Monday 5 December 2016

Hamilton equals Senna's record

Daniel Johnson

Published 28/09/2015 | 02:30

Lewis Hamilton holds his trophy after winning the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit
Lewis Hamilton holds his trophy after winning the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit

Lewis Hamilton equalled his idol Ayrton Senna's record of 41 wins with a forceful drive in the Japanese Grand Prix yesterday - not that you would have known from watching the television broadcast.

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Hamilton also matched the ferociousness of his idol's racing, forcing Nico Rosberg wide at turn one and easing his way to an eighth win of the season - one which puts him in total command of the World Drivers' Championship.

But again, other than that opening salvo, you will not have seen much of this dominant drive.

Mercedes were left furious and flabbergasted by Bernie Ecclestone's decision to cut them out of the official feed, beamed to all the television stations and millions of people round the world.

There was no footage of Mer-cedes pit stops, very little of them on track, and no images whatsoever of any of the team garages, in a separate row over sponsorship.

It did not take a genius to work out that Ecclestone was exacting revenge for the decision by Mercedes not to supply Red Bull with engines for 2016, a deal he had been desperately trying to broker.

Hamilton, who had the inside line for turns one and two, said it was his "right of way". Once he had dispatched Rosberg, he never looked back, with the German having to fight hard to regain second place.

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