Fri | Mar 23, 2018

Blow for Hamilton as poor start leaves him third

Published:Monday | October 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM
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.

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 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.