• Japanese Grand Prix

Hamilton bullish on Mercedes hopes

ESPN Staff
October 10, 2013 « New chassis for Webber in Japan | Rosberg wants Brawn to stay at Mercedes »
Lewis Hamilton hasn't finished on the podium since the Belgian Grand Prix © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton hopes Mercedes' pace in the middle sector in Korea will translate in to a strong performance at Suzuka.

Although Sebastian Vettel took pole position in Korea, Hamilton was a close match for the Red Bull throughout the weekend with his Mercedes particularly quick in the middle sector featuring many high-speed corners. With the first part of the lap at Suzuka featuring similar characteristics, Hamilton said he hopes for a continuation of form that will allow him to challenge for victory this weekend in Japan.

"This is another track that I haven't won at and it's definitely one that I would love to win," Hamilton said. "The first sector is like the most challenging and the most critical of the lap; the Red Bull has generally been the quickest there for the last four years so I anticipate they're going to be the quickest there again, but I hope that the strong showing we had in the middle sector in Korea can correlate with the first sector here.

"Fingers crossed I get out there tomorrow and it flows as well as I dream, and we can give the Red Bulls a good race."

Asked if he felt he would be able to beat Vettel in a straight fight at some tracks this season, Hamilton replied: "I hope so.

"I definitely haven't given up the idea of being able to. We just need a weekend to go our way a little bit as it did in Hungary, but perhaps more on the bounce and then we can really race."