Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lewis Lives Dream as He Equals Hero Senna's Win Tally

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lewis Lives Dream as He Equals Hero Senna's Win Tally

Article excerpt

LEWIS Hamilton says he is in dreamland after he matched his boyhood hero Ayrton Senna's victory tally with an exhibition drive in Japan.

Hamilton appeared to have his work cut out after he qualified behind pole-sitter Nico Rosberg for yesterday's race at a sun-drenched Suzuka.

But despite starting on the dirtier side of the track, Hamilton blasted out of his blocks, and when he drew level with Rosberg heading into the long, sweeping, opening right-hander, there was only going to be one winner.

Hamilton muscled his way past Rosberg, who ran out of room, fell off the track, and slipped back to fourth. There was nothing wrong with Hamilton's move and it summed up a season which the Briton, despite his setback in Singapore seven days ago, has utterly dominated.

While Rosberg battled back to finish second, he trails Hamilton by 48 points in the championship with only 125 left to race for.

Hamilton, it seems, is destined to join Senna, who won all three of his world titles here in Japan, Sir Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda in the pantheon of all-time Formula One greats with a hat-trick of championship triumphs.

And after equalling Senna's tally of 41 career victories, the Briton said: "I am so happy right now and for me to come to a race where I use to love watching Ayrton drive and to match his wins - I can't really describe - it does not feel real at the moment.

"This has been a circuit that I have struggled at through all the years that I have come here. When you go through the corners here, it is flowing, it's like sailing. I wish I could share the feeling with you.

"Knowing that this would be the race that I would equal Ayrton, who won here and had quite an interesting time here, made for quite an emotional day. I am not a teary guy, so I am just full of joy, happiness and light."

Hamilton's Mercedes team were left scratching their heads after their off-colour performance in Singapore. …

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