Mercedes flex muscles in Japan to leave rivals in the rear-view mirror

Ferrari were left to rue shambolic management of their drivers after Mercedes’ near-perfect grand prix showing at Suzuka

Sealing their sixth consecutive constructors’ championship and ensuring they will secure a record sixth constructors’ and drivers’ double had an almost inevitable air after Mercedes’ strong start to the season. Having clinched it in Japan, their inexorable march should not detract from a remarkable achievement. It stretches back to the groundwork laid by Ross Brawn and the structures he created back in 2010. Three years of hard work and development ensued and what has emerged since has been outstanding. The team has come through on top after two major regulation changes, a feat never achieved before. After 2014 they were untouchable and in 2017, while the fight intensified, they remained on top. Nor should it be assumed that their success is simply a virtue of spending. In recent times both Toyota and Honda have proved that money alone guarantees nothing. A tighter battle at the front would be more than welcome and long overdue but it means others stepping up to match a Mercedes team showing no sign of weakness.

Yeah, going through 130R is cool. But how about one-handed….?

Nicely done @Charles_Leclerc #JapaneseGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/JaCyKG3PNb

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Source: Formula 1

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