Early Vettel retirement paves way for easy Hamilton victory at Japan GP


Early Vettel retirement paves way for easy Hamilton victory at Japan GP

Britain's Lewis Hamilton has vowed to finish the season in style after tightening his grip on a fourth drivers' championship with victory at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.

Vettel retired from the race earlier on and as a result, the gap between him and Hamilton in the standings is now 59 points with four races to go.

Engine problems forced the German out of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix on the fourth lap after his Ferrari mechanics had worked feverishly on the starting grid to try and fix an engine problem.

Ferrari had no choice but to retire Vettel from the race, ending his hopes of cutting the gap to Hamilton, who now leads the race for Mercedes.

Hamilton secured his last title in Austin two years ago and has won the last three races at the Circuit of the Americas.

Max Verstappen had race victor Lewis Hamilton in his sights but was held up by back markers, forcing him to settle for second place at the Japanese Grand Prix.

"The team did an incredible job, and it wasn't an easy one for us at all".

"I could see Lewis managing his tyres and, with traffic, it seemed hard for him to follow other cars compared to me", Verstappen said. "Of course it hurts and we're all disappointed".

"All I can really say is that I have to put (the success) down to my team". Max Verstappen was quick to pass Daniel Ricciardo for P3 and was now trying to close in on Vettel to take P2.

"I think the auto should be a bit better in the race". The most a team can score in one race is 43, so even if Ferrari enjoy a one-two in the next three races without Mercedes scoring a single point, they will still be 16 points short of their rivals heading into the final race of the season. "We go flat out for the last four races and see what happens", he said.

"I'm reasonably happy", said the Ferrari driver.

Race victor Lewis Hamilton: "We have had such a great crowd this week you always look after us so well and the support was vast". Moments later Ocon was also passed by Bottas, who was the highest-placed driver to have started the race on soft tyres.

"I tried everything on the last run, I knew I had to take a bit more risk", he continued.

The Brit emerged in third place just ahead of the Red Bull. Ricciardo now led the race away from Bottas, both drivers were yet to stop. His teammate Kimi Raikkonen also had vehicle trouble all weekend, but managed to finish fifth after starting down in 11th place. Fortunately for Hamilton though, the leaders came up to lap Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa towards the end of the penultimate lap.



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