Sebastian Vettel: Max Verstappen completely to blame for clash

Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13

Japan Grand Prix: Hamilton dominates free practice sessions

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, the Briton's closest rival, finished only sixth after an early collision with Red Bull's Max Verstappen left the German fighting back from 19th place in a damaged auto. He qualified behind only Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport teammates Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who are set to start the race in first and second, respectively.

Told by Red Bull team boss Christian Horner that the Ferrari mechanics might be looking for him in the pit lane, Verstappen shrugged: "That's not my problem, they were too aggressive".

Overtake of the race: Just a few laps before his botched overtake on Verstappen, Vettel pulled a remarkable move on Romain Grosjean on the straight down to Spoon with two wheels on the grass. Vettel knew he had to win here but after qualifying badly the odds were already against him.

When Verstappen was asked whether or not he would want to get in the way of the driver championship battle between Hamilton and Vettel and the constructor championship battle between Mercedes and Ferrari if Raikkonen and/or Vettel are able to catch up to him in tomorrow's race, the 21-year-old Dutchman threw shade at Vettel and Ferrari.

Hamilton held his pole advantage at the start and kept Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas at arm's length throughout the first stint, which was punctuated by a safety auto. It will not necessarily be remembered as a classic but their flawless execution all weekend was an object lesson to Ferrari as to why their title hopes have been dashed.

It is Hamilton's fifth win at the Japanese Grand Prix and the 71 of his career.

As the defending world champion charges towards a fifth world drivers' title, we discuss the key moments in the race at Suzuka. The Briton won from pole in Japan past year.

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The victory means Mercedes continue their run of being unbeaten at Suzuka since the turbo-hybrid era began in 2014.

After a fascinating two-thirds of the season, Ferrari's title challenge has faded away.

"The whole weekend has been incredibly strong from the team", said Hamilton.

Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley claimed his best grid position in sixth, one place ahead of teammate Pierre Gasly. Verstappen was handed a five-second penalty for the indiscretion. He resumed in 19th place with a damaged vehicle. Vettel spun off and had to rejoin in 19 - last place.

Verstappen managed to continue without losing a position to Raikkonen but Vettel dropped to the back - the stewards looked into the clash but took no further action. The Monegasque had gotten a good launch out of the last chicane to have a look down the Dane's inside at the first turn, but Magnussen aggressively swept to the right, triggering a rear-end collision.

Vettel ran into the side of the navy RB14 and sent himself spinning down to the back of the field. This is part of racing, don't get me wrong. Hamilton however has simply gone from strength to strength and once again in Japan demonstrated why the championship is now in his hands.

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