Red Bull junior driver, Dan Ticktum, has had a hard start to life back in the Super Formula series, finishing P8 at Suzuka.
Ticktum, 19, is continuing to try and plot his own path to Formula 1, but a combination of set-up and grip issues meant he could not make the impact he wanted in his very first race back with Team Mugen.
The Brit, who recently drove the RB15 during testing at Bahrain, conceded that he found every single session very difficult to get through.
“Well, qualifying would have been good if I had got a chance to put a lap in,” Ticktum told Autosport.
“I didn’t get a chance to do one lap because of all the red flags.
“It was a bit like Macau, to be honest. It was just who got a good lap at the right time. And I didn’t unfortunately. Wasn’t anything I could do about it.
“I think our pace this weekend was not amazing anyway.
“It was possible to [have a] top 10 in qualifying. Maybe eighth, ninth – something like that. But I didn’t get a chance.
“Then the race was crazy. Unfortunately, in the first pitstop I had to wait behind my team-mate, lost a lot of time. So that was unfortunate.
“Just generally struggled with balance and grip for every session. Very, very difficult weekend. So I tried to do the best I could.”