Hamilton wants to show boy racers who's boss

A rampant Lewis Hamilton has fired a warning to Formula One's baby-faced new generation of drivers, telling them he's still the man to beat.

The Briton took a giant step to a fourth world title by steering his Mercedes to victory in Japan on Sunday, opening a 59-point lead over Sebastian Vettel with just four races left this season.

With Vettel's Ferrari seemingly cursed by mechanical gremlins, Hamilton could be crowned world champion if he wins the next race in Austin, Texas, on Oct 22 and Vettel finishes no higher than sixth.

But Hamilton confessed that he feels old when cherubic boy racers such as Red Bull's Max Verstappen loom in his mirrors.

"I was driving down the back straight at one point and I'm thinking: 'Jeez, the guy behind me is so much younger than me'," the 32-year-old said after a late charge from Verstappen at Suzuka.

"I've got to make sure I kind of man up, show my age and make sure that I stay ahead. To show that I'm actually still very young at heart. That was kind of my thought process for you behind."

Verstappen, 20, who stunned Hamilton to win his second F1 race win in Malaysia a week earlier, shot back: "I was thinking: This guy's so old in front of me!" - AFP

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