Formula 1 Commentary

Live: F1 Japanese GP commentary and updates - FP1 & FP2

Follow along for minute-by-minute updates for FP1 and FP2 ahead of Formula 1's Japanese Grand Prix.

Live: F1 Japanese GP commentary and updates - FP1 & FP2

A week after Singapore, Suzuka also returns to the calendar following a three-year absence, where Max Verstappen can claim a second F1 world title if he is 112 points clear of second place in the standings at the chequered flag.

Sergio Perez won last time out at Singapore, after a faultless drive helped him stave off the intermittent threats of Charles Leclerc.

Suzuka's last race was held in 2019, and was won by Valtteri Bottas - who beat Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton to victory.

By: Stefan Mackley, Haydn Cobb

Summary

Summary

  • Russell fastest in wet F1 Japanese GP second practice from Hamilton and Verstappen
  • Session lasted 90 minutes as it was due to be used for testing 2023 Pirelli tyres, but the test was cancelled by rain
  • Schumacher missed FP2 after crash at end of opening session
  • Alonso topped FP1 in brief switch to intermediate tyres before rain returned
Leaderboard
  1. Russell, Mercedes
  2. Hamilton, Mercedes
  3. Verstappen, Red Bull
  4. Perez, Red Bull
  5. Magnussen, Haas
  6. Sainz, Ferrari
  7. Alonso, Alpine
  8. Bottas, Alfa Romeo
  9. Ocon, Alpine
  10. Zhou, Alfa Romeo
Status: Stopped
We'll find out tomorrow, with final practice starting at 4am BST on Saturday ahead of qualifying which gets going at 7am BST. Have a wonderful rest of your Friday and see you tomorrow, go well!
That was Friday from Suzuka. Given the conditions, it provided an unexpected amount of laps notched up by almost everyone (Schumacher the exception given he missed FP2) with Mercedes on top in the wet. But with the dry weather set to return tomorrow, how will that shake up the order?
 
Obviously this session has finished later than usual with the extended running, but due to the heavy clouds overhead it is getting dark already at Suzuka. Good thing there weren't any delays, the F1 cars would be needing the headlights.
That's your lot, as the chequered flag comes out to call time on this bumper FP2. Russell and Mercedes make the headlines.
"All the tyres are ****, no grip," Verstappen says over team radio. Which is the less technical way to say he's used up the optimum performance of his inter tyre allocation for today.
Magnussen makes a late play to shake up the order and delivers a 1m43.187s to go fifth fastest. That's exactly where he ended FP1, so marks a good day for the Dane.
The end of FP2 feels a bit like the conclusion of a test session. Which it is, really, but without the 2023 Pirelli tyres the F1 teams were set to test due to the wet conditions.
Ricciardo's day is definitely done. He is already on his media duties at the back of the McLaren garage. Has he got a Friday night engagement he doesn't want to be late for?
There's no lap time improvements popping up any longer, so it looks like today will end with a Mercedes 1-2, Red Bull 3-4 unless the track dries up considerably in the next 12 minutes.
"Degradation front and rears now," Sainz reports on Ferrari team radio. He's completed 21 laps in this session, not all on the same tyres, but he's top of the lap tally charts so that degradation is to be expected.
This final 20 minutes of the extended FP2 could somewhat tail off as teams reach the completion of their run plans. That appears to have happened at McLaren, who are packing up for the day, with plenty of other drivers keeping dry in the garage.
 
Leclerc improves on his personal best lap with a 1m44.709s but remains down in 10th place on the times, 2.7s off the leaders.
Perez has a near-identical moment to Leclerc's earlier off at the Hairpin. He avoids the barrier as his car crawls through the gravel trap.
Leclerc heads back out on track after his earlier off and brake issue with his Ferrari. "The feeling is still really bad for some reason. I will try to make it better," he says over team radio.
If this was a normal FP2, it would be coming to a close right now. Instead we've got an extra helping of 30 minutes of track running. What fun.
Perez pops up to fourth on the times with a 1m42.834s, within a tenth of team-mate Verstappen.
Good work by the helmet camera on Alonso, you can see everything inside his Alpine cockpit. If he ordered a latte, we'd know about it.
Mercedes really struggled to fire up the inter tyres in Singapore, but at Suzuka both Russell and Hamilton are the class of the field. Circuit specific or have they found a breakthrough?
"Front tyres are getting way too hot through the lap," Verstappen reports on team radio. He's losing most of his lap time to the Merc pair in the final sector so that would tally up.
A flurry of fastest lap times are traded between Verstappen, Hamilton and Russell, which ends up with the young Brit on top due to his 1m41.935s.
And right on cue Alonso heads out with 43 minutes of FP2 to go.
Still no sign of first practice headline-grabber Alonso, who is the only driver yet to go out on track in FP2. Aside from Schumacher, of course, who is sidelined by a chassis change.
 
Russell pushes Verstappen off top spot with a 1m42.968s, while the Dutch driver has a small moment coming through Degner 2.
Verstappen, in his customary fashion, goes quickest with his first lap of the session. His 1m43.571s puts him 0.7s quicker than anyone else. That guy is fast.
Both Red Bulls have also joined the action now, as Perez goes third 1.2s off Hamilton.
Leclerc, on his first out-lap of the session, goes off at the Hairpin and comes to a halt just before the barrier. It looked like a combination of cold tyres and too much water on the outside of the corner which sent him off.
Tsunoda, on his delayed inters, runs off track at the Degners and skips through the gravel. He keeps it out of the wall and returns to the track.
Hamilton takes over top spot with a 1m44.298s, while in the pitlane Tsunoda gets stuck waiting for intermediate tyres as AlphaTauri mix up the tyre formation.
Hamilton duly switches to inters, as Russell goes even quicker next time around with a 1m45.738s. Over 30 minutes gone in the session and still no sign of seven drivers including Leclerc, Perez and Verstappen.
Russell, on said inters, pops up to the top with a 1m46.891s to go 2.5s quicker than Hamilton's earlier leading effort. So that'll mean inters all around.
Hamilton goes quickest with his first timed lap, a 1m49.489s, as team-mate Russell heads out on the intermediate tyres.
"It's almost inters," Hamilton reports, to prove our point. Thanks Lewis.
Five-time Japanese GP winner Hamilton nips out for his opening run in FP2. It is still very wet and raining but with the cars lifting the water from the track conditions are improving.
Sainz is still on top but his advantage has been trimmed to 0.8s by former team-mate Norris, who leads a McLaren 2-3.
13-time grand prix starter and current Super GT competitor Roberto Merhi pops up in the Aston Martin garage. That's a blast from the past.
"How's the track?" Norris is asked over team radio. "Wet," is the reply. Succinct.