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Vettel wins Japanese Grand Prix

German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel has won the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. However, he still has to wait for his fourth straight world title.

Vettel, 26, edged out Red Bull teammate Mark Webber and Lotus' Romain Grosjean to win the race. It is his fifth grand prix victory in a row.

However, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso came in fourth, thus dashing Vettel's chances of winning his fourth straight world title this time around. Alonso would have had to finish outside of the first eight for Vettel to become world champion in Japan.

But a fourth consecutive Formula One crown is all but certain for Vettel, who would only need a fifth place in India in two weeks' time to win the title even if Alonso is victorious. The Red Bull driver now has a 90-point lead over Alonso with four races remaining.

In Japan, Vettel started second on the grid behind Webber from Australia, who was in pole position for the first time this season. The German driver came second in qualifying after his speed-boosting Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) failed.

The race at the Suzuka circuit was preceded by a minute's silence in honor of former reserve driver Maria de Villota, 33, who died on Friday of injuries she sustained during testing a year ago.

tj/kms (AFP, Reuters)

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