With the news that all racing activity on Saturday will be suspended, owing to the typhoon, all teams are focusing on FP1 and FP2. Topping in the Japanese Grand Prix 2019 FP1 was Valtteri Bottas, ahead of Lewis Hamilton, ahead of the Ferrari and Red Bull duos.
There was a little bit of drama as Hamilton’s right front brake was on fire during his warm-up lap. Luckily, it got snuffed out fairly quickly and he went on to top the session in FP1.
With Typhoon Hagibis rolling in on Saturday, it was imperative that all teams get some dry running. So it was not surprising to see all teams scrambling out onto track once the green light was given.
Ferrari set the initial pace with the soft tyres, before the Silver Arrows strapped on softs with 25 minutes left.
Bottas set the fastest lap of the FP2 session of 1:27.785s, his team mate Hamilton tailing hims closely as they underlined the team’s dominance at this circuit that has led to five consecutive Japanese GP wins since 2014.
Mercedes’ one-two left Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in P4, just ahead of team mate Charles Leclerc. Leclerc’s run of four pole positions puts Ferrari in a prime position for the cancelled qualifying session.
After grid penalties in Russia, Max Verstappen and Alex Albon were eager to deliver Honda a solid homecoming. However, the Dutchman managed to slot in between the Mercs and the Ferraris, in 3rd. Meanwhile, Alex Albon ended the session in 6th.
Get ready for a mega FP2. Team bosses confirming that along with perfecting race set-up, they'll all be gunning for it as with the weather there's still no guarantee that quali will take place on Sunday morning. As such, FP2 times would set the grid. Fun fun fun.
— Will Buxton (@wbuxtonofficial) October 11, 2019
Carlos Sainz finished best of the rest in 7th, though his session was compromised as his McLaren MCL34 stopped at Turn 1 at the very start of the Japanese Grand Prix 2019 FP1. However, he returned soon after to continue his programme and narrowly lead Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.
Rounding out the top 10 was Pierre Gasly, and McLaren rookie Lando Norris with a gap of 2.270s between him and leader Bottas.