Oct 06

Formula One teams Japanese Grand Prix free practice report

Japanese Grand Prix Formula One free practice report

150x80-flagworldf1Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers in Suzuka.



Formula One teams Japanese Grand Prix free practice results

1 Hamilton Mercedes 1:48.719 119.481 mph
2 Ocon Force India 1:49.518 0.799
3 Perez Force India 1:51.345 2.626
4 Massa Williams 1:52.146 3.427
5 Stroll Williams 1:52.343 3.624

01 - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

2017 Japanese Grand Prix – Friday

Lewis sets fastest time on a rainy Friday afternoon

  • Lewis finished the morning session in P2 with Valtteri in P5
  • Lewis ended the day in P1 with Valtteri staying in the garage as only five drivers set a time in the wet afternoon session
  • Both drivers ran the latest aerodynamic update package
  • Lewis and Valtteri both used the Soft and SuperSoft compound tyre in FP1
  • Lewis then ran the Wet tyre in FP2
Driver Chassis No. P1 P2
Lewis Hamilton F1 W08 EQ Power+/05 29 Laps 1:29.377 P2 3 Laps 1:48.719 P1
Valtteri Bottas F1 W08 EQ Power+/03 30 Laps 1:30.151 P5

Lewis Hamilton
It’s been an interesting day, the car is feeling much better than it was in Malaysia. I’m glad that we had the dry session for FP1. In FP2, there was a lot of rain, but it felt really important to go out and assess the track and see how the car was feeling as the car was not good in the wet in Malaysia. The car feels back to normal, so I’m ready to race. The fans are pretty special here – to be out there in the rain, waiting for us to go out through the whole of FP2. That’s also another reason I wanted to go out and at least give them a little bit of a show. So hopefully at least they got to see something as not many cars went out.

Valtteri Bottas
We didn’t really run in FP2, so it’s a shame for the fans out there who were waiting to see us running. In practice one, the car did feel better than it did in Malaysia, but we still need to work on things to make the car quicker. As a starting point for the weekend, it definitely feels better than a week ago. My run with the Soft tyres was good, but with the SuperSoft, I didn’t really gain any grip. So the main thing for me is to understand the SuperSoft performance. The long runs actually weren’t too bad, and hopefully we’ll see better weather tomorrow.

James Allison
The weather forecasts for today were actually pretty unpromising from quite a long way out. We weren’t expecting much useful running at all in either of the sessions. So it was something of a blessing when we managed to get a largely dry FP1. We focused all our programme around trying to get as much race preparation as we could into that single programme. Although that may be an unusual session, it was actually quite a good one. Both cars getting their laps done, getting a feel for the car on high and low fuel and we were reasonably pleased with the initial balance and performance that the car is showing. Obviously after losing all of FP2 the rest of the weekend is still going to be something of a scramble, but at least we go into tomorrow knowing how we ought to set the car up for both qualifying and race.

source: mercedesamgf1.com2017 photo album

01 - Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing


  • First Practice Session: 1:29.541 Position: 3, Laps: 27
  • Second Practice Session: Did Not Run (due to weather conditions)

“This morning in the dry we went out early because we thought the rain was going to come at the end of the session and we did quite a lot of running. Ferrari were quite strong and Mercedes always turn it up on a Saturday so we still have some pace to find, but the balance was pretty good and overall it was a good morning. We were losing a bit on the straight which I don’t think was all engine today, it looked like we had more downforce so we need to see if this is the best set-up for us or if we can find a better compromise for the corners and the straights. I do think next year they should change things a bit, we get an extra set of intermediate tyres on a Friday but not extremes which is why we didn’t run in FP2. There is a high chance of rain again tomorrow so we may need to save them for when it counts in Qualifying. It’s good that some cars ran but I think for everyone to go out in sessions like this we need an extra set of extremes. Any kind of uncertainty or changing conditions gives us options to take a bit more of a gamble, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”


  • First Practice session: 1:30.762, Position: 6, Laps: 26
  • Second Practice Session: Did Not Run (due to weather conditions)

