Lewis Hamilton storms to Japanese GP win but who was our Driver of the Day?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Lewis Hamilton romped to victory at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday to close in on a fourth world title after Sebastian Vettel retired with engine failure four laps in.

The Briton dominated from pole, steering his Mercedes to a crushing eighth win of the year, to stretch his Formula One championship lead over Vettel to 59 points with just 100 left to play for.

What did you think of the action in Suzuka?

Let us know on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

DRIVER OF THE DAY

Max Verstappen put in an majestic performance to finish second – a week after clinching victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The 20-year-old has endured a frustrating campaign, retiring from seven of the 16 races due to mechanical issues.

Starting from P5, the Dutchman caught Sebastian Vettel napping on the first lap and grabbed second place.

Although he pushed Hamilton for long spells of the race, the Mercedes driver had too much pace around the sweeping circuit at Suzuka.

With his team mate Daniel Ricciardo finishing third, it proved to be another successful weekend for Red Bull.

FASTEST LAP

Valtteri Bottas may have fallen short after starting from P2 on the grid, however his lap of of 1:33.144 on 50 proved to be the fastest of the day.

Kimi Raikonnen’s 1:33.175 on lap 50 was the second-fastest, with Daniel Ricciardo’s 1:33.694 on 52 third fastest as he pushed for second place.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

After an impressive weekend in practice, Sebastian Vettel was forced to retire on lap 5 due to a spark plug failure.

He was passed by Verstappen, Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas in the first lap and was called in to retire on lap five.

That follows an engine issue a week ago in Malaysia which saw him start from the back of the grid and recover to fourth, and a first-corner crash in Singapore that left both Ferraris out of the race.

Hamilton, who started on pole alongside Vettel, cruised to victory to open a 59-point lead over his German rival with just four races remaining.

ONE TO WATCH

Another fantastic performance from Pierre Gasly in just his second Grand Prix drive – finishing 13th.

The Toro Rosso driver looked solid in Suzuka as he held off the challenges of Pascal Wehrlein and Stoffel Vandoorne to finish just outside the points.

The Frenchman finished 14th on his F1 race debut in Malaysia last week, and has subsequently relinquished the chance to win the Super Formula title, with the final round in Japan clashing with the US Grand Prix later this month.

Most popular

Lewis Hamilton wins Japanese Grand Prix to close in on fourth world title

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Unstoppable: Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton romped to victory at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday to close in on a fourth world title after Sebastian Vettel retired with engine failure four laps in.

The Briton dominated from pole, steering his Mercedes to a crushing eighth win of the year, stretching his Formula One championship lead over Vettel to 59 points with just 100 left to play for.

“Honestly I could only have dreamed of having this kind of gap,” said Hamilton after holding off a late charge from Max Verstappen in Suzuka.

“The team has done a phenomenal job, they’re just so meticulous so a big thank you to the guys.”

The Red Bulls of Verstappen — who stunned Hamilton to win in Malaysia last week — and Daniel Ricciardo secured a double podium for the second successive race.

Valtteri Bottas finished fourth in the second Mercedes with Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari taking fifth and Esteban Ocon sixth for Force India.

As Hamilton powered to his fourth victory in Japan, Vettel’s title hopes suffered a potentially fatal blow with four races left after a nightmare start from the front row.

Ferrari mechanics worked frantically on the grid to fix a spark plug issue before lights out and Vettel was quickly complaining of a lack of power.

The German, who finished fourth in Malaysia and crashed from pole in Singapore before that, plummeted to sixth on the first lap before being told to retire the car as Hamilton roared away into the distance.

“It’s just a pity in the two races with the reliability issues,” said Vettel, who led the championship just six weeks ago.

“But now it’s important to get some rest and give my all for the last four races and see what happens.”
The warmer conditions were supposed to favour the Ferraris but Hamilton ruthlessly took a stranglehold on the 53-lap race, backing up his record-breaking pole performance on Saturday.

Verstappen raised pulses over the final two laps but ultimately his charge was too little too late to prevent a fourth successive Suzuka win for Mercedes.

Also in the points, Sergio Perez finished seventh for Force India ahead of the two Haas cars of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean with Felipe Massa holding off Fernando Alonso’s McLaren to take 10th for Williams.

Most popular

Lewis Hamilton secures 71st career pole ahead of rival Sebastian Vettel at Japanese Grand Prix

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Top spot: Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton struck a huge psychological blow in the Formula One title race Saturday with a sizzling qualifying drive to take pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Briton, who leads Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 34 points with five races left, steered his Mercedes to a track record of one minute, 27.319 seconds with Valtteri Bottas second fastest.

Vettel will join Hamilton on the front row after Bottas incurred a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change to his Mercedes on Friday.

“The car is crazy here,” said the triple world champion after his 71st career pole, and first at Suzuka.

“This track has always been one of the greatest and with this car it’s just mind-blowing,” added Hamilton, looking to hit back after being stunned by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in Malaysia last weekend.

“With the downforce we now have it’s three seconds faster than before and it’s just insane speeds that this car is throwing us around inside.

“It’s incredible, my first pole position here – 10th time lucky or whatever it is.”

A three-time winner of the Japanese Grand Prix, Hamilton fired a clear warning to Vettel, who realistically needs to win this weekend to revive his fading title hopes.

The German, who finished fourth in Malaysia after starting from last, set the tempo in Friday’s rain-hit practice but was well off the pace in qualifying.

“I tried everything on that last lap as I knew I had to take a bit more risks,” said Vettel.

“I knew that we’d be on front row because of Valtteri’s penalty so I’m pretty happy.”

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest, followed by Verstappen – putting the two Red Bulls on the second row.

The Force India pair of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez start on row three with Bottas and the Williams of Felipe Massa behind them.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen qualified sixth quickest, has also been demoted five places after switching his gearbox following a shunt in Saturday’s practice.

There were more hair-raising moments in qualifying as Bottas, who crashed in the morning’s free practice, almost lost control early on.

Romain Grosjean was less fortunate and smashed into a wall moments later, mangling his Haas machine.
“Massive oversteer – I don’t know what happened,” snapped Grosjean over team radio.

Former world champion Fernando Alonso outqualified McLaren team mate Stoffel Vandoorne but it mattered little as the Spaniard will start the race from last after changing his engine overnight.

As a result, Vandoorne will be promoted from 11th to 10th on the starting grid. 

Most popular