Hamilton much happier with feel of car after Japan Friday practice

by Rachel Hack

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Lewis Hamilton says the W08 felt like it was back to normal again during Friday practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, and he is confident of having a strong race at the Suzuka International Racing Course this weekend.

The Free Practice 1 session was completed under dry conditions, with Hamilton finishing second fastest, 0.211 seconds off the pace of Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, and the Brit was pretty happy with the session overall.

“It’s been an interesting day; the car is feeling much better than it was in Malaysia. I’m glad that we had the dry session for FP1.”

Free Practice 2 was a different story however, with the majority of the session a washout as the predictable rain fell throughout the first hour.

Many drivers chose not to take to the track, but Hamilton felt it would be useful considering the Mercedes had not performed as well in wet conditions in Malaysia.

“In FP2, there was a lot of rain, but it felt really important to go out and assess the track and see how the car was feeling as the car was not good in the wet in Malaysia. The car feels back to normal, so I’m ready to race.

The Brit also gave a nod to the fans, who patiently sat waiting in the rain, and felt they deserved to see some action at least.

“The fans are pretty special here – to be out there in the rain, waiting for us to go out through the whole of FP2.

“That’s also another reason I wanted to go out and at least give them a little bit of a show. So hopefully at least they got to see something as not many cars went out.”

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