F1 | Japanese GP: Hamilton moves closer to title after Ferrari’s collapse

by H. Mayor – photo: f1.com | The Japanese GP appeased everyone’s high-running emotions after the first five laps. It was then that Vettel had to abandon the race and Hamilton could comfortably speed away towards another victory without having to deal with his title rival. Vettel, in his tight battle for the title and with not a single point to spare, was let down once more by the reliability issues that his scuderia has been plagued with over the last few months. Hamilton on the other hand, with no need to overstrain in his comfortable lead, decided to go the extra mile and deliver the strike that would virtually hand him the F1 title. Unlike in Malaysia, Hamilton, with everything going for him, launched aggressively towards his eighth win of the season. The odds are now stacked in his favour and he is already savouring the victory in Indianapolis.

The decline in Ferrari’s reliability since Monza has ended up flattening the excitement of a competition that promised an epic last stage. The two withdrawals and the fourth position in Malaysia have made up for the worse possible month and a half for Sebastian Vettel. Nothing can compare to the agony lived by the German driver during the long 5 minutes that he spent in boxes last Sunday, waiting for some sort of mechanical miracle before having to walk away, defeated and resigned.

Hamilton was aware of what was happening at all times and decided to dash for the top prize. Unconcerned by the again mediocre performance of Raikkonen, the Briton measured his chances with the Red Bull team, specially with Verstappen. The young Dutch driver disputed a great race displaying some masterful strategic moves against Hamilton. But the later was generally faster and counted with the valuable support form Bottas, managing to take home the win and virtually securing the final title. He is now 59 points ahead with just 4 races to go.

Sainz to Renault

With the title dispute settled, there were other interesting developments concerning the rest of the grid. Force India raced remarkably well and both Haas accrued points. But most prominent was Carlos Sainz’ farewell (after retiring on the first lap) to Toro Rosso. Against all forecasts, the Spanish driver moves to end the season with Renault in replacement of a hopeless Joylon Palmer, where he will try to help Hulkenberg advance in the classification.

The other piece of news was both McLarens managing to finish the race, with Fernando Alonso almost coming in points which finally were taken by Massa.

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