Tokyo [Japan], September 23 (ANI): Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton opened up on his qualifier performance in the Japan Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit on Saturday, saying that the car was horrible in the Free Practice (FP) 1 and 2 on Friday but critical changes were made overnight because of which the car felt good in the qualifiers.
The F1 ace added that the car was still not quick enough for which they needed to work hard in the coming days of the racing season.
"Yesterday was horrendous but [we] made some good changes overnight, and the car was feeling really good today. So I was much happier with it," said Hamilton, adding, "Unfortunately, we are just not quick enough, [so] we just have to keep working away," he added as quoted by Formula 1's official website. Hamilton further said the Mercedes car is still one second slower than the fastest car on the grid since they are long away to get the perfect rear downforce.
"We are a long way away on rear downforce so that's why we are so slow in the first sector. The laps felt really good, but we are just one second away, which is like crazy. To close that gap for next year, at this point to still be a second down on the track like this is definitely worrying forus as a team," he added. Mercedes' second driver George Russell said it was a difficult qualifier for the team even though the team thought the Japanese GP would be their best circuit.
"It [has been] a difficult weekend so far," said Russell, adding, "We knew it wasn't going to be our best circuit, we knew McLaren were going to be very, very quick, [and] Red Bull were going to return to their norm."Russell added that the team will be looking forward to maximise their performance on Sunday.
"Always a bit shocking when you see the gap on paper, but everybody has good tracks, difficult tracks. Last week was a good track, this week [is] a tough track. We will try and maximise it tomorrow and see what we can do," he added. In the qualifiers session at the Suzuka circuit, Hamilton knocked out his British teammate Russell by just one position.
Hamilton will start the race on Sunday at the seventh grid position. Russell will begin from the eighth place. (ANI)