Japanese GP – Lewis Hamilton Coasts To Easy Win and Extends Lead

Lewis Hamilton secured an easy win at the Japanese GP and extended his lead in the drivers’ championship over Sebastian Vettel to 67-points. Hamilton recorded his 71st career win and his ninth win of the 2018 season. Valtteri Bottas finished second for a second consecutive Mercedes 1-2. Max Verstappen completed the podium places, his third consecutive podium finish at Suzuka.

Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel finished fifth and sixth respectively. Sergio Perez finished seventh and “best of the rest”. Romain Grosjean, Esteban Ocon, and Carlos Sainz rounded off the top 10 positions.

Lewis Hamilton Coasts To Easy Win and Extends Lead

The race started under clear and sunny skies with air temperature at 27 degrees C and track temperatures at 34 degrees C at the Suzuka circuit. Mercedes had a front row lockout with Hamilton on pole.

The top 2 drivers started on the yellow-striped soft tyres which were expected to last longer than the ultrasoft tyres. The other drivers in the top 10 were on the red-striped ultrasoft tyres.

After starting eighth, Vettel made rapid progress to fourth in the opening laps. But on lap 8, a clash with Verstappen saw him drop to the back of the field. Vettel battled back to sixth but lost more ground to Hamilton in the title race.

Vettel is now 67-points behind Hamilton with four races to go. His title hopes for 2018 has almost disappeared with yet another poor race. Hamilton and Mercedes have one-hand on both titles with four races to go.

Formula 1 heads to COTA and the USA GP in two weeks time (19 – 21 October 2018).

Japanese GP Race Results:

Pos No Driver Car Laps Time/Retired PTS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 53 1:27:17.062 25
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 53 +12.919s 18
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 53 +14.295s 15
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 53 +19.495s 12
5 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 53 +50.998s 10
6 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 53 +69.873s 8
7 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 53 +79.379s 6
8 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 53 +87.198s 4
9 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 53 +88.055s 2
10 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 52 +1 lap 1
11 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 52 +1 lap 0
12 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 52 +1 lap 0
13 28 Brendon Hartley Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 52 +1 lap 0
14 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 52 +1 lap 0
15 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 52 +1 lap 0
16 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 52 +1 lap 0
17 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 52 +1 lap 0
NC 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 38 DNF 0
NC 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 37 DNF 0
NC 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 8 DNF 0


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