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Summary

  1. Hamilton wins after overtaking Rosberg on lap one
  2. Rosberg 2nd, Vettel 3rd, Raikkonen 4th, Bottas 5th
  3. Alonso says McLaren pace is "embarrassing" over radio
  4. Nasr out

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Formula 1

    So there we have it. Mercedes proved that Singapore was a mere blip in their rampant charge towards the constructors and drivers title as Lewis Hamilton took a dominant victory in Japan. 

    Nico Rosberg is running out of races to keep his world title hopes alive, and will need to push harder than ever.

    His next chance to do just that is in Russia a fortnight. See you then.

  2. Post update

    BBC One

    If you did indeed opt for a lie in and fancy seeing the race in full, then it will be replayed on BBC One and online at 13:15 BST. Extended highlights will then be on BBC Three at 19:00.

    Formula 1 is back in two weeks with the Russian Grand Prix, which is live across the BBC.

  3. Post update

    Just woken up? Missed the race? Here's a quick summary of how it went.

    • Hamilton wins by 19 seconds
    • Polesitter Rosberg loses out first corner
    • Alonso vents frustrations over team radio
    • Verstappen finishes ninth, having started 17th
  4. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Heather Williams: Really pleased with the news from Ron Dennis.

    Dale Xanders: Very deflated interview from Button. Such a shame. Feel so sorry for him. Pure frustration. Him and Alonso.

    Jen: Race was good but the #bbcf1 interview with Ron Dennis was interesting and honest. Stay JB!

  5. Post update

  6. The standings

    Formula 1

    One final look at the drivers' championship and Lewis Hamilton extends his advantage to 48 points, Sebastian Vettel is a further 59 points back in third.

    The only movement inside the top 10 is Romain Grosjean up to ninth after finishing seventh, with Sergio Perez 10th.

  7. Post update

    Formula 1

    Almost time for us to wrap things up but a mention for the Toro Rosso pair Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. Great work once again, especially Verstappen as he swept through the field with a number of stunning overtakes. Did I mention he turns 18 on Wednesday?

    He has scored for the fourth time in the last five races while Carlos Sainz is now the top scoring Spaniard in the championship, having beaten Fernando Alonso to the final point.

  8. Post update

  9. Get involved #bbcf1

  10. 'If you lift, you lose'

    Formula 1

    After starting seventh, Daniel Ricciardo finished 15th following an early tangle with Felipe Massa that resulted in punctures for both of them.

    "As soon as the lights went out I thought 'ok this is four good starts in a row'," He said. "But then I could see the gap was closing and if you lift, you lose. All the good work is undone. I thought the gap was big enough. In the end we touched. A shame as both our races were more or less ended by that."

  11. Post update

    Formula 1

    Good insight from David Coulthard about what it is like being a racing driver and not winning world championships.

    "I don't lose any sleep about not winning a world championship," he said. "I got beaten by better people. Simple as that. 

    "I would never have wanted to win the championship in a weak season. Take away Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher, I probably would have won the championship, would it make me a better racer standing here today? No it wouldn't." 

  12. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    Quote Message: Nico is in the best team and car combination right now. There are still races to go. Nico did nothing wrong with his approach to the weekend. If you look at the history of the sport there are guys that seem to get some of the racing luck and some that don't. He is so close to being brilliant. He can unlock that, but he just has not found that yet.
  13. I had to back off to avoid collision - Rosberg

    Mercedes' Nico Rosberg chooses his words carefully when he's asked by BBC Sport's Lee McKenzie if Lewis Hamilton's overtake of him was fair. 

    He said: "It's difficult to judge because I don't know if he was on his ideal line or not - I just see his front wheel next to me and that was enough to tell me to back out.

    "Everything needs to be perfect to beat Lewis at the moment but this weekend there were two small things.

    "I am pleased I made it all the way back to second."

  14. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    Quote Message: If you have your nose ahead you take the line. That leaves the guy behind with a choice to either stay there, and you will make contact, or you back out of it and Nico does that.
  15. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton has just talked about his start with Suzi Perry and David Coulthard.

    "I knew that it was my right of way," he said. "Once I got my car slightly ahead I knew that it was my right of way. I was ahead here [in the picture above], so that is my road. I don't particularly think it was too close."

    Asked by David Coulthard if he ever feels sorry for Rosberg about coming second best in wheel-to-wheel racing, Hamilton added: "Rosberg was fair. He drivers incredibly well and has done a great job this year. This is racing and that is what it is all about. There have been times when I have fallen behind. It happens."

  16. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Sara Turle: Do you feel you got the true picture from Ron Dennis? Great relentless questionning!

    Emma Sheridan: Is it about time we bring back Ross Brawn and make him team leader of McLaren?

    Rian Hoskins: If Button is to stay at McLaren, will it be with a view to retire at the end of 2016 and allow Magnussen or Vandoorne to take over?

    Dale Buckley: Ron mentioned restrictions are increasing costs, so how else can costs be reduced if teams are going to spend in other areas anyway?

  17. More pain ahead - Dennis

    More from a brutally honest Ron Dennis:

    "We are going up a steep learning curve. It's steeper than expected but there is no other way of winning a world championship.

