Lewis Hamilton has taken victory beating his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the Japanese Grand Prix. The world champion pulled away on the opening lap after fighting with Rosberg into the first corner.
Hamilton’s victory puts him level with boyhood hero Ayrton Senna and puts him 48 points ahead as he looks to emulate Senna by taking a third title this season. Sebastian Vettel was third and led his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen home.
Williams Valtteri Bottas lost fourth for Raikkonen during the second pit stop phase. Mercedes return to form following a blip in Singapore was expected. While his team-mate Felipe Massa collided with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap but both finished two and a lap down respectively.
Vettel tried to fight back through the traffic during the closing stages proving to be a threat to Rosberg. However he ended up almost two seconds down with Raikkonen a further thirteen seconds.
Yesterday Hamilton felt he made mistakes on track and felt he was on a pole lap when Red Bulls Daniil Kyvat crashed heavily in qualifying meaning the session was brought to a premature end. He admitted it would be difficult to overtake Rosberg.
Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth for Force India ahead of the Lotus’s of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado who were seventh and eightieth. Max Verstappen recovered from seventieth to finish ninth for Toro Rosso after being behind Fernando Alonso and Daniil Kvyat who also started from the pit lane.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso finished eleven fastest while team-mat Jenson Button lost his 100% top ten finishes at his wife Jessica’s home race. McLaren have struggled all season to fight against cars whose engines have considerably more power.