings after another disappointing race. Hamilton and Russell began with mediums before switching to hards after an early red flag, with a one-stop strategy in the works.

However, significant tyre degradation led to both drivers abandoning that plan. Hamilton allowed Russell to pass him on lap 14 after struggling to keep up with the leading pack, but the seven-times champion set some quick times on mediums after his second stop in the race.

ASTON MARTIN (Fernando Alonso 6, Lance Stroll 12)

Alonso began the race with soft tyres, but was unable to make up any places early on after starting from fifth. Stroll made three stops during the race, climbing to 12th after opting to end the race with soft tyres.

After one of Stroll's pit-stops, the 25-year-old attempted to squeeze into a queue of cars exiting the pit lane. The incident was looked at by stewards, who decided not to take any further action.

RB (Yuki Tsunoda 10, Daniel Ricciardo retired)

Ricciardo started 11th on the grid, crashing at turn two on the first lap after his rear wheel was clipped by Alex Albon of Williams to send both cars into the barriers.

Tsunoda scored his first points in his home grand prix, starting and finishing 10th.

HAAS (Nico Hulkenberg 11, Kevin Magnussen 13)

Hulkenberg started from 12th and used a two-stop strategy. Magnussen started 18th and was briefly in the top 10 before making his only stop of the race, changing from mediums to hard on the 22nd lap.

WILLIAMS (Logan Sargeant 17, Alex Albon retired)

Albon escaped unhurt after being involved in the early crash.

Logan Sargeant, who crashed in practice on Friday, lost momentum towards the end of the race after clipping the curb and going into the gravel. The American escaped without any real damage and was able to finish the race in last place.

SAUBER (Valtteri Bottas 14, Guanyu Zhou retired)

No points for Sauber, with Zhou retiring due to a gearbox issue during the race and Bottas ending in 14th. One of the few positives is their improvement in the pit lane, with the team having had pitstop issues in the season's first three races.

ALPINE (Esteban Ocon 15, Pierre Gasly 16)

Alpine remain rooted to the bottom of the constructor standings on zero points after four races.

Ocon began in 15th, with Gasly two spots behind in 17th. Early in the race, there was a coming together between the two, who avoided finishing bottom due to Sargeant's error.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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