    "You see Red Bull in pain at the moment and are going to see a lot of pain down the pit lane."

  18. Painful to be so slow - Dennis

    The quotes keep on coming from that earlier Ron Dennis interview. ere's a bit more. 

    Dennis admits he "can't think of a lower point" during his time in charge at McLaren but says "they haven't forgotten how to win" and will get back to the front.

    "We are constrained by what you can do in the wind tunnel and what you can do with the engine," he said. "If you don't get it right in the beginning, it's very difficult to climb out of a hole.

    "If you are not able to develop the car, you are not going to be able to catch up unless you are very inventive and that's what we've got to be.

    "It is a painful experience. We are just going to focus on getting the job done with our partners, Honda. We want to catch up."

  19. Post update

    Formula 1

    Tensions simmering at Mercedes?

    Nico Rosberg did not sound best pleased with Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race.

    “It got really close on the exit of Turn Two and I had to back out of it there and that lost me the race," he said. “I haven’t seen it on TV. For sure it was close - I had to avoid a collision - but it is difficult to comment now.”

    When asked for his thoughts on the start, Hamilton said: “I don’t really feel it was that close. The inside line is the inside line, so it was my corner.

    "I was understeering and I was running out of grip. I can imagine Nico (was) running out of road but that’s what happens when you’re on the outside.”

  20. Radio complaints not constructive - Dennis

    McLaren team boss Ron Dennis wasn't best pleased by Fernando Alonso's complaints over team radio during the race - when he vented his frustration at racing with a "GP2 engine" and describing the car's performance as "very embarrassing".

    "It's not very constructive when you are trying to build a stronger relationship [with Honda management]," he said.

    "Do I condone it? No. Am I going to go ballistic? No. I will handle it in my own way and my way is not in public.

    "I can understand it - it's not just one race."

  21. Get involved #bbcf1

  22. Post update

  23. I want Button & Alonso at McLaren next year - Dennis

    Formula 1

    More from McLaren team boss Ron Dennis as he says he wants to keep Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso in 2016.

    "Jenson is on a two-year contract and Fernando on a three-year contract. It's as simple as that," he says.

    "I told Jenson on Thursday - probably too late - that I have no intention of exercising the option [to cancel his contract]."

  24. Post update

    Fascinating stuff from the McLaren pair, and there was an equally fascinating interview with McLaren boss Ron Dennis on BBC One just now.

    He says McLaren are going up a "very steep learning curve" and insists Jenson Button will stay at McLaren in 2016.

    "We have two drivers," he said. "We want both of them in the team and it is as simple as that. We will have a winning team."

    Full interview coming up.

  25. Racing now is 'like a Samurai without a sword'

    Formula 1

    It is never good when you are lapped, never mind when you are a former world champion being lapped.

    Jenson Button finished 16th and he sounded just as frustrated as Fernando Alonso in his post-race interview.

    "We've got a lot of work to do," he said. "It is so tough for us because we are so used to fighting. Now it is not fighting it is like a Samurai warrior without his sword."

  26. Alonso 'frustrated' by lack of power

    Formula 1

    Asked by Lee McKenzie about his comments on the radio - he referred to racing a "GP2 engine" and said the car's performance was "very embarrassing" - Alonso said:

    "You're obviously frustrated when you are overtaken on the straights. In corners other cars are braking late and making mistakes and you are perfect in the corners.

    "On the positive side, we keep improving reliability and we didn't repeat the errors in Singapore."

  27. Alonso to stay? Or go?

    There has been some uncertainty over the future of Fernando Alonsoat McLaren, and he has just been asked by BBC Sport's Lee McKenzie if he will still be driving for the team next year.

    He replied: "Next year is what we are looking for. My intention is to stay for sure and we will win together, I'm sure."

    He was asked directly if he will be racing in F1 next year and replied: "I don't know."

  28. Contrasting fortunes

    Formula 1

    Fernando Alonso marked the 10th anniversary of his first world title by finishing 11th, but it was a day of frustration for the Spaniard, as he got into the points, but was unable to hold that position and vented a couple of times on team radio, calling it "embarrassing" after he was overtaken by a Sauber.

  29. Wolff 'proud' at Mercedes one-two

    Mercedes' team boss Toto Wolff speaking to BBC Sport: "Lewis had a better start and stuck his nose in. It was a tough corner for both of them.

    "It makes me particularly proud that we finished one-two (after Rosberg dropped to fourth) because we played two different strategies to get past Bottas and Vettel when we undercut them.

    "Slightly relived is an understatement. We had a lot of issues through the race."

    Lewis Hamilton sprays champagne
  30. Post update

    A good omen?

    Lewis Hamilton reveals that he sang "Victory" in karaoke last night. It did the trick today.

    "That's the one I'll be playing tonight," he says on the podium.

    Lewis Hamilton throws trophy in the air
  31. Interesting start - Vettel

    Formula 1

    Third-placed Sebastian Vettel in the podium interviews: "It's my favourite race, I love the track and I love the fans. 

    "Overall it was a fantastic race. The start was interesting - watching these two fighting in the first corner and I was able to take advantage of that. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the big trophy today.

    "They are very difficult to beat." 

