Lewis Hamilton says he could only have dreamed of opening up such a sizeable lead in the Formula One championship after capitalising on Sebastian Vettel's woe to win a pulsating Japanese Grand Prix.
The Briton converted pole into an eighth victory of a campaign that has dramatically swung in his favour in recent races to open up a 59-point advantage over Ferrari rival Vettel.
It was a desperately disappointing day for the German, who retired after just four laps with an engine problem, as Hamilton held off a great fight from Max Verstappen to take the chequered flag at Suzuka.
Victory means the Mercedes man can clinch a fourth world title with victory in the United States Grand Prix if he wins and Vettel places lower than fifth and it is a position Hamilton did not foresee.
"Honestly, I could only have dreamed of having this kind of gap. The Ferraris have put on such a great challenge all year long but I have to put it down to my team," an elated Hamilton said.
"They've done a phenomenal job, reliability has been on point. They're just so meticulous and that's really why we're having the reliability and results we're having."
Verstappen was rarely more than three seconds adrift of Hamilton and, when the Briton complained of vibrating tyres in the closing laps, that gap was cut to just over a second.
"Max drove an outstanding race and honestly it wasn't an easy one for us at all," Hamilton added.
"The Red Bulls just seem to be rapid in the race trim. Obviously, we're quick in qualifying but it got very close at the end with the VSC [virtual safety car] and the restart. The tyres were cold and had a bit of traffic and he caught right up, so it was very close."
Verstappen beat Hamilton at the previous grand prix in Malaysia and reflected on another fine outing in the Red Bull.
"It was a great day again. Suzuka is really great to me, I loved the track last year. The pace today was really promising," he said.
"The first stint on the supersoft I was struggling a bit with the left-front but as soon as we switched to the soft tyre it was very competitive and I was always with Lewis, especially in the last few laps.
"We had great pace it's just really hard to pass. I gave it my all to try and close the gap but the car is really improving race by race so I'm really happy about that."
17. Oktober 2017
|Monaco without Ghezzal and Jovetic for Besiktas clash|
|Hafeez recalled for Sri Lanka T20 series|
|De Bruyne agent eyes Neymar, Mbappe-style wages for Manchester City star|
|Mertesacker not interested in Deeney’s ´cojones´ comment|
|Craig Shakespeare sacked by Leicester City|
|North set to miss Wales´ autumn series with knee injury|
|Messi is the best in the world, says Paulinho|
|Valverde ready for ´emotional´ game against old boys OIympiacos|
|Nadal to miss Swiss Indoors Basel due to knee injury|
|Manchester United expecting a tough game against Benfica, says Ashley Young|
|Froome eyes Paris-Roubaix for Tour preparation|
|Rafinha has ´no interest´ in Barca exit - Mazinho|
|Mourinho would be happy with draw against wounded Benfica|
|O´Neill wary of Eriksen threat after Republic of Ireland draw Denmark in World Cup play-offs|
|NBA Preview: Five key storylines entering the 2017-18 season|
|Warrington pull off Roberts coup|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton closing in, new faces and pink tyres|
|Simeone and Atletico wary of Qarabag threat|
|Robben set for landmark as Barca´s Valverde welcomes former side - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Conte´s harsh words will motivate us, insists Alonso|
|Mourinho: I´m not signing new contract and I´m not joining PSG|
|Bayern´s Martinez out for at least two matches|
|Furyk hints at Woods Ryder Cup vice-captaincy role|
|Besiktas ask fans not to attend Champions League clash with Monaco|
|Porte set for comeback from Tour de France crash|
|Fit-again Morata could face Roma, Conte reveals|
|Juventus must share the blame for defensive woes, says Chiellini|
|Taylor and Jarvis earn Zimbabwe recalls|
|Nice president supports Balotelli for Italy recall|
|Celtic´s Roberts modelled his game on Robben|
|World Cup play-offs: Italy to face Sweden, Republic of Ireland meet Denmark|
|Proteas rest Tahir and Rabada for T20s|
|Juventus are not in any kind of crisis, says Allegri|
|Cobbles, Alpe D´Huez and new climbs await 2018 Tour de France|
|Watford can beat Chelsea claims Cleverley|
|Sigurdsson admits to falling short at Everton|
|Lloris hails ´machine of success´ Cristiano Ronaldo|
|Gunathilaka ban halved to three matches by Sri Lanka|
|Stokes incident worse than my punch of Root, says Warner|
|Ox not ready for central role, Klopp says|
|Rodda to miss rest of 2017 due to shoulder surgery|
|My career´s gone - Redknapp flags likely retirement|
|Toulon expect Webb to honour contract|
|Spurs must be wary of Isco ´magic´, warns Pochettino|
|Malignaggi keen for McGregor fight|
|Riedle defends Bundesliga quality amid early Champions League struggles|
|Manchester City v Napoli: The numbers behind Europe´s most lethal attacks|
|LeBron: Irving´s return to Cleveland will be fine|
|He Said What?! The Best NFL quotes of week six|
|Jardim says French champions Monaco down on confidence|
|Mariota returns to lead Titans past Colts|
|Yankees rout Astros to reduce ALCS deficit|
|Hansen defends under-fire Sonny Bill Williams: He is playing well|
|Spurs star Kane an obvious target for Real Madrid – Redknapp|
|I´m done - Gatland quits British and Irish Lions|
|Bosz and Dortmund eyeing much-needed victory as Schmelzer returns|
|Tiger Woods cleared to resume golf activities with no restrictions|
|Szczesny: I didn´t improve at Arsenal due to tactical gulf|
|Spurs coach Popovich calls Trump a ´soulless coward´|
|Bowman signs one-year deal with Raiders|
|Girardi says Yankees star Judge isn´t getting calls ´because he´s so tall´|
|Baldwin feared he could lose hand after lion bite|
|Pochettino wants ´10 or 15 years´ at Tottenham|
|Shakespeare hails Mahrez response after ´kick up the backside´|
|Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to undergo surgery on broken collarbone|
16. Oktober 2017
|NBA Eastern Conference Preview: Can Celtics´ bold moves unseat Cavs?|
|NBA Western Conference Preview: Everyone´s looking up at the Warriors|
|NBA Preview: Five rookies to watch in 2017|
|Cornet breezes past home hope Makarova in Moscow|
|Leicester City 1 West Brom 1: Mahrez cancels out Chadli magic|