The rain perturbed the teams’ working plans. The drivers completed a few laps and eight of them didn’t sign any time. Let’s review this FP1 in Suzuka with a huge thought for Jules Bianchi…
Weather report: rainy, T. air: 20°C ; T. track: 22-23°C ; humidity rate: 94-100% and wind speed: 1m.s (west)
Carlos Sainz Jr put the inter tyres at the right moment (1’49’’434 at 11:13am). Then, there was a lot of aquaplaning and the rain increased from 11:20am. An improvement is expected from tomorrow. The sky will be still cloudy but the FP3, the qualifying tries and the race will take place on a dry track. Let’s note that in 2014, Nico Rosberg was ahead in FP1 (1’35’’461 – nice weather). Daniil Kvyat has been second (+0’’504s – inter tyres). Nico Rosberg, troisième (+0’’643s – full wet tyres), tested the engine from Monza to see if it’s possible to use it again on a next race. From the FP2 and for the rest of the weekend, he’ll have his 4th PU from last weekend. Sebastian Vettel, fourth (+1”085s ; fastest speed of the line-up in 262,6 km/h), loves this track which often rhymes with success for him (4 poles and 4 wins=record among the 2015 field). Ferrari wanted to work on some aero tests to gather more data about the new floor introduced in Singapore but they had to change their programme. This is the GP column of Lewis Hamilton (5th): http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/features/34347132 Max Verstappen has occupied the sixth row (1st benchmark of the session at 10:53am in 1’51’’741 onto the full wet tyres). Kimi Räikkönen, seventh (15 laps=max, average=7 and mini=1 for Daniel Ricciardo, Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer), will do his best to help his team-mate in the title battle. Marcus Ericsson, ninth, has been inserted between both Williams (advantage for Felipe Massa). The team from Grove was the first to put the inter tyres at 10:58am. Felipe Nasr has appared in eleventh position. The British media seem to think Jenson Button (12th) will retire at the end of the season but he hasn’t decided yet. The 2009 F1 world champion has got several options for 2016 including another season at McLaren as they hope so. The men from Woking will test various solutions to improve their gearbox reliability. Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hülkenberg, Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso, both poor Lotuses (http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/120962 ; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/formulaone/article-3248561/Lotus-F1-team-locked-hospitality-area-Suzuka-Grand-Prix-drivers-joke-situation-rain-hit-practice.html) and both Manors (http://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/manor-bianchi-memories-will-dominate-thoughts-at-suzuka/) had no time.
(credit pic: sutton-images.com)