Lewis Hamilton aiming for win at typhoon-threatened Japanese GP

first_imgLATEST STORIES Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain uses a scooter to leave after a fan meeting at Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, ahead of the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix. (AP Photo/Toru Hanai)SUZUKA, Japan — Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton knows a win at this weekend’s typhoon-threatened Japanese Grand Prix will go a long way in sealing a sixth Formula One championship.Hamilton has a commanding 73-point lead over teammate Valtteri Bottas with five races left. Given Hamilton’s success at the 5.807-kilometer (3.608-mile) Suzuka circuit, the odds are clearly in his favor.ADVERTISEMENT Current forecasts suggest Hagibis will reach Japan’s shores on Saturday, when final practice and qualifying are due to take place.The Japanese GP will also see the next chapter in the ongoing drama at Ferrari. Team strategy in the last two races in Singapore and Russia has resulted in some awkwardness between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.In Russia, the Italian team threw away a possible one-two finish after Vettel broke down and Leclerc dropped from first to third after a pre-race agreement went awry.In Singapore, Vettel won ahead of Leclerc after an early pit-stop allowed the German driver to pass Leclerc, who started on pole and was seeking his third straight win.While the two drivers have been diplomatic in their public statements, comments over the team radio suggest otherwise.ADVERTISEMENT Taal Volcano’s lava fountain weakens, but Phivolcs says it’s not sign of slowing down Leclerc played down any notion of a rift on Thursday.“Obviously there was some misunderstanding from the car, but I think we’ve had a discussion and everything is clear now,” Leclerc said. “Obviously it felt like it was a huge deal from the outside, which it definitely wasn’t, but now everything is fine.”Japanese fans have always enthusiastically supported the race and will get an added bonus this year.For the first time since 2014, a Japanese driver will drive an F1 car at Suzuka. Naoki Yamamoto will make his Formula 1 debut driving for Toro Rosso in the Friday’s first practice session.Yamamoto will replace Pierre Gasly in FP1, fulfilling Honda’s desire for a local driver to take part in the event the company supports financially.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano PLAY LIST 01:04Daybreak as smoke, ash billows from Taal volcano01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown PSL: Foton drills Sta. Lucia to fan semis hopes No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist Negros Occidental gov’t, church call for prayers for safety of Taal evacuees Francis Kong, Jason Magbanua headline ‘The School for the Passionate, New Bold U 2020’center_img LOOK: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Part 3 takes you straight to hell with a Music Video and First Look-Images ‘People evacuated on their own’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Taal Volcano eruption: House to develop rehab plan for Batangas, Cavite, Laguna Hamilton has won here in four of the last five races.“The races are counting down but we are just trying to take things one race at a time, put one foot in front of the other and not stumble,” said Hamilton, who is coming off a win in Russia. “When you have a battle like this, you’re working flat out, turning over every stone and questioning every little thing you can do better.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4If Hamilton is able to win this weekend, he will equal Michael Schumacher’s record for the highest number of wins at the Japanese GP with six. Hamilton won with McLaren in 2007 and with Mercedes in 2014, 2015, 2017 and last year.Meanwhile, Japan’s weather agency has warned that Typhoon Hagibis is expected to make landfall on Japan’s main island over the weekend with Suzuka potentially taking a direct hit. MOST READ LOOK: Taal Volcano island 2 days after eruption View commentslast_img read more