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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2014 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX - SUNDAY - JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Sunday - Japanese Grand Prix
By Matt Beer, Jonathan Noble, Edd Straw, Glenn Freeman and Ben Anderson
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
05:59 Good morning and welcome to a very, very, very wet Suzuka for AUTOSPORT Live's Japanese Grand Prix race coverage.

05:59 It's going to be a safety car start and the rain continues to pour down.

06:00 The race begins behind Bernd Maylander in the Mercedes safety car.

06:01 The mechanics sprint back down a saturated pitlane, splashing through a lot of puddles.

06:01 "It's much wetter than before, be careful," Mercedes warns Lewis Hamilton, who replies "the safety car needs to go faster".

06:02 EDD STRAW: The F1 regulations on how points are awarded in the case of shortened races are very simple. Article 6.5 of the Sporting Regulations states that in the case of a stopped race that is not restarted:

"no points will be awarded if the leader has completed less than two laps, half points will be awarded if the leader has completed more than two laps but less than 75 per cent of the original race distance and full points will be awarded if the leader has completed 75 per cent of more of the original race distance."

So, as Suzuka is a 53-lap race, that means that once 40 laps are in the books, it will be a full points race.

06:04 Ericsson has spun at the final corner. His front wheels are in the gravel.

06:04 A replay shows Ericsson's car swaps ends as he gets on the power on the kink onto the start straight.

06:04 Marshals push him off the edge of the gravel and he spin-turns then heads off to catch the pack.

06:05 Now the red flag comes out on lap two.

06:06 Marussia's view: "Well, that's a lap complete. But as the drivers can't see more than 20 metres ahead, we have a red flag."

06:07 @Lotus_F1Team: "Next report from @RGrosjean is aquaplanning everywhere. Red flag, back to grid. Can change tyres, can work on the cars."

06:07 The field has been brought back into the pitlane rather than going back to the grid.

06:08 Just before the red flag, Lewis Hamilton radioed Mercedes with this request: "Tell Nico not to do anything dramatic cos I can't see him."

06:10 BEN ANDERSON: "No surprise the race has been red flagged in these appallingly wet conditions. Some confusion over whether the result will be taken back a lap if the race doesn't restart, and whether that will mean half points for the result or no points."

06:11 The Suzuka pitlane is doing an impression of a club racing paddock as teams erect mini-awnings over their cars.

06:12 Poleman Nico Rosberg is among those staying in their cars to wait this out.

06:13 Kimi Raikkonen is not using this red flag to get an ice cream, contrary to past form. He remains in his Ferrari. Ice cream delivery coming?

06:14 Sebastian Vettel is among those who have hopped out and returned to the garage.

06:14 Article 42.8 of the Sporting Regulations states the following:

"If the race cannot be resumed the results will be taken at the end of the penultimate lap before the lap during which the signal to suspend the race was given."

The red flag was declared on the second lap of the race - before the lap was finished. So according to the regs, no points could be awarded if the cars don't get going again.

06:15 The race will be resumed at 3.25pm local time, 10 minutes from now.

06:16 It will be another safety car start, but every effort to get at least some racing in here is being made.

06:16 Leading team chiefs Christian Horner, Toto Wolff and Eric Boullier are having intense discussions on the pitwall.

06:18 JONATHAN NOBLE: "The F1 paddock has been dominated by talk of the weather this morning - and the impending arrival of Typhoon Phanfone.

"While it has been clear for days that Sunday afternoon was going to be impacted by rain, race organisers did not want to move the start of the GP forward.

"I understand the FIA offered twice to shift the start time to 11am, but the race promoter was determined to see through the 3pm schedule.

"Now the race is is the hands of what looks set to be increasingly mixed weather conditions. And the typhoon is still to hit Suzuka proper later on."

06:20 As usual, the entire motorsport world is watching F1, and sidelined NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Parker Kligerman thinks they should just get on with it:

"Hate this kinda stuff. If they can drive under the safety car. They can race. I'm sorry but if you need to go that slow then do so."

