TOKYO: Lewis Hamilton accelerated closer to a fourth world motor racing championsip after winning a Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka in which nearest rival Sebastian Vettel failed to finish.

Red Bulls’ Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished in second and third, with Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas fourth and Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen fifth.

Hamilton now leads Vettel by 34 points with four races remaining. He could claim his fourth title at the next round at the Circuit of the Americas. This would demand scoring 16 more points than the German in Texas – ie victory with Vettel finishing no higher than sixth.

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