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Japanese F1 GP: Lewis Hamilton fastest out of five in rain-hit FP2

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Japanese F1 GP: Lewis Hamilton fastest out of five in rain-hit FP2
Oct 6, 2017, 7:37 AM

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the second free practice session of the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, which was significantly delayed by he...

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the second free practice session of the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, which was significantly delayed by heavy rain.

Conditions in FP2 were soaked as the Safety Car aquaplaned on numerous occasions and drivers were stuck in the paddock for 45 minutes of the 90 minute session. Eventually, five drivers managed to set a flying lap.

When the green light was shown, there was a reluctance to leave the pits and it was Kimi Raikkonen who went out first; he returned to the pits on his out-lap.

The Renaults followed, gingerly avoiding parts of standing water around the track, but as the rain picked up intermittently, the lull in activity showed few signs of ending.

The first flying lap of the session was set by Force India's Sergio Perez, who slid around the track, leaving a trail of spray in his wake to set a time of 1m51.345s. Team-mate Esteban Ocon was next to take the plunge, and he set a laptime of 1m49.518s on a slowly emerging dry-line.

A few drivers followed, with Hamilton beating the Force India of Ocon by 0.799 seconds on his first flying lap. Williams' Lance Stroll then spun at Turn 1 but the run-off area prevented him from hitting the barriers, eventually finishing fifth behind counterpart Felipe Massa. 3.624s split the top five.

The rest of the field decided against setting flying laps, and FP2 was virtually over with 10 minutes remaining. The last time Hamilton was quickest in any practice session was at Monza, in FP1.

FP1

Sebastian Vettel topped the charts in FP1 with a time of 1m29.166s, just after a red-flag was flown as Carlos Sainz Jr crashed heavily on the exit of the Turn 11 hairpin, around 50 minutes into the mostly dry session.

Sainz managed to complete an installation lap in FP2, after a quick turnaround by Toro Rosso. The Spaniard has a 20-place grid penalty for the race having taken a sixth MGU-H in Suzuka, and a fifth ICE and turbo.

On super-softs, Vettel beat Hamilton - who was using Mercedes' new aero parts - by 0.211s before the rain became heavier. Daniel Ricciardo finished third, 0.375s down on Vettel.

Will Hamilton top the timesheet on Saturday? Have your say in the comment section below.

FP2 Results:

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR

TIME

GAP

LAPS

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1m48.719s

-

4

2

Esteban Ocon

Force India/Mercedes

1m49.518s

0.799s

3

3

Sergio Perez

Force India/Mercedes

1m51.345s

2.626s

3

4

Felipe Massa

Williams/Mercedes

1m52.146s

3.427s

3

5

Lance Stroll

Williams/Mercedes

1m52.343s

3.624s

4

6

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

-

-

1

7

Nico Hulkenberg

Renault

-

-

1

8

Jolyon Palmer

Renault

-

-

1

9

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber/Ferrari

-

-

3

10

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

-

-

1

11

Fernando Alonso

McLaren/Honda

-

-

2

12

Pascal Wehrlein

Sauber/Ferrari

-

-

2

13

Carlos Sainz Jr

Toro Rosso/Renault

-

-

1

14

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren/Honda

-

-

1

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