Yes, there is some irony in a NASCAR driver complaining about a series not racing in the rain. The Cup series does have rain tyres for Watkins Glen and Sonoma next year for the first time. Not for Talladega etc, though...

06:22 And here's a more 50/50 approach from Blancpain Endurance Series champion (and Belgian, so a man who knows about racing in the rain) Laurens Vanthoor:

"I would say get on with it ! But then I remember some aquaplanning moments in my life..... :)"

06:24 Rosberg is being optimistic: "Keep a close eye on the weather for the call to go to inters".

06:24 The engines fire and the mechanics clear themselves and their tents away.

06:25 The field heads back out of the pitlane behind the safety car to start lap three of the planned 53.

06:26 Alonso has stopped and is getting out of his Ferrari.

06:27 No obvious damage on the Ferrari so it appears it has just ground to a halt with a technical problem.

06:27 Alonso climbed out looking very puzzled and is already heading back to the pits on the back of a scooter.

06:30 Hamilton has worries about his Mercedes' brakes. He's told it's a sensor issue and not to focus on it - but he's adamant that it's more than that.

06:32 We're on lap four and have already had some order changes thanks to Alonso stopping and Ericsson spinning, so here's how they stand:

1 Rosberg
2 Hamilton
3 Bottas
4 Massa
5 Ricciardo
6 Magnussen
7 Button
8 Vettel
9 Raikkonen
10 Perez
11 Kvyat
12 Hulkenberg
13 Sutil
14 Gutierrez
15 Grosjean
16 Bianchi
17 Kobayashi
18 Vergne
19 Chilton
20 Maldonado
21 Ericsson
Out: Alonso

06:33 On visual evidence, the spray clouds seem less intense on the pit end of the circuit than they did during the initial attempt to get things going, but just as murky elsewhere.

06:34 Williams tells Bottas that its weather info suggests the next big shower is arriving slower than expected and the race could run to lap 40.

06:34 "Track is as good as it's going to get, puddles aren't a problem," declares Hamilton.

06:35 EDD STRAW: "Once the race gets underway, assuming that it doesn't rain again before reaching that point, the question is when to switch to intermediates.

"That's going to be a difficult decision, particularly for those at the front who would drop into the pack.

"But conditions will improve rapidly once the cars are at racing speeds, as long as the rain holds off."

06:35 "Conditions are fine, so let's go for it, we can drive now," adds Jean-Eric Vergne.

06:36 EDD STRAW: "No surprise to hear Vergne over the radio saying that the race should get going. Not only does he have some ground to make up, but he's also a superb wet weather driver."

06:37 Vettel is more cautious: "The rivers are slightly improving. The visibility is poor."

06:37 "Charlie the track is fine," says the increasingly impatient Hamilton. We're now on lap seven.

06:38 "It's not far off intermediates already," adds Hamilton.

06:40 Bit of useless information: at present, Max Chilton holds fastest lap.

06:40 McLaren tells Button that it's not raining in the pits so it's up to him to say if intermediates are wanted soon. He reckons they will be.

06:41 EDD STRAW: "Note that all radio calls by drivers about conditions, certainly those targeted at Charlie Whiting, will depend entirely on their situation in the race.

"If you're in good shape like Rosberg, you'll want the safety car to stay out. If you are chasing, like Hamilton, you want the race to get going as soon as possible!"

06:41 Hamilton is now just occasionally saying, in an annoyed/bored voice, "the track is fine" down the radio.

06:42 @WilliamsRacing: "Felipe reporting very poor visibility in the spray still"

06:42 Several teams are pondering coming in for intermediates the moment the safety car comes in.

06:42 Safety car in this lap, announces race control. We'll begin on lap nine.

06:43 Red Bull gives Ricciardo the tyre choice and he says it's still full wets for now.