  32. "Lewis got the better start"

    Formula 1

    Nico Rosberg, who finished second: "Lewis just got a better start, fair play. It was great to fight back to second because fourth would not have been acceptable. It is also great for us as a team to be back here after Singapore.

    "I had to win today, that didn't work out. Just have to try again next time."

  33. Important to strike back - Hamilton

    Formula 1

    Race winner Lewis Hamilton in the podium interviews: "I'm so happy right now. The team has done a fantastic job all weekend. I had a great start.

    "For me to come here to a race where I used to watch Ayrton Senna drive, and match his career wins, it doesn't feel real at the moment.

    "It was important for us to strike back. We didn't bring our 'A' game in Singapore and we had to bring it today."

  34. A bit awkward

    Formula 1

    National anthems sung, champagne sprayed. A standard post-race win scene but then there is a moment of awkwardness as the microphones don't work.

    A quick bash at the top of them seems to do the trick.

  35. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Amy Brown: Yes! So happy. Well done, Lewis!

    Wendy Pankhurst: Sublime win for Lewis Hamilton - though you did forget he was racing. Also managed fastest lap too!

    Pete Naylor: Get in Lewis. Senna's record equalled and one step closer to another title...

    Pits Take: Not a thrilling race, but not the worst - pretty standard. I was almost nodding off but that was due to the timing primarily...

  36. Post update

    Out come the three drivers onto the podium, Lewis Hamilton taking his place on the top step. A familiar position. Victory was his eighth of the season and increases his advantage over Nico Rosberg in the drivers' championship to 48 points. 

    Podium
  37. Japanese GP result

    11) Alonso 12) Perez 13) Kvyat 14) Ericsson 15) Ricciardo 16) Button 17) Massa 18) Rossi 19) Stevens 

    Retired: Nasr

  38. Japanese GP result

    1) Hamilton 2) Rosberg 3) Vettel 4) Raikkonen 5) Bottas 6) Hulkenberg 7) Grosjean 8) Maldonado 9) Verstappen 10) Sainz

  39. Post update

  40. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "This has been a much stronger performance from Nico Rosberg. He lost out to Hamilton into Turn Two but the aggression he showed to pass Bottas, he just needs to show that against Hamilton."

  41. Team radio

    Race winner Lewis Hamilton: "Fantastic job guys, you did a flawless job all weekend as always. It's great to be back up here."

  42. Post update

    Ben Edwards

    BBC F1 commentator

    "Now Lewis Hamilton has matched Ayrton Senna's 41 career victories - it took him one race more than Senna."

  43. Post update

    Back-to-back wins for Lewis Hamilton after he got the jump on Nico Rosberg at the start. A 41st win of his career, putting him level with Ayrton Senna.

    Nico Rosberg takes second place to cement a Mercedes one-two, with Sebastian Vettel third.

    Lewis Hamilton punches the air
  44. Chequered flag

    Lewis Hamilton

    LEWIS HAMILTON WINS THE JAPANESE GRAND PRIX

  45. LAST LAP

    Ah, Felipe Nasr has retired. Oh so close to a race without retirement.

    Meanwhile, we are on to the last lap, Lewis Hamilton cruising to victory...

  46. Team radio

    Engineer to Sauber's Marcus Ericsson (currently 14th): "Fight the Red Bulls, fight the Red Bulls."

    He has just been passed by Daniil Kvyat, wheel -to-wheel racing as the Red Bull squeezes past, and Ericsson has Daniel Ricciardo behind him.

  47. Post update

    Five laps to go and it is all to easy for Lewis Hamilton, who is surely having a whale of a time today. He leads by 16s and will have barely had an easier race all season.

    A poor start has ultimately cost Nico Rosberg, and he needs to be mindful of Sebastian Vettel, who is 2.2s behind in third.

  48. Post update

    Formula 1

    Max Verstappen, who turns 18 in three days, started this race 17th. He is ninth now, picking off his team-mate Carlos Sainz at the chicane. This lad is born to race.

  49. Post update

    Will Stevens spins
  50. Spin!

    Gulp. I almost, ALMOST spoke too soon there. Will Stevens spins at 130R but reacts superbly to catch it and recover, just avoiding a collision with his team-mate Alexander Rossi.

    Will Stevens spins
  51. TEN LAPS TO GO

    Sergio Perez continues his pursuit of Marcus Ericsson in 12th. He tries to make his move on the outside at Turn 1 but Ericsson holds him off.

    Amazingly, there has not been a single retirement in this race with just 10 laps remaining.

  52. Team radio

    Force India's Sergio Perez (currently 13th): "Ericsson is moving under braking."

  53. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton is sitting pretty out in front and is surely cruising to a second successive win at Suzuka. He leads Nico Rosberg by 12 seconds with 11 laps to go.

    It doesn't look like Rosberg is danger of troubling that advantage as well, with little between their latest laps.

  54. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Vettel is only 1.7 seconds behind Rosberg. Vettel has a big bunch of traffic in front of him as well - this is going to be interesting."

  55. Mansell says 'lay off McLaren-Honda'

  56. Get involved - #bbcf1

    James Matthews: Oh well, Honda. You tried, that’s the main thing.

