Mercedes 1-2 in second Friday F1 practice at Suzuka - The Race
Formula 1

Mercedes 1-2 in second Friday F1 practice at Suzuka

Oct 7 2022
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

George Russell led a Mercedes 1-2 in a second wet Friday practice session of F1’s Japanese Grand Prix weekend at Suzuka.

Key moments:

> Mercedes 1-2, Red Bull 3-4

> Schumacher absent after FP1 crash

> Offs for Leclerc and Perez

The session was due to feature test runs for prototype Pirelli slick rubber, and was extended from the usual 60 minutes to 90 for that purpose, but the track was never anywhere dry enough for that to be feasible.

Russell was the first driver to take a punt on intermediates around the half-hour mark, with the wets having been the tyre of choice before that, and immediately took the top spot from team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Both Hamilton and champion-elect Max Verstappen then took turns out front, but Russell overhauled the pair in the end, his 1m41.935s leaving him two tenths clear of Hamilton and eight tenths clear of Verstappen.

All those times were already on the board with 30 minutes left to run, and the rest of the session proved a muted formality as teams seemed reluctant to use up any more rubber.

Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez completed the top four, half a tenth behind the Dutchman, while Kevin Magnussen – the sole Haas representative in the session, with Mick Schumacher sidelined by a chassis change necessitated by his ill-timed crash after the chequered flag in FP1 – bolted on a fresh set of inters late on to move up to fifth.

Carlos Sainz – having led early on on wets – ultimately headed Ferrari’s efforts in sixth, followed by compatriot and FP1 pace-setter Fernando Alonso (Alpine).

Sainz’s squadmate Leclerc was only 11th, suspecting an issue with the front left of his F1-75 and having only narrowly avoided a date with the barrier when he went off at the hairpin Turn 11, just getting his Ferrari stopped and managing to escape the gravel.

Perez had his less dramatic version of that incident later in the session, while local hero Yuki Tsunoda of the sister AlphaTauri team had a long trip through the gravel exiting Degner 1.

Williams driver Nicholas Latifi had an unusual visit to the access road near the chicane early in the session, one seemingly tied with him reporting a problem with his FW44 – but he shrugged it off to finish 12th.

Schumacher aside, it was the two McLarens bottom of the mileage rankings, Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo combining for just 20 laps – with Tsunoda alone notching up 27.

Practice 2 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 George Russell Mercedes 1m41.935s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m42.17s +0.235s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m42.786s +0.851s
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m42.834s +0.899s
5 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m43.187s +1.252s
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1m43.204s +1.269s
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1m43.533s +1.598s
8 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m43.733s +1.798s
9 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m43.884s +1.949s
10 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m44.525s +2.59s
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m44.709s +2.774s
12 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m44.962s +3.027s
13 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m45.039s +3.104s
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1m45.257s +3.322s
15 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m45.261s +3.326s
16 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m45.885s +3.95s
17 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1m46.03s +4.095s
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m46.776s +4.841s
19 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1m47.109s +5.174s

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