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."
|Stoger´s small changes getting Dortmund back on track|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Alaves 0: Substitute Torres breaks LaLiga duck to net winner|
|City defeat a ´good experience´ for Tottenham - Pochettino|
|Fury takes pop at ´carthorse´ Joshua|
|Zidane dreaming of sextuple after Club World Cup success|
|Running man De Bruyne makes it easier to manage City - Guardiola|
|Ronaldo and Zidane hoping for Ballon d´Or winner to retire at Madrid|
|Championship Review: Teenage debutant Maja snaps Sunderland´s home drought|
|In-form Neymar is good for all who love football – Emery|
|Napoli´s record goalscorers - how Marek Hamsik compares to Diego Maradona|
|Leinster rally to beat Chiefs, Bath gain revenge over Toulon|
|De Bruyne eyes titles over unbeaten season|
|Ninja Turtles invade pitch during PSG clash|
|Muller, Heynckes buoyed by Bayern Munich´s edgy victory|
|I´m confident, but what does that mean? - Wenger gives cryptic answer on Ozil future|
|Real Madrid win five trophies in a calendar year for first time|
|It´s nice to know - Hamsik plays down matching Maradona´s Napoli record|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Hoffenheim 1: Pulisic late show extends perfect Stoger start|
|Manchester City 4 Tottenham 1: Silva-less City continue to set the gold standard|
|Hughes fumes at Lanzini ´dive´|
|Torino 1 Napoli 3: Historic Hamsik strike sends Sarri´s side top|
|Dyche credits Burnley´s resolve in battling Brighton draw|
|Conte refuses to discuss Chelsea interest in ´really good player´ Van Dijk|
|Real Madrid 1 Gremio 0: Ronaldo free-kick secures Club World Cup glory|
|Silva refuses to question Watford´s attitude amid dismal run|
|Wenger hails Ozil´s decisive ´gem´|
|City´s record run unfairly overshadowing Chelsea form - Conte|
|Murray ´normally very reliable´ from the spot - Hughton|
|Stoke City 0 West Ham 3: Returning Arnautovic has the last laugh|
|Rennes 1 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Two goals, two assists for Neymar|
|Hamsik matches Maradona´s all-time Napoli scoring record|
|Apologetic Spalletti had forgotten losing feeling at Inter|
|We stick to the plan – Valverde not risking Dembele before January|
|Watford 1 Huddersfield Town 4: Deeney sees red as Hornets´ slump continues|
|Chelsea 1 Southampton 0: Alonso extends Blues´ home run|
|Arsenal 1 Newcastle United 0: Ozil stunner sees hosts edge back to winning ways|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 0 Burnley 0: Murray pays the penalty for Seagulls|
|McGregor says MMA, not Pacquiao, is next on agenda|
|Stuttgart 0 Bayern Munich 1: Ulreich denies former club with last-gasp penalty save|
|Gattuso tries to shrug off Donnarumma, FFP controversies|
|Inter 1 Udinese 3: Leaders leave door open for Napoli as unbeaten run ends|
|Al Jazira 1 Pachuca 4: Jara & Sagal inspire Mexicans to Club World Cup third place|
|Benteke winning over Palace fans after penalty nightmare - Hodgson|
|Allegri defends ´extraordinary´ Dybala after Nedved criticism|
|I didn´t owe Palace team-mates, Benteke claims|
|Carmelo Anthony ready for MSG return, calls New York ´home´|
|Five (not altogether serious) ways for England to avoid Ashes whitewash|
|I´ve never considered leaving PSG, insists Draxler|
|Leicester City 0 Crystal Palace 3: Benteke, Eagles end drought|
|AC Milan´s Fassone requests UEFA help over FFP|
|AC Milan have ´no intention´ of selling Donnarumma|
|Bravo sees no way back into West Indies set-up|
|Reggie Bush ´done´ with NFL career|
|A-League Review: Jets keep up pressure, Wanderers get rare win|
|I´m just happy I have all my fingers - Kvitova reflects on rollercoaster 2017|
|Schalke send Coke on loan to Levante|
|Man Utd´s Matic refuses to concede in Premier League title race|
|Mourinho: I don´t like a circus when you win|
|Keita won´t arrive in January, says Klopp|
|Embiid gets last word after verbal altercation with Westbrook|
|Bring on the noise! Pochettino´s Spurs want to ´kill´ Man City|
|Beat Madrid and PSG can go all the way, Djorkaeff claims|
|Farbrace recognises England´s limitations amid Perth punishment|
|Marsh century leaves family with full hearts and fuller bladders|
|Icardi to Real Madrid? Nara will not say yes or no|
|The Ashes Round-up: Smith and Marsh torment England|
|Smith and Marsh gorge themselves as England put to the sword|
|Ronaldo proud to compete with Messi|
|Wenger struggling to solve Arsenal goal drought|
|Smith brings up double hundred as England toil|