Lewis Hamilton on title race and possibility of winning in Austin

Hamilton could edge closer to the world championship this weekend
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Lewis Hamilton vowed to "keep the pedal to the metal" and dismissed the notion that he has one hand on the Formula One world championship after increasing his lead over a luckless Sebastian Vettel at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton's win on Sunday increases his championship lead to 59 points ahead of Ferrari driver Sebastien Vettel, who was forced to retire due to a spark plug failure.

Victories in Belgium, Italy, Singapore and Japan as well as a runner-up finish in Malaysia have seen Hamilton pull away from Vettel, who accrued just 45 points to his rival's 118.

Japan was the second race in succession that Ferrari needed to work on a vehicle on the grid after Kimi Raikkonen suffered a power unit problem that saw him wheeled off the grid in Malaysia and fail to start from second place.

He is now in a position to seal a fourth title at the next race in the United States, if not a week later in Mexico.

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He's the best player on the team not only because of what he does as an individual, but because he makes his teammates better. The United States should have scored more but profligate finishing and a fine performance from Penedo kept the score down.

Lewis Hamilton showed the young pretender who was boss on Sunday by fending off Max Verstappen in the closing laps of the Japanese Grand Prix.

"I had a very good start but I made a mistake in the 11th turn, said Stroll".

"I don't think there is anything, I think it was just low. short shifting which the engine doesn't like so much".

"Of course it hurts, and we're all disappointed", said the four-time F1 world champion after returning to the pits.

"The team did incredible job, Max drove an outstanding race".

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The setback left Mercedes' race victor Lewis Hamilton 59 points clear at the top with four races remaining. However there wasn't enough time for Verstappen to press the attack, and Hamilton held on to take the chequered flag ahead of the two Red Bulls with Bottas having to settle for fourth. That said, Vettel's odds remain unfavorable, even if Hamilton is sidelined by mechanical problems of his own.

The formation lap went smooth, and soon as the lights went out Hamilton managed to hold Vettel off, the two were followed by Ricciardo and Verstappen.

"I think it's kind of unbelievable, really, to think we are where we are". The race after the start spread out and it wasn't that exciting from my point of view. "We have a lot of positives but today is not a day to look at positives".

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes' Bottas took the third and fourth places respectively.

He added: "This is my first podium here.my objective this weekend was to get the Suzuka podium, and I have it - it feels great".

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Further back, Kimi Raikkonen recovered to finish fifth in his Ferrari, after that unscheduled gearbox change on Saturday - following his crash in FP3 - left him saddled with a five-place penalty and 10th place on the grid. Fortunately for Hamilton though, the leaders came up to lap Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa towards the end of the penultimate lap.

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