Team Impul’s Hirakawa can even dilemma up no higher than sixth in the last flee of the 2023 campaign, after qualifying ninth after which spending the first half of the flee stuck at the assist of the slower KCMG machine of Yuji Kunimoto.
Submit-flee, Hirakawa acknowledged he became baffled by his lack of 1-lap skedaddle after a slightly solid exhibiting in qualifying for Saturday’s first flee, when he became 2nd-fastest in his Q1 neighborhood.
His potentialities of development were then additional hampered by an space with the equipment shift indicator lights on his steerage wheel while the Overtake Draw (OTS) became though-provoking.
“We set no longer be pleased any belief what happened in qualifying,” Hirakawa told Motorsport.com. “[On Saturday] I had a upright qualifying, I made a mistake in Q2 and I overlooked a huge gamble for the front row, but [on Sunday] my lap in Q2 felt okay, however the hole became one 2nd…
“In the flee, the skedaddle itself became upright, however the crew made a mistake constructing the shift lights for the OTS. I judge they changed something within Toyota, however the crew didn’t realise.
“Originally I believed the OTS became broken. It took me 15 or 20 laps to work out that the lights were unfriendly. I tried to win up after that, but I lost too unheard of time firstly, I feeble too many seconds of OTS and I didn’t be pleased enough for the pause.”
Hirakawa ended up fifth in the standings in what can even smartly be his last 365 days in Fats System for the foreseeable future, as his unique McLaren System 1 reserve role reach it’s likely he’ll step away from the Jap series next 365 days.
The 29-365 days-old admitted to frustration that the Impul crew can even by no reach fully secure on high of this 365 days’s SF23 package, especially over a single lap.
“I’m upset about this 365 days,” acknowledged Hirakawa. “We tried the whole lot to procure the arrangement in which to support watch over this unique automobile and the unique tyres, but we by no reach can even. The upright level became that the flee skedaddle became continually upright, but qualifying, we dazzling had zero solutions.
“Even my crew-mate [Yuhi Sekiguchi] didn’t score any points. It’s been a spoiled 365 days for the crew.”
Breaking News Kobayashi claims no decision made on future
Kobayashi’s 2023 season concluded with a lowly 17th-space receive, which followed the KCMG driver stalling in the pits and shedding nearly to the assist of the self-discipline.
Mixed with eighth space in the shortened first flee of the Suzuka weekend, it left the ex-System 1 driver 11th in the last standings – an enchancment on his unsuitable 2022 season but tranquil some distance-off from his occupation simplest score of sixth.
“Things dazzling didn’t trot smartly at all,” acknowledged Kobayashi. “The last flee looked slightly promising but it no doubt didn’t flip out that prolong. It became a weekend the set nothing went our reach.
“To be proper, it’s been a no longer easy season. I in actuality belief we are in a position to also attain extra.”
After the old round at Motegi, the set a pitstop mistake by his KCMG crew payment him a huge gamble of a lengthy-awaited first victory, Kobayashi made comments implying he would likely name time on his Fats System occupation at the pause of the 365 days.
Asked at Suzuka if he had given from now on belief to the topic, Kobayashi claimed that a last decision on his became tranquil to be made.
“I haven’t regarded because it deeply yet,” acknowledged Kobayashi. “Nonetheless essentially, for a crew worship ours, there are infrequently any potentialities to secure. The high groups are continually winning, and there’s nearly no likelihood for us. If we don’t take our potentialities after they reach, we can by no reach secure.
“It can well be nice to secure no longer lower than as soon as. I’d are looking in screech to dispel the ask why I’m in a position to’t secure in Fats System even supposing I obtained in so many diverse categories.”
Hirakawa and Kobayashi now head to Bahrain, the set they’ll fight it out for the WEC drivers’ title with their respective Toyota crews in Saturday’s eight-hour finale.
Further reporting by Kenichiro Ebii