L ewis Hamilton can chill the champagne. This world championship is as good as decided. Even if the four-time title holder still verbally steps on the brakes. With the victory in Suzuka, Hamilton added 25 points to his account. For the fourth time in a row. The 33-year-old Englishman now has 331 points. Sebastian Vettel is already 67 points behind.
Sunday afternoon turned into a drive for Hamilton. He boiled off the opponents at the start and did not even lose the top spot in the 53 laps. Hamilton triumphed for the 71st time in his career. It was his ninth win of the season. And he won for the fourth time after 2014, 2015 and 2017 in Suzuka and for the fifth time overall in Japan.
Suzuka highlights in the gallery
Valtteri Bottas made the silver double success perfect. Even if the Finn came under pressure from Max Verstappen in the end. The Dutchman mixed up the Ferrari in the first fifth of the race. First he punched Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari. That earned him a five-second penalty. Later he collided with Vettel. The commissioners ruled: racing accident.
Apart from the action at the front, the GP Japan was definitely entertaining. Charles Leclerc thundered Kevin Magnussen into the rear of the home straight. The commissioners waived a penalty. Lance Stroll pushed Fernando Alonso off the track, and the Spaniard cut short. Both violations were punished and given time penalties.
Safety car driver Bernd Mayländer had to leave once. That was at the start of the race afterMagnussen had distributed carbon parts widely. At the back there was a virtual safety car after Leclerc rode out in the Degner curve and parked his car next to the track.
In our photo show we show you the highlights of the GP Japan 2018.