Free Practice Two at the Japanese Grand Prix was delayed for forty-five minutes due to heavy rain, but it was Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team who was quickest in the wet conditions.
The practice didn’t get underway immediately, with the usual Japanese rain halting proceedings until around forty minutes into the session. The first cars to go out on the full wet tyres were Scuderia Ferrari‘s Kimi Raikkonen and the Renault Sport F1 Team drivers, Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer. Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez were the first two to set a time.
Williams Martini Racing driver Lance Stroll had a huge moment after aquaplaning but was able to keep the car out of the barriers and continue on with his lap.
Hamilton set a time of 1.48.719 to take the top spot on the timesheets, but this was not representative of their true pace, owing to the conditions. Only four other drivers set times, with teams choosing to keep their allocation of wet weather tyres fresh for the weeekend ahead.
Ocon was second quickest, almost two seconds ahead of team-mate Perez who was third. The two Williams drivers of Felipe Massa and Stroll were fourth and fifth fastest respectively.
The Red Bull Racing duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo decided not to run in the session, along with Haas F1 Team‘s Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, and Scuderia Toro Rosso‘s Pierre Gasly. The remainder of the grid attempted reconnaissance laps but didn’t set a time.
This practice doesn’t give a representation of the true pace of the cars, especially the Ferrari, which was fastest with Sebastian Vettel in Free Practice One.
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