“We didn’t do that many laps this morning but I was happy with the set-up straight away and I think we looked competitive. The red flag interfered with the programme a bit but we still managed to get some good data and I feel happy at the end of the day. We adapted plans this morning as we knew the rain was coming this afternoon and this means the washed out second session hasn’t impacted on our plans. Mercedes look strong as usual, Ferrari I’m not sure about but I think we are close and that is the positive thing. The track certainly feels faster this year with the updated cars, perhaps a second or so which is expected at a circuit like this. The warmer conditions on Sunday should help us and for now Qualifying looks dry so we can get on with some improvements tomorrow. There looked to be a lot of rivers on the track when it was raining so we just thought it wasn’t worth the risk of going out in those conditions. Last year was a very good race, I enjoyed it a lot and finished up on the podium so I hope for more of that this Sunday.”


All good things….

… to he who waits, and Daniel Ricciardo is living proof of that. The Aussie spent two years waiting for a table at world-renowned Tokyo restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro but this year he finally got to try master chef Jiro Ono’s creations. That’s almost as patient as these long waits…

  1. Go Set a Watchman – 55 years – Harper Lee’s seminal novel of racism in the southern states of the US was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and sell more than 40 million copies. But despite the success, the reclusive Lee resisted publishing a sequel (or anything else for that matter) for the next 55 years. Then with almost no fanfare Lee dropped a sequel in 2015, at the age of 88. “It’s a pretty decent effort,” she said of Go Set a Watchman. Just over a year after the book’s publication was announced, Lee died in her sleep in Alabama.
  2. Chinese Democracy – 15 Years – When Guns N’ Roses signed off on their admittedly poor 1993 album The Spaghetti Incident they were, despite the advent of grunge, still probably one of the biggest bands of the planet. Unfortunately, with great sales comes great ego and as GNR slowly disintegrated over the next few years, so recording of their fifth album began to drift and drift… and drift. Over the next 15 years frontman Axl Rose charted an increasingly crazed course towards a uncertain destination using thousands of hours of studio time, countless session musicians, engineers, producers and ultimate $13 million before he delivered the decidedly oddball and underwhelming Chinese Democracy. Weirdest legends to emerge from the decade and a half of madness? Apparently eccentric guitarist Buckethead (who in keeping with the name, never appears without a KFC bucket on his head) insisted he record his parts from a makeshift chicken coop erected in the studio’s live room. Axl Rose meanwhile insisted that everyone involved in the album was approved by his late spiritual therapist Sharon ‘Yoda’ Maynard.
  3. The Green Bay Packers – 30 Years – The Wisconsin team have the longest season ticket waiting list in the NFL. According to the team’s website, there are currently 81,000 names on the list and that the average wait is now 30 years. It is a common custom in Green Bay and other Wisconsin cities to put a baby’s name on the list as soon as the birth certificate is obtained. The chances of getting a ticket are made more difficult by the fact that the Packers apparently allow the transfer of standing to surviving relatives.
  4. Fantasia 2000 – 59 Years – If you’ve recently been seeing trailers for Blade Runner 2049, the sequel to Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi flick, then you might have thought that the 35 years between the original and sequel might make it a record holder. Think again. In 2000, Disney released Fantasia 2000 a second instalment of the cartoons set to classical music conceit that had led to the original movie become an acknowledged master work of animation. The date of the House of Mouse’s first Fantasia movie? It was 1941, giving a 59-year gap between original and sequel.
  5. Valeri Vladimirovich Polyakov – 437 days, 18 hours – The Russian cosmonaut holds the record for the longest single stay in space. On January 8, 1994, as a doctor-cosmonaut on the Soyuz TM -18 flight, Polyakov travelled to the Mir space station. He spent the next 437 consecutive days in space, a world record that still stands. He orbited the earth 7,075 times and travelled 186,887,000 miles before landing safely on March 22, 1995.
  6. Avatar Flight of Passage – 319 minutes – Another Disney record, but not one it might like. According to the Cinema Blend website the longest recorded waiting time for a Disney theme park ride is for the Avatar Flight of Passage ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park in Florida. The 3D augmented reality flying simulator attraction within Pandora – The World of Avatar opened in May of this year and naturally queues were long. However, on June 27 they were spectacularly long, with one apparently verified wait lasting a whopping 5 hours and 19 minutes.
  7. Mark Webber – 130 races – Yep, Daniel’s fellow Aussie holds the record for the longest wait for a grand prix victory. The Queanbeyan native made his Formula One race debut at the 2002 Australian Grand Prix, driving for Minardi. Seven years on and despite six visits to the podium (five with us), Mark was still waiting. However, 2009’s RB5 was the start of a very special lineage for the team and at that season’s German Grand Prix it at last gave him a real shot at victory. Despite a drive-through penalty after a collision with Rubens Barrichello, Mark battled back and secured the first of nine grand prix wins at the 130th time of asking.

