ADVANTAGE HAMILTON AFTER VETTEL-VERSTAPPEN BATTLE

ADVANTAGE HAMILTON AFTER VETTEL-VERSTAPPEN BATTLE

Sebastian Vettel's title challenge is all but over after Lewis Hamilton won the Japanese Grand Prix yesterday to stand on the brink of a fifth Formula One crown yesterday.

 

The German could only manage sixth place after colliding with Red Bull's Max Verstappen, whom he tried to pass for third place on the eighth lap at Turn 13, which resulted in his Ferrari spinning. Stewards reviewed the incident and decided to take no further action but Vettel, also a four-time world champion, made clear where he felt the blame rested with his championship hopes practically extinguished. "I was obviously pushing to get past but I wasn't desperate," he said. "As soon as he (Verstappen) realises somebody is close or next to him, he tries to push when you shouldn't push any more. It's normal that it sometimes gets close, but you need to always give the space and in that case, I couldn't go anywhere and then we touched."

 

Verstappen, who finished third, saw the incident differently and said: "In that corner, you can't overtake. I even gave him space but he understeered into my car."

 

Hamilton now has a 67-point lead over Vettel with four races remaining and can sew up the championship next week with victory in Austin, Texas should the German finish lower than second. "We've gone from strength to strength as a team this year. Austin is generally a good track for us and I can't wait to unleash this beast there," he said after leading every lap at Suzuka for his 71st career win and fifth victory in Japan.

 

Source: www.straitstimes.com AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

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