Suzuka, FP2: Russell leads Mercedes 1-2 in wet second practice

Verstappen 3rd, Perez 4th

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By Franck Drui

7 October 2022 - 09:43
Suzuka, FP2: Russell leads Mercedes (...)

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.

Pos.DriverCarTimeLaps
01 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:41.935 23
02 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:42.170 22
03 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:42.786 24
04 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:42.834 26
05 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:43.187 17
06 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:43.204 23
07 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:43.533 14
08 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:43.733 20
09 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:43.884 13
10 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:44.525 17
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:44.709 10
12 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:44.962 16
13 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:45.039 15
14 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:45.257 27
15 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:45.261 24
16 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:45.885 11
17 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:46.030 9
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:46.776 21
19 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:47.109 13
20 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 -:—.--- 0

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