Japanese Grand Prix - Race report

No gearbox penalty for Vettel in Japan

Mercedes-AMG driver Lewis Hamilton consolidated his lead for the 2017 world title as he won the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, ahead of Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

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

The Ferrari driver skipped the pre-race ceremony to remain by his vehicle, as mechanics worked to address the spark plug problem that would put him out of the race.

Heading to U.S. Grand Prix in two weeks time, Hamilton needs to outscore Vettel by 17 points to be crowned champion with three races remaining.

"It didn't help, but it was more last lap with Massa". "But Lewis drove a spectacular race".

Hamilton pointed to his team's consistency on and off the track as the reason why he is in such an enviable position.

At the Renault camp, this was the last race for Jolyon Palmer as he will be replaced by Carlos Sainz starting with the next Grand Prix in the US.

He was near Hamilton, and pressured him, but to be honest, this was just a lesson for the young driver, with rude behavior, and what he did before came back at him now like a boomerang. "Obviously it's not as much in our control as we like but overall I think the team is in a good way".

"I think we will just try to continue to do what we are doing, of course, we want to look after the vehicle and the engine, but we are already doing that throughout the races".


"I feel especially sorry for Sebastian because that is a killer blow for his championship, and really for the fans as well", Horner said.

And Hamilton conceded the 59 point advantage he now holds over the German was way beyond his expectations at this stage of the season. Hamilton ultimately crossed the line 1.2s clear of the Red Bull, taking his fourth win in five races.

"But it's like that sometimes and of course it hurts and I'm disappointed, but now it's important to get some rest and give my all for the last four races and see what happens". "Something is wrong with the vehicle, I don't know if I can make it back." he said. The race after the start spread out and it wasn't that exciting from my point of view. I have to put it down to my team, they've done a phenomenal job, reliability has really been on point. It's just a pity in the two races with the reliability issues.

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". Watch on Wednesday, October 11 at 8:30pm on Sky Sports F1.

"I tried not to bother anyone".

Finland's Valtteri Bottas remains third in the drivers' standings after placing fourth in Suzuka, but Ricciardo's ninth podium finish in the past 12 races has trimmed the gap to Bottas to 42 points.

"It is a circuit I have always enjoyed and now with this year's cars it is a lot of fun".

Fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen, also struck by a gearbox-related grid penalty, was the sole-surviving Ferrari in fifth.

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