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Images from the 2019 F1 Russian Grand Prix
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LH44: Keeping The Title Focus

Sep 302019

Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Russian Grand Prix has moved him one step closer to achieving a record sixth Formula One Drivers' Championship title - yet the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team driver is keeping focused; and not looking past the next race; the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix.

Lewis's victory in Sochi, plus the bonus point for setting the fastest lap, moves him 73 points clear of his Silver Arrows teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who was second in Russia while Ferrari's Charles Leclerc is 107 points behind with only five races remaining.

When quizzed about his focus, and whether he was already dreaming of securing a sixth title, Lewis said: "I just don't try to think about it. It’s not that it's difficult, it's pretty easy just to focus on the task in hand. Just focusing on trying to be the best I can be each weekend, one race at a time and making sure I'm delivering at a high rate."

"What's really impressive is to see how we're fighting against the Ferraris, who have got great pace, but some of the other drivers are really performing so well too. It's one of the best years I've seen the drivers perform in terms of outright performances; so it means that everyone is having to raise their bar, including myself."

"I'm enjoying that challenge and taking it just one race at a time. The next one is going to be super hard to keep trying to beat these guys again but not impossible as we've shown in Sochi."

 

Lewis's victory in Russia was his first since the Hungarian GP in August after Ferrari earned three wins in a row. Lewis was quick to praise the work of all the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Team staff, who contributed to the success.

 

"It is just an incredible job from all of the guys, not giving up, trying new things, pushing forwards, always trying to be innovative and just never giving up," continued Lewis. "That makes me incredibly inspired and it's just incredible to have this result considering how quick Ferrari were off the start. Just keeping up with them was an incredibly hard task. But we haven't given up, we keep on pushing and the car was really fantastic.

 

"Suzuka is going to be awesome. It's one of the most exciting parts of the year and now so more than ever before because you've got three solid, incredibly fast teams, particularly pushing each other and having the ability, the potential to win a race.”

The Silver Arrows completed a dream 1-2 in Sochi with Valtteri Bottas finishing second. The Finn held off a late charge from Leclerc to extend his own position in the championship. "Starting fourth and finishing second is not bad," he said. "For sure, it's not a win, but as a team, for us it is a big win. It's been a tough few so it's good to get back to these kind of results. We really need to raise our game in qualifying now but race pace is OK and I had fun."

 

The lights go out on the Japanese Grand Prix on October 13.

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