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.
|1||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:27.785||-||33|
|2||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:27.885||+0.100s||34|
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:28.066||+0.281s||24|
|6||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:28.402||+0.617s||34|
|7||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:29.051||+1.266s||29|
|8||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:29.299||+1.514s||28|
|9||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:29.354||+1.569s||34|
|10||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:29.358||+1.573s||35|
|11||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:29.477||+1.692s||29|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:29.512||+1.727s||35|
|13||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:29.553||+1.768s||28|
|14||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:29.597||+1.812s||27|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:29.651||+1.866s||33|
|16||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:29.749||+1.964s||31|
|19||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:30.916||+3.131s||35|
|20||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:31.071||+3.286s||36|