Liam Lawson has admitted he endured a difficult day behind the wheel of the AlphaTauri during Japanese Grand Prix practice at Suzuka.
The New Zealander, who continues to stand in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo, is the only driver in the field who has already raced at the track this year following his Super Formula outing in April.
Lawson ended the second practice session in 15th place, with teammate Yuki Tsunoda further down in 18th.
AlphaTauri brought an upgraded package to Singapore last time out, with Lawon scoring his first career points at the event in ninth.
But comparing the performance of the new parts from one track to the other is difficult at this stage, Lawson said: “It’s very different, the circuits. It’s tricky to say at this stage.
“FP2 wasn’t a super strong session for us.
“But also, as I said before the weekend, it probably takes a bit of time to really maximise the change we need to learn, exactly where we can improve on it. It's been a little bit tricky so far.”
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Suzuka experience helping
Lawson ended the Suzuka Super Formula outing in fourth place earlier this year, and is set to return to the track next month for the double-header finale at the circuit as he guns for the title.
Having had more recent experience at the track, Lawson admits it has helped him get up to speed faster compared to previous rounds.
“I think it helps for sure, especially in this part of the weekend, we can spend more time focused on car performance,” he said.
“I think by qualifying, by the race, in Formula 1 you have enough time to learn everything.
"I think by then, it’s not too different. For sure it helps, but so far it’s been a bit of a tricky day.”