Suzuka, October 5, 2014 – Lewis Hamilton won a prematurely-ended Japanese Grand Prix to extend his championship lead, using the Cinturato Blue wet tyres and Cinturato Green intermediate. The rainy conditions, as a result of the Phanfone typhoon, meant that the hard and medium slick tyres nominated for the weekend were not used at all. The race was stopped, following an accident involving the Marussia of Jules Bianchi, at the end of lap 46.
The race got underway behind the safety car for the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011: Pirelli’s first year of Formula One. It was stopped again, still under the safety car, on lap three and there was a second start 20 minutes later under the safety car once more – meaning that the drivers were obliged to use the full wet tyre (as is the case with any safety car start).
The track remained damp after the safety car came in on lap 10, requiring the use of intermediates for the majority of the race. When the rain fell harder, at the end of the race, some drivers made use of the final safety car period to change back to the Cinturato Blue full wet tyre.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “The Japanese Grand Prix was held under extremely tricky conditions, but obviously our main concern, along with that of the entire paddock, is the accident that halted the race involving Jules Bianchi and Marussia.”
Fastest times of the day by compound:
Hard Medium Intermediate Wet
First N/A N/A Ham 1m51.600s Ham 1m52.563s
Second N/A N/A But 1m51.721s Ros 1m52.607s
Third N/A N/A Vet 1m51.915s Mag 1m55.284s
Longest stint of the race:
Intermediate Bottas and Vergne (27 laps)
Wet Hamilton (12 laps)
We predicted two stops for the race: start on the medium tyre, change to the medium again on lap 22
and finally to the hard on lap 42. However, the wet race meant that this was never going to
happen: Hamilton started on full wets and stopped on laps 14 and 35 for intermediate tyres.