Long-form: Indy 500 champ Takuma Sato comes to Japan GP (VIDEO)

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In the first five minutes of Part 2 of the post-Japanese Grand Prix edition of Paddock Pass, NBCSN Formula 1 pit reporter and insider Will Buxton had the opportunity to catch up with Takuma Sato, who competed in F1 from 2002 to 2008 with BAR, Honda and Super Aguri.

Sato captured this year’s 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil in a thrilling duel with Helio Castroneves, with Ed Jones and Max Chilton also figuring into the race’s outcome before Sato beat them all.

He also conducted the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, race winner Lewis Hamilton even trying on his Indianapolis 500 winner’s ring.

The ‘500 champion will have his likeness on the Borg-Warner Trophy revealed next Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. But Sato reflected a bit on what he accomplished when chatting with Buxton.

“It’s an incredible moment in my life. Winning the Indy 500 is so special,” Sato told NBCSN.

“It was fun. It was good to see Fernando smiling every single day. Fernando coming on board was a significant moment.

“Five years ago it was so close. It didn’t happen in our favor, but I learned so much. Now this has been a dream come true.”

“I can’t thank the Andretti Autosport team enough, but now in 2018 I’ll be back home with Bobby Rahal. Working with Graham as a teammate will be incredible. We’ll have a new challenge and it’s a great challenge.”

Red Bull driver Verstappen wins Formula One’s Brazilian GP

NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images
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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won Formula One’s Brazilian Grand Prix on Sunday for his eighth career victory in a race which ended disastrously for both Ferrari drivers.

Verstappen controlled nearly all the race at Interlagos, which saw a dramatic late collision between Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc when they fought for the fourth position. Both failed to finish.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly got his first F1 podium after finishing second ahead of six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver was third but faces an investigation after an incident that caused Red Bull’s Alexander Albon to spin.

Hamilton, who won at Interlagos in 2018, said Verstappen was “just quicker than us on the straights” and “there was nothing more we could do.”

Dutch driver Verstappen said “Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing… we had two good moves with him, and from there onward I could control the race.”

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, and could be promoted to third if Hamilton is punished.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday was the penultimate race of the season, with only Abu Dhabi left on Dec.1.

Hamilton had already secured the season title in the previous race in the United States. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who did not finish the race, had also secured the runner-up spot.