source: redbullracing.com2017 photo album

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Japanese Grand Prix – “It was good to feel the power”

Seb and Kimi believe the car can be on the pace-also in the wet

An encouraging first session and a nearly useless second one sums up the first day of practice at the Japanese Grand Prix. After setting first and fourth best times respectively in the morning P1, Seb and Kimi limited their running to an installation lap each in a rain-soaked afternoon session. “Today we were expecting to have difficult conditions in the afternoon, so we focused on the morning session,” said Kimi. “We did a little bit more running and generally, we worked on our programme like every other Friday. Overall it was not bad and the feeling was ok. In the afternoon we did not even try to learn anything; we are limited on tires and we have to save the full wet compound in case qualifying is run in wet conditions. It’s a pity because we did not do a lot of laps, but at least we have got some ideas. As for tomorrow, let’s wait and see what happens in the morning and then through the day. Whatever it will be, we are going to do our best”. Seb added: “I think we had a decent morning. We tried a lot of things and it was good to feel the power of the car. This afternoon was expected to be wet. We would have loved to run a little bit more, but you can’t do the right amount of driving, because you don’t want to “burn” your tire supply in these conditions. The results of the last two races were not good, but the car is strong. We have every reason to be confident and I am sure that on Sunday we’ll be able to show what we can do. If tomorrow’s qualifying is wet, then we should improve. The last qualifying in wet conditions happened in Monza and it was not a good result. In Malaysia it was a little bit better, but we hope we learned our lesson. It’s up to us to get it right. Whatever the weather will be, I hope we can show our potential”.

source: formula1.ferrari.com2017 photo album

Sahara Force India pink logo.jpg

Sahara Force India F1 Team

2017 Japanese Grand Prix: Practice Report


FP1 1:31.530 P13 23 laps
FP2 1:51.345 P3 3 laps

Sergio: “We knew it would be a difficult day because of the weather, so we chose to maximise the morning session to complete as much dry running as we could. We did some aero testing and we need to analyse the data to make sure we choose the right direction for tomorrow. The car was working well in the dry, but we need to make some changes tonight to make sure I am totally comfortable. When the rain arrived this afternoon, I went out to do a few laps just to get a feel for the balance in the wet conditions. There was a lot of standing water so we didn’t do many laps, but at least we have run on the wet tyres in case it rains again tomorrow.”


FP1 1:30.889 P7 22 laps
FP2 1:49.518 P2 3 laps

Esteban: “The morning session went well and we did a lot of work because we were expecting the rain later in the day. During FP2, we went out to experience the conditions and the car felt strong, so I’m not worried if the rain comes back tomorrow. If it’s wet or dry, we have a well-balanced car and we can be competitive. In the dry the car was not far away from where I wanted it to be – similar to how the car felt in Malaysia, so that’s a good sign. We didn’t have much time to work on the set-up adjustments, but I have a good feeling and we know where we need to focus tonight.”


