Lewis Hamilton won the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday to extend his F1 drivers’ championship lead over Sebastian Vettel to 59 points.
Mercedes’ Hamilton can clinch the world title at the US Grand Prix in two weeks’ time if he wins, and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finishes outside the top five.
Vettel was forced to retire in Japan, following a spark plug problem on the grid that saw him drop to sixth after the first lap.
With his closest rival out, Hamilton looked to have the race under control until the very closing stages, when Max Verstappen cut a five-second lead down to barely one in the final laps. The Briton, though, was able to hold him off to claim the win.
‘I could have only dreamed about having such a gap in the standings,’ said Hamilton. ‘I owe everything to the team. They are meticulous.
‘The team did an incredible job. Max had an outstanding race. It wasn’t an easy one at all.’
Red Bull’s Verstappen said: ‘It was a great day again. I really love the track. We had great pace – just really hard to pass. I tried my all.
‘As soon as we switched to the soft tyres we were really competitive.’
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