06:44 Rosberg accelerates out of the chicane and the race finally begins.

06:44 Hamilton has half a look to the outside of Rosberg into Turn 1.

06:44 Button and Maldonado dive straight into the pits to take inters.

06:45 Rosberg has now pulled out a small amount of breathing space on Hamilton through the first sector, with a larger gap to Bottas afterwards.

06:46 Vettel runs wide at Spoon but holds on over the kerbs.

06:46 Rosberg completes the first racing lap 1.3s ahead of Hamilton.

06:46 Bottas is already 5.2s off the lead in third, followed by Massa, Ricciardo and Magnussen.

06:46 Vettel got alongside Magnussen into the hairpin on the first racing lap but couldn't make it stick.

06:47 Rosberg inches a bit further clear of Hamilton through the first sector.

06:48 Button is nearly half a minute down on the leader after that stop. He's told "your pace is good, we are matching the Mercedes."

06:48 Red Bull tells Ricciardo people on inters "look quick". He agrees a tyre change is worth thinking about soon.

06:48 Sure enough, Ricciardo comes in, as do Bottas and Magnussen.

06:49 Red Bull tells Vettel about Button's intermediate pace too, and the champion replies "If he's in clean air, that's good, because I'm stuck".

06:49 Mercedes tells Rosberg that it still looks like full wets are the better bet for now.

06:50 Rosberg brings his lead up to 1.7s over Hamilton as they complete lap 12. They stay out.

06:50 Massa and Vettel now head in for intermediates as well from third and fourth.

06:50 With the midfield diving pitward too, it's just the Mercedes plugging on with wets now.

06:51 Now Mercedes suggests to Rosberg that intermediates would be wise.

06:51 Despite his later stop, Vettel rejoins ahead of Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo.

06:52 Rosberg pits now, but Hamilton stays out for another lap on wets.

06:52 The Red Bulls are 7th and 8th on the road at the moment, right on the tail of Massa.

06:53 Rosberg rejoins well clear of the rest of the field.

06:53 Order after the Mercedes now: Button, Bottas, Massa, Vettel, Ricciardo, Magnussen, Raikkonen.

06:53 Hamilton is setting new fastest sector times on what ought to be his final lap on wets.

06:53 A replay shows Hamilton went right off the track at Spoon, but he quickly got back on via the asphalt runoff.

06:53 Hamilton pits from the race lead for intermediates.

06:54 Rosberg sweeps past Hamilton to retake the race lead as Hamilton is in the pit exit.

06:54 Button's early change worked extremely well. He has a 6.5s cushion over the Williams behind him in what is now the fight for third.

06:55 "I've got a lot of oversteer," Rosberg reports.

06:55 At the back end of the points, Raikkonen and Hulkenberg are giving eighth-placed Magnussen a hard time at the moment.

06:56 McLaren tells Button he's a second per lap quicker than the Williams behind. It's quite right.

06:56 Rosberg sets a fastest lap of 1m52.551s as he leads Hamilton by 2.1s.

06:56 Third-placed Button is 14.6s behind Rosberg and 8.1s clear of Bottas.

06:57 Top 10 now everyone has switched to intermediate tyres:

1 Rosberg
2 Hamilton
3 Button
4 Bottas
5 Massa
6 Vettel
7 Ricciardo
8 Hulkenberg
9 Raikkonen
10 Kvyat

06:57 Massa has the Red Bulls of Vettel and Ricciardo all over the back of him.

06:57 Magnussen has just pitted again, taking him out of that fight with Raikkonen and Hulkenberg.

06:57 Vettel squeezes down a very narrow gap to take fifth from Massat the hairpin.

06:57 Ricciardo tried to follow Vettel on the exit of the corner but couldn't get through.

06:58 Ricciardo now gets alongside Massa on traction out of Spoon, but the Williams accelerates clear towards 130R.

06:58 Raikkonen was slow on that lap, losing out to Hulkenberg. Possibly held up by whatever dramas forced Magnussen back into the pits?

