Japanese Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel wins Japanese GP as Fernando Alonso spins out

Sebastian Vettel took full advantage of Fernando Alonso’s spin off the track to take the victory in┬áthe Japanese Grand Prix.

Vettel cruised to his third victory of the season, and second in a row, to move him to within four points of Alonso at the top of the drivers’ championship, after the Spaniard dramatically crashed out at the first corner after contact with Kimi Raikkonen.

Felipe Massa took second place, and raised the spirits of the Italian team after Alonso’s exit.

Kamui Kobayashi delighted the home crowd as he took a career-best finish third, becoming the first Japanese driver to finish on the podium here since Aguri Suzuki in 1990, but it was another poor day for McLaren as Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and fifth, although the latter moved to within 42 points of Alonso.

Sebastian Vettel leads into the first corner as Fernando Alonso spins out of the race

Alonso suffered a puncture when he was hit from behind by Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen.

“I knew behind me there was a crash and I saw a Ferrari was out but wasn’t sure which,” said Vettel.

“Halfway through I was looking to see the others and I saw there [Ferrari] car still racing Felipe, I didn’t know what happened to Fernando.

“The atmosphere has been unbelievable all weekend. There has been so much support, the stands have been full and that really makes our job feel very special.

“When you’re dreaming at night, you dream one day about racing a car like that. The balance was so good and that’s why there was a gap to behind.”