Rosberg became only the fifth driver to win nine races in a season. (AP Photo/Toru Takahashi)
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Nico Rosberg tightened his grip on the Formula One title race with a dominant victory at the Japanese Grand Prix Sunday, the German's first win at Suzuka also helping Mercedes claim a third consecutive constructors' crown. Rosberg, who started on pole, was never seriously threatened and crossed the line 4.9 seconds clear of Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who fended off a late-charging Lewis Hamilton after the Briton recovered from a woeful start to finish third.Rosberg extended his lead over Hamilton to 33 points in the overall standings following his ninth win of the season and with four rounds remaining, the 31-year-old can claim a maiden title without needing to win another race.The win was also the 15th of 17 races for Mercedes this season and confirmed three years of dominance, during which time the German outfit has won 47 of 55 races.
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