Lewis Hamilton Wins The 2018 Japanese Grand Prix – REPORT AND DRIVER INTERVIEWS

japanese-grand-prix

Lewis Hamilton Wins The 2018 Japanese Grand Prix – REPORT AND DRIVER INTERVIEWS

Race Weekend: Formula 1 2018 Honda Japanese Grand Prix

Location: Suzuka, Circuit – Japan

The weekend, it was another great weekend for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team who seem to be unstoppable at the moment! Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Scuderia Ferrari with Sebastian Vettel coming into contact with Max Verstappen, spinning on track and leaving him back in P19, fighting his way through the grid again to get to P6.

With Lewis Hamilton winning the race, there’s now 67 points between the title-rivals – a major change from the start of the year, it has to be said.

Take a look at what drivers and teams had to say following the Japanese Grand Prix.

MERCEDES – 2018 Japanese Grand Prix

LEWIS HAMILTON

lewis-hamilton

Lewis Hamilton: “I was having so much fun driving this track…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.”

“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.”

“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.”

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…”

VALTTERI BOTTAS

valtteri-bottas

Valtteri Bottas: “This is a perfect result for the team and a great reward for an amazing performance from the entire team this weekend, I’m happy that we could bring it home like this after qualifying on the front row yesterday.”

“This was my first podium here in Suzuka which was great; I get a lot of support from the local fans, I can really feel it and it means a lot to me.”

“My race was pretty straightforward, we actually had a bit of margin to save the engine. It probably looked much closer on TV than it actually was.”

“I had one lockup going into the last chicane where Max got a bit closer, but otherwise I was just managing and it was all under control.”

“The first stint on the Soft tyres was a little better than the second one on the Mediums, where blistering was a bit of an issue, but no drama.”

“Overall, this was a great weekend for the team!”

TOTO WOLFF

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Toto Wolff: “That was a very tense Grand Prix for us….It might have looked pretty smooth from outside but within the team we were managing blisters in the tyres, some driveability issues with Lewis’ Power Unit and very competitive Red Bull behind us.”

“To take a 1-2 for the second race in a row is pretty special – not just for the trackside team here after a tough back-to-back, but for everybody back in Brackley and Brixworth who have poured their efforts into developing this car and Power Unit.”

“There hasn’t been a single silver bullet – just a lot of hard work, creativity and a mind set to channel the pressure of the competition and keep pushing hard to achieve our objectives.”

“The approach will remain the same in the coming races: we will not let up one single bit when it comes to bringing more performance to the car, and keep taking everything day by day.”

“It has been an important week for the team and we have come out of the challenges we faced even stronger than before. From here, every race is like a mini-championship and we need to keep aligning our race weekends in the same way we achieved in Sochi and Suzuka.”

FERRARI – 2018 Japanese Grand Prix

SEBASTIAN VETTEL

sebastian-vettel-japanese-grand-prix

Sebastian Vettel: “Today, I found it quite inspirational walking through the garage and watching the guys work! All the team is fired up and that certainly helps, as the last couple of weeks haven’t been that easy.”

“The spirit is unbroken despite everything. Races like this are a bit of a hand-over and we know it is difficult from where we are in the point standings, but we don’t have much to lose.”

“We have given everything so far and I believe there’s still something we can learn and understand from the car. So we keep fighting and resisting and we’ll see what the other races bring. As for the collision with Max, I was obviously pushing to pass, I knew he had a penalty, but I also felt that we were fast.”

“I could see that his battery was clipping, while I had saved some energy from mine. I saw a gap and went for it on the inside, he obviously tried to defend and I couldn’t go anywhere, so we touched – this is part of racing.”

KIMI RAIKKONEN

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Kimi Raikkonen: “After the contact with Max I saw some parts flying off my car; it was damaged pretty badly on the left hand side. Obviously, this affected negatively the rest of my race.”

“What happened is unfortunate and after that it was pretty difficult to drive on. I had lost a lot of downforce, but there was not much I could do.”

“It’s impossible to know what our performance would have been without that accident at the chicane; we had improved the car over the weekend, it was getting better and better, but unfortunately this is what we have got today.”

