By Abhishek Takle
Britain’s Lewis Hamilton won a wet Japanese Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday to complete a hat-trick of victories and extend his championship lead over Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg to 10 points with four races remaining.
Rosberg finished second in a race that needed two starts behind the safety car and ended before the full distance due to a crash that saw Marussia’s French driver Jules Bianchi rushed to hospital.
“The driver is not conscious and has been sent to the hospital by the ambulance because the helicopter cannot fly in these conditions. Further updates will follow but for the moment we cannot say anything. I will keep you updated as fast as I can,” FIA head of communications Matteo Bonciani told reporters.
No champagne was sprayed on the podium and there were no celebrations.
Germany’s quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel, who announced on Saturday he was leaving Red Bull at the end of the season, finished third.
The win was Hamilton’s eighth of the season and first at Suzuka, with his only other win in Japan coming at the Fuji circuit with McLaren in 2007.
The race was red-flagged with 46 of the scheduled 53 laps completed after an accident involving Sauber’s Adrian Sutil and Bianchi brought the safety car out for the third time.
There was immediate concern in the aftermath of the accident over Bianchi’s well-being with the medical car and an ambulance being dispatched to the scene of the crash.
Driver and constructor standings after the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 266
2. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 256
3. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 193
4. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 139
5. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 133
6. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 130
7. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 82
8. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 76
9. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 71
10. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 46
11. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 45
12. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 39
13. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 21
14. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 8
15. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso 8
16. Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia 2
17. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber 0
18. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham 0
19. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 0
20. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 0
21. Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 0
22. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham 0
1. Mercedes 522
2. RedBull – Renault 332
3. Williams-Mercedes 201
4. Ferrari 178
5. Force India – Mercedes 122
6. McLaren 121
7. Toro Rosso – Renault 29
8. Lotus – Renault 8
9. Marussia – Ferrari 2
10. Sauber – Ferrari 0