    Sean Ranson: What's the point in paying all that money to the best driver in F1 & delivering such an awful car? Looks like Nando's realised it too!

    Martijn Kosters: Maldonado is in sixth and I haven't seen him at all!  

  57. Post update

    Sergio Perez, on fresh tyres, is the third fastest man on the track and he breezes past Jenson Button and into 13th.

    Sebastian Vettel is currently the fastest and pushing for second place. Nico Rosberg is less than two seconds down the road.

  58. Post update

  59. LAP 37/53

    Here's the top 10 after 37 laps:

    1) Hamilton 2) Rosberg 3) Vettel 4) Raikkonnen 5) Bottas 6) Hulkenberg 7) Grosjean 8) Maldonado 9) Sainz 10) Verstappen

  60. Post update

    Race control confirms Will Stevens is under investigation for speeding in the pits. The Brit, currently 18th, had just made his second stop of the race.

  61. Team radio

    Engineer to race leader Lewis Hamilton: "Okay, Lewis, everything appears to be under control. We just have to watch out for flat spots and look after this set."

  62. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton puts down another fastest lap with a 1:36.145 as he continues to assert his dominance on this race. 

    There's a huge lock-up for Romain Grosjean, who is eighth, at the chicane and the Lotus pits soon after.

  63. Get involved - #bbcf1

    James Stacey: I hope @alo_oficial joins @RenaultSportF1 next year he's too good to drive that @McLarenF1 Honda truck #GP2engine

    FF1s: Alonso is out-sassing Button this week on the radio.

  64. Post update

    A possible concern for Lewis Hamilton as he reports "big vibrations". He subsequently heads in for his second stop, taking on fresh hard tyres and resumes with a 10.5s advantage over Nico Rosberg.

  65. Post update

  66. Post update

    Kimi Raikkonen pits, taking on another set of hard tyres and is back out in sixth, before Fernando Alonso and then Nico Rosberg pits from second.

  67. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Scott MacDonald: Is Alonso engineering a move out of Mclaren with these public statements.

    Clare Star: At least @alo_oficial is keeping it light and fun.

    Rachael Gordon: Fearless! #maxverstappen

    Fquiren: THAT, could be the moment that Alonso decides that enough is enough. What a pass!

  68. Post update

  69. Post update

    Carlos Sainz is making his second pit stop but makes a mistake on his way in, clipping a cone and damaging his front wing, leaving some debris on the circuit. 

  70. Team radio - angry Alonso

    Formula 1

    McLaren's Fernando Alonso is NOT HAPPY after being overtaken by Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen:

    He shouts to his engineers: "GP2 engine, GP2 engine."

    And finishes with a cry of anguish.

    Patience running out for the two-time world champion?

  71. Post update

    Beautiful stuff from Max Verstappen! The Toro Rosso driver is lurking menacingly behind Fernando Alonso, who is 10th. The Spaniard shows all the experience of a former world champion to defend his position but there is only so much he can do as Verstappen goes around the outside of Alonso at Turn 1. Alonso won't like that...

  72. Post update

    Daniil Kvyat has a brief excursion off the track, costing him a few valuable seconds as he looks to try and recover his race after a difficult weekend so far. He is currently 16th.

  73. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Andrea B: I have a feeling Spa last year is planted still very deeply in Nico...he can be tough against others...

    Andy H:MadMax is too immature, he doesn't know the places you're not supposed to overtake ;-)

    Matthias Carter: I love how Verstappen will always have a go. Great talent. 

  74. Post update

    This is not want Jenson Button wants to see as there is a Sauber looming large in his rear mirrors. Marcus Ericsson is pushing, eyeing the chance for a move on the McLaren. He's not found one so far, though.

    Meanwhile, Manor had kept their drivers out when everyone else had pitted, but Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi finally head in on lap 24 for their first stops, switching to the hard tyre.

  75. Team radio

    Engineer to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen: "This is good, Kimi. Keep going. Let's have him."

    Finn Raikkonen (fifth) is closing on compatriot Valtteri Bottas, running fourth.

  76. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "It's easy to knock Pastor Maldonado but he's doing a really solid job this afternoon - let's hope he can keep it going."

    Maldonado is currently running ninth, with his Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean just ahead.

  77. Hamilton taking control

    Lewis Hamilton is the fastest man on the track at the moment, putting down a 1:37:961, almost 1.5s faster than Sebastian Vettel latest lap. The gap between the two is now 11.3s.

    Lewis Hamilton
  78. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Ryan Blyhe: That's a great move by Rosberg without DRS on Bottas.

    Matthew Thomas: Why couldn't he pass him that easily 15 laps ago though?

    Josh Johnson: Nicely done @nico_rosberg !

  79. LAP 20/53

    After the first lot of pit stops the top 10 order looks like this:

    1) Hamilton 2) Vettel 3) Rosberg 4) Bottas 5) Raikkonen 6) Hulkenberg 7) Grosjean 8) Maldonado 9) Sainz 10) Alonso

    Japanese Grand Prix
  80. Team radio

    fORMULA 1

    Engineer to Mercedes' Nico Rosberg: "So push to attack Bottas to destroy his tyres."

