IN WORDS: I Could Only Have Dreamed of This Gap – Lewis

IN WORDS: I Could Only Have Dreamed of This Gap – Lewis

Lewis Hamilton says he couldn't have ever imagined leaving the Japanese Grand Prix with a 59-point lead in the Drivers' Championship after taking his third Suzuka victory.

'I have to put it down to my team'

The Silver Arrows returned to form at the Japanese Grand Prix, with Lewis taking pole position on Saturday and controlling the race on Sunday, only losing the lead through the pit stop phase.

More unreliability for Ferrari means Lewis has a 59-point advantage in the standings with four races remaining - not a position he expected to be in.  

"Honestly, I could only have dreamed of having this kind of gap," the Brit said. "I was excited actually to have a good race with Sebastian here, as I was in the last race - but he's obviously been incredibly unfortunate.

"Ferrari has put on such a great challenge all year long. All I can really say is that I have to put it down to my team. They've done a phenomenal job; reliability has really been on point.

"They are just so meticulous and that's really why we have the reliability we have and the results we have been having. I owe it to everyone here and back at the factory, so a big thank you."

'This is very, very close'

Low tyre temperatures and traffic late in the race allowed Max Verstappen to close on Lewis, but he managed to hold the Red Bull Racing driver off and finish 1.2 seconds ahead of him.

"These guys (Red Bull) seem to have a bigger wing: slower on the straights but much, much quicker, it seems, through the first two sectors.

"It just got a little bit close towards the end. I was just controlling the pace but the VSC lost a lot of temperature in the tyres and waking them up was not so easy.

"Then I got traffic, I was stuck behind Fernando (Alonso) and I think it was (Felipe) Massa, at the time and I was just losing so much time.

"His (Verstappen's) car was so big in my mirrors. I was thinking 'Jeez, this is very, very close' with a couple of laps to go - but once I got by just managed to keep it together.

"It was not an easy walk in the park. It was very much one that I had to work very hard for."

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