Hamilton wins F1 race in Japan, challenger Vettel sixth

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The win puts his fifth world championship firmly in his grasp.

Hamilton won the downhill gallop to the opening bend, with Bottas slotting in behind, and Verstappen holding off Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari.Lewis Hamilton has one hand, three fingers and a thumb on the world championship after romping to victory in Japan as his rival Sebastian Vettel finished a lowly sixth following a calamitous collision. Verstappen was subsequently assessed a five-second time penalty.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who started 15th after an engine failure in qualifying, finished fourth for Red Bull and ahead of Raikkonen after making the jump during the pitstops.

After 10 rounds, Vettel led Hamilton by eight points, but he has lost a staggering 75 to his rival in the space of just seven races. A win, with Vettel finishing lower than second, is all he needs.

For Hamilton and Bottas enjoyed an nearly serene run from the front row to the flag, although Bottas was pressured by Verstappen at the death.

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A round-up of the main talking points from the Japanese Grand Prix, where another disastrous weekend for Ferrari all but handed Lewis Hamilton the 2018 championship. He took the flag at Fuji for McLaren in 2007 and has now won for Mercedes at Suzuka in four of the five races since 2014. "There have been issues with the blistering [in the last few races]".

The Brackley-based Mercedes outfit, unbeaten in the turbo-hybrid era that began in 2014, had the second best vehicle for much of the season with Ferrari holding an edge.

Hamilton, having benefitted from Mercedes" "masterstroke' in qualifying to secure pole on Saturday, made light work of the race at Suzuka on Sunday, claiming a fourth successive Grand Prix victory in comfortable fashion.

Suzuka was expected to provide a good measure of just how Ferrari and Mercedes now match up to one another and on this evidence Mercedes have clearly regained the advantage. And on Mercedes' current form that looks very achievable indeed. He was quick off the line and had passed the Toro Rosso's of Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley by the time he was into the esses to take sixth and the Haas of Romain Grosjean fell swiftly afterwards.

But yet again this season, it was a weekend littered with costly mistakes, by team, and it's No 1 driver, Sebastian Vettel.

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After the restart, Vettel was behind Verstappen and he saw an opportunity to pass into Spoon when the Red Bull slowed approaching the corner as the engine went into energy harvesting mode.

'I know from a probability standpoint it doesn't look as if we will lose it, but this is motor racing and anything can happen.

Vettel tumbled down the order to 19th and while both were investigated by race stewards for the collision, no action was taken. The Ferrari was mostly alongside entering the corner, only for the two to collide. It was the decisive moment of the race.

"But it's not always right that the other guy has to move". He was putting in some of the fastest laps and on lap 35 was in 6 but a full 40 seconds behind his teammate in fifth. "It just depends on the situation, like the race in Russian Federation".

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