Hamilton Reigns At Fuji

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Lewis Hamilton battled through torrential rain at Fuji Speedway to claim his fourth career Formula One victory on Sunday.

Hamilton won by 8.6 seconds ahead of Heikki Kovalainen and Kimi Räikkönen.

“A very eventful race and I am so happy to have won here at Fuji," Hamilton said. "There were moments when I thought it would have been better to stop the race; however, when the rain faded a little, conditions improved a bit. I didn’t feel too much pressure and think I would have been able to push a bit harder if necessary."

On lap 35, Hamilton recovered from a spin after being pushed by Robert Kubica, who consequently received a drive-through penalty.

"I was lucky that nothing serious happened to my car when Robert Kubica hit me, Hamilton said. "I didn’t see him come so the impact caught me by surprise, and I spun."

For Kovalainen it was the first podium finish of his career.

"The car was aquaplaning all over the place, but I kept my foot in and got back ahead, hoping I wouldn't lose the car," Kovalainen said. "It is a fantastic feeling to score my first podium. Now, we need to try and maintain the momentum in Shanghai."

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen finished third for his fifth consecutive podium.

David Coulthard and Giancarlo Fisichella rounded out the top five.

On lap 35, Hamilton's teammate Fernando Alonso spun after being hit by Sebastian Vettel. On lap 42, Alonso was running fourth when he aquaplaned off the track and heavily hit the barrier. He retired with a damaged car, which marked the first retirement of a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver this season.

"It was very difficult to see anything because of the spray especially when you were coming down the straight," Alonso said. "As a result I did not see Vettel in my mirrors and was surprised when he hit me. I think the car was damaged quite a bit by that, but I was able to continue. However when I was braking for Turn Five I just aquaplaned and spun. Unfortunately the walls at that corner are very close to the track, so I hit the barrier heavily, and that was it."

With the win, Hamilton was able to extend his championship lead to 12 points over Alonso.

"Of course, it is a difficult situation for me now in the championship; however, I will keep fighting until the end – as last year’s championship battle showed anything can happen," Alonso said.

The Etihad Aldar Spyker team was awarded its first-ever World Championship point after the FIA stewards of the meeting decided that Toro Rosso's Vitantonio Liuzzi had overtaken Adrian Sutil under a yellow flag on lap 55.

"For sure I think we deserved this point after all the hard work this year and we finally got it," said Sutil, who finished eighth. "It is a great feeling, even if we didn't get it on the track. I think it was the right decision, there was no green flag after this yellow flag from turn one, so we were definitely right and that is why we got this point."

The first twenty laps of the race were spent behind the safety car until conditions were deemed good enough to begin.

Up next for Formula One is the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

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