Formula One: Hamilton claims Japanese Grand Prix

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain won the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit in Suzuka, Japan, on Sept 27, 2015.
Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain won the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit in Suzuka, Japan, on Sept 27, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

SUZUKA (Japan) - Lewis Hamilton won the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon.

More significantly, the Mercedes driver claimed the 41st race win of his career, allowing him to tie his childhood idol, the late great Ayrton Senna.

The victory will have come as a huge relief to the Briton, who failed to finish his last race - the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix at Marina Bay last Sunday.

It also allows him to open up his lead in the drivers' championship to 48 points over his closest challenger, team-mate Nico Rosberg, who finished second.

Hamilton is now on 277 points, Rosberg on 229.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, winner in Singapore, placed third. He remains third in the standings on 218.

There are five races remaining.