Lewis Hamilton suspects that the KERS glitch that affected his McLaren late in the Japanese Grand Prix cost him a chance of beating Jarno Trulli to second.
The world champion lost second place to the Toyota at the final stops when Trulli ran two laps further, but Hamilton reckoned he might have been able to regain the position at the late safety car restart had his KERS not stopped working by that time..
"I was on the radio for the last couple of SC laps asking the team if they could get KERS working again," he said.
"I needed that to have any chance of passing Jarno at the restart, so I was looking out to see if we could get as close as possible. But I didn't particularly exit the last corner close enough to get him. It's always the case that you have to be very close to him, so I was not able to do it."
He also felt the lack of KERS had cost him a little time around the crucial second pitstop sequence when Trulli had vaulted ahead.
"Just before or after the last stop I lost KERS, so that automatically lost us a few tenths per lap, then the brake balance changes," said Hamilton.
"I had to have a three second gap before the last stop, and had 3.1 then there was the last couple of laps, and I lost half a second.
"Once he was in front of me it was impossible to keep up with him. They did a fantastic job and we will battle at the next race."