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Japanese GP: Hamilton wins as Vettel clashes with Verstappen

  • Published on 07 Oct 2018 08:41
  • comments 11
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Lewis Hamilton has won the Japanese Prix and has extended his championship lead to 67 points as his championship rival Sebastian Vettel was in the wars with Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Hamilton dominated the race from start to finish, converting his pole position from Saturday into victory. The Briton inches ever closer to a fifth world championship while Mercedes took maximum points, with Valtteri Bottas coming home in second place.

Bottas managed to hold off Verstappen for second after the Dutchman applied the pressure in the final stages of the race. The 21-year-old took his third podium in five races despite being handed a five second time penalty in during the race.

At the end of the first lap Verstappen locked up heading into the final chicane and ran wide. He made slight contact with Kimi Raikkonen as he rejoined the track allowing Vettel to pass his teammate who was pushed slightly wide by the Red Bull. He was awarded a five-second time penalty for the incident, which he served at his pit stop.

It wasn't too long before Verstappen became involved with a Ferrari again after he and Vettel came together on lap 10. Vettel attempted to overtake the former Toro Rosso driver heading into the Spoon curve but instead hit the side of Verstappen's car which sent the German spinning out.

Vettel managed to recover and cut his way through the field to finish in suxth place. He ended up behind former teammate Daniel Ricciardo who finished in fourth despite starting the race from fifteenth on the grid, and teammate Kimi Raikkonen.

After a disappointing qualifying performance, Sergio Perez crossed the line in seventh place. It was a double points finish for Force India as Esteban Ocon came home in ninth.

Tucked in between the two pink panthers was Romain Grosjean who collected more points for Haas, who look to close in on Renault. Renault itself managed to secure a point at the hands of Carlos Sainz who overtook Pierre Gasly in the final laps of the Grand Prix.

It was a disappointing result for Toro Rosso after the Red Bull junior squad starred in qualifying. Gasly was eleventh, while Brendon Hartley was thirteenth. The Kiwi had a poor opening lap, losing four positions and failed to recover going forward. 

JP Circuit Suzuka - 07 October 2018

Replies (11)

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  • Verstappen rejoins the track in front of Raikkonnen who reacts like he wasn't there - instant penalty. "Dangerous!"

    Vettel torpedoes Verstappen and damages his car. They "debate" for 1/3 of the race just to swept it under the carpet at the end.

    Another "Charlie Whiting" decision, influenced by Ferrari.

    • + 0
    • Oct 7 2018 - 09:26
    • no consistency whatsoever.

      • + 0
      • Oct 7 2018 - 10:26
    • Yes, because Verstappen was ever so innocent in the Vet-Max incident...

      • + 0
      • Oct 7 2018 - 22:40
    • @Calle.ITW It s not about VER or VET being guilty or not - I m perfectly happy with no penalties and calling it a racing incident, the problem is that on other occasions and other tracks similar lunges are penalised with 5 sec for causing a collision. And that lack of consistency is BS in my eyes

      • + 0
      • Oct 8 2018 - 08:23
  • boudy

    Posts: 1,168

    Actually your wrong there. It is consistent with not punishing any Mercedes or Ferrari drivers. Nothing to do about that. Even the guys from SKY thought Vettel should have had an penalty.

    • + 0
    • Oct 7 2018 - 10:51
    • True, and for Paul DiResta to fault Vettel and defend Verstappen... unheard of :)

      • + 0
      • Oct 7 2018 - 10:59
  • xoya

    Posts: 583

    Let's all not forget that "if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver".

    • + 0
    • Oct 7 2018 - 15:09
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      Personally I don't mind all these things since it all adds to the drama that is F1. Verstappen almost got taken out by Vettel but they build those Redbull well. Love the attitude of Verstappen and find the Vettel point of view pathetic. I really hope that Honda builds a competitive PU next year so we have a 3 way fight.

      • + 0
      • Oct 7 2018 - 19:19
    • The problem with Vettel is, he is going for gaps that do not exist. What does this make him? For sure not a racing driver.
      He is done after this season.

      • + 0
      • Oct 7 2018 - 19:50
    • xoya

      Posts: 583

      Verstappen left the door wide open, only to slam them shut as hard as he could. Racing incident through and through. Vettel tried, Verstappen didn't leave enough space (which he isn't really obliged to do) and that's it.

      • + 0
      • Oct 8 2018 - 02:41
  • I didnt expect much, and were still disappointed. Mind, it was an okay race, but okay isnt up to Suzuka standards.

    • + 0
    • Oct 7 2018 - 22:41

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