Despite having lost pole position to his team mate in qualifying, Lewis Hamilton lapped a full second quicker in the race.
The Mercedes pair both took sets of hard tyres for the final stint of the race – Hamilton’s were new, Rosberg’s used – and Hamilton’s first lap out of the pits was fractionally more than a second quicker than Rosberg managed just two laps earlier.
No one else got within one-and-three-quarter seconds of Hamilton’s pace in the race – a remarkable turnaround following the team’s sub-par performance at Singapore one week ago.
Hamilton was particularly pleased with how good his car’s set-up was as all the teams had missed out on dry running on Friday due to rain.
“This has been a circuit that I can honestly say that I’ve struggled [at] through all the years that I’ve come here,” said Hamilton, “but one that I’ve loved driving.”
“You really want to come here and dominate at a track like this. I was able to get the balance in the right place, my engineers did an amazing job – Bonno, Ricky and just the whole crew did a great job to get the car, with the short amount of time we had, in a beautiful window.”
“It was better today than it was even in qualifying. I was really able to work on my lines and improve and at the front there it was just a beautiful… it’s like sailing. When you go through the corners here, it’s flowing.”
After setting his fastest lap of 1’36.145 Hamilton back off considerably – his next-best lap was 1.7 seconds slower – yet he still had enough in hand to win by
2015 Japanese Grand Prix lap times
All the lap times by the drivers in seconds. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan, click name to highlight, right-click to reset:
2015 Japanese Grand Prix fastest laps
Each driver’s fastest lap:
|Rank||Driver||Car||Fastest lap||Gap||On lap|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso-Renault||1’38.237||2.092||32|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1’38.331||2.186||43|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull-Renault||1’38.366||2.221||36|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1’38.591||2.446||50|
|13||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso-Renault||1’38.686||2.541||16|
|14||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||1’38.898||2.753||32|