Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Suzuka, 2011

Hamilton not concerned by Red Bull’s pace

2011 Japanese Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Suzuka, 2011
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Suzuka, 2011

Lewis Hamilton played down fears over Red Bull’s pace, which looked strong in the second practice session at Suzuka.

Hamilton said: “Looking at the times, I think Red Bull typically carries less fuel than us during Friday?s long-run practices ?ǣ that?s often been the case throughout the year ?ǣ and we?re often closer in the races. I think our long-run pace, particularly on Jenson?s car, looks good: I think we?ve got a good chance of being very competitive.

“Also, our pace over a single lap also looks very good.

“Actually, I think looking after the tyres during the race will be the biggest challenge, because degradation could be a slight issue for the teams.”

Hamilton added the stewards had checked to ensure he had not gone too quickly through a yellow flag area during practice:

“After P2, the stewards were looking at my data after [Vitantonio] Liuzzi parked his car at the exit of Turn 14 ?ǣ but I did a slower sector time and didn?t use DRS or KERS, so it should be okay.”

Team mate Jenson Button, who was fastest in both of today’s sessions, says the team have some work to do overnight to unlock more performance from the MP4-26:

“We tried a couple of different fuel-loads: on heavier fuel, the car feels okay through the high-speed changes of direction, although there are still some areas to improve ?ǣ particularly in the long runs.”

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