Lewis Hamilton secured his fiftieth victory with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team and the seventy-first of his Formula 1 career as he further consolidated his advantage at the top of the championship standings with a dominant display at the Suzuka International Racing Course on Sunday.
The reigning World Drivers’ Champion maintained his advantage at the start and was never under threat from behind as he led a Mercedes one-two finish ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas, with Hamilton admitting he was enjoying every single moment of track action across the weekend in Japan.
“I was having so much fun driving this track,” said Hamilton. “I was really able to just embrace the moment and enjoy every single lap, every single corner and the feel of the car.
“Suzuka is such a unique circuit, you go down a hill into Turn 1, then up-hill, you go underneath the track – it’s one of my favourite circuits.”
Hamilton feels the 2018 event at Suzuka was the best he’s ever had at the track, with a great feeling behind the wheel of his W09 and he credits this to each individual member of the Mercedes outfit back in their factories.
He has a sixty-seven-point advantage over Sebastian Vettel at the top of the championship standings with four races remaining and has his first opportunity of becoming a five-time World Champion next time out at the Circuit of the Americas later this month.
“The pace was really great and this is definitely the best weekend I’ve had here and the best feeling I’ve had here balance-wise, it was really lovely,” said the Briton. “Everyone at the track and back home in the factories deserves a huge thank you for their continued efforts, they just continue to push and deliver, weekend after weekend.
“This result was really the best way to repay all their hard work. There’s still 100 points available, so we have to try and focus and never be complacent. The team has done such an amazing job the last few weekends, we need to bring the same focus and performance and keep pushing.
“The harmony in the team and the performance of every single individual in the team is the best it’s ever been. But we’ve always got areas that we can improve on, collectively and for me personally, so we will keep pushing and keep raising the bar.”