The warnings still lurking for Mercedes in Japan

The warnings still lurking for Mercedes in Japan

After two races on the back foot, Lewis Hamilton declared Mercedes "back to normal" on Friday in Japan. But there's plenty of evidence that 'normal' doesn't mean dominance anymore

Although Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole and finished second in Malaysia, there can be no doubt Formula 1's farewell race at Sepang was one of Mercedes' most difficult of the season so far.

For the first time, it looked as though Ferrari had stolen a definitive march in F1's frenetic aerodynamic upgrade war. That Hamilton reverted to an older specification to limit the damage, while team-mate Valtteri Bottas endured his least competitive grand prix of the year running the new parts, indicated how many questions Malaysia raised for Mercedes.

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