Suzuka, FP2: Verstappen quickest again at Suzuka ahead of Leclerc, Norris
Sainz 4th, Russell 5th
Max Verstappen went quickest in the second practice session for the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, beating Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by more than three tenths of a second as Lando Norris finished third for McLaren.
As with the morning session, Verstappen was on track early at the start of FP2 and he set the pace at 1:31.377 with his first timed run on Soft tyres, as rivals chose to focus on the test tyres Pirelli is evaluating this weekend.
Norris then moved ahead of the Dutchman with a lap of 1:31.152 before Leclerc bounced the Briton out of top spot with a lap of 1:31.008.
Verstappen was soon back on top as he posted a Soft tyre time of 1:30.668 to eclipse Leclerc by 0.320 and take the bragging rights for the second time on Friday. Norris ended the session 0.464 off Verstappen, with Carlos Sainz in fourth place in the second Ferrari thanks to a time of 1:31.237 that kept him a little under a tenth ahead of the fifth-place Mercedes of George Russell.
After the qualifying simulations the field moved back to harder compounds and longer, race-focused runs for the remainder of the session.
With two minutes left on the clock Pierre Gasly brough the session to a premature end he crashed at Turn 9, the second Degner curve. The Frenchman lost control on exit and arrowed his Alpine into the barriers just ahead of the underpass on the figure-eight track.
With his car badly damaged and requiring recovery, the decision was taken to call time on the session.
Behind Russell, Fernando Alonso took sixth place for Aston Martin ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon and the second McLaren of Oscar Piastri. Sergio Pérez and Valtteri Bottas completed the top 10.
|01||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19||1:30.688||19|
|02||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari SF-23||1:31.008||23|
|03||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL60||1:31.152||22|
|04||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari SF-23||1:31.237||22|
|05||George Russell||Mercedes W14||1:31.328||22|
|06||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23||1:31.492||22|
|07||Alex Albon||Williams Mercedes FW45||1:31.555||23|
|08||Oscar Piastri||McLaren Mercedes MCL60||1:31.662||22|
|09||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19||1:31.710||24|
|10||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43||1:31.739||22|
|11||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23||1:31.771||22|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A523||1:31.794||22|
|13||Nico Hülkenberg||Haas Ferrari VF-23||1:31.797||24|
|14||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W14||1:31.829||21|
|15||Liam Lawson||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04||1:32.141||23|
|16||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43||1:32.165||16|
|17||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-23||1:32.169||23|
|18||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04||1:32.178||26|
|19||Pierre Gasly||Alpine Renault A523||1:32.179||22|
|20||Logan Sargeant||Williams Mercedes FW45||1:32.320||25|