FP1: Bottas and Mercedes comfortably ahead in Japan

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Japan, Circuit Suzukajp

Ahead of tomorrow's tyfoon, the first practice session at Suzuka was a busy one as teams looks to benefit from some dry weather running, now that FP3 has been cancelled.

Teams were out quickly, and it were the Mercedes drivers who set the early pace on medium tyres until Sebastian Vettel jumped to the top of the timesheets with a run on soft Pirelli tyres.

Ferrari's dominance was short lived though, as Mercedes turned out to be quite a bit faster when they fitted soft tyres 20 minutes from the end of the session. Hamilton and Bottas were closely matched on these runs, but it was Bottas who emerged fastest, leaving the Ferrari duo nearly a second down.

Verstappen and Albon put their Red Bulls in 5th and 6th, with Verstappen another 3 tenths down on the fastest Ferrari.

Completing the top ten were McLaren and Racing Point, with Sainz the fastest of this foursome.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:28.731-26
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:28.807+0.076s25
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1:29.720+0.989s26
416Charles LeclercFerrari1:29.912+1.181s20
533Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda1:30.046+1.315s22
623Alexander AlbonRed Bull Racing Honda1:30.375+1.644s24
755Carlos SainzMcLaren Renault1:30.702+1.971s21
811Sergio PerezRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:30.810+2.079s21
918Lance StrollRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:30.959+2.228s27
104Lando NorrisMcLaren Renault1:31.001+2.270s24
118Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:31.283+2.552s25
127Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:31.307+2.576s27
1327Nico HulkenbergRenault1:31.426+2.695s29
143Daniel RicciardoRenault1:31.563+2.832s25
1520Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:31.785+3.054s22
1626Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:31.920+3.189s23
1738Naoki YamamotoScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:32.018+3.287s30
1863George RussellWilliams Mercedes1:32.800+4.069s23
1988Robert KubicaWilliams Mercedes1:33.484+4.753s27
2099Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:36.887+8.156s4