- Max Verstappen’s podcast banter takes center stage in the Japanese Grand Prix’s cool-down room, but the race had significant implications for several drivers and teams.
- The battle for second place between Ferrari and Mercedes heats up, with Ferrari closing the gap to 20 points.
- Liam Lawson’s consistent performance boosts his prospects for future Formula 1 opportunities.
- Sergio Pérez faces increased pressure in the drivers’ championship, with Lewis Hamilton closing the gap.
The Battle for Second Place
The Japanese Grand Prix highlighted the intense battle for second place in the championship. Carlos Sainz’s victory in Singapore helped Ferrari cut Mercedes’ lead to 20 points. Suzuka showcased both teams’ closely matched race pace, with tactical battles throughout. Mercedes aimed to minimize point loss to Ferrari. This fierce competition is likely to continue in the remaining races.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) September 26, 2023
Aston Martin’s hopes of a late-season resurgence dwindled in Suzuka. The team is now 84 points behind Mercedes, despite having one more podium finish. Lance Stroll’s recent poor performances have hindered the team’s progress. The fight for second place now appears to be between Mercedes and Ferrari.
The 2025 Driver Market
Liam Lawson’s consistent performances, including his P11 finish in Japan, position him as an attractive option for Formula 1 teams in the 2025 driver market. Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon also displayed competitive spirit, potentially affecting contract renewals. Alpine’s performance this season has been unpredictable, adding uncertainty to the equation.
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 25, 2023
Logan Sargeant faces increasing pressure after AlphaTauri’s driver lineup announcement left him without a confirmed contract for next season. Sargeant’s recent crashes and car damage have raised concerns about his future in Formula 1.
Sergio Pérez’s Challenge
Lewis Hamilton’s pursuit of second place in the drivers’ championship gained momentum as Sergio Pérez faced challenges. Pérez’s recent aggressive driving and incidents have allowed Hamilton to close the gap to just 33 points. The competition remains intense with seven races to go.
Sergio Perez's lap 13 pitstop in the #JapaneseGP was officially clocked at 43 minutes long, the longest stop in #F1 since Valtteri Bottas' infamous 43-hour stop at Monaco in 2021 🤯 pic.twitter.com/LQFcS2T9XB
— Autosport (@autosport) September 25, 2023