Binotto: Ferrari need perfection to win in Japan

Ruben Hill
October 10, 2019

But Red Bull, too, should bring the fight this weekend despite their disappointing form since the summer break, as the style of Suzuka's figure-of-eight circuit should complement the vehicle - they have featured on the podium in each of the last three visits to Japan.

Rain could upset all predictions, though, with Typhoon Hagibis making its way toward Japan.

Mercedes chief Toto Wolff is hopeful of building on that and believes changes to the auto will boost their chances of success at Suzuka, where they have won the past five grands prix.

The success that Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport have had through the first 16 races of the 21-race 2019 Formula 1 season, which includes 11 victories and eight 1-2 finishes, has put them in position to lock up their sixth consecutive constructor championship in the very near future. In the 2014 race, Jules Bianchi crashed in heavy rain from Typhoon Panphone and died from his injuries the following year.

However, having impressed in his three previous Japanese Grands Prix, Max Verstappen is hoping Red Bull can throw a spanner in the works.

Charles Leclerc has claimed four pole positions in a row for Ferrari but only won twice, suffering from the team's strategy in Singapore before being a victim to the VSC period that handed Hamilton the win in Russian Federation.

A Ferrari spokesperson told reporters on Thursday that teams would be informed by the governing body FIA by 6 p.m. local time on Friday (0900 GMT) if qualifying were to be postponed until Sunday. "It's getting harder and harder as the season goes on".

Rain or shine, Suzuka has the ingredients to be a classic - a rejuvenated Red Bull team pressing the top two, plus a circuit renowned for exciting racing with sweeping bends and dramatic elevation changes. Although we managed to extend our lead in the midfield battle, the competition remains tight and I know that I need to keep pushing all the way to the end of the season.

"It's going to be awesome", said Hamilton of the race which will draw fans in huge number despite being staged during a Rugby World Cup which has captivated Japan.

"We're working hard to figure out how to get faster".

"We've been quick in Singapore, we've been quick in Monza, and both of them are the complete opposites", said Leclerc.

"I've only been to Suzuka once but it's a track I loved. It was just a really great experience, so I'm really looking forward to going back".

SUZUKA, Japan, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Mercedes have their first chance to seal a record-equalling sixth successive Formula One constructors' championship in Japan on Sunday, at a track where they have won for five years in a row.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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