Lewis Hamilton has revealed more details about the set-up change Mercedes made following Singapore that he believes has held him back in qualifying at the final six races of the season.
Hamilton outqualified team-mate Nico Rosberg at 12 of the first 13 races, but has been beaten by Rosberg on Saturdays ever since Singapore. He said Mercedes "drastically" changed its set-up to combat problems it faced at Singapore, when the team experienced a one-off blip in form, and he sees that as the turning point in his battle with Rosberg.
"It has been since Singapore, I knew we made a change but I didn't think it would make a huge difference, but from Suzuka afterwards the car was already trickier from then on," he said. "You just keep pushing and pushing and hoping for better, but we lost the advantage at Suzuka and from then onwards. It's something I am conscious of but I don't look at it defeated wise, I am looking at it thinking about how I am getting it back. That is what we have been working on."
Hamilton is aware of what has changed since Singapore, but said it is not possible to reverse those changes.
"We know what has changed on the car, I'm just trying to figure out why I can't seem to get a comfortable balance with the car," he said. "If you look before Singapore it was in the region between three to six tenths gap between myself and Nico in qualifying, apart from Barcelona, where there was a problem with the tyre heaters, so without that we would have been in a good position to fight for pole there but since then a lot of time has been lost.
"Whilst it looks like one side has gone a lot better, from our point of view as a team it has gotten worse. I think they said they don't think they made the car particularly slower, but it definitely isn't faster. And we can't go back to what it was before because they don't want to go back to what it was before."
Hamilton tried changing part of the suspension to help his situation in Abu Dhabi, but said it had not had the desired effect.
"There is part of the suspension which is worth just over a tenth and a half I think, something I didn't think was working for me so I took it off. I have been using it for the last six races, but I tried to work around it and get back to where we were with it, but obviously we tried something different and it didn't work so well."