Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead by 59 points after his top title rival Sebastian Vettel suffered his second retirement in three races, this time due to a spark plug failure on his Ferrari.
Engine problems forced the German out of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix on the fourth lap after his Ferrari mechanics had worked feverishly on the starting grid to try and fix an engine problem.
"The laps? yeah, very much on it", said Hamilton, who leads Vettel by 34 points with five races left, after the session.
And even though the Mercedes star has four races to get the job done he insisted he will not be taking it easy in Austin. But, he kept dropping down from second place where he started the race and eventually his team radioed him to retire, for his second incomplete race of the season.
"In the world today, in Formula One it is a lot about reliability, it is about the team's whole performance, not just speed on the track", he added, saying that he was thankful to his team for the solid support.
A clearly disappointed Vettel said: "We've done an incredible job so far".
With only four races remaining for the 2017 season, Hamilton is now 59 points ahead of Vettel. The Briton emerged from the pitlanes just ahead of the Red Bull in third, and retook the lead when Ricciardo pitted, and his slower teammate Bottas moved aside shortly after while keeping the threatening Verstappen at bay in third. "I just felt a couple of things so you just point out things that you might forget to tell them".
With the issue unresolved, the four times world champion retired from the race after just four laps with his title hopes in tatters.
A start-line crash in Singapore has been followed by engine problems at consecutive races in Malaysia and Japan.
"But for sure now you don't look at the positives because it's not the day to look at positives".
"I tried everything on the last run, I knew I had to take a bit more risk", he continued.
"It's a circuit I've always enjoyed, and with this year's vehicle it's a lot of fun". Fortunately for Hamilton though, the leaders came up to lap Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa towards the end of the penultimate lap.
Raikkonen did manage to fight his way up from an 11th place start (after a penalty saw him drop down the grid), with the Force Indias of Ocon and Perez in sixth and seventh and the Haas cars of Magnussen and Grosjean in eighth and ninth.