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Hamilton outlines Mercedes' main weakness at Suzuka

Four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes are missing out on straight line speed at Suzuka, which is why they are nearly a second off the pace from Max Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton has outlined where Mercedes are struggling most this weekend at Suzuka, after the Mercedes driver was nearly a second off Max Verstappen's best time in Japanese Grand Prix qualifying. Teammate George Russell was optimistic about the squad's chances after topping a wet practice on Friday, but the dry weather seems to favour the team less. Hamilton puts this down to the lack of straight-line speed in the W13, something that is hurting them a lot in the final sector where a lot of the lap time is generated. "We are losing a lot of time on the straights, but the car has been really good throughout the rest of the lap," Hamilton told media. "My laps were good, I didn't have any problems. Otherwise, I think we're losing something like five or six tenths just on the straights. "We kind of anticipated that going in [because] we have a bigger wing than all the other guys."

Hamilton: 'Real reach' to say Mercedes could win

On Mercedes' chances in the race on Sunday, Hamilton believes that it would be a 'real reach' to say Mercedes could win, given the pace deficit to Red Bull and Ferrari. He added: "It depends on the conditions that we have. If it rains, I think we didn't do too bad yesterday in the wet conditions. So I think either way, we should be a little bit closer than we were today. "I think that's a real reach to try and say that we can get win, those guys are nine tenths ahead. So you don't go from being nine tenths behind in qualifying to winning a race."

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