9 Oct 2016

Rosberg cruises to victory in Japan

9:17 pm on 9 October 2016

Nico Rosberg eased to victory at the Japanese Grand Prix with a drive that handed Mercedes their third straight constructors championship and extended the German's lead in his pursuit of a maiden Formula One title.

Nico Rosberg in action in Austria

Nico Rosberg. Photo: Photosport

Max Verstappen crossed the line in second in his Red Bull, fending off a late-charging world champion Lewis Hamilton, who recovered from a botched start to finish third in the other Mercedes.

The Briton Hamilton had a horror start a week after an engine failure forced him to retire in leading position in Malaysia, dropping from second on the grid to eighth into the first turn.

The two-time reigning world champion recovered to make the podium but now dropped another 10 points behind Rosberg (313-280) who is steadily closing in on what would be his maiden F1 title.

Rosberg now leads Hamilton by 33 points in the overall standings and, with just four races to go, can claim the title without winning any more races this year.