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Hamilton´s Japanese GP victory felt like one of his first

7 oktober 2018 10:54

Lewis Hamilton said his victory at the Japanese Grand Prix felt like one of his first and is looking forward to unleashing his Mercedes in Austin in a fortnight.

The reigning Formula One world champion extended his lead over Sebastian Vettel at the top of the drivers' standings to 67 points on Sunday, with the German only able to finish sixth following a collision with Max Verstappen.

Hamilton can potentially clinch the crown for the fifth time in his career at the United States Grand Prix and, after the joy of glory in Suzuka, he is keen to get going again.

"I loved it. The whole weekend's been incredibly strong from the team. A great one-two shows the team's strength in depth," said the 33-year-old, who led from lights to chequered flag after qualifying on pole position.

"This is the best track in the world. I don't know why they don't make tracks like this anymore. Every second of the run was great fun.

"I wasn't able to look after the tyres the way I wanted, so I had to manage them. It's a great feeling. These guys you see at the track and the guys at the factory work so hard to create this beast.

"I'm so proud and grateful I have the chance to do what I do. I've been racing a long time, but that feels like one of the first.

"I take it one step at a time. Each week you have a positive weekend and go to another grand prix and don't know how you're going to perform. But Austin's a good track for us and I can't wait to unleash this beast there."

Valtteri Bottas secured a one-two for Mercedes, with Red Bull duo Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo beating the pair of Ferraris home.

Bottas said: "We were lucky that Red Bull were the team challenging us and not Ferrari, as Red Bull do not have the same pace.

"We need to win this title and the constructors' championship. I can't win the title, so I'm hoping for Lewis to win it, and sooner rather than later."

Victory for Hamilton in the United States will secure the fifth world title of his career if Vettel finishes third or lower.

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