Everything that happened in first Japanese GP F1 practice - The Race
Formula 1

Everything that happened in first Japanese GP F1 practice

Oct 7 2022
By Matt Beer

Fernando Alonso was fastest for Alpine in a very wet first Japanese Grand Prix practice session, Formula 1’s first Suzuka track action since 2019.

Key moments

– Rain all day means limited initial running
– Brief window suitable for intermediate tyre
– Alonso goes quickest just as rain worsens again
– Schumacher crashes after chequered flag

A consistently damp day at Suzuka meant little expectation of much running in first practice.

But a decent number of drivers began venturing out on the rarely-seen full wet tyre in the first half of the session, as rain eased compared to earlier in the morning.

Drivers were soon calling for intermediates, with world champion Max Verstappen first to give those a go and instantly going quickest.

Intermediate tyre running had barely begun before the rain returned with a vengeance, though.

All 20 drivers managed to get an inter time in during that brief window of slightly better weather, with Alonso putting his Alpine quickest on a 1m42.248s just before the track conditions got back to a point where full wets were needed.

That effectively prompted an early end to the session, bar a series of last-minute runs on wets in the final minutes. One of these runs, for Schumacher, ended with a big hit against the wall already after the chequered flag, with the German getting out unhurt but his VF-17 sustaining serious damage.

The Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were second and third, ahead of Esteban Ocon in the second Alpine, Kevin Magnussen’s Haas and Verstappen’s Red Bull.

Leclerc had some glorious slides as the rain returned, and also a trip through the gravel.

Daniel Ricciardo (at the chicane) and Nicholas Latifi (at the hairpin) also had minor off-track moments.

George Russell had a delayed start to the session as Mercedes attended to an oil leak. But his car was ready just in time for him to do four laps as intermediates, just as the weather worsened late on.

Practice two will be 90 minutes rather than 60 today as it is scheduled to include trial running of Pirelli’s 2023 F1 tyres.

But with the weather forecast poor for the whole day, that Pirelli test is likely to be postponed until the Mexican GP later this month.

Teams will still get the extra half-hour of track time today, though, regardless of whether the 2023 tyre running happens.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1m42.248s
2 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1m42.563s +0.315s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m42.634s +0.386s
4 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m43.022s +0.774s
5 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m43.258s +1.01s
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m43.362s +1.114s
7 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1m43.761s +1.513s
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m43.889s +1.641s
9 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m43.969s +1.721s
10 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m44.234s +1.986s
11 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m44.429s +2.181s
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.486s +2.238s
13 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m44.558s +2.31s
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m44.57s +2.322s
15 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m44.791s +2.543s
16 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1m44.878s +2.63s
17 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m45.424s +3.176s
18 George Russell Mercedes 1m46.103s +3.855s
19 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1m46.192s +3.944s
20 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m48.09s +5.842s

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