Lewis Hamilton says that his Mercedes W06 Hybrid cars “feels perfect” heading into tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
After being running off the pace during last weekend’s race in Singapore and eventually retiring, Hamilton arrived in Japan setting his sights on a second win at the historic Suzuka Circuit.
In qualifying on Saturday, a mistake on his first Q3 lap proved costly as a red flag period caused by Daniil Kvyat’s accident prevented any of the drivers from completing another run, leaving Hamilton second on the grid for tomorrow’s race behind Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.
However, Hamilton remained upbeat after qualifying, praising Mercedes for its preparations ahead of the race weekend.
“The car feels perfect this weekend,” Hamilton said. “My engineers did a fantastic job and I enjoyed the battle with Nico. He did a great job and it was exciting today.
“This is a track where you’re constantly fighting to gain more and more; the last lap started so well and I was up by turn seven but the red flag came out in the end. It was a big crash but fortunately Daniil walked away.”
Hamilton is anticipating a tough race on Sunday against Rosberg, and believes that making a good start will be key if he is to claim a second win at Suzuka.
“Tomorrow is going to be hard; it depends on the conditions,” Hamilton said. “The start will be crucial as you can’t follow closely here and it will be hard to pass but I will give it my best shot.”
The Japanese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 12:30am ET on Sunday.