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Suzuka stats - eight the magic number for Hamilton, Mercedes

05 Oct 2014

Suzuka features Formula One racing’s only figure-of-eight circuit layout, and rather fittingly it was where Lewis Hamilton wrapped up his eighth victory of the season.

Not only that, Nico Rosberg recorded his eighth second-place finish of 2014 and Mercedes their eighth one-two of the year. The Silver Arrows now need just two more in the remaining four races to tie McLaren’s 1988 record of 10 in a season.

For the second time in his career - and the second time this season - Hamilton has won three races in a row, moving him on to 30 career wins, which is just one shy of Nigel Mansell’s British record of 31 Grand Prix victories.

Victory in Japan enabled Hamilton to increase his advantage over team mate Rosberg in the drivers’ championship standings to 10 points - the biggest advantage he’s held over the German this season.

Incidentally, Japan was one of just four races on the calendar at which Hamilton had not previously triumphed, and one of the others is coming up next - Russia, which hosts its inaugural Grand Prix next weekend.

Behind the Mercedes duo, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel came home third to claim back-to-back podium finishes for the first time this season. The reigning champion has now stood on the rostrum four times in 2014, three times fewer than team mate Daniel Ricciardo who finished fourth.

Elsewhere, McLaren’s Jenson Button recorded his tenth points finish of the year, whilst Williams consolidated third place in the constructors’ standings as Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa came home sixth and seventh respectively. In contrast, Ferrari, the Grove team’s rivals for third spot, had a disastrous race with neither of their cars finishing in the points for the first time in 82 races.

Having gone 29 races without a retirement before his early exit in Italy, Fernando Alonso had his second DNF in three races in Japan. Team mate Kimi Raikkonen did reach the end of the race, but could only manage 12th - the fourth time he has finished a race outside the points this season.

As for the race itself, it was the first to be started behind the safety car since the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix and somewhat surprisingly the first to feature significant rainfall since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. Following the serious accident suffered by Marussia's Jules Bianchi, it was also the first to be declared after a red flag since the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix.