Lewis Hamilton admitted it has been a tough weekend so far in Japan and to being all at sea with the set-up of his car, but was happy to end up second on the grid, just 0.013 seconds off pole position.
Having lost the race win last weekend in Malaysia after an engine failure forced him to retire, Hamilton is looking to regain some momentum in the championship battle, but the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver will need to win from second place on the grid for a third consecutive season at Suzuka, having been pipped to top spot by team-mate Nico Rosberg.
“This weekend has not been that easy,” said Hamilton. “I’d been veering one way with the set-up of the car and then had to shuffle back going into qualifying and it felt like I was in no-mans-land as we approached Q1.
“With that in mind, I’m extremely happy that I was able to bring it back to that kind of gap. Of course, starting on pole is always a good thing but let’s hope the work we’ve been doing on the starts pays off.
“It’s also still hard to know at this stage what the weather is going to do but I’ll do the best I can tomorrow.”