06:58 Hamilton takes four tenths out of Rosberg's lead, which stands at 1.8s after 16 of 53 laps.

06:59 Hulkenberg, with clear track in P8, is quickly closing on this Ricciardo/Massa fight.

06:59 Stunning move from Ricciardo as he goes around the outside of Massa in the Esses.

07:00 That pass brings Ricciardo up to sixth place. Vettel had already pulled 2.6s clear of Massa and his team-mate.

07:00 Magnussen's extra stop was for a steering wheel change.

07:00 Hamilton is now closing in on Rosberg, getting the lead down to 1.2s.

07:00 Mercedes informs Rosberg that more light rain is coming soon.

07:00 Massa complains that his front tyres have gone. Williams tells him he needs to "sit it out".

07:01 Vettel is now right behind Bottas for fourth.

07:01 Vettel now goes around the outside of Bottas to move into fourth at the hairpin.

07:02 Bottas defended on the inside into the hairpin but the Red Bull had enough grip to get around him anyway.

07:02 Hamilton is now within one second of Rosberg for the lead.

07:03 Ricciardo tries his outside-through-the-Esses move on Bottas. He gets fend off at first, but succeeds further around the sequence.

07:03 Now he's stopped being overtaken by Red Bulls, Massa has been able to respond to Hulkenberg's pace. He only lost 0.3s to the Force India on that lap, and 3.6 separates them in P7-8.

07:03 Those Red Bull moves mean the lead order is now: 1 Rosberg; 2 Hamilton; 3 Button; 4 Vettel; 5 Ricciardo; 6 Bottas.

07:03 McLaren warns Button that Vettel is now behind him and "may be capable of matching your pace". The Red Bull is 14s behind.

07:04 Mercedes tells Hamilton there might not be any more rain before the end of the race, but that prediction is "low certainty".

07:04 Vergne pits from P15.

07:05 Rosberg responds to Hamilton's approach and the lead stabilises at 1.1s.

07:05 @alo_oficial: "Despite the electrical problem, the weekend has been the best so far for performance, so we will keep trying!"

07:06 Vettel takes half a second out of Button's advantage. Ricciardo is lapping at a similar pace to Vettel.

07:06 We have an accordion effect developing behind the lead pack - sixth-placed Bottas is being caught by Massa, who has lost another chunk of time to Hulkenberg.

07:07 Hulkenberg slithers wide off the track at Turn 2, and loses a painful-looking amount of time as the car scrambles for grip.

07:07 Red Bull tells Ricciardo that he and Vettel are now the quickest men on track. Which is a good point: they're half a second faster than the leaders.

07:08 Ricciardo on that lap was 1.1s faster than leader Rosberg and closed to within 1.9s of fourth-placed team-mate Vettel.

07:08 While they're the current pacesetters, the Red Bulls are half a minute off the lead.

07:08 Grosjean pits for another set of intermediates.

07:09 Hamilton comes back at Rosberg a little on lap 21, getting the lap down to exactly a second again.

07:09 Hulkenberg's off meant he lost 1.7s to Massa on that lap.

07:10 The Red Bulls are again a second quicker than the leaders, and are now just over 11s behidn Button.

07:10 Bottas and Massa are neck-and-neck for pace at the moment, and the Finn leads his team-mate by 4.2s at the moment in P6.

Sutil and Maldonado are the next cars to pit.

07:10 Mercedes queries how hard Rosberg is pushing and is told he's "flat-out".

07:11 Hamilton is faster than Rosberg's flat-out at the moment now, the lead is down to 0.7s at the end of lap 23.

07:11 Button continues to match the Mercedes for pace as they all do low 1m54s.

07:12 Again the Red Bulls are a second faster than everyone ahead. Vettel is now 10.2s behind Button and 29.8s off the lead.

07:12 Raikkonen and Kvyat - at the back end of the points, come in at the end of lap 23.

