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Formula One Rosberg eases to win after poor Hamilton start in Japan

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Nico Rosberg cruised to victory at the Japanese Grand Prix to give his Formula One title chances another boost as Mercedes sealed a third straight constructors' championship. 

The German made it four wins in five races with a comfortable success at a cloudy, and briefly damp, Suzuka on Sunday.

A strong start set pole-sitter Rosberg up as he won from Red Bull's Max Verstappen and team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Championship rival Hamilton – winner in Japan the previous two years – was left to rue a slow start that saw him slip from second to eighth.

But his excellent recovery, and late battle with Verstappen, could yet prove crucial in the title fight.

With four races remaining, Rosberg has extended his lead to 33 points over Hamilton.


Hamilton endured a forgettable start, slipping from second to eighth before he had reached the first corner after starting on the damp side of the track.

It would prove to be costly despite a strong recovery, with Rosberg – in contrast – making an excellent start.

The German surged ahead and was almost two seconds clear of his nearest rival after just two laps.


Just 19, Verstappen continued his decent campaign with a runner-up finish.

The Dutchman never threatened Rosberg, but he had work to do to hold off Hamilton late – defending his position hard as the Brit pushed.

Along with a win in Spain, Verstappen has also finished second on four occasions and third once this season.

1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 313
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 280 (-33)
3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 212 (-101)
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 170 (-143)
5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 165 (-148)

1. Mercedes 593
2. Red Bull 385 (-208)
3. Ferrari 335 (-258)
4. Force India 134 (-459)
5. Williams 124 (-469)
1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +4.978s
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +5.776s
4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +20.269s
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +28.370s
6. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +33.941s
7. Sergio Perez (Force India) +57.495s
8. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) +59.177s
9. Felipe Massa (Williams) +97.763s
10. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) +98.323s

Time is running out for Hamilton to catch Rosberg, and he will get another chance at the United States Grand Prix in a fortnight's time.

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