Nico Rosberg took his ninth victory of the season to extend his advantage at the top of the championship after a relatively straightforward race at Suzuka on Sunday.
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver retained his lead from pole position at the start, and only lost the lead during the pit stop windows, and despite needing to save his engine, he was comfortable out front and eventually won by almost five seconds from Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.
“What an awesome weekend!” admitted Rosberg. “It felt great right from when the lights went green on Friday. I got a good rhythm in practice, had a strong Qualifying, a decent start and then from the lead I was able to control the pace in the race.
“I had to save my engine a bit as it was my last race in the cycle – but the gap was always safe. I came here to win in Japan and I managed to do so, which is really special. It’s a fantastic feeling to win at this legendary race track.”
Rosberg heaped praise on the whole Mercedes team as his victory coupled with team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s podium confirmed them as the 2016 Constructors’ Champions, the third year in succession that they’ve achieved this.
“Massive congratulations to all of my colleagues here in Japan, back at Brackley and Brixworth, and the hundreds of thousands of Daimler employees out there for the third Constructors’ World Championship,” said Rosberg.
“A huge thank you to every single person and to every partner who made this possible. They are really the best! They deserve it so much after the unbelievable effort over these past few years, so let’s celebrate hard! I might do a little bit of celebrating myself but not too much.”
Rosberg now heads into the final four races of the season with a thirty-three point advantage in the standings, but knows he will need to keep his focus if he is to clinch his maiden World Championship.
“The season is not over yet with a few races still to go around the world, so I need to keep my energy up!” said Rosberg. “Now we need to focus on the last four races. I look forward to going to America next. See you there!”