• Japanese Grand Prix - FP2

Hamilton wary of Red Bull pace

ESPN Staff
October 11, 2013 « Maria de Villota found dead in Spain | Tyres the biggest challenge at Suzuka - Vettel »
Lewis Hamilton was unable to match Sebastian Vettel's long run pace © Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is wary that Mercedes might not be able to match Red Bull's race pace following Friday practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Having set the pace in FP1, Hamilton found himself 0.6s off the pace of Sebastian Vettel in the second practice session as Mercedes focused on long runs. However, the Red Bull again looked the class of the field on high fuel and Hamilton admitted that he was surprised by the pace at which Vettel was able to pass him on track.

"We just did the long run but I don't have any feedback of how I am compared to the others," Hamilton said. "It didn't feel too bad to me but the rear tyres became a bit of a problem and the Red Bull flew past me so that didn't look too good."

Looking at the rest of the weekend, Hamilton said he was unsure whether Mercedes can realistically target victory.

"I'm happy with where our car is after the first practice sessions today although, of course, we would love to be more competitive. We've got some work to do this evening on the tyre management in particular. It's too early to think about what we can achieve but I'm looking forward to a competitive qualifying tomorrow and then we will have to see what we can do in the race."