    No need to do so as Rosberg almost immediately gets past the Finn! Fantastic stuff as Rosberg goes for it at the chicane and sweeps into third.

  81. Post update

    Nico Rosberg is back out on hard tyres. Lewis Hamilton responds by making his first stop but stays on medium tyres. Hamilton returns in the lead with an advantage of 6.7s over Sebastian Vettel.

    Lewis Hamilton
  82. Post update

  83. Post update

    Kimi Raikkonen is called in one lap after Sebastian Vettel and he switches to hard tyres. Back out in fifth. Soon after, Nico Rosberg is also told to box for the first Mercedes stop of the race.  

  84. Post update

    Daniil Kvyat looks to be in a bit of trouble. He is told to make some "urgent" changes to his settings, but he worriedly relays over the radio that it doesn't work. He is currently 12th.

  85. Hamilton much quicker

  86. Post update

  87. Post update

    Tom Clarkson

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter

    "Jenson Button started the race on hard tyres and has given it up after 11 laps, which is incredibly short. Pirelli's projected life for the hard tyres was 25 laps."

  88. Post update

    Sebastian Vettel switches to the hard tyre and is out in fifth, with Carlos Sainz ahead of him. The pit stops have elevated Nico Rosberg up to second.

    Only the two Mercedes, Kimi Raikkonen, Sainz and the two Manors to make their first stops.

  89. Post update

    Valtteri Bottas pits from third and stays on mediums. He is back out in seventh. Romain Grosjean does likewise from sixth. 

    Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton is heading off further into the distance up front, the gap is now 7.4 seconds over Sebastian Vettel, who is heading in for his first stop on lap 14.

  90. Post update

  91. Post update

  92. Spin!

    Marcus Ericsson spins at Spoon from ninth before several drivers decide to head into the pits. Jenson Button, Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Nasr among them.

    Marcus Ericsson in gravel
  93. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Dan Phelps: How demotivating must it be for @JensonButton with the awful pace of the @McLarenF1 Will this make his mind up for next year?

    Matthew Restaino: Using DRS against the McLarens is just cheating surely?

    Mohsin: It's sad to see McLaren struggle so bad.

    Matthias Carter: Even though I've been a Button fan since his debut, I really want him to retire and go to WEC. That Honda's embarrassing. 

  94. Post update

    Daniil Kvyat pits to take on hard tyres and is back out in 18th. Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo is 19th after that early puncture, but only the top four are faster than him on the circuit at the moment.

  95. Bad to worse for Rosberg

    How's things looking for Nico Rosberg? Not great. He is still fourth after a poor start, but Kimi Raikkonen is creeping up behind him. The Ferrari is 1.4s behind.

    There's more bad news as Rosberg is told over team radio by his engineer: "Nico, engine temps are high, causing damage."

  96. Post update

    Not something the Honda fans want to see as Fernando Alonso's McLaren is picked off by the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.

    ""Embarrassing. Very embarrassing," Alonso says.

  97. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Ryan Blythe: Can't blame Riccardo for that. Massa had a shocker of a start & D Ric got squeezed between Felipe & Raikkonen.

    Edward Williamson: I think Massa has passed his worth on the grid.

    Elliot Cornish: One-team dominance only works in F1 when both drivers are evenly matched. Rosberg hasn't held a candle to Hamilton this season.  

  98. Post update

    Max Verstappen loves an overtake and he is steadily progressing through the field. He started 17th and is already up to 13th.

    Max Verstappen
  99. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton is casually told over team radio to build up a 10 second lead at the front. His advantage is quickly building as he now leads by 3.5s, having just set the fastest lap with a 1:39.140.

  100. Post update

  101. Team radio

    Mercedes' Nico Rosberg (currently fourth): "Can I turn up the engine again?"

    Engineer: "That's fine, Nico. When you can, go to strap three."

  102. Good start by Lotus

    Good start from the Lotus pair with both Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado gaining places. Grosjean is up to sixth from eighth, while Maldonado has climbed into the top 10, up to seventh from 11th.

  103. Post update

  104. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Dazzla: GET IN THERE HAMILTON, got the inside and hung Rosberg out to dry, brilliant start!!

    Laura: Car off. Automatically assume it's Maldonado.

    Adam: Punctures left right and centre at the start of this race.

  105. Post update

    Three laps down and Lewis Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel - who also made a great start - by two seconds. Valtteri Bottas is third with Nico Rosberg fourth. 

  106. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "The pain is growing inside Rosberg as he goes across the line in fourth place. Whenever he goes into wheel-to-wheel combat with Hamilton, he always seems to come off second best."

  107. Yellow flag

    Daniel Ricciardo is not the only driver to suffer an early puncture, also Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez, who went through the gravel in an eventful start. Massa is very slow as he limps back to the pits and the yellow flags are waved.

    Massa in pits
  108. Team radio

    Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo: "I have a puncture."

    Ricciardo puncture
  109. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "That was incredible - it looked like Hamilton was starting lose the position to Rosberg as he tried to go around the outside."

  110. Go! Go! Go!

    LIGHTS OUT! 

    Great start by Lewis Hamilton and he is into the lead at the first corner. Nico Rosberg, meanwhile is dropping back. He looked to have almost kept Hamilton at bay but is now down to fourth.

