Championship leader Lewis Hamilton won the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday to equal the late F1 legend Ayrton Senna’s tally of 41 F1 victories and expand 48 points clear of his team mate Nico Rosberg with five races remaining in the championship.
Japanese GP marked Briton’s eighth victory of the season, with Rosberg anchor the eighth one-two finish for dominant Mercedes as the champions returned to form following a strange dip in Singapore last weekend.
“I’m so happy right now,” Hamilton said after the race.
“The team did a fantastic job this weekend, it’s great to be back up here as a team with the one-two. Thanks to the team for working so hard to make sure we got good starts.”
“For me to come here to a race where I used to love watching Ayrton drive and to match his wins – I can’t really describe it, it doesn’t feel real at the moment.”
The Brit admits that equaling Senna at Suzuka made it equally special, adding that his team deserves special praise.
“Out in the front there it was just a beautiful, it was like sailing through the corners. Also knowing that this would be race that I would equal Ayrton here, and he had quite an interest history here! Quite an emotional day. I’m just full of joy and happiness and life and I’m really helpful for all the people who have helped me get to where I am today – without them I wouldn’t be here.
“It was an amazing race. This has been a circuit I can honestly say I’ve struggled at through all the years I’ve been here. You always want to come here and dominate at a track like this. We managed to get the balance in the right place, the team did an amazing job in the short time we had.”
“It was better today than it was even in qualifying. I was really able to work on my lines and improve as it went on.”