Vettel blames Verstappen for Suzuka collision


Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas completed a strong one-two for Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton joins Simon Lazenby and Anthony Davidson, as they review his race weekend from Suzuka. I thought that was how it was going to be being that they were so strong at the previous two races. Vettel was able to claw his way through to finish in sixth place as his main title rival took the top step of the podium. Now it's time to find out who finished where in our rankings.

The German is now 67 points behind Mercedes' victor Hamilton, who can clinch his fifth Formula One title at the next race in the United States with three rounds to spare. "It's a great 1-2 for Mercedes and shows you the strength and depth of our team".

"I can't wait to unleash this beast in Austin", he added, pointing at his auto.

Verstappen finished third and Australia's Daniel Ricciardo was fourth behind his Red Bull teammate, after starting 15th on the grid.

Despite the mistakes and a heavy points loss in both championships, Vettel said that seeing the team work was "inspirational" and claims the team doesn't have much to lose now with four races to go. "I gave him enough space".

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner put it even more bluntly when asked to assess Vettel's rush of blood.

"You say almost (done), so obviously there is still a chance", he said. "I did long distance running when I was a kid, cross country, and you just run out of stamina to keep hold with those who, for whatever reason, had the stamina at the time. That's probably the end of his championship".

"For me it's risky at this type of speed", said Leclerc. "We had a lot of downforce on the auto so I knew we'd stay close enough".

Force India's Sergio Perez was seventh ahead of Haas driver Romain Grosjean.

Under braking, Vettel barged into the side of Verstappen's Red Bull before spinning round in a flurry of sparks.

Suzuka, Japan - Lewis Hamilton moved to the brink of a fifth world title with a pole to flag victory at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday - his 71st, and 50th for Mercedes.

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"You can turn this whatever way you want, and don't get me down as arrogant, but the gap was there", he said after the race.

He was then fourth after Verstappen ran off the road at the chicane, and in rejoining the track, bumped Raikkonen on to the grass. "But I also felt that we were faster".

"For me, the gap was there - otherwise I wouldn't do it", Vettel added. I wasn't desperate to get past.

Verstappen saw it differently, naturally. "As soon as he realises somebody is close or next to him, he tries to push when you shouldn't push anymore".

"He drove into the side of my auto".

Vettel, beaten by the two Mercedes in Russian Federation a week earlier, tried to put a positive spin on a disastrous Japan race.

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