FP2: Mercedes continue to dominate as Bottas stays fastest

on
F1 Grand Prix, GP Japan, Circuit Suzukajp

Second practice at Suzuka was a crucial session, and the final one ahead of qualifying on Sunday following the cancellation of FP3. Though rain was predicted, it didn't arrive yet, and Mercedes were able to demonstrate once again.

Even though the competition edged much closer, it didn't appear like the Mercedes had any trouble to stay ahead of the pack. This time around, it was Max Verstappen who ended up third fastest, almost 3 seconds down on the pace setting Finn, Valtteri Bottas.

Just like this morning, FP2 proved to be very busy, with teams out quickly due to the threat of rain. Fast laps came thick and fast early on because of that, but it was only towards the end of the session that Charles Leclerc ended up 4th, dropping his Ferrari team mate to 5th.

Alexander Albon rounded up the top 6, as the last one who could stay within a second off of the pace setting Mercedes. Between Albon, and 7th fastest Carlos Sainz was a wide gap of 0.6s, splitting the top 3 teams with the rest of the pack.

Perez and Norris stayed put in the top ten, like in the morning session, but it was Gasly who was 9th fastest, pushing Stroll out of the top 10.

Saturday will be action free at Suzuka, due to the track's closure because of the typhoon. The next session is qualifying on Sunday morning, just hours ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:27.785-33
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:27.885+0.100s34
333Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda1:28.066+0.281s24
416Charles LeclercFerrari1:28.141+0.356s28
55Sebastian VettelFerrari1:28.376+0.591s37
623Alexander AlbonRed Bull Racing Honda1:28.402+0.617s34
755Carlos SainzMcLaren Renault1:29.051+1.266s29
811Sergio PerezRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:29.299+1.514s28
910Pierre GaslyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:29.354+1.569s34
104Lando NorrisMcLaren Renault1:29.358+1.573s35
117Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:29.477+1.692s29
1226Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:29.512+1.727s35
138Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:29.553+1.768s28
1418Lance StrollRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:29.597+1.812s27
1599Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:29.651+1.866s33
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:29.749+1.964s31
173Daniel RicciardoRenault1:29.859+2.074s30
1827Nico HulkenbergRenault1:30.334+2.549s29
1988Robert KubicaWilliams Mercedes1:30.916+3.131s35
2063George RussellWilliams Mercedes1:31.071+3.286s36