Lewis Hamilton bemoaned a lack of confidence in the car as he ended a challenging day at the 2023 F1 Japanese GP.
After a podium finish at Singapore, the driver was hoping for a strong showing in Suzuka as well but the car did not seem to work as well in the somewhat low grip conditions.
Lewis Hamilton trailed teammate George Russell by almost half a second in FP2, finding himself closer to the bottom 10 than the front of the field. Hamilton has struggled with qualifying this season, and this weekend, he even admitted that his qualifying has not been up to the mark over the last two seasons.
Looking back at the first day of running in the 2023 F1 Japanese GP, Lewis Hamilton bemoaned how much he lacked confidence in the car. He said:
“It was a very challenging day for us out there. I had a lack of confidence in the car and that contributed to our struggles. It was difficult to find the right balance and we didn’t manage to get on top of it by the end of FP2. The tyres were overheating and that left us quite far off the top of the timing sheets."
“We know we’ve got a lot of work to do tonight to pick up the performance. I do believe we can make improvements though. We have had similar Friday’s this season and come back stronger on Saturday. We will see tomorrow if we have done so again.”
Lewis Hamilton gives his take on the pecking order
Lewis Hamilton also gave his take on the pecking order at the Japanese GP, saying that he believed that Red Bull and Max Verstappen were back at the front.
Verstappen topped the timesheets in both practise sessions, and was followed by Ferrari and Lando Norris in his McLaren.
Speaking on the pecking order, Hamilton said:
“In terms of the relative order, the Red Bull looks to have returned to its normal pace at the front. They have been exceptionally quick today. I think we are likely half-a-step behind the Ferraris and the McLaren of Lando Norris at present. We’ve got a bit of work to do tonight to close that gap. We are typically strong at finding those performance gains so we can be optimistic of improving for tomorrow.”
Hamilton has put together impressive turnarounds in performance this season in multiple races. He will be hoping to do the same this weekend as well in qualifying.