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Ferrari explain Sebastian Vettel engine failure at Japanese Grand Prix

Ferrari explain Sebastian Vettel engine failure at Japanese Grand Prix

Vettel tried to point to Ferrari's level of competitiveness as a positive aspect of its season while saying he would not give up on the title despite Hamilton being able to wrap up the championship at the next race at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

At the end of the opening lap Vettel had dropped to sixth and while an early safety auto period - to retrieve the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz, after the Spaniard spun off - gave the German some breathing room, he was forced to pit on lap four and park his Ferrari, his second DNF in three races.

He was sixth after the first lap and stayed out during a safety-car period following a crash by Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz - but after rapidly losing places again at the re-start after three laps was called into the pits a lap later.

The Mercedes driver was chased to the chequered flag by the Red Bull of Max Verstappen but the Dutchman was unable to find a way passed. The other Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo finished at third place competing the podium. Nevertheless he maintained a 2-3 second cushion over Verstappen as the race headed into its final phase.

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Starting from the pole alongside Vettel, Hamilton has maintained its gains into the first turn. He crossed the line 1.2secs ahead. The result means Hamilton has a commanding 59-point lead at the top of the standings with four races remaining.

Hamilton pointed to his team's consistency on and off the track as the reason why he is in such an enviable position.

Max Verstappen had race victor Lewis Hamilton in his sights but was held up by back markers, forcing him to settle for second place at the Japanese Grand Prix. "We didn't have power already on the formation lap, no power at the start and then the first couple of laps already", he said. "It definitely got close, particularly at the end", Hamilton said on the podium. "He caught right up and it was very, very close".

"Today I was like - he won the last race, I'm not letting you have this one", said Hamilton, who hung on to win by 1.2 seconds.

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"After the penalty on Friday night, due to the engine change, I think we deserved that one point - we fought hard for it". They've done a phenomenal job, reliability has really been on point. Engineers tried to beat it into submission, but the fault meant they had no option but to retire the vehicle.

"A big thank you to the guys". He looked so big in my mirrors but really grateful the auto stuck together and I didn't make any mistakes.

"We're just going to try and continue to do what we're doing".

Despite admitting his early retirement from the Japanese Grand Prix "hurt", Sebastian Vettel was keen to deflect criticism of Ferrari despite the ramifications it had on his championship chances. It is about the team's whole performance, not just speed on the track, and the team has shown for many years that we have a very, very solid platform. I think we are improving race by race - we've got a lot further than people thought. "So for sure we will look into everything if it could have been done better, but I understood the situation".

Jose Mourinho will select Antonio Valencia's games carefully
Although Romelu Lukaku and his teammates' performance is very promising, manager Jose Mourinho did not want to put his guard down. Last year the season started much harder and ended very well, this year it started very well and we don't know how it will end".

"I think the vehicle should be a bit better in the race".


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