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Vettel finished sixth at Suzuka, with mistakes in both qualifying and the race proving costly. "I even gave him space but he understeered into my auto", said Verstappen.

He insisted after the race that stewards had been "stupid" to penalise him - and had nothing but disdain for Vettel's rush of blood, sniffing: "He drove into the side of my auto, he could have been a bit more careful".

"I'm not the one who makes the rules otherwise a lot of penalties would have been avoided in F1, but I think it is a similar scenario to what I had in China with him", Verstappen said.

"I think enough has been said".

Verstappen, who finished third, had been handed the penalty for forcing Vettel's team mate Kimi Raikkonen off the track earlier in the race and would have dropped behind Vettel anyway at the pitstops.

Verstappen had already incurred a five-second penalty after nudging Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari off the track.

If Hamilton wins the next race at Austin's Circuit of The Americas, he will be world champion unless Vettel finishes second.

Valtteri Bottas hinted at some hard feelings in his post-race interview.

Hamilton led serenely throughout as his title rival Sebastian Vettel ran into trouble in his attempt to gain ground from his eighth place on the grid.

The team itself hasn't helped out matters and when 2017 posed a genuine title challenge, they slipped up, with Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton taking advantage and winning the Championship yet again.

Hamilton, who on Sunday claimed his fourth consecutive victory and his sixth triumph in seven spellbinding rounds, is now 67 points clear of the Ferrari driver with only 100 left on the table of this one-sided title battle.

Vettel managed to get down the inside of Verstappen going into Spoon but was not ahead when the Red Bull turned in and contact was made.

The German resumed in 19th and scythed his way back through the field, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process.

Stewards reviewed the incident and chose to take no further action but Vettel made clear where he felt the blame rested.

"The whole weekend has been incredibly strong", Hamilton said. I saw a gap and went for it on the inside, he obviously tried to defend and I couldn't go anywhere, so we touched. "But the gap was there - I had more speed, I would have made the corner".

The Raikkonen clash had been triggered by Verstappen locking his right front approaching the final chicane and missing the corner, skipping across the grass to return to the track. His first was at Canada in 2007, one year after Michael Schumacher secured the last of his 68 poles Paper boy: Vettel's helmet design incorporates origami "Ah, see you went for the furry heart with photo pocket option, too".

The Force India's of Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon were in seventh and ninth with Romain Grosjean's Haas in eighth and the Renault of Carlos Sanz in tenth.


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