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Hamilton: Mercedes title win not the same without Lauda

Hamilton: Mercedes title win not the same without Lauda

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Hamilton: Mercedes title win not the same without Lauda

Hamilton: Mercedes title win not the same without Lauda

Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to Niki Lauda after Mercedes secured a sixth consecutive championship double at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Lauda passed away in May this year after illness and surgery for a lung transplant.

The former world champion had played a crucial role in convincing Hamilton to swap McLaren for Mercedes ahead of the 2013 campaign, with the Briton going on to dominate in the V6 Hybrid era, with a sixth world crown of his own now in reach.

Team principal Toto Wolff was quick to dedicate the championship win to Lauda and Hamilton did likewise.

"It definitely feels a little bit different," he said. "I wouldn't say [I feel] as happy as previously because naturally we lost Niki this year and it doesn't feel the same without him.

"So, naturally I'm very, very proud of the team. Very proud of everyone back at the factory, and I know Niki would be taking off his hat for today's result.

"I think we owe him a huge amount and this win is really for him. I think the whole team and the whole of Mercedes will probably dedicate this to Niki. I definitely do.

"[I'm] very, very proud to be a part of it, and a part of the journey – but it has been difficult, a tough year for us, y'know?

"And every time I walk into the garage I see Niki's headphones and his cap. I sat and I looked at it today before I got in the car. As I said, I know he'll be proud, I know his family will be as well. The team should be proud too."

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