SUZUKA, Japan – Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel won the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday but will have to wait to secure a fourth straight Formula One title.
Vettel surged into the lead on the 41st lap and led a Red Bull one-two ahead of teammate Mark Webber by 7.1 seconds. Webber, who started from the pole position, passed Lotus’ Romain Grosjean on the penultimate lap. Grosjean led much of the race but could not take his maiden F1 victory and finished third.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was fourth. He is second in the standings, 90 points behind Vettel.
Vettel, who has nine victories this season, has won the last five F1 races. The last driver to win five in a row was Michael Schumacher in 2004.
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Vettel has won four of the last five races at Suzuka.
“We had a great car and were fast again this year,” Vettel said. “Being able to finish on the podium and to win four times here is incredible. The fans here are incredible, they really respect us.”
Vettel’s two-stop strategy and controlled tire wear made a difference.