“It’s been a difficult and poor weekend overall, the result is not ideal. Now we need to look deeply on everything and hopefully we’ll come back at the next race on a more normal situation where we’ll be able to fight…”

MAURIZIO ARRIVABENE

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Maurizio Arrivabene: “After what happened in qualifying, today the team and the drivers fought back well. The podium could have been within our grasp, but unfortunately, damage on both cars, as a result of collisions in the race, affected the final result.”

“Regardless of what is now a very difficult situation in terms of the championship, we will tackle the coming races giving them our best shot, maintaining concentration and determination.”

RED BULL RACING – 2018 Japanese Grand Prix

MAX VERSTAPPEN

Max Verstappen: “After the penalty and incident with Seb I’m really happy to come away with another podium in Japan. The car felt good and we were able to compete at the front for the entire race, which at this track makes it even better.”

“Judging by a few mistakes he made it looked like Bottas was pushing hard on the last few laps. It’s hard to follow anyway so I just did my best hoping he would make another fault and I could be in a position to take advantage.”

“I felt a little hard done by with the penalty I got while defending against Kimi. I was trying my best to get back onto the track as quickly as possible instead of just cutting the corner, perhaps next time I will just cut the track.”

“The incident with Sebastian was a very similar mistake to mine in China earlier this year, I think he could have passed easier if he had waited.”

“It shows that even the most experienced drivers can make errors when under pressure. I’m now very excited to get to Austin, we have good performance and it’s a great place to visit!”

DANIEL RICCIARDO

daniel-ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo: “Surprisingly, I was able to come through the field and overtake quite easily. That’s not because I thought I couldn’t personally overtake, it’s just not that easy on this track, but I was able to make good use of the downforce we had on the soft tyre.”

“I knew we would be quite vulnerable on the straights as we ran very high downforce this weekend, but I could stay close enough in the corners that I could latch onto the tow of the cars ahead on the straights.”

“It was a good set-up and the first part of the race was a lot of fun. We went on to the mediums to try and cover Kimi and fourth place was kind of written after that. I would have loved a podium and I was kinda of hoping for something to happen up front, but I feel I earned at least a fourth today.”

“It was good to come through the field and on the grid Helmut actually said that he thought fourth place was a little optimistic and possibly out of reach today.”

“So, fourth is like a little victory from the back on this track and it was good to see our strong pace against Ferrari. A podium would have been even sweeter but I can’t complain with the result and I’m pleased for the Team.”

“All that’s left to say is, arigatooooo Japan!!”

CHRISTIAN HORNER

christian-horner

Christian Horner: “Today was a good day for both drivers and the Team. For Max to achieve a podium despite incurring a five second penalty following contact with Kimi on the opening lap was a great performance.”

“He had a busy afternoon, with a racing incident between him and Seb on lap seven resulting in damage. Despite that, he was still able to close down Valtteri in the final stages and put him under pressure to try and claim second place and secure his third consecutive Suzuka podium.”

“Daniel also drove a very strong Grand Prix, progressing through the field with some great overtakes and with strong pace he was able to finish fourth from fifteenth on the grid.”

“All round, it has been a positive day getting two cars to the finish and taking home a good haul of points for the Team.”

MCLAREN – 2018 Japanese Grand Prix

FERNANDO ALONSO

Fernando Alonso: “In spite of the poor result, I did enjoy driving around this track today. The first lap was quite good and intense, and in the Esses especially we were overtaking each other inside and outside and we recovered a few places.”

“In the last couple of laps there was also a good battle with the Williams and (Marcus) Ericsson who were struggling on old tyres, so we had to fight a little bit….Even though we were too slow all weekend, in the end it was an enjoyable race.”

“Unfortunately, the five-second penalty I received in the first part of the race dropped me down several positions. It wasn’t a big drama, because we were out of the points anyway, but it’s difficult to understand the stewards’ decision as I had nowhere to go but off the track when Lance (Stroll) came across not having seen me, as he said…”

STOFFEL VANDOORNE

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Stoffel Vandoorne: “It wasn’t a great race for us. It was pretty difficult at the beginning, and there wasn’t really any possibility to resist the quicker cars. We were more or less passengers on the straights.”

“At least the race turned out a little bit better towards the end, and we managed to beat a few cars on pace.”

“With the tyre degradation, we were able to make them last and make a one-stop work, catch up with some cars and hold some other cars behind us. I think that was more or less the maximum possible today.”

Here are some more photos from the weekend.

2018-japanese-grand-prix-qualifying

japanese-grand-prix

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