Who Won The Kings Royal At Eldora Speedway? [Expert Guide!]

It’s been a crazy week of F1 action, which we’ve covered extensively here on Auto123 (though the last few days have been a little light on actual racing). But, with a little bit of luck, we were able to make it to one of the most exciting races of the year: the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway. If you’re not familiar, the Kings Royal is a tradition started by popular Japanese TV personality Kuni Kawaii, where the drivers of the top-tier F1 teams across the world come together to battle it out in a celebration of motorsport. It’s an amazing event that draws in spectators from all over the world, and it’s definitely on the bucket list for any motorsport fan.

So who was able to take home the coveted Kings Royal Championship? Let’s take a look…

DNF: Sergio Perez

Though McLaren and Bottas both delivered solid showings, Sauber’s Sergio Perez had a DNF (Did Not Finish) in the season finale in Japan. Sergio, who took home the McLaren helmet in the rookie of the year award, ran into trouble with his car’s clutch in the early stages. This prevented him from moving forward and taking the win, as the safety car was deployed due to the incident. But despite the clutch problem, he was able to finish the race in 7th place, delivering a solid performance overall.

7th: Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel also delivered a solid performance at Eldora Speedway, taking home the final podium spot. Vettel started 7th on the grid and used good strategy to work his way through the field. He pitted under the safety car during a long red flag period due to a first-corner clash. But he was able to come back and finish the race in 7th position, his best result of the year so far.

6th: Max Verstappen

A podium in any event is always an accomplishment — much more so when it’s the finale of the season and you’ve just delivered the best race of the year. So it’s no surprise that Red Bull’s Max Verstappen clinched his best result of the year (to date) in 6th place. Max started the race from 4th position and maintained his forward momentum all race long. On the final lap, he attempted a pass on the inside at Spooner but was denied by the lapped car, bringing home a well-deserved 6th place finish.

5th: Kimi Raikkonen

Finnish superstar Kimi Raikkonen delivered another excellent performance at the season finale, taking home 5th place. Raikkonen started the race from 7th position and was able to move forward relatively quickly. He pitted for dry-weather tyres during a safety car period and managed to get a bit of a jump on 4th-place finisher Vettel. On the final lap, Raikkonen made a daring pass on Vettel at Spooner and took 5th place, his best result of the year so far.

4th: Pierre Gasly

Another Red Bull driver came through in the clutch for 4th place, this time with Renault. Pierre Gasly delivered an amazing drive at the season finale, taking advantage of the safety car to snatch 4th place from Vettel. The former Formula 3 champion started the race from 6th position and worked his way forward using the safety car to his advantage. On the final lap, he challenged Vettel for 5th position but was unsuccessful in his bid. Despite the crash in the early stages, which damaged his Ferrari, he was able to bring home a well-deserved 4th place finish.

3rd: Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas had an excellent result in 3rd place, finishing ahead of both Red Bull drivers. Bottas started the race from 8th position and steadily worked his way forward, leading a string of cars in the late stages. On the final lap, he attempted to pass Verstappen at Spooner but was unsuccessful, bringing home a well-deserved 3rd place finish.

The 2019 Japanese Grand Prix was a real thriller, culminating in one of the most exciting races we’ve ever had here at Auto123.com. But in the end, it was McLaren’s Lando Norris who took home the victory in the season finale, while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen delivered a solid second place finish. But all of that was in vain, as Sergio Perez’s rookie season was cruelly cut short after he suffered a fractured skull in a collision at the final corner. The 24-year-old was in a coma for several days before succumbing to his injuries. It’s been a terrible week for Spanish motorsport, and we’ll never forget the great gentleman that was Sergio.

This one’s for you, Sergio.

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