Sebastian Vettel slashed the Formula One title race to just four points with victory in the Japanese Grand Prix after championship leader Fernando Alonso span out on the first turn.
Red Bull's defending world champion escaped a chaotic start and sped away to win by more than 20 seconds ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa and home favourite Kamui Kobayashi.
Vettel, who won in Singapore two weeks ago, threw the championship wide open as he became the only man this year with back-to-back victories.
With five races left, he trails Alonso 194 points to 190.
Alonso was eliminated when he was hit by rival Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus at the first corner and suffered a puncture. The Ferrari driver was so angry, he did not speak to the media after the race.
Jenson Button finished fourth for McLaren ahead of his Mercedes-bound team-mate Lewis Hamilton, with Raikkonen sixth behind the two Britons. Hamilton said afterwards that he had still not given up on his dreams of a second world title.
Despite his win, Vettel warned there were still surprises to come in a unpredictable championship.
"It was an important step today, but there is still a long way to go," Vettel said. "Look at the last couple of races and since Spa (Belgium) -- it's been very much up and down.
"We don't know what will happen in the next race, but let's try and take the points. It's been a long season with crazy racing."