Japanese F1 Grand Prix 2015 Results: Winner, Standings, Highlights and Reaction

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2015

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, right, of Britain leads the field at the first lap of the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit in Suzuka, central Japan, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Toru Takahashi)
Toru Takahashi/Associated Press

Lewis Hamilton won the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday as he closes in on a third world title with closest rival Nico Rosberg finishing a distant second.

Hamilton extended his huge lead at the top of the standings by a further seven points with just five races remaining, and he pulled level with the legendary Ayrton Senna on 41 career race wins.

The Englishman was full of praise for his team following the momentous win and admitted great personal pride in his outstanding achievement, per Formula One:

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel rounded out the podium places comfortably ahead of the field.

Here are Sunday's results and the updated standings in the drivers' championship, courtesy of Formula One:

RDriverTeamPoints
1LEWIS HAMILTONMERCEDES277
2NICO ROSBERGMERCEDES229
3SEBASTIAN VETTELFERRARI218
4KIMI RÄIKKÖNENFERRARI119
5VALTTERI BOTTASWILLIAMS111
6FELIPE MASSAWILLIAMS97
7DANIEL RICCIARDORED BULL RACING73
8DANIIL KVYATRED BULL RACING66
9ROMAIN GROSJEANLOTUS44
10SERGIO PEREZFORCE INDIA39
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Rosberg may have beaten his Mercedes team-mate to pole on Saturday, but the Englishman beat him to the first corner, and from that point, it seemed like there would only be one outcome.

Indeed, the German wasn't even second into the first turn as Vettel and Valtteri Bottas raced ahead, leaving him kicking his heels in fourth.

Hamilton steadily increased his lead at the top with each passing lap, while a high engine temperature forced Rosberg to ease his pursuit of Bottas.

Nevertheless, Rosberg soon found himself in third as the Finnish star pitted in Lap 11, and though the original order was quickly restored when the Silver Arrows man pitted four laps later, Lap 17 saw Rosberg capitalise on some loose driving from Bottas and return to the podium places.

Back in the field, Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen enjoyed a lengthy battle for 10th, resulting in the 17-year-old outstripping the veteran, much to Alonso's disgust, according to Formula One:

The Daily Mirror's Byron Young was on hand to explain the Spaniard's frustration:

At the front, Hamilton stretched his lead to over 13 seconds by Lap 31, and Mercedes finally achieved their desired one-two as another Vettel pit handed his compatriot second place.

From there, the three were unchallenged as they cruised home with consummate ease, each well ahead of the preceding driver.

Further back, the main sources of interest were Verstappen, Daniil Kvyat and Nico Hulkenberg, who steadily and impressively clawed their way up the field:

Hamilton now resides on 277 points—an incredible 48-point lead over his team-mate.

Up next is the Russian Grand Prix on October 11. The Englishman now has one hand firmly on the world title and will almost certainly continue to edge ever closer with another strong finish there.

With driver and car operating at peak performance, only phenomenal misfortune can stop him now.