- Lewis Hamilton has discarded Mercedes’ chances at the Japanese Grand Prix
- The seven-time world champion endured torrid practice sessions at Suzuka
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Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he ‘definitely won’t be winning’ the Japanese Grand Prix after a day to forget in Suzuka.
The seven-time world champion put in two underwhelming performances in Friday’s practice sessions, crossing the line in P16 and P14.
One week on from his impressive podium finish in Singapore, Hamilton bemoaned his Mercedes car’s lack of balance and cut a dejected figure in the paddock.
‘It was a really bad day, to be honest, he said. ‘A real struggle out there.
‘[We were] a long way off, two seconds off in the first session and over a second off in the second. We’re working away at just trying to fix the car’s balance.
Lewis Hamilton is adamant he has no chance of winning at the Japanese Grand Prix
Hamilton struggled during difficult practice sessions for Mercedes on the Suzuka circuit
Hamilton said an overnight inquest is underway to discover the root of the problem and ruled out his chances of victory this weekend.
‘We’ll work on it overnight and turn it around for tomorrow, but we definitely won’t be winning this weekend! If I in particular can move further up the order so I can at least back up George, who did a not-such-a-bad lap… yeah, tough one.
Hamilton bemoaned his Mercedes car’s lack of balance and cut a dejected figure in the paddock
‘It’s figuring out what is wrong. We were much closer in the last race [Singapore] but we didn’t have many high-speed corners, only one, but not as high-speed as the corners here.
‘Our car has, more often than not, been a bit weaker in the high-speed corners, so if you look at places like at Silverstone, for example – Copse is one of our weaker corners.
‘It’s an area that we need to work on and get the car in more of a sweet spot where we’re not overheating our tyres as much.
Asked if his improved time in FP2 made him feel any better than his FP1 showing, Hamilton quipped: ‘Nope! It was a really bad day, to be honest.’