Published: Mon, October 09, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Hamilton: Verstappen 'looked so big in my mirrors'

Hamilton: Verstappen 'looked so big in my mirrors'

Ferrari's Vettel dropped out four laps into the race after slipping down the field from the start with an engine problem and Mercedes driver Hamilton now leads the German by 59 points with 100 available in the remaining four races.

With four races to go and a lead of 59 points, It can be assumed that Lewis Hamilton will in all possibility win the 2017 Formula one season unless nearly everything goes wrong with Team Mercedes.

With Vettel out of the race, it quickly became a showdown between Hamilton and Max Verstappen. The race was restarted on lap 3/53.

Vettel began to slow down in what appeared to be a spark plug problem. He started the race but immediately started losing places and complained of lacking power.

Hamilton admitted that the virtual safety auto saw him lose some temperature in his tyres and made his final laps more hard than he wanted them to be, but he was still able to take the victory despite the close attention of Red Bull Racing racer Verstappen.

"I am not really particularly taking any insane risks in order to be in the position I am in", the 32-year-old Briton said after driving his Mercedes to an imperious win at Suzuka, his eighth of a season in which he has faced a renewed challenge from the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.

"It's nearly unbelievable to think we are where we are in the championship", said Hamilton.

"It is certainly to be regretted these last two races for the reliability, Vettel said".

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"Of course it hurts, and we're all disappointed", said the four times world champion, who hugged his mechanics and gave the crowd a quick wave after returning to the pits.

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.

But his latest antics will make rival drivers even more wary of him. I just have to keep my head down and keep doing what I've been doing. "Ferrari have put on such a great challenge all season long". My team have done a great job.

"A phenomenal job and reliability has really been on point".

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.

The Dutchman was all over Hamilton on the penultimate lap at Suzuka, as the race leader got bogged down lapping the squabbling Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso. While the VSc Period last from Lap 48-50, when the Canadian spun, he nearly collected Ricciardo along with him, who was approaching the same corner carrying unprecedented speed. Hamilton ultimately crossed the line 1.2s clear of the Red Bull, taking his fourth win in five races. He could clinch the title as early as the next US Grand Prix.

"But for sure now you don't look at the positives because it's not the day to look at positives". The track was fantastic.

Max Verstappen was in good spirits after his runner-up result at the Japanese Grand Prix despite arguably being denied a shot at the win by backmarker traffic.

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