Nico Rosberg tightened his grip on the Formula One title race with a dominant victory at the Japanese Grand Prix yesterday
The German’s first win at Suzuka also helped Mercedes claim a third consecutive constructors’ crown, but once again his world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton was hit by mechanical problems.
Rosberg, who started on pole, crossed the line 4.9 seconds clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who fended off a late-charging Hamilton after the Brit recovered from a woeful start to finish third.
Rosberg extended his lead over Hamilton to 33 points in the overall standings following his ninth win of the season and with four rounds remaining, the 31-year-old can claim a maiden title without needing to win another race.
The win was also the 15th of 17 races for Mercedes this term
Hamilton went into the race trying to revive his flagging title defence.
Trying to mask his bitterness towards his team, he took the blame for his performance.
But team principal Timo Wolf admitted that the Brit was having clutch issues.