Ferrari took advantage of Red Bull’s slump to claim victory with Carlos Sainz, drawing the Scuderia to within 24 points of Mercedes in second place.
Nevertheless, the Milton-Keynes camp remains a colossal 308 points clear of its nearest challenger. Unlike in Singapore, Red Bull’s destiny will be in its own hands in Suzuka.
Red Bull must outscore Mercedes by only a singular point and avoid being outscored by Ferrari by 24 points to ensure the celebrations can get underway on Sunday evening.
The chances of either denying Red Bull the crown this weekend is a long shot. The outcome of the Singapore Grand Prix represented the first time all season that the set of permutations occurred which would keep the championship alive until Qatar.
Despite Red Bull’s troubles in Singapore, the competition expects normal service to resume in Japan.
The top three finishers all conceded the RB19 was likely to be the car to beat across the remaining rounds, while Red Bull team boss Christian Horner denied the team had been impacted by the new Technical directive related to flexy-floors and wings.
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff added: “I think they [Red Bull] have been so strong, they have won all races this year.
“We must not forget we have this outlier here in Singapore which was a difficult track for us in the past in dominant years.
“I have no doubt that they will be strong for the conventional race tracks.
“It’s a breath of fresh air that we have a different winner, we have a podium without them so you’ve got to take the small positives in a year of Red Bull dominance.”