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?óÔé¼Ôäós long-run practices ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ that?óÔé¼Ôäós often been the case throughout the year ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ and we?óÔé¼Ôäóre often closer in the races. I think our long-run pace, particularly on Jenson?óÔé¼Ôäós car, looks good: I think we?óÔé¼Ôäóve 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 ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ but I did a slower sector time and didn?óÔé¼Ôäót 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 ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ particularly in the long runs.”
2011 Japanese Grand Prix
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- Kobayashi greets the fans, Vettel does doughnuts: Suzuka videos
- Hamilton did not have a puncture at Suzuka
- 2011 Japanese Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your Japanese Grand Prix driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Conservative approach delivers Vettel’s title
- McLaren: Button pleased to win on ‘Red Bull track’
- Ferrari: Alonso edges Vettel for second
- Mercedes: Schumacher closes on Rosberg’s tally
- Renault: Petrov makes progress, Senna slips back
Image ?é?® McLaren