Lewis Hamilton wins 2017 Japanese GP behind RedBulls; 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

Lewis Hamilton held on to win the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, despite being pushed hard in the final laps by Red Bull's Max Verstappen, whose team mate Daniel Ricciardo warded off Valtteri Bottas for the final podium place.

Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead by 59 points after his top title rival Sebastian Vettel suffered his second retirement in three races, this time due to a spark plug failure on his Ferrari.

Vettel retired on the fourth lap after an engine glitch left him short of power and the German struck a resigned note after the race.

Back at the front, Hamilton was in control easing away from Verstappen's Red Bull, despite a Virtual Safety Car period on lap 8 when Marcus Ericsson put his Sauber in the barriers at Degner.

The Briton will clinch the title at the next race - the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas - if he wins and Vettel finishes lower than fifth.

Britain's Jolyon Palmer completed his last race for Renault in 12th place.

Lewis Hamilton showed the young pretender who was boss on Sunday by fending off Max Verstappen in the closing laps of the Japanese Grand Prix.

"The team did an incredible job". Still I was able to just hold him behind.

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"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".

"The only positive is really that I'm closer to second place". The move has further extended the difference between Hamilton and Vettel for the championship title as the former now leads with a gap of 59 points.

Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo came home third to make it back-to-back double podium finishes for the first time since 2013 for the team from Tilbrook. It is good to get some rest and then we know we have the package to do well in the last four races.

"I think the auto should be a bit better in the race".

He said: "There's not really any need for me to change the approach".

"It is certainly to be regretted these last two races for the reliability, Vettel said. There's also some positives but for sure now we don't look at positives because it is not a day to look at positives".

"For all of us F1 fans we wanted to see the big action out there and with Sebastian having a problem straight off the start, that's not really what we want to see", said Rosberg, at Suzuka as a pundit for Sky Sports television.

"I tried not to bother anyone". The race was restarted on lap 3/53. It feels great. It is a circuit I have always enjoyed, and with this year's cars, it is a lot of fun.

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