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Sport Lewis Hamilton Formula 1

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Hamilton on the brink of fifth title after Japan win

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the race with second placed Valtteri Bottas and third placed Red Bull's Max Verstappen. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish at the Japanese Grand Prix to move closer to winning a fifth Formula One championship. Hamilton increased his lead over title rival Sebastian Vettel to 67 points after the Ferrari driver finished sixth.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valteri Bottas finished second while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claimed the last podium place. While Hamilton, starting from pole, completely dominated the race, Vettel, who started eighth on the grid, quickly jumped to fourth.

However, in his attempt to overtake Verstappen, the German driver spun off on the eighth lap and found himself in 19th position. He recovered to eventually finish in sixth place that has faded his title hopes.

Hamilton will retain his title if he wins the next race at Austin and Vettel fails to finish second.

“It’s a great one-two for Mercedes and a true showing of the strength in depth we have,” Hamilton said.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth after starting way back in 15th while Kimi Raikkonen was fifth.

Sergio Perez took seventh ahead of Romain Grosjean, Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz Jr.