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Japanese F1 Grand Prix 2017 Results: Winner, Standings, Highlights, Reaction

Japanese F1 Grand Prix 2017 Results: Winner, Standings, Highlights, Reaction

Lewis Hamilton is on the brink of a fourth world title after extending his championship lead to 59 points with victory at the Japanese Grand Prix while title rival Sebastian Vettel retired with an early engine issue.

The German's race was run within a matter of minutes after a spark plug problem forced his retirement on lap 5, effectively ending any hopes he had of taking his fifth championship title.

The Ferrari driver skipped the pre-race ceremony to remain by his auto, as mechanics worked to address the spark plug problem that would put him out of the race.

Vettel lost a place to Max Verstappen at the hairpin before slipping all the way back to sixth on the main straight, with yet more positions being lost after a brief safety vehicle period.

Lewis Hamilton has won the Japanese GP 2017 after leading from start to finish. Max (Verstappen) had an outstanding race.

"The track was fantastic and the team did a sensational job, said Hamilton".

"We started 20th and we finished 11th, with a good recovery, with only one pit-stop, and starting on a used set of tires".

"There's still 100 points available, so I'm still going to keep the pedal to the metal", said the Briton. "Of course it hurts and we're all disappointed". We are improving race-by-race and I think we have got a lot further than people thought. He looked so big in my mirrors but really grateful the vehicle stuck together and I didn't make any mistakes.

And now, if Hamilton can outscore Vettel at the next race by 16 points, the driver's title is his.

"I think it's kind of unbelievable, really, to think we are where we are".

Ferrari's (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel failed to finish.

"They're just so meticulous and that's really why we have the reliability we have and the results we're having, so a big thank you to the guys".

"There is also some positives, but for sure now you don't look at the positives because it is not the day to look at them". That said, Vettel's odds remain unfavorable, even if Hamilton is sidelined by mechanical problems of his own. "I am really happy about that". His teammate Kimi Raikkonen also had auto trouble all weekend, but managed to finish fifth after starting down in 11th place. Raikkonen had recovered to sixth ahead of the two Force India cars, with Jolyon Palmer ten seconds back at the head of a train of cars fighting hard over tenth place that included Massa, Magnussen, Grosjean and Pierre Gasly.

Williams driver Felipe Massa held off a stern challenge from McLaren's Fernando Alonso for the final point, helped by a late virtual safety auto.

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