“Another disrupted day with the heavy rain limiting our programme this afternoon and both cars completing just a handful of laps. Fortunately we had a dry morning session where we elected to bring forward some of the data gathering we would normally carry out during FP2. We combined this with some component testing of our new aero updates spread across both cars. The red flag and the light rain at the end of the morning compressed the session, but we are not in bad shape and have a reasonable amount of data to help us prepare for qualifying and the race. We went out in the wet conditions this afternoon just to get an idea of how the wet tyres are performing. Both drivers were happy in the wet and I think we are well prepared whatever the weather brings tomorrow.”

source: forceindiaf1.com2017 photo album

Williams Martini Racing logo.jpg

Williams Martini Racing

Japanese GP Practice

Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: We had dry conditions in FP1, almost throughout, just a spot here and there and some rain towards the end. We got in some good running with the time available. The pace on the soft tyre is looking reasonably encouraging. Unfortunately for both of our cars, their supersoft runs were interrupted by the red flag of Sainz, so we didn’t get the best out of those. We got some good data from various experiments we were doing as well, so overall it was a good session. FP2 was almost a complete washout, although we managed to get a lap or two with each car on the full wet tyre, again conducting some relevant experiments and getting some useful data. I feel sorry for the fans, who are incredibly enthusiastic, that they didn’t get any spectacle this afternoon, but hopefully the rest of the weekend will be dry.

Lance Stroll: It was a good day. FP1 was very positive, the car felt good and I really enjoyed driving on the circuit, as it is a lot of fun and very special. Then, in FP2, there wasn’t a lot of running with the rain, which was not easy as you never know where the limit is in such conditions. I just did one proper push lap and that was about it. It was not much of an afternoon, but all in all a good day.

Felipe Massa: It was not a very interesting day, to be honest. The first impression of the car here is that it is alright, but it’s difficult to say where we are compared to the others. It was interesting to see how the car will behave, but in the rain I only did one lap. There was a lot of aquaplaning and standing water, so there wasn’t much we could do, this was mostly a day of waiting. The forecast I just saw says it will rain this evening and stop for tomorrow, so maybe we will be driving in the dry. I hope that we can have a good day tomorrow.

source: williamsf1.com2017 photo album

05 - McLaren Mercedes

McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team

2017 Japanese Grand Prix – free practice

“It feels special around here”

Both McLaren Honda drivers made a solid start to their Japanese Grand Prix weekend, despite finishing this morning’s FP1 session not completely satisfied with the balance of their MCL32s.

A torrential rain shower in FP2 rendered the afternoon’s session a near-complete washout, with only five drivers establishing a lap-time in the wet conditions.

While neither Fernando nor Stoffel set a time, they both ran a couple of incomplete laps to evaluate set-up changes ahead of qualifying tomorrow, which is currently expected to be drier.

The drivers

Fernando Alonso

  • #FA14  MCL32-02
  • FP1 1m31.235s (+2.069s) 19 laps 12th
  • FP2 No time 2 laps 11th

“As predicted, we had a Friday with only one dry session, so we tried different things in the first session, and did as many laps as we could.

“In FP2, it was raining too hard so we couldn’t do much. We did a few laps at the end of the session, when it had stopped raining, but there wasn’t much purpose in running in the wet as it looks like it’ll be dry in the race, and probably qualifying too.

“The car was behaving well on a circuit where performance is mainly expressed in the fast corners of the first sector. It feels special because there’s so much grip out there.”

Stoffel vandoorne

  • #SV2  MCL32-03
  • FP1 1m31.202s (+2.036s) 24 laps 10th
  • FP2 No time 1 lap 14th

“So far, it’s quite difficult to know what to expect, especially as today’s running was very limited. FP1 was quite normal, without any trouble, but we only got to do an installation lap in the rain during FP2.

“The weather will be key tomorrow – it looks like it’ll be a dry race on Sunday, so qualifying will be super-important. Looking at the weather radar for tomorrow, it’s still a bit difficult to predict, it should potentially be dry in quali tomorrow.

“The car felt nice around here. Suzuka’s a high-speed circuit with lots of direction changes and, especially with with the downforce and wider tyres we have this year, they’re very impressive in the first sector;very exciting to drive.

“Whatever happens, we’ll make the best of it this weekend.”

The management

Eric Boullier


“As ever, at Suzuka, the weather can make things difficult – and this afternoon’s FP2 effectively became a complete washout due to the heavy rain. Luckily, we managed to get a few exploratory laps under out belts, which was useful for evaluating a few systems checks, but, like everyone else, we’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow.

