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Lewis Hamilton may have been upstaged in Malaysia, but it was back to winning ways in Japan, as the F1 calendar had its 2 weeks in Asia.

Max Verstappen of Red Bull made all the running on the Malaysian track to leave Hamilton behind, with rival Sebastian Vettel struggling to 4th spot and making no in-roads into Hamilton’s overall lead.

Verstappen made his mark as early as the fourth lap, before coming around Hamilton and taking charge in the final Malaysian GP after nearly 2 decades on the calendar.

If that was a blip in Hamilton’s surge towards the title, a week later in Japan it was back to normal for team Mercedes.

It was podium positions reversed with Verstappen taking 2nd to Hamilton and fellow Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo in 3rd.

With all eyes on Vettel to see whether he could climb back into the title race, the answer was no. Engine failure early on in Japan meant retirement on the 4th lap, meaning Hamilton had a clear run not just in Japan, but now in the drivers championship with 59 points between the Brit and Vettel.

Even Hamilton seemed surprised as he told bbc afterwards “I could only have dreamed of having this kind of gap,” especially since it was only in August Vettel was leading the way.

Four races remain, with the USA GP in Austin the next on October 20th.


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F1: Hamilton takes more points in Malaysia and Japan in title bid
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