Lewis Hamilton admitted that he was hoping his accident in first free practice for the Japanese Grand Prix was the third incident to complete the old adage that 'bad things come in threes'.

Hamilton arrived at Suzuka on the back of two successive retirements at Monza and on the streets of Singapore, which have seen him drop down to third in the championship standings.

However, things didn't go to plan for the McLaren driver when he slid off track at Degner 2 half way through the opening session of the day, taking the front left wheel off his car in the process.

The amount of repair work required meant Hamilton then spent most of FP2 watching from the sidelines before he took to the track for the final ten minutes - albeit without the new rear wing due to a shortage of new components at the circuit.

It meant he ended the day down in 13th on the times and on the back foot heading into Saturday, when rain is expected to affect proceedings.

"I damaged the car in the early laps of the first session," he said. "I was only on my second fast lap, and was probably pushing too hard too soon. I didn't go that wide - it wasn't that big an off - but the gravel was very slippery at that point. A couple of other drivers had moments there and got away with it. But that's life.

"The guys in the garage did an incredible job to rebuild the car - they really had to work hard, and they got me out for the last 10 minutes of the second session. They are so supportive in this team: if one person is down, they'll do their best to lift that person up. That's what we do as a team.

"I had to run the older rear wing in the afternoon, so I didn't really get a proper feel for where the car is. And, hopefully, we'll have a second new rear wing for qualifying and the race. Tomorrow's another day - and it looks like it's going to rain, so everybody will have to start again.

"They say bad things come in threes - so after Monza, Singapore and today, I hope this run of bad luck is over and done with."

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh admitted that Hamilton's incident had been far from ideal for the team but said he was confident that the new rear wing would be back on the car for Saturday's final session and qualifying.

"While the team did a fantastic job to get Lewis's car turned around in time for the final 10 minutes of second practice, due to a shortage of new components, he was unable to run with an optimal bodywork package, which slightly compromised his final pace," he said. "But we are already pushing incredibly hard to rectify that, and I'm confident we'll have new parts here in time for tomorrow.

"Nonetheless, we've got a solid basis for the rest of the weekend, and we'll be focusing on extracting the maximum from the new parts for the remainder of the weekend - something we didn't quite achieve today due to the breadth of analysis required and the shortfall in run-time that we experienced."

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