Japanese GP
October 05 - October 07, 2018
Suzuka International Racing Course
Race Winner
Lewis Hamilton
1 Pit
Japanese GP
Free Practice 1
Free Practice 2
Free Practice 3

Bottas stays on top in second Suzuka practice

Clive Mason/Getty Images

Here's a session recap from second practice in Suzuka:

  • In a session that could determine the grid for the Japanese Grand Prix if qualifying doesn't go ahead on Sunday morning, Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and the two Ferraris.
  • The incoming Typhoon Hagibis means Saturday's running has been cancelled and qualifying has been rescheduled for Sunday morning. However, if the remnants of the typhoon means qualifying can't go ahead on Sunday, the FP2 order will make up the grid.
  • Bottas set the fastest time in Friday's second practice session, 0.100s ahead of teammate Hamilton. Verstappen was 0.281s off in third place as all of the top three set their fastest times midway through the session before focusing on long runs.
  • The Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel took a different approach, setting their fastest times at the end of the 90 minutes. However, that meant they were battling with traffic as other cars focused on heavy fuel running and blocked parts of the track. Leclerc improved from sixth to fourth while Vettel improved on his time but slipped from fourth to fifth as he was unable to match his teammate.
  • Albon ended up sixth as a result of Leclerc's improvement and was 0.336s off teammate Verstappen.
  • Outside the top three teams, there was a real mix of the order with McLaren, Racing Point and Toro Rosso making up the rest of the top ten. Renault appeared to struggle more than normal, with its cars finishing 17th and 18th after leaving their hot laps on soft tyres towards the end of the session.
  • The paddock will now prepare for the incoming typhoon, with garage hoardings set to come down and be packed away while the temporary hospitality units in the paddock will be being tethered to metal anchors in the tarmac to ensure they don't blow away.
  • A track inspection will be carried out at 8:20am on Sunday morning to assess the circuit's suitability for the upcoming day's action after the typhoon. The first on-track racing will be the Porsche Carrera Cup Japan at 8:50am before F1 qualifying gets underway at 10:00am. The race time remains 2:10pm as originally scheduled.