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Lewis Hamilton: This is my best season

Sky Sports | Updated: 2018-10-04 18:00:26

Lewis Hamilton believes he is driving better than ever before in 2018. 

Spurred on to new heights in his 'fight for five' with fellow four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton has hit top form since the summer break, completing a hat-trick of victories in last week's Russian GP to surge 50 points clear in the standings with just five races remaining.

"This has been the best performing year of my career," Hamilton said upon his arrival at Suzuka for the Japanese GP.

While Vettel's campaign has been punctuated by a series of costly on-track mistakes, most notably when he crashed out of the lead in Germany, Hamilton has rarely been anything but excellent to claim the ascendancy over a Ferrari car generally considered to be the strongest in the field.

In Russia, however, Mercedes dramatically turned the table to hold a significant speed superiority over Ferrari. But was that the result of a stumble by Ferrari or a leap by Mercedes?

While Vettel has insisted Ferrari haven't lost direction, Hamilton acknowledged: "It's difficult to know to what extent we have improved and they might have gone backwards. We definitely didn't expect to be as fast as were in Sochi."

But amid suggestions Ferrari struggled because of the characteristics of Sochi's low-speed corners, Hamilton is braced for a close fight at Suzuka.

"It's going to be an intense weekend," he predicted.

When's the Japanese GP on Sky?

Watch every session from Suzuka live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend - the race starts at 6.10am on Sunday

Japanese GP schedule on Sky F1

Friday, October 5
1.45am: Japanese GP Practice One Build-up
2am: Japanese GP Practice One LIVE!
5.45am: Japanese GP Practice Two Build-up
6am: Japanese GP Practice Two LIVE!

Saturday, October 6
3.45am: Japanese GP Practice Three Build-up
4am: Japanese GP Practice Three LIVE!
6am: Japanese GP Qualifying Build-up
7am: Japanese GP Qualifying LIVE!
8.35am: The F1 Show LIVE!

Sunday, October 7
4.30am: Pit Lane LIVE!
5.30am: On the Grid LIVE!
6.10am: The Japanese Grand Prix LIVE!
8.30am: Paddock LIVE!

The title battle continues at this weekend's Japanese GP - watch LIVE on Sky Sports F1. The race begins at 6.10am on Sunday, October 7 with build-up from 4.30am. Get Sky Sports F1.

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