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Hamilton out of luck

Lewis Hamilton looks to fight back from costly error during Friday practice at Suzuka
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.”




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Saturday Practice, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-25
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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
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