Suzuka City, October 3: Sebastian Vettel really needs a victory to reignite his bid to be crowned world champion but history would suggest Ferrari could be in for more frustration at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton benefited from team orders to win the Russian Grand Prix last weekend after Valtteri Bottas was ordered to let his team-mate pass. Defending champion Hamilton leads Vettel - who finished third in Sochi - by 50 points and time is running out for the German, with only five races remaining.
Not since Michael Schumacher's victory in 2004 have the Scuderia taken the top step of the podium at Suzuka and Mercedes have won the last four editions of the race.
We look at the Opta numbers as Hamilton eyes a fourth consecutive win at a track where he triumphed last year.
- The Japanese GP is where Ferrari have logged the most races without winning in the current calendar (13).
- Since Bottas signed for Mercedes, the Finn is the driver to have finished second most often (12 races across 2017 and 2018), half of them behind Hamilton.
- Japan could become the grand prix where Vettel has been on the podium as well as taken pole most often; it would be eight and five respectively.
- Red Bull have secured the joint-most poles in their F1 history in Japan (five, the same as Monaco); they were all recorded in back-to-back GPs (2009-2013).
- At least one Mercedes driver has been on the podium in 29 of the last 30 races. They only failed to make the top three in Austria this year, with both drivers failing to finish.
- Daniel Ricciardo is one race away from equalling his worst run for Red Bull of 11 finishes without reaching the podium.
- Max Verstappen has been on the podium both times he has raced at Suzuka with Red Bull.