Lewis Hamilton on the hunt despite F1 title lead

Casey Dawson
October 6, 2017

Few will need reminding that Hamilton has won the U.S. Grand Prix, a race yet to come, five times in the past six years and ended 2016 with four wins in a row.

Lewis Hamilton limbered up for Suzuka by joining National Basketball Association superstar Stephen Curry for a spot of golf in China.

Raikkonen qualified within half a tenth of pole position and then didn't make the start because of engine issues, and that's another massive disappointment for the team.

Verstappen, who had only finished half of the races he started this season prior to Sepang, was relieved to win.

"We must not forget that we're talking about the auto that leads the constructors' championship and leads the drivers' championship", Wolff said.

I thought the race itself was really a great send-off to the Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, the omens do not look good for Ferrari in Japan. On both weekends, Ferrari has had the pace to win, and Mercedes knows that the current bad luck for the Scuderia will not continue forever.

His first victory, at the Spanish Grand Prix previous year, had elements of luck to it, with Red Bull opting to change team-mate Daniel Ricciardo onto a different strategy while leading, ultimately costing him the win while gifting it to Verstappen, who was competing with the Tilbrook team for the first time.

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Rosberg's victory last season put him on course for his championship victory, while Hamilton's 2014 and 2015 victories also helped him to world championship glory.

Mercedes extended the lead over Ferrari s in the constructors' championship to 118 points.

The four-times champion had gone into the Malaysian weekend 28 points behind his rival. A turbo failure on the warm up lap meant that the Ferrari had to be pushed off the grid and out of the race. With Vettel in a similar situation this season, the Ferrari driver will be praying for a repeat of that grand prix five years on.

What TV channel is the Japanese Grand Prix on? As many times as they'll change personnel or overhaul the team, the fundamentals stay the same.

Indeed inter-team rivalry at the top of the championship hasn't existed for a good while now, the Red Bull dominance directly followed by the Mercedes whitewash.

Vettel, who can already take heart from news that he won't need a new gearbox after a freakish post-race collision with Williams rookie Lance Stroll in Malaysia, expects Ferrari to be competitive this weekend even if Mercedes rediscover their lost pace.

Hamilton himself made no bones about how he felt about Red Bull's return to the front, whether a third contender made things better. If you would have said on Sunday morning that you were going to bet on Max Verstappen overtaking Lewis Hamilton on track and beating him by 12.7 seconds in a straight fight - there's no way anyone would have believed it.

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