SUZUKA, Japan (AP) — Lewis Hamilton stormed to victory at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, claiming his fourth straight Formula One win and moving a step closer to a fifth world championship.
Starting from pole, the Mercedes driver was never seriously challenged and crossed the finish line 12.919 seconds ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third, 14.295 seconds back.
Hamilton has won six of the last seven races and now leads Sebastian Vettel by 67 points with four races left.
Vettel started eighth and quickly moved up to fourth place, overtaking both Toro Rosso cars that started ahead of him.
But the Ferrari driver attempted to pass Max Verstappen on the ninth lap and the two cars collided with the Ferrari spinning off into the runoff. The move dropped Vettel back to 18th place.
He worked his way back up to sixth but couldn't move higher than that.
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