Hamilton aims to extend lead in Sochi

The Safety Car leads Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton around the Suzuka track
The Safety Car leads Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton around the Suzuka track

Lewis Hamilton will again be aiming to extend his lead at the top of the F1 World Championship in Sochi this weekend following last week’s Japanese victory, writes James Beckett.

In awful wet weather conditions, Hamilton drove to victory from Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to stretch his lead to 10 points with just four races of the 2014 season remaining, including this weekend’s first ever Russian Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s celebrations in Japan were subdued, however, following the severe head injury sustained by Marussia driver Jules Bianchi, who remains in a critical condition in hospital after an accident at Suzuka.

Rosberg qualified for the race on pole and maintained his position until lap 29 when Hamilton brilliantly swept around the outside of the German on his way to victory.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton said: “I am unable to celebrate this victory as my thoughts are currently with Jules. F1 is a dangerous sport and this again reminds us that accidents can and do happen. This has not been a good day and I take no joy in this win.”

Following the Mercedes duo home was Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who has since announced his decision to leave the Milton Keynes-based team to drive for Ferrari next year.

Sahara Force India drivers, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, both finished in the points, claiming eighth and 10th respectively, while Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne was ninth with Daniil Kvyat 11th.

The teams now head to Sochi this weekend for the first ever Russian Grand Prix.