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Mercedes sure of Suzuka bounce back

ESPN Staff
October 8, 2013 « Lotus open to employing heavier driver in 2014 | 2014 engines could create rifts »
Mercedes had a disappointing race in Korea © Getty Images

Mercedes is confident it will bounce back from a disappointing result in Korea with a strong showing at the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend.

Its cars finished fifth and seventh in Korea after Lewis Hamilton struggled with front tyre degradation among traffic and Nico Rosberg suffered a front wing failure. However, executive director Toto Wolff said there were still some good points to be taken from the race.

"Looking ahead to Japan, we can take two small positives from last weekend," he said. "First, we closed the points gap to Ferrari in the constructors' championship, and it now stands at just a single point. The second is that our car was possibly the quickest of all in sector two last weekend, which contained all the medium and high-speed corners.

"This is promising for Suzuka, where nearly two thirds of the corners are taken in fourth gear or higher, and should see our car perform well on this fantastic track. It's a true drivers' circuit and we have the best driver pairing in the field, so I am optimistic Nico and Lewis can qualify and race strongly to bounce back from last weekend."

Hamilton said downforce is the key factor at Suzuka and he is hoping his Mercedes has enough to challenge Red Bull.

"If you touch the grass at any point, it's going to spin you off into the wall, so it's a much more demanding circuit in terms of precision, positioning and turning points for each corner. It's a real race track where you have to think ahead as a driver and it just needs crazy levels of downforce from the car. From my point of view, the car felt fantastic to drive in Korea when everything was hooked up, so I am excited to get to Japan and see what we can do there."