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Ricciardo a $17 chance to win US Grand Prix after another podium

Mon, Oct 9, 12:07pm by Head Editor

Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo has finally reached the podium in Japan at his seventh attempt, with a third-placed finish, but it was Lewis Hamilton who took a huge step towards the Drivers Championship, holding off Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen, to extend his lead at the summit to 59 points.

The result is the West Australian’s ninth podium of the season and means that it is his best season to date while his Red Bull colleague – who pushed Hamilton all the way – ensured a great fortnight for the team, where both drivers finished on the podium for the second time in a row.

The win was Hamilton’s eighth of the season, with the Mercedes star finishing 1.2 seconds ahead of Verstappen, and with Sebastian Vettel’s title hopes taking a hit after he was forced to retire with an engine failure, the Brit is now into $1.01 to take home his fourth Drivers World Championship crown. The Ferrari driver drifted out to $26 after not finishing on Sunday.

It was apparent early on in the day at the Suzuka circuit that there was a problem with Vettel’s car, as the Ferrari team worked frantically on it before the race began. Despite having a spark plug issue, the Ferrari driver started the race but immediately he slipped back at the start, losing places to Max Verstappen, Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas before his team asked him to pull into the pits and retire from the race after just four laps.

There are now just four races to go for the season, as the teams pack up and head to the American state of Texas, for the US Grand Prix, which takes place on the weekend of October 21-23. Hamilton is the $1.83 favourite for a win that would secure the title. Ricciardo is at $17, just behind teammate Verstappen ($15), Kimi Raikkonen ($13), while Vettel ($3.25) and Valtteri Bottas ($7) have also expected to challenge, just as they have all season.

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