March 20 2018

Hamilton wins in Japan to take 59-point lead over Vettel

March 20 2018, 11:38 | Kristopher Gregory

F1: How Mercedes stopped Vettel; Red Bull's astonishing turnaround; Hamilton's giant complaint; Haas's $750k gripe

F1 Japanese GP: Where can I watch the Japanese GP?

Lewis Hamilton clinched his career's 71st pole position in Formula 1, after setting the fastest time during Q3 at the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix.

Rosberg has been a long-time friend of Hamilton's, but a series of incidents when the two were both driving for Mercedes strained that friendship.

Mercedes finished second and fifth in a tricky Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton over twelve seconds off race-winner Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas almost a minute behind.

"For us normally we are a bit stronger in the race compared to qualifying, so we get together and see what we can do at the start and during the race".

"It's going to be a different view from the front".

"That being said the Ferrari's went out and did some impressive pace, they were quite quick on the straights, so we will see". 'With the way the cars are it is a big improvement, the drivers get out of the vehicle and you can see they have been working hard.

Vettel himself qualified third fastest, but he will be alongside the Mercedes driver at the front of the grid following Valteri Bottas' five-place penalty.

"It's been an interesting day, the vehicle is feeling much better than it was in Malaysia", Hamilton said.

"Honestly, I could only have dreamed of having this kind of gap".

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel of Germany poses with fan at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan. I am reasonably happy. It's always harder once you get to the race, those Esses really kill the tyres so I hope we're in a good position for that. "It feels back to normal, so I'm ready to race". "Love the track and it has been a special day".

The Red Bulls of Verstappen - who stunned Hamilton to win in Malaysia last week - and Daniel Ricciardo secured a double podium for the second successive race.

It means Bottas will not be able to start on the grid higher than sixth place.

Title hopefuls Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel will be looking to the weather gods ahead of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

The second Renault of Jolyon Palmer was 14th, less than three tenths from making the top 10, while Carlos Sainz Jr's Toro Rosso was cut adrift of the group in 15th, nearly four tenths slower than Palmer. Palmer and Sainz, however, both have 20-place grid penalties for power unit changes.

He made it back to the pits but officials threw out the red flag to allow marshals to clear debris left on track. The Haas F1 pilot walked away fine, but ended the opening part of qualifying just on the wrong side of the cut-off in P16. At the other end of the timing screens, the five drivers not making it through to the second round were Haas' Romain Grosjean, Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly, Williams' Lance Stroll and the two Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

Other news