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Lewis Hamilton holds a significant lead over Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ world championship, as the pair battle for supremacy at the 2018 Formula One Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday.
The reigning champion produced a composed performance to win the previous race in Russia, with Vettel only able to secure third.
The Brit leads the German by 50 points with five races of the season remaining, and Ferrari must find a way to curtail Mercedes’ immediate dominance.
Here’s how you can watch the event:
Date: Sunday, Oct. 7
Start Time: 6:10 a.m. BST/1:10 a.m. ET
TV Info: Sky Sports F1, Channel 4 (UK); ESPN2 (U.S.)
Live Stream: Sky Go, All 4, WatchESPN
For a full drivers list, visit the Formula 1 website.
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It appeared Vettel had Hamilton’s number early in the campaign, but the 33-year-old British superstar has once again proved his consistency and dominance.
Ferrari’s straight-line speed remains undoubted, but the Flying Arrows have consolidated any weaknesses their vehicle might have in comparison to their main competitor for the constructor’s title.
When Vettel is in the zone, he is almost impossible to stop, but errors have crept into his game over the past 12 months.
This cannot be said about Hamilton, with the champion only missing out on a podium-finish three times across 16 races this season.
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However, Mercedes team principle Toto Wolff has urged caution, reminding Hamilton he once lost a 45-point lead in the title race.
According to Mikael McKenzie of the Daily Express, Wolff commented his driver has experienced unexpected disappointment in the past.
“In 2007 Lewis had the equivalent of a 45-point advantage with two races to go and lost by one point,” said Wolff. “We are far from having it in the bag.”
Hamilton has said he is surprised with how the season has unfolded in recent months.
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Per Philip Duncan of the Mirror, Hamilton said:
“When I look back at those recent races, I couldn’t have hoped for better performances. There have been some dream experiences for me, performing at that level. It is what I live for.
As the season progresses you hope that you can improve, and usually you do get better, but I didn’t know I was going to improve in the way that I have.”
There is no room for error from Vettel at this point, and he must win if he still harbours world title ambitions.
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There’s only a maximum of 125 points to win at the top of the drivers’ championship, and with the improvements from Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes could cruise past the winning post if their two drivers work in tandem.
Team orders saw Hamilton take the win ahead of Bottas in Russia, and the pair could replay their double act in Japan.