  111. Post update

    massa

    Can Felipe Massa get the jump on Sebastian Vetel at the first corner? The Brazilian starts from fifth.

  112. Post update

  113. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Rebecca Odedun: Reminiscing about how #Suzuka used to signify the end of the year instead of multiple soulless Ecclestone commisioned circuits.  

    Clare Star: Seems like a long time since my last early #bbcf1 start. Coffee, nan blanket, cat. Looks like we are good to go!  

  114. Post update

    Off goes the grid for the formation lap and everyone looks to have got off OK.

    Just Jenson Button on the hard tyre, everyone else on the medium compound.

  115. Post update

    It is the same front row as the 2014 race. Back then, Lewis Hamilton managed to get past Nico Rosberg to take victory. That was in the wet, though. very much dry conditions today.

  116. Mercedes in his sights?

  117. THE GRID

    Right then, almost time for the 14th race of the season. A quick reminder of the grid before lights out:

    1)  Nico Rosberg 2) Lewis Hamilton 3) Valtteri Bottas 4) Sebastian Vettel 5) Felipe Massa 6) Kimi Raikkonen 7) Daniel Ricciardo 8) Romain Grosjean 9) Sergio Perez 10) Carlos Sainz

    11) Pastor Maldonado 12) Fernando Alonso 13) Nico Hulkenberg * 14) Jenson Button 15) Marcus Ericsson 16) Felipe Nasr 17) Max Verstappen * 18) Will Stevens 19) Alexander Rossi

    Daniil Kvyat starting from the pit lane

    *After three-place grid penalty applied

  118. Post update

  119. Get involved - #bbcf1

    Kyle Mclaren: I hope Vettel can win today anything can happen after all this is racing #bbcf1 fingers crossed for him.

    CK Chandu: Breakfast served with #JapaneseGP All set to end the weekend!

    Vinny Anthony: Looking forward to this. Hoping for the ideal start come on @LewisHamilton!

  120. Post update

    Formula 1

    He's not won from lower than third, though. He starts today's race from fourth.

  121. Race strategy

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    “Strategy-wise, this is likely to be a two-stop race - one-stop is fine on wear but may be an issue with degradation. Three stops makes you too vulnerable to traffic on a track where overtaking is difficult - and is slower anyway. So that leaves two stops. Daniel Ricciardo said the race was ‘unpredictable’. 

    "That’s partly because the rain on Friday means no team has done more than eight laps on a set of tyres. So once they have gone five laps into the race on tyres that have done three laps in qualifying, the teams and drivers are into uncharted territory.”

  122. Mercedes to dominate - Berger

    Formula 1

    Austria's Gerhard Berger, who won the first F1 Japanese Grand Prix in 1987, tells BBC Sport's David Coulthard: "Everything is back to normal here. If they have a good start and no technical issues, I think we will see Mercedes going away."

  123. Post update

  124. What the papers say

    The Sunday Times say 'normal service was resumed at Suzuka' with Mercedes locking out the front row, Nico Rosberg on pole ahead of championship leader Lewis Hamilton as their 'mysterious loss of form in Singapore a week ago was all but forgotten'. 

    Sunday Times F1 report
  125. Ricciardo looking to make moves in Turn 11

    Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, starting seventh, talks to BBC Sport's David Coulthard on the grid while he receives a head and neck massage.

    Is he feeling relaxed and loose and ready to overtake the cars in front?

    He said: "We don't have enough speed in the straights. Turn 11 is always a good spot - maybe in the corner if I am close enough. We will have to use strategy."

  126. Post update

    Fan with Red Bull horns

    The fans are in fine form once again for today's race. 

    Formula 1
  127. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Watch out for Williams at the start - these guys have been making good starts and Mercedes are nervous."

  128. Bottas 'confident for start'

    Williams' Valtteri Bottas, starting third, speaking to BBC Sport's David Coulthard: "I am feeling quite confident for the start. I have been having some good starts lately and Mercedes have been having some issues."

  129. Post update

    BBC One

    Formula 1

    Just woke up? Don't forget you can watch this race live on BBC One now, with David Coulthard running around the grid in the pursuit of interviews.

  130. What the papers say - Alonso to retire?

    The Mail on Sunday say that McLaren's Jenson Button is 'rethinking' reported retirement plans as a result of team-mate Fernando Alonso considering his future in the sport.

    Should Alonso walk away, they say, it would leave McLaren 'in the most precarious situation - without one, or possibly, two of their star drivers'.

    The report adds that virus-infected and 'bed-ridden' team boss Ron Dennis 'will try to heave himself into the paddock today to talk to Alonso and Button to try to save the reputation of his team.'

    Mail on Sunday
  131. Post update

  132. Post update

  133. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    “Discussions aimed at securing Red Bull and Toro Rosso a Ferrari engine supply for next year continue, with no solution yet. Insiders say that the Ferrari race team want to give Red Bull year-old engines, which is allowed in the rules but which is unacceptable to Red Bull. 

    "They say owner Dietrich Mateschitz has made his position clear - equality or Red Bull quit F1. One insider said: ‘It needs some grown-ups to sit down and sort it out.’”

