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Hamilton calls 59-point lead over Vettel in F1 title race 'unbelievable'

08 Octobre 2017

Verstappen finished a close second with Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo completing the podium, but it was all about Hamilton here.

"But I am ready, I'm game and I am on it", Hamilton said, as quoted by the BBC.

"I wouldn't say that I have one hand on it (the title)", he added later.

"It's still a long way to go, there are still 100 points". Vettel needs wins if he hopes to get back into the championship hunt.

Hamilton is expected to clinch the title at the next Grand Prix scheduled for Austin, Texas, United States, if he wins and Vettel finishes lower than fourth.

The move has further extended the difference between Hamilton and Vettel for the championship title as the former now leads with a gap of 59 points. Both drivers got off to decent start even as Hamilton continued to lead at Turn 1.

Engine problems forced the German out of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix on the fourth lap after his Ferrari (NYSE:) mechanics had worked feverishly on the starting grid to try and fix an engine problem. "There's also some positives but for sure now we don't look at positives because it is not a day to look at positives".

Speaking after the clash, Hamilton said: "Max drove an outstanding race and honestly it wasn't an easy one for us at all". He held it at just over two seconds until a late VSC period after which for the last two laps Hamilton had difficulty getting up to speed struggling with some vibration from the powerunit and Verstappen closed to within a second.

But when he was interviewed by Sato, who won the famous Indy 500 race in May this year, Hamilton was distracted by the winner's ring that the Japanese racer was wearing. "I had massive understeer. I took some downforce off overnight so on the straights it will either give me a better chance to attack or defend". However, a late virtual safety auto (VSC), fading tyres, traffic, and a charging Verstappen, all conspired to cut his advantage to just 1.2s at the chequered flag. Esteban Ocon also deserves plaudits for a stellar drive for Force India, but this was another weekend where Verstappen's on-track brilliant stole the headlines.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was eighth followed by teammate Romain Grosjean. Brazilian Felipe Massa rounded out the top 10 for Williams.

Palmer signs off: Jolyon Palmer's final race for Renault was something of a damp squib.

Carlos Sainz lost control of his Toro Rosso, spinning across the gravel into the wall on the outside and retiring after the second lap.

Hamilton calls 59-point lead over Vettel in F1 title race 'unbelievable'