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Hammer time in Japan for defiant Hamilton

06 October, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Sebastian Vettel finished fourth for Ferrari in the Malaysian Grand Prix

And Ferrari's mechanics can at least breathe a sigh of relief knowing they do not need to unpack a fresh gearbox in Suzuka. Over team radio and in press briefings the Spaniard will not hold back on his opinion - but now his rookie team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne has taken his chance to leapfrog his revered colleague in the drivers' standings.

Here, we look at the main talking points heading into what could prove to be a pivotal race in this season's championship fight.

"I don't know which one of these next races is going to be good for us, which races are not, but we'll do everything we can to try and stay ahead".

Additional live TV coverage occurs for qualifying at 2:00a EDT Saturday, 7 October and FP2 at 1:00 EDT Friday, 6 October 6, all these on NBCSN.

If you were Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton, you'd be working through all the data points after having a massive post-race debrief which was more like a post-mortem into why your auto only finished second and was suddenly (for the second race in succession) a long way off the pace of your rivals. "Dipping in and out of the window is the fundamental story of 2017", Wolff said. "I'm pretty convinced we shouldn't have any issues here".

Whether it be Max Verstappen's seat-of-the-pants style of driving or Daniel Ricciardo's eye-watering "Shoey" celebration, Red Bull is without doubt Formula One's coolest team.

However, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has ordered the team to fix the reliability problems that sabotaged their race in Malaysia.

After Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen's first-lap wipe-out in Singapore, the Scuderia ran into more issues at Sepang.

Hamilton was also victorious in 2015, again beating teammate Rosberg, who once again started on pole, to the chequered flag.

"I just want to win every weekend", he said. "There was nothing I could do".

Hamilton himself made no bones about how he felt about Red Bull's return to the front, whether a third contender made things better. "Problems happening throughout the weekend that are just not acceptable for this great team".

After finishing second in the Malaysian Grand Prix, Hamilton was asked by reporters if Ferrari's pace was a big concern.

"So hopefully from now onwards we can build on this for the rest of the year and then have a good start to next season".

"We are behind, so all will depend on what Mercedes is doing".

"Then he and Lance Stroll, who had just scored points for the sixth time in nine races, managed to trip over each other on the slow-down lap wrecking the Ferrari beyond belief".

Meanwhile, Honda officials will be bracing themselves for more potential road rage from McLaren's Fernando Alonso, whose previous blue-tinged radio outbursts at Suzuka have left the engine suppliers squirming at their home race.

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