07:12 Problem for Raikkonen on the right-front. He's stationary for 11.1 seconds.

07:13 Now Hamilton is within 0.5s of Rosberg and DRS has been enabled by race control.

07:13 Hamilton gets very, very close to Rosberg at Turn 1 as they try different lines.

07:14 Still the Red Bulls lap a second quicker than the rest. Vettel now 9.6s from Button and 28.5s from the lead.

07:14 Bottas is already nearly 18 seconds behind the Red Bulls. It wasn't that long ago that Vettel and Ricciardo were picking him off.

07:14 The leading Mercedes are nose to tail as they head for Spoon on lap 25 of 53.

07:14 Bianchi pits from P12.

07:15 "OK Lewis, there's every possibility this could transition to dry. We need to manage this tyre and make sure we make it," says Mercedes.

07:15 Hamilton is right in Rosberg's slipstream, bobbing around looking for the lead on the pits straight.

07:15 The Red Bulls take 1.6s out of the leaders on that lap. Button is gaining on the Mercedes now too.

07:16 "I've got so much oversteer," complains Rosberg over the radio.

07:16 Perez comes in from P9, while ahead of him the Bottas-Massa-Hulkenberg gaps are small, but stable.

07:16 The Mercedes will soon be catching Max Chilton to do their first bit of lapping traffic.

07:16 Third-placed Button is now 18.2s behind the Mercedes, Vettel is 27s back and has Ricciardo with him.

07:17 Hamilton has a big twitch into Turn 1 and runs wide onto the runoff.

07:17 Hamilton managed to catch the Mercedes before getting into the kind of strife he did in practice three at the same spot.

07:18 Hamilton is already right back up with Rosberg as they get around Chilton.

07:18 Hulkenberg's pursuit of the Williams pairing is put on hold - as he is the next car to pit at the end of lap 26.

07:20 Hamilton is very close to Rosberg as they come under the bridge on lap 28 of 53, but doesn't try a move at the hairpin.

07:20 Button is now 17s off the lead and 8.2s ahead of the two Red Bulls.

07:21 Hamilton gets a better run onto the pits straight and blasts around the outside of Rosberg into Turn 1 to take the lead.

07:21 Bottas is edging away from Massa - his lead in 'Class B' (the top five really are so much faster), is now over five seconds.

07:21 Now ahead, Hamilton immediately pushes to try to build a lead over Rosberg.

07:21 Rosberg has a big twitch coming onto the pits straight on that lap and lost enough momentum for Hamilton and his DRS to get right in range.

07:22 Hamilton is already two seconds clear of Rosberg as they complete lap 29.

07:23 Vettel suggests to Red Bull it might be time to pit as his pace drops off.

07:23 Vettel does come in from fourth place.

07:23 Kvyat makes a dramatic pass on Gutierrez for ninth - taking to the standing water on the inside of the pitstraight with the DRS open, his Toro Rosso squirming underneath him.

07:23 Vettel gets a fresh set of intermediates, and only loses out to Ricciardo as they'd pulled so far clear of the Williams.

07:24 Hulkenberg is around two seconds per lap quicker than the Williams drivers on his fresher intermediates, but he's currently 17s behind seventh-placed Massa.

07:24 Rosberg loses another 1.9s to Hamilton on lap 30. The lead gap is now 3.9s.

07:25 Button is closing on Rosberg's second place, getting the gap down to 12.8s now.

07:25 Perez is on the move in the other Force India - he picks off Gutierrez to get into the points.

07:25 Ricciardo is still catching everyone - he's half a second faster than Hamilton and within 7.2s of Button now.

07:25 Expect a surge from Vettel after his pitstop, his sector times on his out-lap were very rapid.

07:26 Vettel's engineer 'Rocky' is back in calm-him-down mode: "OK Sebastian, the undercut should be very powerful so you don't need to push too hard".

