Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead by a masterful win in the rains at Fuji in the Japanese Grand Prix.
In a race in which team-mate Fernando Alonso crashed out, Hamilton drove like a veteran to take his fourth victory of the season. Heavy rain meant the first 19 of 67 laps were run behind a safety car, and when racing finally got under way, the two Ferraris were at the back. Both Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa had been forced to pit under the safety car as they weren't running the extreme wet tyres mandated by the FIA by email to the teams. Ferraris claimed not to have received the email but the cars were forced to pit nonetheless.
Hamilton led Alonso with Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso) and Mark Webber (Red Bull) behind him. When Alonso crashed out on lap 42, the safety car was deployed again and Webber was then hit by Sebastian Vettel. Webber blamed Hamilton for slowing the field too much and causing a concertina-effect as much as he did Vettel for clouting the rear of his car. "It's kids, isn't it? They do a good job and then they f**k it all up," he said.
The carnage left Hamilton in the lead, despite a half-spin earlier in the race, with Heikki Kovalainen taking a career-best second place and Kimi Raikkonen working his way to third. With Hamilton 12 points ahead of Alonso, it looked like it was his title for the taking.