Lewis Hamilton admits Mercedes were too slow in a straight line at the F1 Japanese Grand Prix

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton admits he was frustrated by his lack of straight-line speed at the Japanese Grand Prix, which saw him finish fifth behind the Alpine of Esteban Ocon.

Hamilton tried to get past Ocon for much of the Suzuka rain-shortened race and despite getting into the Frenchman's slipstream numerous times he was unable to muster up enough speed to get the W13 past the Alpine driver.

The 37-year-old crossed the line 0.641s behind Ocon and after the race, Hamilton said: "I don't feel frustrated. I did the best I could and I'm happy we at least got some points.

"We were just so slow in a straight line," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

"I was getting as close as I could, and you could probably see it on the TV, as soon as I'd pull out, [Ocon] would just pull away. I wish it was a longer race, [but] I'm glad that we got some laps for the fans here."

Hamilton congratulated Red Bull race-winner Max Verstappen for claiming the 2022 F1 drivers' championship with four races of the season remaining.

"Congrats to Max. I think for us, we know what the problems are with this car. I believe that as a team, we've not gone from being world champions and being able to build a good car, to not being able to build a good car," Hamilton added.

"I have no doubts that we'll have a better car next year. Whether or not we'll rectify every issue that we have this year, we'll find out when we get there."

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