07:26 Hulkenberg takes a second out of Massa this time around, and Massa has got his deficit to Bottas back underneath the five-second mark.

07:26 Hamilton's pace isn't so rapid on lap 31, but he still extends his lead over Rosberg to 4.8s.

07:27 Button pits from third at the end of lap 31. That should keep him ahead of Vettel.

07:27 But it's a slow stop for the McLaren and Button rejoins behind Vettel.

07:27 Slow stop for Button combined with Vettel setting a new fastest lap of 1m52.191s - 1.7s quicker than Hamilton's pace there.

07:28 Bottas responds to Massa, he's 5.3 ahead of his team-mate in their battle for sixth.

07:28 McLaren also changed Button's steering wheel on that pitstop.

07:29 Another fastest lap for Vettel, this time a 1m51.915s.

07:29 After his troubles in the pits earlier, Raikkonen is now running 12th rather than fighting for points.

07:29 Vettel was 2.3s faster than Hamilton on that lap. Ricciardo was 1.3s quicker than the lead and 2.1s up on Rosberg.

07:29 Rosberg, who is now 5.6s behind Hamilton, is called in for a pitstop.

07:30 Rosberg comes in, which will elevate Ricciardo to second if the Red Bull stays out.

07:31 Now Button takes fastest lap with a 1m51.721s, which was 2.5s better than leader Hamilton.

07:31 Magnussen understeers off at Turn 2, and then completes a 360 spin as his car gets onto the green-painted run-off.

07:32 Hamilton is happy to stay out for now, sticking with Mercedes' plan to try to keep these intermediates going until it's time for slicks.

07:32 Hamilton now leads Ricciardo, who is lapping 1.5s quicker, by 18.8s with 19 laps to go. They're on the same stay-out strategy right now.

07:33 Rosberg rejoined third, 9.6s behind Ricciardo and 8s ahead of Vettel, with Button another 3.4s back.

07:33 Hulkenberg's new-tyre advantage over Bottas and Massa appears to have been used up. He's joined them circulating in the 1m55s now, and is 14s back of the second Williams.

07:33 So Hamilton and Ricciardo are keeping their current tyres in the hope of it drying, Rosberg, Vettel and Button behind have fresh inters.

07:34 Hamilton does come in at the end of lap 35 for new intermediates.

07:34 Gutierrez, Raikkonen, Grosjean (P11, P12, P14) all come in.

07:34 Ricciardo will go through into the race lead.

07:34 Hamilton easily rejoins clear of Rosberg.

07:35 Leader Ricciardo, who is in heavy traffic, is told the rain is coming down much harder in the pits now.

07:35 Mercedes tells Rosberg it suspects Ricciardo might try to run to the end so "you need to overtake him". Hamilton is now between them.

07:36 Ricciardo now does come in for new tyres at the end of lap 36.

07:36 We get a replay of Magnussen un-lapping himself with a spectacular pass around the outside of Ricciardo in Turns 1 and 2.

07:37 Ricciardo is going to rejoin behind Button in fifth. Staying out longer hasn't worked for him with the weather adjusting itself.

07:38 Hamilton completes lap 37 with a 7.3s lead over Rosberg, and was 3.3s faster than his team-mate that time, with both in traffic.

07:38 Perez is told on the radio: "15 minutes of rain".

07:39 Hamilton has a backmarker concern: "Let me know if that guy touched me from behind just now."

07:39 Magnussen has another off at Turn 1. This time he goes wider into the run-off, but doesn't require a spin to rejoin.

Vergne, in 11th, has had a minor off at Turn 2 as well.

07:39 The lead group is now spread out as follows: 1 Hamilton; 2 Rosberg +7.3s; 3 Vettel +14.2s; 4 Button + 19.0s; 5 Ricciardo +23.4s.

07:40 Mercedes to Hamilton: "Just be mindful of these backmarkers, they may not know you're there."

