The second free practice session of the Japanese Grand Prix had conditions similar to those of FP1, with heavy rain. Thus, the Pirelli 2023 tire tests were cancelled, but the 90 minutes scheduled for the session were maintained.
After leaving the track at the end of Free Practice 1, Mick Schumacher was unable to participate in this second session of the day. In fact, Haas F1 changed the chassis of their VF-22 and had to redo the entire front end.
Nicholas Latifi set the first time of the session in 1’52″233, but was quickly overtaken by Carlos Sainz in 1’49″615. The Canadian was then the victim of a curious incident, as he swerved too early at the chicane and had to turn onto a slip road.
Alex Albon and then Daniel Ricciardo slipped behind the Spaniard, before Lando Norris was the only one to temporarily drop to less than a second. When asked by his engineer about the state of the track, the McLaren F1 driver replied: “Wet!”
The drivers were all on tires due to the rain, and Lewis Hamilton took to the track 25 minutes into the session to set the provisional best time with 1’49″489. But on intermediate tyres, his teammate George Russell beat in 1’47 “9, before improving to 1’45″738.
The Mercedes F1 driver improved again to 1m45.197s, but his team-mate Hamilton was back on top, this time on intermediate tyres. A time of 1m44.298s put him at the top of the time charts, as Max Verstappen prepared to beat. track.
Latifi was in provisional third place ahead of Pierre Gasly, Yuki Tsunoda moved into third position, and Norris moved up to fourth, 10 thousandths behind the Japanese. The latter went through the gravel at Degner, while Charles Leclerc went through the gravel at the hairpin.
Verstappen and Hamilton traded the fastest time on several occasions and while the Dutchman seemed to take the lead in 1:43.137, Russell beat him in 1:42.968. Verstappen then regained the fastest lap of 1m42.786s, but the Mercedes F1 drivers repositioned themselves in the lead, Hamilton on 1m42.170s and Russell on 1m41.935s.
Meanwhile, Sainz moved back to fourth place ahead of Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso and Guanyu Zhou, then Valtteri Bottas. Leclerc was in ninth place at this point in the session. Kevin Magnussen then took fifth position.
The second part of the session rained again and the times stopped. The teams kept running to collect data, as the race could take place in difficult conditions.
McLaren ended the drivers’ session after an hour, not wanting to run another 30 minutes as the Pirelli tires were not tested. We also learned that the testing of the 2023 prototypes would be postponed to Mexico.
Magnussen didn’t drive much at the end of the session, with Haas explaining that a major set-up change was being made to the Dane’s car. We saw Sergio Pérez make a small mistake in this second part of the session, without consequences.
Russell and Hamilton therefore sign the double of these EL2 for Mercedes F1, ahead of the Red Bull of Verstappen and Pérez. Magnussen is fifth ahead of Sainz, Alonso, Bottas, Ocon and Zhou. Leclerc is 11th ahead of Williams, Pierre Gasly ends the day at the bottom of the standings.
|01||george russell||mercedes w13||1:41,935||23|
|02||Lewis Hamilton||mercedes w13||1:42,170||22|
|03||max verstappen||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:42,786||24|
|04||Sergio Perez||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:42,834||26|
|05||kevin magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:43,187||17|
|06||Carlos Sainz||ferrari f1-75||1:43,204||23|
|07||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A522||1:43,533||14|
|08||Valtteri Bottas||alfa romeo ferrari c42||1:43,733||twenty|
|09||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A522||1:43,884||13|
|10||Guanyu-Zhou||alfa romeo ferrari c42||1:44,525||17|
|eleven||Charles Leclerc||ferrari f1-75||1:44,709||10|
|12||Nicholas Latif||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:44,962||sixteen|
|13||alex albon||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:45,039||fifteen|
|14||yukitsunoda||Alpha Tauri RBPT AT03||1:45,257||27|
|fifteen||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:45,261||24|
|sixteen||lando norris||McLarenMercedes MCL36||1:45,885||eleven|
|17||Daniel Ricciardo||McLarenMercedes MCL36||1:46,030||9|
|18||spear ride||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:46,776||twenty-one|
|19||pierre gasley||Alpha Tauri RBPT AT03||1:47,109||13|
|twenty||Mike Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-22||-:—-||0|
#Japan #EL2 #Russell #leads #Mercedes #onetwo #Suzuka