Lewis Hamilton takes his 8th victory of the season, holding off a late charge by Max Verstappen while complaining of a vibration in the PU. Daniel Ricciardo came in to complete the podium and give Red Bull a second straight double podium and their first back-to-back double podium since 2013. Sebastian Vettel retired due to a faulty spark plug on lap 4, Ferrari’s fourth retirement or DNS in 3 races. Both McLaren-Honda’s failed to take points in Japan; with the relationship ending with no points scored on Honda’s home turf.
Hamilton now leads the championship standings by 59 points over Vettel with a chance to clinch the championship at the USGP in Austin two weeks from now. Hamilton would need to outscore Vettel by 16 in Austin. If he wins, he would clinch if Vettel finishes 6th or lower. If he comes in second, he would clinch if Vettel finishes 9th or lower. It’s a slim chance, but it’s there.
Speaking of USGP, F1merica will be at the track everyday Thursday Oct 19 through Sunday Oct 22.