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'Hamilton is deserting a sinking ship' - GPFans Japanese GP Hot Takes

'Hamilton is deserting a sinking ship' - GPFans Japanese GP Hot Takes

'Hamilton is deserting a sinking ship' - GPFans Japanese GP Hot Takes

'Hamilton is deserting a sinking ship' - GPFans Japanese GP Hot Takes

Red Bull stormed to a 1-2 finish at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix after a disappointing showing in Australia.

Max Verstappen, who suffered a heartbreaking retirement due to a mechanical failure in Melbourne, regained dominance with a victory at Suzuka. The Dutchman crossed the line a comfortable +12.535 seconds clear of his team-mate, Sergio Perez, securing an important win for the championship fight.

READ MORE: F1 Results Today: Hamilton endures MORE misery after Ricciardo crash causes chaos

Carlos Sainz continued his strong showing this season, taking the third step on the podium after a sensational win in Australia. The Ferrari driver put in a solid performance to hold off a charging Charles Leclerc, who finished a close fourth.

McLaren's Lando Norris, who started the race from a strong third position, was unable to capitalise on his grid advantage and finished outside the podium in fifth place.

Further down the grid, George Russell displayed his racing prowess with a late overtake on Oscar Piastri, securing a P7 for Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton, however, had a less fortunate race, finishing in ninth place.

Home hero Yuki Tsunoda scored a crucial point for RB with a tenth-place finish, while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo's race was short-lived after he retired from the race on the very first lap following a huge crash with Williams' Alexander Albon.

READ MORE: Ricciardo in HUGE smash with F1 rival as Japanese GP red-flagged

GPFans journalists on the Japanese Grand Prix

Stuart Hodge - Chief Editor

Don't let the late overtake fool you, Mercedes are currently the fourth best team in Formula 1 - well behind McLaren and Ferrari.

George Russell finished seventh after making a superb move stick on Oscar Piastri, and two places in front of Lewis Hamilton who had been making positive noises on Friday and Saturday. That all dissipated on raceday.

In fact, it might not be outlandish to suggest the ridiculous disparity between Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll are all that keep it from being a discussion as to whether Mercedes are actually the FIFTH quickest team right now.

He doesn't look like he's enjoying himself at all and it seems that Hamilton is deserting a sinking ship at the right time. Only thing is, it might be a long 20 races for the seven-time champion... especially with Russell currently leading the dance for the Silver Arrows.

Ronan Murphy - Social Media Editor

Oh what could have been. A dramatic start to the Japanese Grand Prix saw two cars retire, a red flag, more discussion about a driver’s future and led to the hope that things could have been different.

But the more things change, the more Max Verstappen completes a Red Bull 1-2.

We were back to the usual affair at Suzuka, despite some impressive overtakes, or maybe thanks to some impressive overtakes from Sergio Perez.

The narrative hasn’t changed much or moved along after that race, with the biggest question now: how do you solve a problem like Ricciardo?

Your move RB.

Lauren Sneath - F1 Journalist

Despite some mildly interesting tussles between Oscar Piastri and George Russell, the Japanese GP was a predictable and yawn-inducing return to form for Red Bull drivers. Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. Lewis Hamilton struggled with his Mercedes (again, what else is new) even suggesting that his team-mate overtake him – if that isn't a man ready to jump ship, I don't know what is.

Ricciardo’s lap one crash was more unfortunate for Alex Albon than him – the Williams driver has been close to the points in the past two races and is sure to be hungry to get his season going in earnest. Ricciardo, on the other hand, appears to be unable to gather momentum this season in the RB – perhaps his much-lauded return to the Red Bull fold will not prove the big chance it was expected to be.

Shay Rogers - F1 Journalist

It didn’t take long to get back to ‘normality’ did it? The Japanese Grand Prix was your absolute bog standard Red Bull domination, with four races and four 1-2 finishes so far in 2024.

Yuki Tsunoda YET again was back at it for VCARB, scoring another point and further stamping his authority on team-mate Daniel Ricciardo - who must be feeling some pressure now.

Here’s hoping that a return to China for the first time in five years brings more action, with the track’s layout offering plenty of overtaking opportunities and the track surface often forcing multiple pit-stops.

Sam Cook - F1 Journalist

Lewis Hamilton’s poor start to the season continues with another awful result.

A new low for the seven-time world champion occurred when he ASKED his team whether they wanted Russell to overtake him. Awesome team play, but more evidence that perhaps the Brit is a shadow of his former self, struggling in the disastrous W15.

RB’s patience will be beginning to wear thin with Daniel Ricciardo, particularly with hometown hero Yuki Tsunoda once again scoring points after a brilliant Saturday qualifying.

At the front, it’s hard not to lament in the achievements of the top four, all for different reasons. Charles Leclerc’s comeback drive after a poor qualifying certainly caught the eye, as did Max Verstappen’s huge gap at the front.

READ MORE: Verstappen drops F1 future BOMBSHELL ahead of Japanese GP

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