Vettel responds to Ferrari quit questions

Vettel responds to Ferrari quit questions

Vettel responds to Ferrari quit questions

Lewis Hamilton admits he has been surprised by the way Ferrari's title challenge has faded after moving close to a fifth drivers' championship with victory in the Japanese Grand Prix.

But Wolff has warned against complacency after Vettel could only finish sixth following an early collision with Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

It was on lap four when Vettel's race began to unravel. Bottas, who also had a front row start was a few seconds off his teammate. Out came the safety auto after debris littered the track following a coming together between Kevin Magnussen and Charles Leclerc.

The race stewards investigated the incident but concluded no driver was predominantly to blame and therefore imposed no penalty.

Verstappen took a different view of the collision, though.

Verstappen's run-in with Vettel was set up by a previous incident with the German's Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, which dropped the Finn behind Vettel.

Raikkonen tried to clear him round the outside of the second part of the chicane, only to be forced off by the rejoining Red Bull and fall behind Vettel. Verstappen made light contact with Raikkonen in the process, which led to the slight damage to the latter. Verstappen was subsequently assessed a five-second time penalty.

Vettel came from too far back, and clumsily thudded into the side of Verstappen as sparks flew and the Ferrari auto spun around. Vettel was pressured into trying to make something from his lowly grid slot and his eagerness led to another misjudgement that cost him dearly.

Stewards reviewed the incident and chose to take no further action but Vettel made clear where he felt the blame rested.

Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth for Red Bull after starting way back in 15th with Kimi Raikkonen fifth after Ferrari opted not to switch his position with Vettel for the sake of two extra points. Hamilton was supreme, driving superbly and overshadowing Bottas in what has become in recent races a dominant auto.

"It's a great one-two for Mercedes and a true showing of the strength in depth we have", said the Briton after his fifth Japan victory and ninth of the season.

"If it starts to rain five, six, seven minutes earlier, we did a miracle", added the German, who trails Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton by 50 points with just 125 left in play.

If the championship looks as good as over, Vettel refused to give up all hope until mathematically forced to.

Further down the order, Sergio Perez took seventh for Force India ahead of Romain Grosjean's Haas. The final spots were taken by McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne at 14th and 15th, followed by Williams' Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll.

Sponsors for the Japanese GP, Honda did not have the best result as team Torro Rosso's Gasly finished 11th and Brendon Hartley secured 13th.

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