07:40 Massa pits, and rejoins ninth, just ahead of Perez who he manages to fend off into Turn 1.

07:40 Hamilton sets a new fastest lap of 1m51.667s and brings his lead up to 8.5s.

07:40 Big scare for Vettel as he slides very wide over the track and over the gravel through the Esses. He stays third.

07:41 But that error by Vettel dropped him 11s behind Rosberg and leaves him only 2s ahead of Button, with Ricciardo storming up behind both.

07:41 Mercedes informs Rosberg that it expects to have to run the current intermediates to the end, 15 laps from now.

07:41 Bottas pits one lap after Williams team-mate Massa. He rejoins just ahead of the Brazilian, who picked off Kvyat for eighth on that lap.

07:42 Mercedes lets Hamilton know that quite a few people are running wide. Hamilton agrees it's getting wetter...and then sets a new fastest lap.

07:42 Hamilton was 1.3s quicker than Rosberg that time and is now 9.8s clear.

07:42 Massa's earlier stop has closed that Williams fight up. Both are behind Hulkenberg, who pitted much earlier for a new set of intermediates.

07:42 "This rain looks like it may build," Mercedes warns Hamilton.

07:43 "Shall I take it a bit easy on the tyres at the moment?" asks Rosberg. "Most important things is we get to the end," is the reply.

07:43 Ricciardo is right on Button's tail for fourth now.

07:43 Ricciardo sticks the Red Bull down the inside at the hairpin, but Button reclaims it at the following kink as Ricciardo went too wide.

07:44 Sixth-placed Hulkenberg is nine seconds ahead of Bottas, who leads Massa by just 1.3s now. That was around five seconds before the stops, so Massa gained a lot by coming in before his team-mate.

07:44 Hamilton cools his pace that time but is still 0.8s faster than Rosberg.

07:44 Race control now disables DRS as it gets wetter.

07:45 Mercedes says Hamilton can "back it off a bit" due to his lead. "This is the pace I'm comfortable at," is his reply.

07:45 Ricciardo again looks to the inside of Button at the hairpin, but Button's outside line works better and he stays ahead.

07:46 Magnussen pits for full wets as the rain keeps falling. He was 14th when he came in, so it's worth a punt.

07:46 "Is this the right tyre?" McLaren asks Button. "For now, yes," he replies as the rain gets harder again.

07:47 Up front, Hamilton continues to stretch his lead, which is now 11.3s with 12 laps left.

07:47 Ricciardo does make it past Button into the hairpin at last, taking fourth.

07:48 Sutil has crashed on the exit of Dunlop, the final part of the esses.

07:48 Hamilton builds his lead to 12.5s with a lap 1.1s quicker than Rosberg.

07:48 Button pits from fifth, he's going to full wets.

07:48 Button is 50s clear of sixth-placed Hulkenberg so this is a gamble well worth taking.

07:49 Magnussen - a lap down - was snapping at the heels of his McLaren team-mate before Button pitted, so the team had a good comparison between the two tyres.

07:49 Hamilton adds 1.5s to his lead on lap 43 and is now 14s clear.

07:50 The gap between Rosberg and Vettel has stabilised at 14.2s.

07:50 The safety car is coming out. We're on lap 44/53.

07:51 Seems a combination of clearing up from Sutil's accident and the increasing rain has prompted the safety car's reappearance.

07:52 Vettel pits from third for new intermediates. The Mercedes have stayed out with their intermediates.

07:53 Ricciardo says he's happy on intermediates for now, but wets are "something to think about if the rain keeps getting heavier".

07:53 So at present, we'll have Hamilton, Rosberg and Ricciardo on used intermediates leading Vettel on new inters and Button on wets.

07:53 EDD STRAW reports that messages from race control suggest that Bianchi has gone off at Turn 7. That's Dunlop, where Sutil crashed, but we haven't seen the Marussia on screen.

07:55 We have an ambulance on the track now.

07:56 The race is being red-flagged.

