Russell and Alonso lead wet Friday practice in Singapore

Russell and Alonso lead wet Friday practice in Singapore



George Russell led the way for Mercedes as the Silver Arrows claimed a 1-2 finish in a second wet practice session for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix. Drivers’ Championship leader Max Verstappen was third quickest ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Pérez.

FP2 at Suzuka had been extended to 90 minutes to accommodate testing of 2023 Pirelli tyre compounds but with the test tyre being slick the session effectively became an opportunity for more running on wet and intermediate tyres. However, with the circuit still very wet due to the steadily falling rain, the early stages of the session were muted. 

Williams’ Nicholas Latifi went out after five minutes on full wets but was forced to take an escape road after he suffered an issue. Carlos Sainz set the first proper time of the afternoon after 12 minutes with a lap of 1:49.615. And with most drivers content to wait it out until conditions improved the Ferrari driver’s time stood as the benchmark until a third of the way through the session. It was Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton who took over at the top, the seven-time champion setting a new P1 time of 1:49.489 on full wets.

Russell then bolted on a set of intermediate tyres and with conditions improving lowered the benchmark to 1:45.197 before Hamilton returned to the track and responded with a lap of 1:44.298s.

Verstappen finally joined the action with a little over 50 minutes remaining and the Red Bull driver immediately vaulted to the top of the timesheet with a lap of 1:43.571, before finding more time on a second flyer of 1:43.137. 

It wasn’t as comfortable for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. The Monegasque driver ventured out at the same time as Verstappen but he went off at Turn 11 on his out-lap and complained of poor feeling with the car throughout the session.

Russell then went out again and this time the Mercedes man managed to drop down to 1:41.935 on intermediate to beat Verstappen by more than eight tenths of a second. Hamilton, too, edged ahead of the Dutchman to the tune of six tenths of a second. 

Pérez took fourth place for Red Bull with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen fifth ahead of Sainz, while Alpine’s Fernando Alonso was seventh ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and the second Alfa of Zhou Guanyu. Leclerc finished 11th. 

Mick Schumacher failed to run during the session owing to a chassis change following a crash at the end of FP1. 

2022 FIA Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 

1 George Russell Mercedes 1:41.935 23 205.083
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:42.170 0.235 22 204.611
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:42.786 0.851 24 203.385
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:42.834 0.899 26 203.290
5 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:43.187 1.252 17 202.595
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:43.204 1.269 23 202.561
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:43.533 1.598 14 201.918
8 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:43.733 1.798 20 201.528
9 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:43.884 1.949 13 201.235
10 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:44.525 2.590 17 200.001
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:44.709 2.774 10 199.650
12 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:44.962 3.027 16 199.169
13 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1:45.039 3.104 15 199.023
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:45.257 3.322 27 198.611
15 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:45.261 3.326 24 198.603
16 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:45.885 3.950 11 197.433
17 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:46.030 4.095 9 197.163
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:46.776 4.841 21 195.785
19 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Red Bull 11:47.109 5.174 13 195.176


Alpine’s Fernando Alonso set the early pace in a wet opening practice session for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, outpacing Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc in a session in which Haas’ Mick Schumacher crashed at the end of the hour. 

Heavy rain in the build-up to the first practice session meant the opening 15 minutes were quiet with a series of drivers heading out for exploratory laps, though none set a time until Schumacher posted a lap of 1:52.237 on full wet tyres.

Sainz then emerged and he comfortably beat Schumacher’s time with his first flier of 1:49.952, before Leclerc moved to the top of the timesheet with the lap of 1:49.103. The two Ferrari drivers then traded fastest laps, with Sainz eventually working his way down to a time of 1:47.758s.

Championship leader Max Verstappen headed out on track for his first lap just after the halfway mark and with intermediate tyres on board he jumped to the top of the timesheet with a lap of 1:44.059.

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, both also on inters, then slotted in behind Verstappen. Singapore Grand Prix winner Sergio Pérez also jumped into the top four. Verstappen, though, was finding more time on his second run and he held on to P1 with an improved time of 1:43.362.

Ocon was also completing second flyer and when he crossed the line he wrested top spot from the Red Bull driver with a lap of 1:43.022.

More rain began to fall, but both Ferrari drivers moved from full wets to intermediates and Leclerc took top spot with a lap of 1:42.634. Sainz then beat his team-mate’s time with a lap of 1:42.563.

The Spaniard was, however, beaten by compatriot Alonso. The Alpine driver went purple in the first two sectors to take top spot with a lap of 1:42.248.

The rainfall was worsening, however, and that was the end of any further improvements at the top. It meant that Alonso held on to P1, eclipsing Sainz by 0.315 with Leclerc a further 0.071s behind. Ocon took fourth place ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, Verstappen, the other Haas of Schumacher, McLaren’s Lando Norris, Bottas and Pérez. 

Just after the end of the hour, Schumacher crashed at Dunlop Curve as he returned to the pits following a practice start right at the end of FP1. The German radioed his team to report that he had suffered severe aquaplaning.

2022 FIA Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:42.248  7 204.455
2 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:42.563 0.315 15 203.827
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:42.634 0.386 16 203.686
4 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:43.022 0.774 5 202.919
5 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:43.258 1.010 15 202.455
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:43.362 1.114 4 202.252
7 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:43.761 1.513 13 201.474
8 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:43.889 1.641 7 201.226
9 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:43.969 1.721 13 201.071
10 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:44.234 1.986 4 200.560
11 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:44.429 2.181 15 200.185
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:44.486 2.238 8 200.076
13 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:44.558 2.310 6 199.938
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:44.570 2.322 10 199.915
15 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1:44.791 2.543 9 199.494
16 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:44.878 2.630 12 199.328
17 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:45.424 3.176 11 198.296
18 George Russell Mercedes 1:46.103 3.855 4 197.027
19 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:46.192 3.944 16 196.862
20 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:48.090 5.842 8 193.405

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