(Motorsport-Whole.com) – Formula 1 bends on Saturday Typhoon Hagibis, but on Friday it can be raced intensively again. In the dry first free coaching in Suzuka, Valtteri Bottas takes the fastest time ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton. Both Mercedes set the tone in Japan and are well ahead of the rest of the competition.
1: 17 644 Minutes needed Bottas for a lap, Hamilton was 76 thousandths of a second slower. However, the distance to Ferrari is enormous: Sebastian Vettel, who was 0.2 seconds faster than team-mate Charles Leclerc, lacks a second on the Silver Arrows, which have so far won all Japan races in the Turbo era.
Pink Bull was with Max Verstappen ( 1, 76) and Alexander Albon ( 1, 222167 ) only third force.
Easiest of the rest was once again Carlos Sainz. The McLaren driver, however, had provided the virtual security car only seconds after the originates of the session, when he was lying right out of the pit lane at the exit. However, the Peril could be fixed quickly, so that Sainz hardly lost time.
Teammate Lando Norris also finished high in tenth 11. The McLaren framed the surprisingly strong Racing Point of Sergio Perez (8th) and Lance Stroll (9th).
Meanwhile, Alfa Romeo had some big problems: Antonio Giovinazzi suffered after only a few minutes a Peril with the hydraulics and had to drive his vehicle in the storage. The Italian made only four laps – in view of the failing third training an even bigger Peril.
You have to praise Naoki Yamamoto. The Japanese made his debut for Toro Rosso and did well. At his first ever use in a Formula 1 car, he struck as 17. both Williams and was just a tenth of a second slower than teammate Daniil Kwjat.
While it was dry in the first coaching, rain could affect the second session. This starts at 7 o'clock CEST.