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Lewis Hamilton wins Japan Grand Prix; Brendon Hartley 13th

08 October, 2018, 13:36 | Author: Drew Briggs
  • Mika Hakkinen in his MP4/13

Just how has Hamilton been so good. "I considered Vettel to be the favourite for the title, but he made a lot of mistakes which upsets me", Marko told Austria's Laola1. For the brilliance of Hamilton across the year and the increasingly frequent mistakes made by Vettel, the tactical brains outside of the cars have a couple of times changed the shape of the race.

That means Hamilton only needs to outscore Vettel by eight points at the next race in the United States to clinch a fifth world championship. The Finn finished second in a Mercedes 1-2 and while there were no team orders on the radio, he confirmed there was a pre-plan.

"I can't wait to unleash this beast in Austin", he added, pointing at his auto.

"We've gone from strength to strength as a team this year".

Max Verstappen completed the podium as Vettel endured yet another miserable afternoon following his crash with the Red Bull driver in the early stages of Sunday's Suzuka race.

Vettel was left wondering what might have been after a ruining an electric start with an ill-advised attempt to duck inside Verstappen at turn 13. He said: "You can't overtake on that corner".

'I don't even want to think about him breaking a finger.

"You say almost (done), so obviously there is still a chance", he said. "That's probably the end of his championship".

"I had the speed".

Standing over his auto, the Briton said: "Austin is usually a good track for us, so I can't wait to unleash this beast there". Esteban Ocon finished ninth behind Romain Grosjean of Haas and Renault's Carlos Sainz Jr. beat Pierre Gasly of Torro Rosso to take 10th.

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Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was in the wrong against Max Verstappen.

Having quickly progressed from eighth on the grid following his poor qualifying, Vettel was attacking Verstappen for third at Spoon corner on the first lap after an early safety vehicle at Suzuka when they tangled and the Ferrari spun.

Vettel recovered to finish sixth at Suzuka but now trails Lewis Hamilton by a whopping 67 points with four races left this season after his Mercedes rival roared to victory.

Asked if he felt he could claim credit for "breaking" Ferrari, Hamilton said it has been a team effort: "I think together we can claim credit for applying the pressure, and ultimately maybe that's what happens in head-to-head battles with top competitors - eventually someone has to, even though they're still performing great, one of them can't always be performing the same".

"The gap was there, I had the inside". And as soon as he realises somebody is close or next to him he tries to, in my opinion, push when you shouldn't push any more.

Raikkonen tried to clear him round the outside of the second part of the chicane, only to be forced off by the rejoining Red Bull, which was subsequently assessed a five-second time penalty.

"I knew he had a penalty", insisted Vettel. "I am grateful to have also delivered when the time has been to deliver". "But I don't think there was an bad big gap".

Verstappen saw it differently, naturally.

However, Verstappen defended, the pair touched and Vettel spun off the track.

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