DEFENDING World Champion Lewis Hamilton looks set to retain the title after a convincing victory at the Suzuka Grand Prix in Japan.
Hamilton got a better start than team-mate and closest challenger Nico Rosberg, who started in pole position, and used the inside lane to edge his car ahead by the second corner, forcing Rosberg wide and causing him to fall into fourth. Though Rosberg recovered to finish second he trails Hamilton by forty-eight points with just five races left, a deficit that should be defended easily enough by the Briton.
Hamilton was asked in the post-race interviews if he ever felt sorry for Rosberg given that he always seems to get the better of the German when the two engage in wheel-to-wheel racing. His diplomatic response belied the ease in which he dominates Rosberg. The fact is that as a race Hamilton is virtually untouchable and gifted with frightening pace and an incredibly steely determination to win.
With this win, Hamilton matched his childhood hero Ayrton Senna with 41 career wins and if he wins the World Championship this year he will also match Senna’s trophy haul with three. Hamilton has become one of the highest-performing athletes in the world, as well as one of the most highly-paid, and will undoubtedly go down as a legend of Formula 1.
Ferrari made a step-up this year, and if they continue to catch up to Mercedes, next year could prove more challenging for Hamilton. The Adrian Newey-designed Red Bull chassis is as always impressive, and it simply requires an adequate engine to be more competitive. However, with Hamilton’s elite skill as a driver, it’s not hard to see him dominating the sport for years to come.
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