“Both drivers were relatively happy with their cars during this morning’s dry FP1 session – but, again, they’ve highlighted a few shortcomings which we’re still working to cure ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

“Nevertheless, I think we’ve made a solid start to the weekend.”



“We have been looking forward to having our home Grand Prix at Suzuka. However, it was disappointing that we lost so much track time due to the rain today.

“With such a complex circuit layout, car set-up is key.Therefore, we will look to analyse the data that we were able to gather from today’s session together with McLaren tonight.

“I’d like to thank all the home fans who visited the circuit in such poor weather conditions. It was great to see so much support. We hope to show them a good result in tomorrow’s qualifying.”

source: mclaren.com2017 photo album

Scuderia Toro Rosso logo

Scuderia Toro Rosso


Carlos Sainz (STR12-01, Car 55)

  • First Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:32.252, pos. 17th, 14 laps
  • Second Practice Session
  • Best lap: no time, pos. 13th, 1 laps

“A tricky Friday for us! Obviously, the accident in FP1 was a bit of a pity… I didn’t expect that to happen, I just clipped the outside kerb a bit too much and it sent me into a spin and then into the barriers. It looked quite incredible on the TV, but luckily it wasn’t such a big one from inside the cockpit. We can’t forget that a minimal miscalculation here can make you pay a big price! I’m happy that the mechanics could put the car back together for FP2 – they did an amazing job like they always do, pushing for me and the team. We were ready to run in FP2, but unfortunately the weather conditions didn’t help us and we were only able to complete an installation lap. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day!”

Pierre Gasly (STR12-04, Car 10)

  • First Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:32.501, pos. 18th, 18 laps
  • Second Practice Session
  • Best lap: no time, 0 laps

“Not the most exciting day in terms of running, I must admit… Having said that, it was still good to be back here in Suzuka and be able to drive during this morning’s FP1. We didn’t do many laps in total – we didn’t even drive out of the garage in this afternoon’s FP2 because of the weather conditions! – but we got some good data and we now have some work for tomorrow in order to improve our performance. Another positive is that the seat now feels much better than in Malaysia, I’m happy about this and now we just need to find a bit more pace. We have one more practice session left to get ready for qualifying and I think it will be a pretty busy one! I’m now really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)

“We came here with some new set-up ideas to try on the car, looking to maximize the potential from the aero package we introduced at the last event. We managed to get some good testing across the two cars in this morning’s FP1, both aero and mechanical, which was very positive. Unfortunately, Carlos made a small mistake and crashed, but the mechanics did a fantastic job in turning the car around and getting it out in the afternoon for an installation lap. We gathered good data in the morning that we’d planned to develop further into FP2 but, unfortunately, with the weather conditions, we didn’t get to trial those. We’ll now have to spend a bit of time tonight trying to understand exactly what we’re confident to take into FP3, because we don’t want to spend the whole of that session learning about the car – that’s for qualifying performance for Pierre. As for Carlos’ car, the situation is slightly different because of his engine penalty, so we’ll have a different focus for tomorrow, more based around race performance.”

source: scuderiatororosso.com2017 photo album

11 - Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 Team


Event:  Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2 (FP1 and FP2) 

Date:  Friday, Oct. 6

Location:  Suzuka Circuit

Layout:  5.807-kilometer (3.608-mile), 18-turn track

FP1 Weather:  Overcast, with rain late in the session

FP1 Air Temps:  18.9-20 degrees Celsius (66-68 degrees Fahrenheit)

FP1 Track Temps:  22.6-24.4 degrees Celsius (72.7-75.9 degrees Fahrenheit)

FP2 Weather:  Rain

FP2 Air Temps:  15.2-15.8 degrees Celsius (59.4-60.4 degrees Fahrenheit)

FP2 Track Temps:  17.2-18.4 degrees Celsius (63-65.1 degrees Fahrenheit)

Drivers:  Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen 

FP1 Rundown

Grosjean:  9th quick (1:31.032), 22 laps completed

Magnussen:  11th quick (1:31.216), 15 laps completed

Fastest Driver:  Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari (1:29.166)

Most Laps:  Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes (30 laps)

FP2 Rundown

Grosjean:  No time

Magnussen:  No time

Fastest Driver:  Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:48.719)

Most Laps:  Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (4 laps)


The 16th round of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship got off to an abbreviated start as rain impacted the amount of track time teams were able to have Friday at Suzuka Circuit as they began their preparation for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.


