Lewis Hamilton Wins As Sebastian Vettel Retires

Valtteri Bottas crashed into the barrier after making a mistake by running wide of the track

Valtteri Bottas crashed into the barrier after making a mistake by running wide of the track

Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel had to retire on lap 5 of today's Japanese Grand Prix due to an engine issue.

Vettel was leading the championship after the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August, and just three points behind following Hamilton's victory in Italy a week later, but has haemorrhaged points over Formula 1's three late-season races in Asia.

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.

Hamilton admitted that the virtual safety vehicle 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. Verstappen was in next time around, which triggered an immediate response from the race leader on lap 22.

"The track was fantastic and the team did a sensational job, said Hamilton".

Fernando Alonso was unlucky not to take that last points place, having started at the back of the grid, but Vandoorne in the second McLaren could only manage 14th, three places down on where he started the race. "I've just got to try to keep my head down and hopefully continue to perform like this". "Of course it hurts and we're all disappointed".

"It was not ideal for both of us, he lost time and I think I lost quite a few seconds at that point as well which would have helped me massively at the end of the race".

It was Hamilton's eighth win of the season and his third at Suzuka and means he will now go to Austin later this month with the possibility of securing his fourth F1 Drivers' Championship. Bottas is placed third in the Drivers' title with a total of 234 points and is followed by Daniel Ricciardo (192 points).

"Kimi's race was compromised by his less than ideal start position, which came about because of the penalty he had to take for a change of gearbox following his accident in P3", Arrivabene added. "I just felt a couple of things so you just point out things that you might forget to tell them". Bitter about the last two races with the reliability issues.

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

"For me, there was not a lot [discussion], maybe internally there was more", Bottas said.

Late for the anthem, the German also had little to say to the waiting media before departing the circuit early. His teammate Kimi Raikkonen also had auto trouble all weekend, but managed to finish fifth after starting down in 11th place.

Magnussen (Haas), Romain Grosjean (Haas) and Felipe Massa (Williams) completed the top 10.

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