The second Friday practice session for the 2-019 Japanese Grand Prix would
be the last opportunity the teams would have prior to qualifying, now on
Sunday morning. If qualifying could not be run Sunday this session would
also be used to determine the grid for the race. So these ninety minutes
would be of far greater importance than we would normally would see. cars
would start to come out with Vettel out first running on the medium tyre.
Vettel would set a 1m:30.386 as more times started to appear. Grosjean was
second from Magnussen. Quicker times would be seen with Albon quickest only
to see sainz and then Bottas quicker with Bottas setting a 1m:29.469.
Hamilton would move into second followed by Sainz and Albon. Albon would
improve to be second also on the medium tyre. But Hamilton would move ahead
again seeing a Mercedes 1-2.
Ricciardo was now fourth but on the soft tyre. But it would change at the
front with Vettel going fastest with a 1m:28.392 followed by Bottas,
Leclerc, and Hamilton. The Williams drivers were in 19th and 20th separated
by 0.2s. Verstappen would move into second but like Vettel on the soft tyre.
But both Mercedes were back out on the soft tyre. But Bottas would spin
coming onto the main straight. He would be able to continue and continue
down the main straight. Albon was able to move into third ahead of Bottas
and Kvyat now fifth. Hamilton on his soft tyre run would set a 1m:27.896 to
be quickest. Bottas despite his spin would move into second now followed by
Vettel and Leclerc. Verstappen and Albon were fifth and sixth. Stroll was
seventh followed by Kvyat, Sainz and Norris tenth.
Verstappen would improve with a 1m:28.066 to now be second behind Hamilton.
But Bottas would set a 1m:27.785 ti go quickest ahead of Hamilton with just
over forty minutes remaining. Verstappen was now third followed by Vettel,
Albon, Leclerc, Sainz, Perez, Norris and Kvyat tenth. The Renault's were
currently 16th and 18th but had yet to complete soft tyre runs. As the
session wound down there would be various types of runs taking place with
some doing qualifying runs and other race runs. The Williams drivers had
completed their qualifying simulations with Robert ahead of George. This
would be followed by longer runs on firstly the soft tyre followed by split
runs with the medium and hard been used. Raikkonen would move into tenth
using the soft tyre. Both Ferrari's would come out on the soft tyre for what
appeared to be qualifying simulations. Leclerc would only finish in fourth
and Vettel fifth. The session would come to an end with the order been
Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, Leclerc, Vettel, Albon, Sainz, Perez, Gasly
and Norris tenth. The Williams pair would remain slowest with the Renault's
just in front of the Williams cars. Today was really a day where the focus
was on the evaluations of the newer front wing with both drivers having the
opportunity to test it. Hopefully the evaluations have shown that this
change to the front wing produces the results that they expected.
With the start of the session there would be a fair amount of work on his
car. With fifteen minutes completed Robert would finally take to the track
running on soft tyres. Robert was again running the test front wing. Robert
would set a 1m:32.882 be just behind his team-mate. He would improve with a
1m:32.607. Robert would pit after a seven lap run. Robert would return and
on the soft tyre would set a 1m:31.515, using the new front wing as the team
continued their evaluations. Kubica would pit after a five lap run. Like his
team-mate he would return again on soft tyres and would set a 1m:30.916 to
again behind of George. He would pit after a three lap run in what looked
like a qualifying simulation. Just under thirty minutes remaining and Robert
would return for another soft tyre run. He would continue to run with the
newer front wing with flow viz covering the front of his car. He would
complete a longer eight lap run prior to pitting and switching to the medium
tyre for his next run. With the end of the session he would pit having
complete eleven laps on the medium tyre.
George would be first out for Williams running on the hard tyre. George
would pit after a single installation lap. George would return this time on
the soft tyre and would set a 1m:32.619 to currently be 13th. George would
lower his time to now be a 1m:32.389. After a seven lap run George would
pit, currently 17th. He would drop to 19th as he would return with just over
an hour remaining. George was back out on the soft tyre again. George was
back running the older front wing. George would set a 1m:31.621 and would
pit after a five lap run. After a short stop George would return again on
the soft tyre and would set a 1m:31.071 to move ahead of his team-mate after
what appeared to be his qualifying simulation but was still down in 19th.
But team-mate Robert would move ahead seeing George slowest. George would
also return again on the soft tyres with twenty eight minutes remaining. He
would complete a nine lap run pitting and switching to the hard tyre. With
the end of the session George would pit completing ten laps ion the hard