Japan Grand Prix Race Highlights:
- Hamilton came first with a time of 1:27:17.062
- Bottas and Verstappen followed on second and third
- Hamilton took a lead of 67 points at the top of the drivers’ championship table
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton edged closer to a fifth driver’s championship title with victory at the Japan Grand Prix. With closest rival Sebastian Vettel finishing sixth, the title is all but within Hamilton’s grasp who can seal it in the USA Grand Prix if there is a point difference of eight points between him and Vettel there.
Hamilton’s supremacy ever since the British Grand Prix has been undisputed in the formula one circuit. The Britain who was behind Vettel by two points at that instance has gone onto taking 168 points from the 175 available in the 5 years being raced since then to move onto a 67 point lead. Sitting pretty at the top with a healthy distance between second place, Hamilton is easing ever so smoothly into another drivers’ championship for himself. A sixth win in seven races for Hamilton saw him reach his 71st career win in Japan.
The drive for Hamilton went according to the script. It was a serene drive by him, one where his win was never in doubt. While it was a decisive victory at Suzuka for him, for Vettel the race pulled the curtain down on his hopes of winning the title this year. A season that had started with a bang with Ferrari and Vettel giving Hamilton a race for his money is now ending in a whimper with Ferrari failing to keep up with Mercedes.
Vettel has repeatedly faltered this season and Japan was no different for him. His failure to maintain a challenge has seen a ruthless Hamilton run away with the title. From Vettel’s failing in qualification that saw him record a poor time to start the race eight to Ferrari’s poor judgement in tyre choice on a wet-dry track, the race was an epitome of Ferrari’s season since the last five races.
While Mercedes dominated the race, making a one-two of Lewis Hamilton and ValtteriBottas, chaos was ensuing elsewhere. Trying to pass Verstappen, Vettel clipped into Verstappen car after trying to drive up inside of the spoon. The incident left Vettel with a damaged car and back of the field, a position he could only manage to come sixth from.
Verstappen felt Vettel was at fault. “In that corner, you can’t overtake,” he said. “I gave him space but he understeered into my car.”
Hamilton said: “In terms of Sebastian’s performance, of course, I didn’t expect him to fade away. I definitely hadn’t anticipated that Ferrari would tail off as they have.
“Their performances have not been as strong as before. This is what happens in head-to-head battles with top competitors. One cannot always perform at the same level. The ultimate challenge is seeing who breaks and who falters. I’m just grateful to have delivered.”
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