Nakajima Racing driver Makino suffered a difficult start to the delayed 2020 season in scorching temperatures of around 33 degrees Celsius, salvaging two points for a ninth-place finish.
From 15th on the grid, he completed the first lap of the race in 13th before then taking advantage of several cars ahead hitting trouble to climb into the points, albeit still finishing some 38 seconds away from race winner Ryo Hirakawa.
“I couldn’t do anything in the race, I was just driving,” Makino told Motorsport.com. “The race pace was actually really bad, I don’t know what was happening.
“Tyre degradation was not too bad actually, but we had a lot of overheating. At the beginning of the race my pace was not too bad, I was following the #38 car [Hiroaki Ishiura], but after overheating I lost a lot of grip at the front and the rear.
“At the end of the race my pace was really slow even though I had clean air.”
While rookie teammate Toshiki Oyu qualified a strong fourth, albeit dropping out of the points after suffeing front wing damage on the first lap, Makino was eliminated in Q1.
“All weekend I was really struggling with oversteer into the corner, but in qualifying I had huge understeer,” said Makino of his struggles in qualifying. “I don’t know what happened, I think track…