Lewis Hamilton’s title hopes suffered a second blow in a week as he finished third in the Japanese Grand Prix, won by team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton is now 33 points behind the German with only 100 still available in the remaining four races.
After an engine failure cost him a chance to retake the lead in Malaysia last weekend, at Suzuka it was a poor start, dropping him to eighth.
He recovered with aggressive driving and strategy but Rosberg was serene.
His ninth victory of the season means he can now afford to finish second behind Hamilton in all the remaining races and still win the championship.
The result means Mercedes win the constructors’ championship for the third consecutive year.