Blow for Hamil­ton as poor start leaves him third

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

SUZUKA, Ja­pan (CMC): MERCEDES DRIVER Lewis Hamil­ton suf­fered an­other blow to his ti­tle de­fence when he fin­ished third be­hind team­mate Nico Ros­berg in yes­ter­day’s Ja­panese Grand Prix.

The Brit, whose pa­ter­nal grand­par­ents are Gre­na­dian, suf­fered a poor start after lin­ing up sec­ond on the grid and failed to re­cover in time as Ros­berg took the che­quered flag with Red Bull’s Max Ver­stap­pen sec­ond.

For Hamil­ton, the re­sult was a dam­ag­ing one, as it left him 33 points be­hind Ros­berg with four races left in the sea­son, fol­low­ing on from his fail­ure to fin­ish in Malaysia last week.

He said, how­ever, he planned to keep us his chal­lenge un­til the end of the sea­son.

“This is a great re­sult. I don’t think the damp patch [on my side of the track] had re­ally any­thing to do with it. I made a mis­take and then just work­ing my way up from there was Mercedes driver Nico Ros­berg of Ger­many leads Red Bull driver Max Ver­stap­pen of the Nether­lands dur­ing the Ja­panese For­mula One Grand Prix at the Suzuka In­ter­na­tional Cir­cuit in Suzuka, Ja­pan, yes­ter­day. Ros­berg won ahead of Ver­stap­pen and team­mate Lewis Hamil­ton. tricky but ... I did the best I could,” Hamil­ton told re­porters after­wards.

He added: “I’ll give it ev­ery­thing I’ve got [for the rest of the sea­son] as I did in the race and we’ll see what hap­pens.”

Hamil­ton’s slow start meant he plunged to eighth as he was eas­ily swamped by the cars be­hind him, and he left the first cor­ner al­ready sig­nif­i­cantly be­hind Ros­berg.

The 31-year-old then pro­duced a stir­ring come­back pass­ing the likes of Kimi Raikko­nen of Fer­rari of Wil­liams to catch Ver­stap­pen with nine laps left.

How­ever, the teenaged Dutch driver kept Hamil­ton at bay, forc­ing him to set­tle for third spot.

Ros­berg now has 313 points with Hamil­ton on 280 and Daniel Ric­cia­rdo third on 212.

The next race will be the United States Grand Prix which comes off in two weeks in Austin, Texas.

PLUNGE TO EIGHTH

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