  134. Post update

    The Japanese fans at Suzuka love to give gifts to the drivers and here is one of the more creative efforts. A Star Wars poster with a Mercedes twist. Top work.

    Star Wars Mercedes poster
  135. Mercedes mystery

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Mercedes have not given us a clear description of what went wrong in Singapore. Aerodynamics are so complex, occasionally you fall out of the window."

  136. Hamilton 'forgot' about Singapore very quickly

    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, starting second, tells BBC Sport's Lee McKenzie on how he got over his retirement from the Singapore GP: "I forgot about it as soon as I got home and went to bed. I have so much confidence in our guys, I know they will do everything they can to make sure it doesn't happen again." 

  137. Japan GP stats and facts

    Formula 1

    Sebastian Vettel has won more Japanese GPs (four) than any other current driver, while Ferrari are the most successful team with nine wins.

    More stats and facts here.

  138. Post update

    A very cute McLaren-Honda fan... and even younger than Max Verstappen!

  139. Suzuka 'like Silverstone'

    Interesting comparison from the Mercedes team, who say the characteristics of Suzuka are the closest to British Grand Prix venue Silverstone on the F1 calendar.

    Fans at the British Grand Prix
  140. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    “It may not surprise you to hear that there is a potential issue with tyres in this race. Concerned to prevent a repeat of the the explosions of Spa, Pirelli has mandated higher tyre pressures for this weekend, to bolster the tyre’s strength and take the strain off what appears to be a construction with a weakness that can be tested by high cornering loads. Minimum rear tyre pressures are 3.5psi higher than they were at this race last year and the effect has been overheating tyres.

    “‘It’s going to be tough for everyone because the pressures are so high,’ Jenson Button said. ‘The tyres are just going to be overheating after one lap. They end up being like balloons because the pressures get so high. Everyone will have problems, and we'll be included in that.’

    “Lotus driver Romain Grosjean described the limits as ‘extreme, massively higher than we would normally run’. Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery said the approach was ‘quite normal’ because Suzuka was such a ‘severe’ track. Drivers and engineers would counter by saying the tyres should be able to cope with the rigours of the track - but feel Pirelli are being overly conservative anyway. Some played down the issue and said that the anti-clockwise nature of the track meant wear was evenly distributed left and right and that Pirelli did not need to be so concerned.”

    Pirelli tyre
  141. The standings - drivers

    Formula 1
  142. The standings - constructors

    Constructors
  143. Get involved #bbcf1

    Earliest memories of watching the Japanese GP

    Formula 1
  144. Remembering Jules Bianchi

    Jules Bianchi will be in the minds of every driver at Suzuka today, with Formula 1 back at the circuit for the first time since the French driver's fatal crash last year.

  145. Ricciardo awesome at Suzuka - Horner

    As for the man himself, Daniil Kvyat tells BBC Sport's Lee McKenzie "I am completely fine" as he prepares to start from the pit-lane.

    Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo starts seventh and Christian Horner says the Australian has been "awesome around here all weekend" as he is expecting the Red Bulls to be "stronger than we qualified".

  146. Horner on Kvyat's crash

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner talking to BBC Sport about Daniil Kvyat's crash in qualifying:

    "The first we knew about it was the telemetry because the TV cameras hadn't picked it up - the radio came on and we heard heavy breathing and then an expletive."

    Horner adds that the Red Bull mechanics "turned up the music and 12 hours later they completely rebuilt the car."

  147. Post update

    Suzuka 1991

    How closer could it be between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton today?

    There's not been much between the two throughout this weekend, so even the tiniest mistake could prove decisive.

    The smallest margin of victory at Suzuka is the 0.344s Gerhard Berger beat Ayrton Senna by in 1991. Senna had ceded the win to Berger after an agreement pre-race

  148. Suzuka shots - 2006

    From the archives

    Formula 1

    Fernando Alonso all but sealed the 2006 world title by winning the Japanese Grand Prix after Michael Schumacher retired.

    Formula 1
  149. Alonso impresses

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    Fernando Alonso

    “Award for best qualifying lap of the day? That surely has to go to Fernando Alonso, who although only 14th fastest was only 0.5 seconds from the Q3 cut-off - in a McLaren-Honda lacking well over 100bhp on the rest. An epic performance. ‘I told the guys that lap was probably the best I did around here all my career,’ the Spaniard said.‘I could put 100 sets of tyres on and not do better.’ 

    "The 0.9secs gap to Jenson Button was not representative, the Englishman failing to make into Q3 after being in the wrong engine setting for the only lap he managed before the Max Verstappen incident brought that session. Button felt that had prevented him getting into Q2, but that was far from a given. Had he done so, it would have been Alonso he displaced - and on their final Q1 laps Alonso was 0.1secs quicker than Button in sector one before both had to slow for the caution area.”

  150. Post update

    Lotus's Romain Grosjean starts eighth after another excellent qualifying performance.

