Hamilton takes big step towards title

Max Verstappen is congratulated by Lewis HamiltonMax Verstappen is congratulated by Lewis Hamilton
Max Verstappen is congratulated by Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton looks certain to regain the F1 World Championship following his victory in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas driver took his 61st career victory and his third at the Suzuka International Racing Circuit. Brackley team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished fourth, his best ever finish in Japan.

Hamilton now leads the FIA Drivers’ Championship by 59 points from Sebastian Vettel with Bottas a further 13 points behind in third.

But team boss Toto Wolff is not relaxing yet.

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Wolff said: “One look at the points standings might give us some brief comfort but there are still four races to go, 100 points to win in the drivers’ title and, if the past weeks have shown us anything at all, it’s that anything can happen in motor sport.

“We take no prisoners in how we claim our points but we are all conscious that we have benefited from our rivals’ misfortune and reliability woes in recent weeks.

“So nothing changes in our approach: we must take the next races one at a time, push to better understand the car and keep our humble attitude. That is the approach that has worked for us so far and the way we will continue until the final race in Abu Dhabi.”

Hamilton said: “It’s almost unbelievable to think we are where we are in the championship. I was excited to race Sebastian [Vettel] but he was obviously very unfortunate.

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“It’s still a long way to go, there are still a hundred points. I’m just going to keep my head down and hopefully will continue to be in a form like this. “

Bottas added: “I’ve definitely learned a lot again from this weekend. I now want to focus on the last few races, make the most out of them and see where we end up this year.

“I’m looking forward to Austin, I enjoy the track very much, it’s where I got my first points in Formula One.”