After a fairly straight forward qualification on Saturday Nico Rosberg cruised home comfortably to win the Suzuka Japanese GP helping Mercedes clinch their third Constructors Title.
After some rain during the night the right side of the grid was slightly damp, Lewis Hamilton could be seen studying this before the race. With both Ferrari drivers handed grid penalties Vettel a 3 place penalty from an incident in the Malaysian GP, and Raikkonen from 3rd to 8th for a gearbox change the front of the grid looked like this.
Jenson Button was also handed a 35 place grid penalty for a fresh engine, turbo, MGU-H, energy store and control electronics. This put him at the back of the grid.
Mercedes only needed to outscore Ferrari by 23 points to clinch the title.
At the race start Rosberg had a great get away but his teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton got bogged down with wheelspin on the damp side of the track and by the first turn down into P8.
Nico swiftly started opening a comfortable gap between him and the the young Red Bull driver Max Verstappen. Over team radio Hamilton was advised that a lot of drivers are struggling with tires just as Mclaren Honda brought Alonso in for the hard tire followed shortly by a perfectly timed double stack from both Red Bull Drivers.
Hulkenberg come into the pits and slightly caught the front jack but thankfully no damage to car or crew. Rosberg pitted coming out just behind Hamilton who was yet to pit and in clean air out front. Hamilton pitted and was out in P7, Raikkonen and Perez were being held back by back markers enough for Hamilton to start building a gap, once they worked there way through traffic Raikkonen put a great move on Perez to get up to P8.
The current champion Lewis started gaining positions quickly moving himself up into P5 then taking Ricciardo up into P4. At around 20 laps in the field looked like this.
The gap between Vettel and Hamilton was around 14 seconds, Lewis started setting personal best lap times closing the gap by about a second a lap,
The Haas of Gutierrez run wide and spun at hairpin causing yellow flags to come out briefly as he rejoins the track.
Hulkenberg had a great move on Bottas which resulted in a rather amusing Team radio message.
Verstappen conveys over team radio that he is losing rear traction. Vettel closes the gap to Verstappen to just 1.7 seconds with Hamilton catching fast.
Vettel again showing his displeasure in being held up by back markers over team radio with Lewis catching fast with the gap reduced to 4.3 seconds.
Rosberg comfortably out in front pits followed by Hamilton who comes out in P4 with Raikkonen close behind. Vettel then comes into the pits but Lewis has mad up to much time and Vettel comes out behind in P4. Vettel got back into DRS range of Lewis briefly but was unable to pass Lewis who was closing in on Verstappen at around a second a lap.
Both of the Ferrari drivers seem to be continuously getting stuck behind blue flags losing them lots of time.
Hamilton manages to get within DRS range of Max verstappen but the young Dutchman expertly uses his overtake button to hold Lewis off.
In the final laps the young Brit Palmer locks up going into Hairpin trying to let Verstappen and Hamilton pass under blue flags but straight back on track without incident.
Rosberg cruised to victory with Max verstappen close behind in 2nd managing to keep Hamilton at bay in 3rd with a risky defensive move under breaking.
With this result Mercedes AMG manage to win their 3rd well deserved Constructors Championship title.
This win takes the gap between Nico and Lewis to 33 points with Lewis not winning a race since July. Verstappen and Vettel joint on points at 165.
Top of the championship
1: Rosberg 313pts
2: Hamilton 280
3: Ricciardo 212
4: Raikkonen 170
5: Verstappen 165
6: Vettel 165
Can Lewis still take the Drivers championship ??
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Image from www.telegraph.co.uk