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Promising signs for Merc

Wednesday 09-October-2013 11:03

They may have left Korea frustrated, but Mercedes are confident they will bounce back at the Japanese Grand Prix.

All the signs pointed to a positive race on Sunday at Yeongam after Lewis Hamilton qualified P2 behind Sebastian Vettel with his team-mate Nico Rosberg starting behind him on the grid.

However, it proved to be a tough day at the office for the squad with Hamilton finishing down in fifth, two places ahead of Rosberg, who suffered structural failure on the front wing assembly of his car.

Despite their struggles, the team still managed to close the gap to Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship, and Mercedes motorsport chief Toto Wolff is upbeat about their chances at Suzuka this weekend.

"The team had a frustrating time in Korea: qualifying showed the pace that we had in the car but we were not able to use it at the right moments of the race," he said.

"We also lost points because of a problem on Nico's car and everybody in the team is working hard to get on top of reliability issues like this one. Looking ahead to Japan, we can take two small positives from last weekend. 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."

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