Hamilton on brink of 4th F1 title

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 9, 2017
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 Lewis Hamilton gives a V for victory at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton grabbed victory at the Formula One (F1) Japan Grand Prix on Sunday, while his chief rival, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel retired early due to an engine trouble.

With only four races remaining for the 2017 season, Hamilton is now 59 points ahead of Vettel.

"I think it's kind of unbelievable, really, to think we are where we are. I was excited to have a good race with Sebastian here, as I was in the last race, but he's obviously been incredibly unfortunate," said Hamilton after the race.

"In the world today, in Formula One it is a lot about reliability, it is about the team's whole performance, not just speed on the track," he added, saying that he was thankful to his team for the solid support.

Regarding the yearly world title, Hamilton was still cautious. "One hundred points is a lot of points. Anything can happen in life," he said, adding that he will go on trying and keeping his head down.

Vettel, though now only having a theoretical chance for the yearly title, is still hopeful.

"Of course it hurts, and we're all disappointed," said the four-time F1 world champion after returning to the pits.

But "we still have a chance this year...now we need to get back, get some rest and then go flat-out for the last four races and see what happens," he said.

The 20-year-old Red Bull star Max Verstappen closely followed Hamilton and claimed the 2nd place in Sunday's race.

"The start for me was very crucial. From there on I could basically do my own race," he said.

He chose to close up on Hamilton in the last two or three laps, but failed to overpass the Briton. "At least I tried," he said, happy to be on the podium.

Hamilton admitted that Verstappen had caused pressure on him. "Jeez he looked so big in my mirrors, but I'm really grateful the car stuck in and I didn't make any mistakes, so I'm really proud of that," he said.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes' Bottas took the third and fourth places respectively.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, starting from the 10th place due to a grid penalty, failed to repeat his 2005 miracle and ended the fifth place.

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