Rosberg feels for the F1 fans after Ferrari failure

Bottas's crash came courtesy of running wide at Spoon curve halfway through the session

Suzuka: Sebastian Vettel is one race reprimand away from a 10-place grid penalty after Formula One stewards punished the Ferrari driver for missing the national anthem at Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer took his third career win at the Suzuka International Racing Course, maintaining his lead at the start and surviving an early safety auto and a late virtual safety vehicle to take the sixty-first victory of his illustrious career, holding off the late charge from Max Verstappen to win by 1.211 seconds.

The win is Hamilton's eighth victory this season, and it his 21st consecutive race finishing in the points.

The win will be even sweeter for Hamilton given Vettel's issues, and should the former win in the United States in a fortnight's time and the latter finish in sixth position or lower, the Mercedes man will be confirmed as the champion. "Ferrari have put on such a great challenge all season long". He looked so big in my mirrors but really grateful the vehicle stuck together and I didn't make any mistakes. "They are so meticulous, and that is why we have the reliability we are having". The German crashed out on the first lap in Singapore and could manage only fourth at the next round in Malaysia when he started from the back of the grid after an engine change. "You just want the race to finish".

Vettel knows he has a mountain to climb but remains hopeful.

Ever since Vettel lost the drivers' championship lead to Hamilton at Ferrari's home race at Monza, it just feels like nothing can go right for the guy.

"It was not ideal for both of us, he lost time and I think I lost quite a few seconds at that point as well which would have helped me massively at the end of the race".

"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".


Vettel's spark plug problem was identified as his Ferrari was sacked up yesterday morning and, despite furious work from his mechanics and taking the start from second on the grid, it was soon evident it would prove his undoing. He dismissed questions about how aggressive Vettel might be going into the first corner.

Ferrari had no choice but to retire Vettel from the race, ending his hopes of cutting the gap to Hamilton, who now leads the race for Mercedes. "They just told me when to do it really and I kind of got the point, I understood completely the situation. An incredible performance from the team".

Mercedes have won the past three drivers' and constructors' championships and appear certain to do so again but the team's executive director, Toto Wolff, refused to be complacent.

Sebastian Vettel believes it is his duty to "protect" Ferrari from inevitable criticism after more reliability issues at the Japanese Grand Prix dealt a potentially fatal blow to his Formula One title chances. "This is motor racing, you have a DNF or two and suddenly things swing around. Austin can be a solid step towards the championship but we won't be counting our chickens until it's done".

Hamilton said: "Is it a purple patch?"

"That's a lot of points". Anything can happen in life.

He was near Hamilton, and pressured him, but to be honest, this was just a lesson for the young driver, with rude behavior, and what he did before came back at him now like a boomerang.

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