Suzuka: Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on Sunday to extend his lead at the top of the drivers championship.
The Mercedes driver’s outing was made all the more comfortable thanks to another major error from his rival, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, reports Efe news.
The German collided with Max Verstappen on lap 8 as he tried to go down the inside of the Red Bull. The Ferrari came off worse, as Vettel spun off the track and dropped to the back of the field.
It was an unnecessarily risky move, as Verstappen had already been slapped with a 5-second penalty for colliding with the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen early on.
The German escaped a penalty of his own, but it was yet another example of Ferrari making avoidable mistakes, after their tire strategy had backfired during qualifying on Saturday to leave both Scuderia cars to start outside of the top 3.
For Hamilton and Mercedes, it was an easy afternoon as he stayed clear of the traffic behind him to cross the line 13 seconds ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas in second.
Max Verstappen followed in third, ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who will surely be satisfied with his fourth place finish after his qualifying session on Saturday had ended with a mechanical failure meaning he started from 15th.
Hamilton, who was in control throughout the weekend having secured pole and the race win, extended his lead in the drivers’ championship to 331 points, 67 points ahead of Vettel in second with just four races remaining.