Lewis Hamilton surprised by `dream´ run of races

08 October, 2018, 17:44 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Japanese GP: Lewis Hamilton dominates practice but Mercedes insist Ferrari are holding back

Lewis Hamilton fired an ominous warning to Sebastian Vettel after he delivered a practice double for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton had a time of 1 minute, 28.691 seconds, 0.446 seconds ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton won in Japan past year, while Vettel failed to finish, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo claiming second and third.

Hamilton was almost a second quicker than title rival Sebastian Vettel, who could manage no better than fifth despite running the grippiest super-soft tyres on his Ferrari.

Hamilton heads into the weekend having won five of the last six races with only five more - including Sunday's round - remaining.

Hamilton is a three-time victor in Suzuka, which is hosting its 30th grand prix this weekend.

Although Hamilton had Mercedes to thank for his 70th career win in Russian Federation last Sunday - after they controversially used team orders to usher aside Valtteri Bottas - he has been in electric form following the summer break.

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But Hamilton is taking nothing for granted while it is still mathematically possible for Vettel to catch him in the title race.

"Today, I think we were probably both of us sliding a bit too much, and therefore damaging the tyres a bit more than others", said the four-time world champion.

"It's been a clean Friday, no interruptions, no issues with the auto or anything".

"I've just been giving thanks all day today just because this is what I've always wanted to do", he said.

"I was pretty happy, it was pretty good", said Vettel. If we can grasp pole tomorrow, that's great, but if not we need to be there just right behind and see what happens. Every year I come back, there are always areas that I can improve, so I was like: 'There are two or three corners where I know that I need to kill it this year, ' and I got straight up to it.

Hamilton was 0.994 seconds clear of Vettel in FP1, a deficit that Vettel could only trim to 0.833secs in FP2's qualifying simulations. "We focus on our work and we try to squeeze everything that is left in the vehicle". I think we can still improve, and in the end we tried something with the auto that managed to give us a bit of a better feeling, so let's see if we can carry that in to tomorrow and find something else.

"It's also going to be a lot warmer in the race, so that will be different, but at least we got enough running already in dry conditions, so it doesn't matter if it's wet tomorrow". "We made progress with our cars".

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