Hamilton wins in Japan, Vettel sixth
SUZUKA – Reuters
Finland’s Valtteri Bottas secured the Mercedes one-two with second place while Verstappen finished third despite collecting a five-second penalty.
“We’ve gone from strength to strength as a team this year. Austin is generally a good track for us and I can’t wait to unleash this beast there,” said Hamilton after leading every lap from pole position.
The victory was the 71st of his career, leaving him only 20 behind the record of seven times world champion Michael Schumacher.
Vettel, who had started eighth after a failed tyre gamble in qualifying, collided with Verstappen while trying to pass on the inside for third place at the fast left-handed sweep of Suzuka’s Spoon corner.
Vettel spun around and resumed at the back.
Stewards reviewed the incident and decided to take no further action.
Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene said the podium had been within Ferrari’s grasp.
“I know the situation looks impossible but our job is to challenge the impossible, this is what we are going to do in the next four races,” added the Italian.