Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel's woes at Japanese Grand Prix made even worse with new update

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Things went from bad to worse for Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel at the weekend.

Coming off the back of a dismal display in Singapore and in Malaysia, the German would have been hoping for an easier weekend in Japan.

However, that was simply not the case as he had to retire early due to engine failure, leaving Lewis Hamilton the perfect opportunity to extend his lead at the top of the Drivers' Championship.

The flawless win for Hamilton gives him a massive 59-point lead over Vettel in the title race, with the German's two DNFs in the past three races likely spelling the end of his 2017 tilt.

"I think it's kind of unbelievable, really, to think we are where we are," said Hamilton. "I was excited to have a good race with Sebastian here, as I was in the last race, but it was incredibly unfortunate (for him).

"In the world of Formula One today, it is a lot about reliability, the team's whole performance, it is not just about speed on the track.

"It was not an easy walk in the park today, it was very much one I had to work very hard for."

Despite the crushing result, Vettel has not yet given up hope of challenging Hamilton for the title.

"It's like that sometimes, of course it hurts, of course we are disappointed," the four-time world champion said after returning to the pits.

"We still have a chance this year...For sure we don't look at the positives because today is not the day to look at positives."

Despite the positive outlook on the situation, Vettel must be furious with the latest update from Ferrari.

According to the Daily Mail, the spark plug that caused the problems in Japan cost just £52 to fix, and when the whole car is worth millions, that is a small price to pay for perfection.

Ferrari reportedly have a racing budget of around £350million, so not being able to fix a spark plug that costs a measly £52 doesn't reflect well on them, and must leave Vettel scratching his head regarding decision being made behind the scenes.

Elsewhere, Max Verstappen backed up his win last weekend in Malaysia with another excellent drive, putting a strong move on Daniel Ricciardo early and setting a rapid pace on the way to his third podium finish of the season, even putting some pressure on Hamilton in the closing laps.

Hamilton can win his fourth world championship title in Austin if he wins the race and Vettel finishes sixth or lower.

Topics:
Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen
Formula 1
Mercedes

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