Lewis Hamilton has said it is uncertain as to whether he will be able to bounce back from his off-key display in Singapore at this week's Japanese Grand Prix.
Hamilton and his Mercedes team, who have dominated Formula One for the best part of two seasons, left the night race confused by their bizarrely lacklustre showing.
The Briton, was a mighty 1.5 seconds slower than pole-sitter and eventual race winner Sebastian Vettel in qualifying. And despite running in fourth on Sunday he was forced to park his Mercedes car for the first time this season after suffering a loss of power.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Mercedes blamed their below-par showing at the unique street circuit on their tyres, and Toto Wolff, the team's chief, expects normal service to resume in Suzuka this weekend.
But Hamilton appeared less optimistic. He said: "I don't have any confidence and I don't have any information to give me that confidence, but I am hoping it is a one-off.
"It is a very strange weekend to say the least. The car has not got slower. I think some other people might have brought an upgraded package but that does not explain it.
"I asked my engineers that I would like some information as soon as you know what you may or may think it is.
"But there is not a lot of time between now and the next race so a lot of focus has to go on that to try and improve it."
Hamilton arrived here in Tokyo on Monday and will head to Suzuka later this week. He leads Nico Rosberg by 41 points after his Mercedes team-mate crossed the line in Sunday's race in fourth.
Singapore winner Vettel is now just eight points adrift of Rosberg, and speaking on the podium the four-times champion said he hoped to make "the impossible possible" by catching Hamilton in the remaining six races.
Hamilton however, dismissed suggestions that his team would focus solely on his title challenge in order to stave off the growing threat from Ferrari.
"There is two of us and the team is pushing us 100 per cent," Hamilton added. "If they took the focus off Nico and put it on me it would not make a difference because they are already at 100 per cent on my side. There is no real advantage to be gained from that.
"They are both in the running for the championship so there is no point at which I am comfortable. I am confident in my ability and speed and if we don't have problems like this weekend I feel confident I can fight for the wins."
A relaxed Hamilton added: "As you have seen I am very chilled about the weekend. I come here to do a job and I am fully aware that despite the success we have had you can't win them all. S*** does happen and we have been very fortunate to have the success we had.
"I did not lose a huge amount of points to the guy that is right behind me in the championship so it could have been a lot worse. I am looking at the glass half-full."
Will Mercedes be able to bounce back at the Japanese Grand Prix?
Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms