Event: Japanese Grand Prix
Track: Suzuka Circuit

Weather: wet  12.8°C
Tarmac: wet  16.5°C
Humidity : 73%
Wind : 3.9 km/h South

Most of the teams waited out FP2

As the Formula 1 circus pitched its tents under the watchful eye of Mount Fuji for the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, teams and drivers grappled with the mercurial moods of Suzuka, a circuit as revered for its challenges as it is for its history. The weekend's proceedings began with an eventful Free Practice 1 (FP1), where Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing laid down an early marker, showcasing his intent to rebound strongly from a setback in Australia. However, the session was not without its drama, as Logan Sargeant's promising run was abruptly ended by an unfortunate crash, rendering his car irreparable in time for the afternoon's outing.

The onset of Free Practice 2 (FP2) saw teams and drivers navigating not just the twists and turns of Suzuka but also the whims of the weather. Oscar Piastri, in a display of skill and timing, managed to top the time sheets, outpacing stalwarts like Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc. This session, marred by intermittent rain, saw limited running, with several top contenders, including the entirety of the Red Bull and Aston Martin stables, opting to conserve their machinery rather than brave the slippery conditions.

Amid these conditions, the saga of the day was undoubtedly the continued misfortune of American rookie Logan Sargeant. After his earlier excursion off the track, his team, Williams, confirmed the damage was too extensive for a quick fix, sidelining him for FP2 and potentially hampering his preparations for the remainder of the weekend.

Red Bull's decision to sit out FP2 might have raised eyebrows, but it speaks to a strategic conservatism prevalent among teams wary of Suzuka's unforgiving nature, especially under unpredictable weather conditions. Similarly, Aston Martin's absence from the track underscored the cautious approach adopted by many, possibly hinting at significant upgrades they were not ready to compromise in adverse conditions.

The day also saw a glimpse of hope for Kick Sauber, a team that has struggled to find its footing this season. A brief venture onto the track with intermediate tyres before deciding conditions were better suited to slicks illustrated the fine line teams tread between disaster and data collection.

As teams pack up with an eye on tomorrow's sessions, the narrative of the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix continues to unfold. With weather playing as much a part of the strategy as the setups and tyre selections, the stage is set for a weekend of high drama and, potentially, championship-defining moments. The return to Suzuka has already delivered its promise of excitement and unpredictability, setting the tone for what is to come.

Quickest Sector Times

The quickest sector times were:

  • Sector 1: 34.616 sec. by Oscar Piastri (McLaren MCL38)
  • Sector 2: 41.449 sec. by Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes W15)
  • Sector 3: 18.053 sec. by Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes W15)

1:30,688 min was the quickest lap time in a dry FP2 of last year, set by George Russell in the Mercedes W14.

FP2 Times Table 2024 Japanese GP

P No Driver Team Time 1st Gap Laps Tyres
1 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:34,725 6 S
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:35,226 +0,501s 5 S
3 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:38,760 +4,035s 3 S
4 22 Yuki Tsunoda Racing Bulls 1:40,946 +6,221s 7 I
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Racing Bulls 1:41,913 +7,188s 8 I
6 4 Lando Norris McLaren 1:44,977 +10,252s 3 S
7 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:52,579 +17,854s 3 S
8 24 Zhou Guanyu Sauber no time - 6 S
9 77 Valtteri Bottas Sauber no time - 6 S
10 23 Alex Albon Williams no time - 4 I
11 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas no time - 3 S
12 27 Nico Hülkenberg Haas no time - 4 I
13 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine no time - 2 I
14 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull no time - 0 -
15 2 Logan Sargeant Williams no time - 0 -
16 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine no time - 0 -
17 11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull no time - 0 -
18 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin no time - 0 -
19 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin no time - 0 -
20 63 George Russell Mercedes no time - 0 -

✅ Check out our 2024 Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix preview.

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