Formula 1

Mercedes perfectly sum up Lewis Hamilton's win in Suzuka with one word

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Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are well on their way to clinching the Drivers' and Constructors' championship titles after victory at Suzuka on Sunday morning.

The Brit may have been pipped to the Drivers' Championship last year by former teammate Nico Rosberg, but the reliability issues which struct him last time around have since been fixed.

In 2017, the Stevenage-born driver has won eight of the 16 races to date, with his title rival, Sebastian Vettel, having won on only just four occasions after being struct by reliability issues himself.

Hamilton narrowly pipped Max Verstappen to maximum points, following a spark plug issue that led to Vettel's early retirement.

And with Mercedes having clearly resolved the issues that denied Hamilton the chance of a fourth Drivers' Championship last campaign, the 32-year-old was full of praise for his team.

"I could only have dreamed of having this kind of gap," said Hamilton, per BBC Sport.

"Ferrari have put on such a great challenge all season long. My team have done a great job. They are so meticulous and that is why we have the reliability we are having."

With 59 points now separating Hamilton and Vettel, the Brit only needs to win by a 16-point margin at the US Grand Prix in order to win the title, with a further three races to go, beyond that.

Mercedes praise Hamilton victory on Twitter

And Mercedes described Hamilton's display in Japan as "magic", while his fellow driver, Valtteri Bottas, finished fourth - over 10 seconds behind his teammate.

Tensions may have been high between Hamilton and his team last season for a number of reasons, but it's clear there is mutual affection for each other right now.

Hamilton victory extends Mercedes' Championship lead

Vettel's retirement and Kimi Raikkonen's fifth-placed finish also means Mercedes' lead over Ferrari now extends to a massive 145 points in the Constructors' championship.

But despite the frustration of failing to finish the race at Suzuka and losing major ground on Hamilton, Vettel remained somewhat composed following Ferrari's latest setback.

"It's normal to be critical, especially if things go wrong because it's part of our job," said Vettel, per Sky Sports.

"But I need to protect them [Ferrari] - they've done an incredible job so far."

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Topics:
Valterri Bottas
Nico Rosberg
Fernando Alonso
Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton
Kimi Raikkonen
Max Verstappen
Formula 1
Daniel Ricciardo

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