Valtteri Bottas won the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix from Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes capitalized on Ferrari’s misfortune to seal their sixth consecutive constructors’ title. Here’s our highlights from Suzuka Circuit.
The big news story of the weekend was the arrival of Typhoon Hagibis, which caused significant flooding and landslides in central and eastern areas of the country when it made landfall on Saturday. The trackside programme on Saturday was cancelled as a result, even if Suzuka and surrounding areas were eventually spared the worst of the storm.
Exclusive Pit Lane Walk, Guided Track Tour & Photo Op
The F1 Experiences programme kicked off on Thursday evening with some exciting trackside activities at Suzuka Circuit. Race winner Valtteri Bottas was on hand to sign autographs and pose for photographs during our Exclusive Pit Lane Walk, when several teams were also practising their pit stops. We also took to Formula 1’s only figure-of-eight circuit for a Guided Track Tour as our expert guides explained how to complete a perfect lap of Suzuka. Lastly, our guests posed on the Main Straight with the Championship trophies in front of the iconic Ferris Wheel for a unique keepsake of their weekend in Japan.
Paddock Club Reception & F1 Insider Access
Preparations in the pit lane and Paddock for the impending arrival of Typhoon Hagibis meant that part our Friday evening programme had to be brought inside. Representatives from the Haas F1 Team and Alpine Stars joined us in the Press Conference room, where our guests were also able to pose for photos in the “hot seats.” Next up, we headed to the exclusive Formula 1 Paddock Club for a reception with our very special guest, Sergio Pérez from Racing Point. Safety Car Driver Bernd Mayländer and F1’s Event Logistics Coordinator Christian Pohlhammer also joined host James O’Brien on stage for a chat.
Having missed Saturday, our guests were excited for a big day of action on race day. Qualifying was held on Sunday morning, just three hours before the race. Ferrari took the spoils, locking out the front row of the grid to set up another showdown with fierce rivals Mercedes. Lando Norris from McLaren took time out of his busy pre-race schedule to stop by the Champions Club for a chat with James O’Brien and to pose for photos with our guests.
Soon enough, it was time for lights out. Ferrari’s start-line advantage was quickly erased as the race got underway. Sebastian Vettel misjudged the light sequence and Charles Leclerc made a slow getaway, then tangled with Max Verstappen. Valtteri Bottas capitalized from third on the grid to quickly take the lead of the race. The Finn never looked back, recording his sixth F1 win and first since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in April.
With both drivers finishing on the podium for the twelfth time this season, Mercedes wrapped up a sixth consecutive constructors’ title in Japan. The team is also guaranteed a sixth straight drivers’ crown; only Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas remain in contention with four races to run this year, though the Brit has a seemingly unassailable lead of 64 points over his teammate.
From select grandstands to trackside hospitality in the Champions Club, not to mention F1 driver meet-and-greets and access to the F1 Paddock & Podium, we’ll get you closer to Formula 1 than ever before at Suzuka Circuit! Official Ticket Packages for the 2020 Japanese Grand Prix (8-11 October) are now available. Early bird pricing applies until 13 November.