Suzuka, Sep 27 (IANS) Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton eased to victory as his team Mercedes claimed a one-two podium finish ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the Japanese Grand Prix here on Sunday.
Hamilton’s third victory in Japan — and his 41st overall — moved him level with legendary driver Ayrton Senna’s tally.
Hamilton now has 277 points to Nico Rosberg’s 229 and Vettel’s 218, with five races left.
Hamilton overtook pole-sitting teammate Nico Rosberg into the first corner and never looked back as he drove confidently to claim the victory.
The start of the race was dramatic as Rosberg dropped down to fourth behind fast-starting Vettel and team Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton opened up an advantage that he maintained to the end. The world champion was 18.9s ahead at the flag, after Rosberg had fought back to reduce the deficit.
Kimi Raikkonen was a distant fourth in the other Ferrari car, just ahead of Bottas.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was sixth, followed by the team Lotus’ duo of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.
The closely-matched Toro Rossos of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz completed the top ten list.
Force India’s second driver Sergio Perez was 12th.