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Hamilton praises performance in 'sprint race' Japanese GP

The Mercedes driver was happy with fifth place after battling with Esteban Ocon late on in the shortened race at Suzuka

Lewis Hamilton praised the performance on his way to fifth place at the Japanese Grand Prix, after a late battle with Alpine's Esteban Ocon. The seven-time Formula 1 world champion says the shortened race at Suzuka due to the weather conditions was more like a 'sprint race,' and was one of the drives eager to get things underway as the rain eased. His battle with Ocon lasted until the end, with Hamilton unable to make use of a slipstream due to the W13's lack of straight line speed - something he said would be a weakness heading into the race. "It was a sprint race. I'm happy that we got at least got some points today, we were just so slow in a straight line," he told Sky Sports . "I was getting close as close as I could [to Ocon], you could probably see on the TV that as soon as I pulled out [of slipstream], they [Ocon] would just pull away." "I wish it was a longer race. I'm glad that we got some laps for the fans here, although it's not really a massive race for them considering how long they waited."

Hamilton sends congratulations to Red Bull and Verstappen

Hamilton gave his congratulations to his main rival in 2021 Max Verstappen for winning his second F1 title in a row, while also praising Red Bull for producing a car that has dominated the competition in the latter half of the season. "Red Bull did an amazing job this year with their car, so big congrats to the whole team and to Max."

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