Mercedes seal historic sixth consecutive double
Valtteri Bottas roared to victory in yesterday's Japanese Grand Prix as Mercedes clinched the Formula One constructors' championship and guaranteed themselves an unprecedented sixth consecutive title double.
The Finn crossed the line 11.3 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel, whose pole-sitting Ferrari proved no match for Mercedes, leaving the German to fend off a charging Lewis Hamilton in third.
The result moved Mercedes 177 points clear of Ferrari, allowing them to wrap up a record-equalling sixth consecutive constructors' crown, with a maximum 176 points from four races still up for grabs.
1 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
1hr 21min 46.755 sec
2 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +13.343s
3 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +13.858s
4 Alexander Albon (Red Bull) +59.537s
5 Carlos Sainz (McLaren) +69.101s
1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 338 points
2 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 274 pts
3 Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 221 pts
4 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 212 pts
5 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 212 pts
1 Mercedes 612 points
2 Ferrari 433 pts
3 Red Bull 323 pts
4 McLaren 111 pts
5 Renault 77 pts
It also assures Mercedes of the drivers' title, with only Bottas capable of challenging Hamilton, who saw his lead narrow to 64 points, in the overall standings.
Mercedes have now equalled Ferrari, who won six constructors' titles between 1999-2004.
"Starting third is never easy here, but there's no point giving up," said Bottas, after scoring his third win of the season and first since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in April.
"I had a really nice car and Sebastian had an issue, so it was good to get the lead. Really proud of the team, sixth title in a row is so impressive."
Hamilton still leads Bottas by 64 points with four races - worth a maximum 104 points - remaining and has his first chance of securing the drivers' title in Mexico in two weeks.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff dedicated the team's sixth successive constructors' world title to the late non-executive chairman Niki Lauda.
Wolff told Sky Sports: "We want to dedicate this to Niki because he has been such an important part from the beginning of the journey and his sheer presence was always so important in the mixture between support and pressure." - REUTERS