Lewis Hamilton has hailed his terrific Japanese Grand Prix victory as 'eventful, lucky and important' after moving to within just a few points of title glory at a very wet and rainy Fuji.

Although comparisons to James Hunt's title win back in 1976 have already been mooted this weekend, the uncannily similar awful weather certainly stoked up a few more memories and while the championship is not yet his, the Brit is now closer than ever to making history.

Indeed, a lights-to-flag win does not necessarily do his performance justice after the weather stayed constantly terrible from start to finish, but despite a pair of concentration sapping safety car periods, Hamilton never looked in trouble.

Only a spin after being tagged by Robert Kubica soon after his first pit-stop signalled a blot on his copybook before coming home a comfortable 8.3secs winner.

"A very eventful race and I am so happy to have won here at Fuji. There were moments when I thought it would have been better to stop the race; however, when the rain faded a little, conditions improved a bit.

"I didn't feel too much pressure and think I would have been able to push a bit harder if necessary. I was lucky that nothing serious happened to my car when Robert Kubica hit me. I didn't see him come so the impact caught me by surprise, and I spun. Afterwards I stayed concentrated and focused on keeping the car on the track."

More importantly for him though, Hamilton is now 12 points ahead of non-finisher Fernando Alonso in second place, while an even larger 17 point gap back to Kimi Raikkonen also puts the rookie into a prime position to score the title.

Indeed, with just 20 points remaining as the circus heads to Shanghai and the Chinese Grand Prix, should Hamilton beat Alonso on the track, or finish within a point of him, he could be crowned World Champion next weekend. Even so, he is not yet choosing to think about it.

"I want to say thank you to everybody in the team who have done a great job throughout the weekend. This was an important victory for the championship, but I do not want to think too much about it and will focus hard on the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai next weekend."