Lewis Hamilton makes worrying comments towards Mercedes after difficulties in testing the Japanese GP

Mercedes is hoping for another podium at Suzuka this weekend but Hamilton did not give an optimistic view on his team’s chances after a difficult day of competition.

Lewis Hamilton has admitted a lack of confidence in his Mercedes car after struggling during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Both sessions on Friday failed to impress the seven-time world champion on the timesheets. He was outside the top 10 on both occasions, although the first was probably due to the Silver Arrows not finishing their race on soft tyres.

However, speaking after the session, Hamilton raised concerns about the feel of his car that day. “It was a very difficult day for us there. I lacked confidence in the car and that contributed to our difficulties,” he said.

“It’s difficult to find the right balance and we didn’t achieve it at the end of FP2. The tires overheated and that put us quite far from the top of the timesheets.

“We know we have a lot of work to do tonight to improve our performance. However, I think we can improve. We’ve had similar Fridays this season and came back stronger on Saturday. We’ll see tomorrow if we’ve done it. We will work hard tonight to give ourselves every chance of moving higher in the rankings. »

Because he did not use softs, his teammate George Russell was also outside the top 10 in FP1. But he improved to finish fifth in the second session of the day and his assessment seemed much more optimistic as a result.

“It’s great to be back riding around Suzuka,” he said. “It was an incredible lap. It was a bit of a strange Friday for us. The track seemed to have very low grip, especially in FP1, so the car slid a lot. It didn’t carry giving you the best feeling in FP1.” .world as a driver, especially when you are faced with many high-speed corners.

“Sunday’s race will also be interesting as tire wear looks very high. In terms of relative order, Red Bull seems to have returned to its normal pace at the front. They were especially fast today.

“I think we’re probably half a step behind Ferrari and Lando Norris’s McLaren at the moment. We’ve got some work to do tonight to close that gap. We’re usually very good at finding those that benefit so we can be optimistic about improvement for tomorrow.

And, summing up the entire team’s performance, Director of Ground Engineering Andrew Shovlin added:
“We definitely fell behind today… We knew we needed to improve overnight. We don’t underestimate the work we need to do to get stronger for the rest of the weekend. »

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