Practice Two at the Japanese GP was a near total washout as only five drivers posted a time in the treacherous conditions, with Lewis Hamilton setting the pace.
A torrential downpour in between Friday’s practice sessions meant running was extremely limited as rivers formed on track and FP2 was cut to just 45 minutes due to the wet weather.
Fourteen drivers ventured out of the sodden pits for installation laps but only five posted times, with Hamilton topping the timesheets with a 1:48.719 on the full wet tyres.
In fact, Hamilton was the only driver from Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull to set a time in the session.
Drivers were unsurprisingly extremely cautious when it came to pushing their cars to the limit in the conditions, though Lance Stroll had an off at Turn One and narrowly avoided a major shunt with the barriers after driving through the gravel.
And the rain could also play havoc with teams’ setup for the weekend, with more showers expected for Saturday’s final practice session. Qualifying and the race should be mainly dry.
In the more suitable conditions in Practice One, Sebastian Vettel – a four-time winner at Suzuka – was fastest for Ferrari, though championship rival Hamitlon was just 0.2s behind as Mercedes improved on their Malaysia GP pace.
“We had an extremely good debrief on Sunday night in Kuala Lumpur where a lot of things came to the surface,” Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted to Sky F1.
“There was good interaction between the drivers and the engineers in order to asses the problems and that is the first step to change them.”
Japanese GP Practice Two Timesheet
|Esteban Ocon||Force India||+0.799|
|Sergio Perez||Force India||+2.626|
|Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||No time set|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||No time set|
|Jolyon Palmer||Renault||No time set|
|Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||No time set|
|Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||No time set|
|Fernando Alonso||McLaren-Honda||No time set|
|Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber||No time set|
|Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||No time set|
|Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren-Honda||No time set|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||No time set|
|Romain Grosjean||Haas||No time set|
|Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||No time set|
|Kevin Magnussen||Haas||No time set|
|Max Verstappen||Red Bull||No time set|
|Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||No time set|