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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Lewis Hamilton 1-20 for fifth F1 title after being gifted Russian victory

Defending champion moves 50 points clear of Vettel

Lewis Hamilton receives the winner's trophy from Vladimir Putin as Valtteri Bottas looks on
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Lewis Hamilton is just 1-20 to claim his fifth Formula One drivers championship after taking his fifth victory in six races in the Russian Grand Prix.

The win came after his Mercedes teammate and pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas obeyed a team order to let Hamilton past halfway through the race.

The Englishman moved 50 points clear of his only championship challenger Sebastian Vettel, who finished third for Ferrari. That means Hamilton will not relinquish the championship lead even if he fails to finish the next two races. 

It also means Vettel would not be guaranteed the title even if he wins all the five remaining races this season. The German is 12-1 to turn his season around and claim the crown.

Despite starting from the back, Max Verstappen led most of the race for Red Bull. The Dutchman forced his way up to fifth after eight laps and took the lead after those in front pitted. He ended the race fifth after making his own stop.

The racers are back in action this weekend in Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix, where the long-range weather forecast suggests heavy rain could be on the cards.

Hamilton is an early 4-5 favourite to triumph in Japan, with Vettel a 2-1 shot and Bottas 17-2.

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Vettel would not be guaranteed the title even if he wins all the five remaining races this season
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