Lewis Hamilton 'preparing for WAR' with Sebastian Vettel at Japanese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton 'preparing for WAR' with Sebastian Vettel at Japanese Grand Prix”

"I saw Lewis was struggling with traction, and he has more to lose in the championship so I went for it", said Verstappen afterwards.

With five races remaining, Hamilton leads Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel by 34 points after finishing second at the Malaysian GP.

However, despite enjoying a season-high advantage, Hamilton has insisted: "I'm not comfortable at all". "I have suggested what I want to do at the start of the next race and what I need, because I am in a battle for the world championship", he said. "The corners are a little bit different to what we experienced in Malaysia and we will run a different aero package as well, so we should be better there".

"It is not done until there is no more to push it in".

"It's nearly fortunate we haven't had that problem until the Malaysian GP".

Fortunately for him, Mercedes looked vulnerable in Malaysia, with their race pace proving inferior to both the Ferraris and Red Bulls.

Had Hamilton won on Sunday with Vettel fourth, or outscored the 30-year-old by more than seven points, the Briton would have moved into a position to win the title no matter what the German did, including winning the next five races.

"You look at the last one [Malaysia], we were far off, and all of a sudden we got pole position".

Mercedes AMG Petronas team boss Toto Wolff warns there is plenty of hard work ahead before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Englishman says some working practices will be changed from this weekend.

"The families are there, the Japanese fans, they support a lot of our team, so it is a very special weekend for us and we want to perform well".

"I don't know which one of these next races is going to be good for us, which races are not, but we'll do everything we can to try and stay ahead".

Kimi Raikkonen's failure to start Sunday's Malaysia race compounded Ferrari's misery.

Meanwhile, the Finn is confident that Ferrari has the potential to fight at the front of the field in Suzuka - but he concedes that the team has to get everything right.

In the recent weeks both Ferrari and Red bull has picked up the pace specially Daniel Riccardio who has been consistently taking podium finishes and gave Rosberg a decent fight towards the end of the race.

Hamilton backed Mercedes to deliver in the cooler conditions in Japan but warned there could still be a twist in the title run-in.

The Mercedes star now has a 34-point lead over the Ferrari man going into the clash at Suzuka. Nothing to do with it being the final race of the current F1 contract after 19 years on the calendar - although the racing it provides will be missed - but more the demeanor of the two teams fighting it out for the drivers' championship. Me and the auto have lots in common - it's got great potential but doesn't always want to do what you tell it to.

The Japanese Grand Prix will be shown live on Sky Sports Formula One.

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