Both of the 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – on the 5.807-kilometer (3.608-mile), 18-turn track were affected by rain, with FP2 nearly washed out completely.


Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen only participated in FP1, with both drivers finishing among the top-11 in speed.


Grosjean led the way with the ninth-fastest time – a 1:31.032 earned on the 17th of his 22 laps while riding on a set of Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tires. Magnussen was 11th quick with a 1:31.216 set on his 15th and final lap, with his Haas VF-17 also outfitted with supersofts.


Both drivers cycled through all three tire compounds brought to Suzuka by Pirelli, starting with a solitary installation lap on the White medium tire followed by two stints sampling the Yellow softs before switching to supersofts.


Leading the way in FP1 was Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, whose fast lap of 1:29.166 was .211 of a second better than the next quickest driver and championship leader, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.


FP2 was a relatively quiet affair due to the rain. Of the 14 drivers who ventured onto the wet track, Hamilton was fastest with a 1:48.719. His time was .799 of a second faster than next best Esteban Ocon of Force India.

Romain Grosjean, driver #8

“FP1 was a solid session in between the drops of rain. We managed to do everything we wanted, more or less. It would’ve been nice to get a few more laps on the long run on high fuel before the rain came, but we saw how fast the car is anyway. The car’s doing OK for now, so we need to keep on that trend. We need to keep improving and making sure we don’t lose our way. The weather can determine a lot. We’ll see what happens between FP2 and FP3. I think we have some ideas what to do to get the car better.”

Kevin Magnussen, driver #20

“The car was feeling good straight away, so we were happy about that. I think we need to try and find some more speed, for sure, because other people are going to be doing that. If we’re aiming to score points this weekend we need to get it right. I had the issues with the water leak and I could only do one lap per run. So, I didn’t get that much running, but hopefully we can catch up.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal

“We had a pretty good FP1, though it’s still too early to say how good. We had just a small problem with Kevin’s car. We couldn’t do more than a few laps because of a small water leak, which we sorted out for FP2. Unfortunately, it rained a lot in FP2, so we didn’t do any more running. We’re now looking forward to tomorrow.”

Next up

Drivers have one more practice session on Saturday (12:00-13:00) before qualifying starts at 15:00. Qualifying consists of three rounds, with the 15 fastest drivers from Q1 moving on to Q2. Then, the 10 fastest drivers from Q2 advance to Q3 where they’ll battle for the pole.

source: haasf1team.com2017 photo album

Renault Sport Formula One Team logo

Renault Sport Formula One Team

2017 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, Friday

Renault Sport Formula One Team saw a mixed-weather first day at Suzuka in preparation for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. FP1 proved productive with dry conditions, whereas the afternoon saw extensive rainfall, meaning a delayed start to running, and only limited track action thereafter. Nico Hülkenberg set the eighth fastest time with a 1min 30.974 lap, while team-mate Jolyon Palmer was fifteenth in the morning. Although both drivers took to the track in the afternoon, due to the wet conditions neither driver completed a timed lap.

Alan Permane, Sporting Director – Technical programme notes
• In FP1, Jolyon and Nico used Pirelli’s Medium (white), Soft (yellow) and Supersoft (red) tyres.
• In FP2 both Nico and Jolyon ran the Wet (blue) tyres.
What we learned today:
• The conditions can be variable in Suzuka.

Nico Hülkenberg, #27, R.S.17-04
Free practice 1: P8, 1:30.974, 24 laps
Free practice 2: P9, no time set, 1 lap

Nico: “FP1 was good. With the threat of rain expected in the afternoon, FP1 was a serious session, we ran quite a bit and did the testing we wanted to do. Everything felt ok, the balance was good so I wasn’t too unhappy. There isn’t much to say about the afternoon session, it was pretty wet and we wanted to conserve our tyres as there might be some rain again tomorrow.”