07:56 Hulkenberg has stopped at the end of the pits.

07:57 The cars are being taken back into the pitlane.

07:57 Full points could be awarded if the race was declared over now. Light is beginning to fade and there are six laps still to run.

07:59 Race order:

1 Hamilton
2 Rosberg
3 Ricciardo
4 Vettel
5 Button
6 Bottas
7 Massa
8 Vergne
9 Hulkenberg
10 Perez
11 Kvyat
12 Raikkonen
13 Gutierrez
14 Magnussen
15 Maldonado
16 Grosjean
17 Ericsson
18 Chilton
19 Kobayashi

08:00 The race will not be resumed, Hamilton has won the Japanese Grand Prix.

08:00 Race control says "all cars to parc ferme".

08:02 The drivers make a low-key exit from their cars, with Hamilton waving to the crowd but not celebrating. He gets a hand-shake from Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff.

08:03 Hamilton and Rosberg still have their helmets on as they walk to the other end of the pitlane. The winner has kept his visor down.

08:04 The results count-back means Hulkenberg, who was already stopped at the end of the pitlane before the stoppage, reclaims eighth place.

08:06 So here's the revised result, taken after 44 laps:

1 Hamilton
2 Rosberg
3 Vettel
4 Ricciardo
5 Button
6 Bottas
7 Massa
8 Hulkenberg
9 Vergne
10 Perez
11 Kvyat
12 Raikkinen
13 Gutierrez
14 Magnussen
15 Grosjean
16 Maldonado
17 Ericsson
18 Chilton
19 Kobayashi

08:07 The Mercedes drivers are now in the 'podium room', where they can finally take their helmets off. Hamilton and Rosberg share a quiet word in private.

08:09 Vettel joins the top two in a very quiet podium room.

08:11 The top three make their way out onto the podium in a subdued manner. National anthem time.

08:12 Update from Ferrari on its junior driver Bianchi.

@InsideFerrari: "Jules Bianchi is at the medical center."

08:14 Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel toast each other with the champagne, but it's not being sprayed on the podium.

08:14 Nigel Mansell joins the drivers on the podium to conduct the post-race interviews.

08:15 Hamilton: "What a day. It was very difficult. We hope that Bianchi is ok."

He compares the race to his 2008 victory at Silverstone.

08:16 Rosberg: "It's been a good weekend for the team, great to get a one-two. Congrats to Lewis, and my thoughts are with Jules at the moment. It seems quite serious so I wish him all the best."

08:17 Vettel: "It was very tricky, but it was good fun. Concentration has to be very high, it's so easy to do a mistake. I'm quite lucky to be up here [because he pitted], overall I'm very happy. Last but not least, best wishes to Jules."

08:18 Mansell tells fans on the podium that there is no official news on Bianchi yet.

08:21 FIA press officer Matteo Bonciani has given a short statement about Bianchi's condition:

"Driver is not conscious, he has been sent to the hospital by ambulance because the helicopter cannot go in these conditions. Further updates will follow - for the moment we cannot say anything. We will keep you updated as fast as we can."

08:53 Sutil, whose car was being recovered by the vehicle that Bianchi collided with, has been speaking to the media in the TV pen:

"I had aquaplaning at this corner. The rain got more and more, the visibility got less and less.

"One lap later with waved yellow flags Jules came around and had the same spin there, and that was it.

"It was more or less the same crash, but the outcome was different.

"[The recovery vehicle] came out to rescue my car, and then it all happened."

09:07 That's it for our live coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix. Our thoughts, like everyone's in the F1 paddock, are with Jules Bianchi, and as soon as there are any developments on the situation, we will bring them to you on autosport.com.

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Race length: 53 laps
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Friday 03 Oct Start GMT
 Friday - Practice 00:45
Saturday 04 Oct
 Saturday - Qualifying 01:45
Sunday 05 Oct
 Sunday - Japanese Grand Prix 04:30