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  1. #1
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    May 2015
    Greenwich, London UK
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    Race 17: 2023 Japanese GP [Suzuka]

    Top winners of Suzuka GP are as follows:-

    6 Michael Schumacher 1995, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004
    5 Lewis Hamilton 2007, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
    4 Sebastian Vettel 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
    2 Yoshikazu Sunako 1966, 1969
    2 Motoharu Kurosawa 1969, 1973
    2 Gerhard Berger 1987, 1991
    2 Ayrton Senna 1988, 1993
    2 Damon Hill 1994, 1996
    2 Mika Häkkinen 1998, 1999
    2 Fernando Alonso 2006, 2008

    On the current grid, Sir Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver on this circuit. Michael Schumacher is still the Duke of Suzuka with an all-time best of 6 wins at this circuit.

    This race, which was earmarked to be the venue where Redbull seals the Constructor's championship, now takes on a new significance. With the surprisingly poor showing of the Redbulls at Singapore, all eyes are now on Redbull to see if Singapore was a blip or a sign of more trouble for the six-times Constructors world champions. A repeat poor race for Redbull would signify a harder rest of season for the championship leader. They clearly have a huge gap to their nearest competitor Mercedes. They can afford a few poor weekends. Especially since Mercedes is mired with troublesome competition from Mclaren and Ferrari. Their chances of gaining the sort of points improvement to concern Redbull is very much unlikely. Hence, it is a matter of when will Redbull seal both championships.

    However, the battle for second in the constructor championship has now doubly intensified. Every team in the running for 2nd cannot afford any sloppy crashes or poor performances at any level. Mercedes shall rue that loss of 15 points by Russell as Ferrari now stands at 24 points away from Mercedes.

    1 Redbull 597
    2 Merccedes 289
    3 Ferrari 265
    4 Aston Martin 217
    5 McLaren 139

    The driver's championship could well be more open if it turns out Redbull is in trouble as suggested by the Singapore GP. With 7 races to go and 175 points on the table for any driver that can win the rest of the races this season, there is a slim mathematical chance of an upset. But highly unlikely as it would require Verstapenn to not take part in the rest of the season. Sergio Perez is the only driver with a slim chance of winning the 2023 driver's championship. But l guess Redbull may see to it that he doesn't with the level of performance he is able to get out of his Redbull at the moment.

    1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 374
    2 Sergio Perez Red Bull 223
    3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 180
    4 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 170
    5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 142
    6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 123
    7 George Russell Mercedes 109
    8 Lando Norris McLaren 97

    By my calculations, Verstappen only needs to win one race or finish on the podium on two occasions within the next two races to clinch the driver's title. The battle for 2nd in the driver's championship is still raging on as Hamilton now closes to 43 points to a stagnant Sergio Perez. Perez cannot seem to shake off the chasing pack as he continues to struggle with his Redbull.

    Can Ferrari repeat their awesome form at Suzuka? Can Mercedes unleash their newfound speed at this race? The battle for 2nd is a head-to-head between two giants; Ferrari and Mercedes. With Mclaren playing the role of kingpin upon which the success of either team hinges. Underlying all of this are the interesting cross-relationships that exist between various levels of the teams. At the driver level, Sainz has a close and good relationship with McLaren and Lando Norris. At a team level, Mercedes is the engine supplier to McLaren. Hence, the question is, would McLaren help Ferrari beat Mercedes?

    Mathematically, Mclaren is only a remote contender for second place, but can realistically aim for third. At this point, you could say their fight at the moment is with Ferrari. Well until they find a way to skip ahead of Mercedes. Ferrari has been quietly on the move upwards. As Aston Martin has notoriously been on the move downwards.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 22nd September 2023 at 08:14.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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