5 Oct 2009

Vettel keeps title hopes alive

6:42 am on 5 October 2009

Sebastian Vettel has kept alive his bid for this year's Formula One championship when he won the Japanese Grand Prix and cut Jenson Button's lead over him to 16 points with two races remaining.

The German delivered an impeccable drive from pole position at Suzuka to take his first victory since the British Grand Prix in June, his third of the season and the fourth of his career.

The 22-year-old Red Bull driver now has a chance to overhaul Button and his Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello in the final events in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.

Two years ago Finlands's Kimi Raikkonen lifted the title after trailing by 17 points with two races remaining.

Button finished eighth, one place behind Barrichello.

He'd needed a five-point advantage over the Brazilian to lift the title, but in the end saw his lead trimmed again.

The Briton now has 85 points, Barrichello 71 and Vettel 69.