Japanese GP – Mercedes Clocks In Fastest Laps In Both Friday Sessions

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Only four days after the Russian GP weekend concluded, Formula 1 is at the Suzuka Circuit for the Japanese Grand Prix. While Mercedes saw success with a 1-2 finish in Sochi, the “team orders” controversy left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. The team hopes for a more civil weekend this time around. The Friday practice sessions did not have any team orders, but Valtteri Bottas placed second behind Lewis Hamilton twice.

The three tires for this weekend are the Medium, Soft and Supersofts. Suzuka was cloudy all day, with the weather hovering around 20-25 degrees Celsius throughout the day.

Notes From The First Practice Session at Japanese GP

  • Ferrari debuted their new livery, with a logo that says “Mission Winnow” (or “Win Now”) on the side.
  • Lando Norris filled in for Stoffel Vandoorne in FP1.
  • Williams reserve driver Robert Kubica watched the session from the team’s garage.
  • The track went up from 24 degrees Celsius to 27 by the end of the session.
  • Fernando Alonso had a spin in Sector 2, but did not hit a wall (contrary to what Paul Di Resta predicted would happen).
  • Pierre Gasly was reprimanded for impeding Hamilton during the session.
  • No one tyre had dominance in this session.

Notes From The Second Practice Session

  • Formula 2 driver George Russell was a guest commentator for this session.
  • “What is Vandoorne doing? He’s like overtaking and then (unintelligible)” said Esteban Ocon, talking about Stoffel Vandoorne getting in his way.
  • Pierre Gasly didn’t hit the track until very late in the session due to issues with the car.
  • “It’s like Rallycross. Drifting everywhere” Verstappen on team radio talking about his car.
  • Kimi Raikkonen was driving with a heavily blistered rear left at one point.

It’s hard to call who will take the Qualifying session tomorrow. Practice sessions only show so much and by the looks of it weather might be a big factor.