  151. THE GRID

    1)  Nico Rosberg 2) Lewis Hamilton 3) Valtteri Bottas 4) Sebastian Vettel 5) Felipe Massa 6) Kimi Raikkonen 7) Daniel Ricciardo 8) Romain Grosjean 9) Sergio Perez 10) Carlos Sainz

    11) Pastor Maldonado 12) Fernando Alonso 13) Nico Hulkenberg * 14) Jenson Button 15) Marcus Ericsson 16) Felipe Nasr 17) Max Verstappen * 18) Will Stevens 19) Alexander Rossi

    Daniil Kvyat starting from the pit lane

    *After three-place grid penalty applied

  152. Post update

    David Coulthard

    BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Suzuka is like a high-speed rollercoaster - not only that feeling of your belly moving around but also you're pulling massive lateral g-forces."

  153. Post update

  154. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    “Less than an hour after his monumental accident, in which he rolled his Red Bull, Daniil Kvyat was having lunch with his engineers and laughing about it, miming what happened with his hands.  

    "He was amusing in his news conference, as well. ‘They told me it was 20g or something,’ he said. ‘I'm not sure - I thought I could do better than that!’ What happened? ‘Put my rear wheel slightly over the white line on turn 10 entry and once on marbles, straight in the wall. Then a bit of rolling.’ How bad was it? ‘This is by far my hardest crash. I never rolled a car, so unfortunately there's a first time for everything. It was the harshest one of my career.’ 

  155. Post update

    Formula 1

    There was late drama in qualifying yesterday as Daniil Kvyat was involved in a massive crash, which you can see here. The Red Bull driver was, thankfully, fine, but his car not so much. After the chassis was rebuilt and engine changed, Kvyat starts from the pit lane today.

    Formula 1
  156. Could Hamilton have got pole?

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    “Lewis Hamilton was asked how much he was ahead of Nico Rosberg on the final qualifying lap he had to abort because of Daniil Kvyat’s accident, but he wasn’t saying. 

    "He would allow, though, that ‘it was looking good, really good. It was only up to corner six and there was a long way to go but up until then it was looking really good. It doesn't really matter anyway but it is a positive feeling for me as I know that I will have good pace.’ 

    Hamilton loves Suzuka but amazingly has never been on pole here. ’It's been a really bad track for me,’ he said. ‘Why? I don't know. I love the circuit but I have never felt comfortable here. Today I did. The set-up has never really come together I guess. I think it's me. Some years I've not had the car but generally it is me. I come focused and prepared but it's just a track I don’t feel comfortable on - it's a weird sensation. But today I felt I had overcome a large part of that - and last year in the wet I did so, too.’”

  157. Suzuka shots - 1997

    From the archives

    Formula 1

    Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver at the Japanese Grand Prix with six wins. Here he is claiming one of those at the 1997 race at Suzuka.

  158. Car hats, Ferrari Samurais & Geishas

    Formula 1

    The Japanese fans at Suzuka have been brilliant this weekend, taking the whole getting dressed up for the occasion to a new level. 

    Check out some of the best costumes and car hats in our feature on the Suzuka fans here.

  159. Post update

  160. Get involved #bbcf1

    Formula 1

    Hands up then who is completing the set of early morning F1 watching today? On that subject, what is your earliest memory of getting up to follow a Japanese Grand Prix? Ever got up at unsociable hours to follow lap-by-lap updates in the old days of Ceefax?

    Let us know your earliest memory of following the Japanese GP and when and how you followed it via #bbcf1, text in on 81111 (UK only) or post your comment on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  161. Coming up

    OK, arm yourself with a massive cup of coffee and settle in for some early morning F1 action.

    The race starts at 06:00 BST and build-up will be hitting your television screens at 05:00 on BBC One, with commentary on 5 live from 05:30. You can also watch and listen online too.

  162. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    “After the surreal circumstances of the Singapore Grand Prix, it has been back to business as usual in Japan, with the two Mercedes on the front row and looking comfortably clear of the field. It seems inconceivable that one of them will not win, but the race is unpredictable. 

    "On pace, pole should have been Lewis Hamilton’s, but he made a couple of mistakes on his first lap in the top 10 shoot-out and Daniil Kvyat’s huge accident at the end of qualifying but paid to what the world champion said was on course to be ‘perhaps the best lap I've ever done here’. 

    "So pole was Nico Rosberg’s - by just 0.076secs. Hamilton was upbeat about his prospects for the race, but downbeat about the prospects of overtaking, which he said was ‘almost impossible’. How are you going to win, then, I asked him? ‘That’s the million-dollar question,’ he smiled.”

  163. Normal service resumed?

    Formula 1

    After a slip-up in Singapore, Mercedes have been back to their dominant best so far in Japan, and few would bet against one of their drivers taking victory today.

    But which driver will it be? 

    Nico Rosberg will be desperate to reduce the gap between himself and Lewis Hamilton. The championship leader will be determined to keep his title at arms length.

    It sets things up for the early morning alarm call being wotthwhile, with a potentially thrilling battle between the two championship rivals in prospect today...

  164. Special Suzuka

    Formula 1

     Suzuka. So often the scene of a world championship decider.   

    A place where dreams have come true...

    Formula 1

    ...and dreams have been shattered...

    Formula 1

    ...today, the Japanese Grand Prix may not play host to a title-deciding race but could yet prove a defining moment in the this year's championship battle...