Jolyon Palmer, #30, R.S.17-03
Free practice 1: P15, 1:31.757, 22 laps
Free practice 2: P8, no time set, 1 lap
Jolyon: “There was a lot of traffic during FP1, but we were able to try different set-ups and I think we found a good direction. It was nice to get some dry running because we expect it to be wet again in FP3. In FP2 the grip level actually felt quite good despite the water, but we just decided to save the tyres because it could be wet again on Saturday, so we will keep them for qualifying.”

Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director:
“The morning session was good today. We put a comprehensive programme together for FP1 because we knew we were going to have a wet FP2. We did a lot of work on set-up specific to this track, there are a lot of high speed corners so it’s a bit of a different track to optimise for. We completed tests on both cars, and it has given us good knowledge for where to run the car in the dry. For FP2, we wanted to try a little bit more of a wet set-up, but really it was too wet, so we just did the one lap to see where the rivers were and that was it.”

source: renaultsport.com2017 photo album

Sauber F1 Team logo

Sauber F1 Team

Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix – Practice – Friday

Weather: FP1: cloudy and light rain, 19-20°C air, 23-24°C track; FP2: cloudy and heavy rain, 15-16°C air, 17-18°C track

During the first practice session ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, the Sauber F1 Team tested a new front wing and focused on mechanical tests. The planned programme for FP2 could not be run in the afternoon, as heavy rainfall led to a delay of 45 minutes.

Marcus Ericsson (car number 9):

  • Sauber C36-Ferrari (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
  • 1st practice: 20th / 1:33.397 min (28 laps) / 2nd practice: no timed lap (3 laps)

“FP1 was ok – with stable track conditions, we were able to test different car set-ups and obtain some data there. It rained all through FP2, so we were unable to run our programme – that was a shame, and did not just affect us but everyone in the paddock. We are going to pick up where we left off in FP1 during the third free practice tomorrow, and work on making some improvements for the rest of the weekend.”

Pascal Wehrlein (car number 94):

  • Sauber C36-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari)
  • 1st practice: 19th / 1:32.897 min (29 laps) / 2nd practice: no timed lap (2 laps)

“FP1 went quite smoothly for me. I felt comfortable in the car and was satisfied with the car balance. It is unfortunate that we could not have more time on track due to the rain in FP2. I am looking forward to more track action tomorrow. Let’s see what the day will bring.”

source:  sauberf1team.com2017 photo album

Pirelli logo


Japanese Grand Prix Practice Sessions

  • Vettel goes quickest in a dry fp1 on supersoft. Heavy rain affects fp2, with hamilton fastest on full wet
  • Vettel’s Fastest Time Of The Day Beats Last Year’s Pole By More Than A Second And Is Just 0.2 Seconds Off All-Time Suzuka Record
  • Lap Time Gap Between Soft And Supersoft Is Around 0.7 Seconds But Lack Of Running Makes Data Inconclusive

Free practice at Suzuka was interrupted twice: firstly by a red flag in FP1, and then again by heavy rain that severely limited FP2. However, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel proved the potential pace of this year’s race by setting a fastest time in FP1 that was nearly three seconds quicker than the equivalent time last year, and more than a second faster than the 2016 pole.

This was even though the German had far from a perfect lap, with some humidity already making the track tricky and a bit of traffic as well. Although there was a red flag that interrupted FP1, the teams were still able to complete some runs on the soft and supersoft compounds, which are currently separated by about 0.7 seconds per lap in terms of pace. Only the full wet tyre was used in the heavy rain this afternoon, for a limited number of laps. Conditions for the rest of the weekend are expected to be mixed: wet for some of Saturday and then dry on Sunday.

“Lap times in FP1 were much faster than we’ve seen in the past once more, both because of the new regulations with wider tyres, and a softer tyre nomination for Japan than we have had in the past. As Suzuka is quite intensively used during the year, there was already some rubber on the track that enabled the cars to be quick straight away this morning, and the supersoft to work very well right out of the box. With the red flag in FP1 and the rain in FP2 – which meant that no cars took to the track for the first 45 minutes of the session – the amount of running was of course severely limited, but already the potential when it comes to race pace is clear to see”.

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