SHANGHAI, China --- Lewis Hamilton's win in the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday proved to be anticlimactic, leaving the McLaren driver just short of clinching the 2008 Formula One title.
Hamilton led from start to finish in a tepid race, finishing 14.9 seconds ahead of rival Felipe Massa, who took second thanks to Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen letting him through late in the race.
The result extended Hamilton's lead in the drivers' championship to seven points with only the Brazilian Grand Prix remaining in two weeks.
"It might be another step towards my dream but we've still got to keep calm and keep our heads," Hamilton said. "I just hope we can pull through."
The Briton led Raikkonen by precisely the same margin heading into the Brazilian GP last season, only to have a botched overtaking maneuver and gearbox trouble relegate him to seventh place, handing the title to the Finn.
The points coincidence aside, Hamilton is in prime position to become F1's youngest champion. The only way Massa can beat him is if the Brazilian wins his home race and the McLaren driver finishes no higher than seventh, or Massa finishes second and Hamilton out of the points.
OBITUARY: Steve Lawson, a popular NASCAR official, was found dead in his hotel room Sunday morning, NASCAR officials said. He was 51.
The cause of death was not announced. Lawson, of Rockford, Ill., worked as an official for stock car racing's governing body for more than a decade, most recently as a safety inspector in the Sprint Cup Series.
He was scheduled to work at Sunday's TUMS Quikpak 500 at Martinsville Speedway. A moment of silence was held before the race.
FATAL CRASH: In Sydney, Australia, police were reviewing video footage of a weekend sprint car crash that killed a 28-year-old driver at a western Sydney track.
Scott Darley was driving one of the front cars in a 21-lap qualifying race Saturday when his car veered off the track and became airborne before landing on its side and crashing into a concrete wall.
The western Sydney native was trapped in the car and freed by firefighters, but he died at the scene.