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Full Race Weekend LIVE Converage Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka
Qualifying 3
Qualifying 2
Qualifying 1
Practice 3
Practice 2
Practice 1
Last Updated at 15:26
07 Oct 08:50 Thanks for joining our live commentary of the race, we'll see you in two weeks for the US GP. Bye for now. 
07 Oct 08:48 If Hamilton wins in Austin in two weeks and Vettel doesn't finish second then the Briton will win his fifth world championship. 
07 Oct 08:41 Ricciardo, who started in P15 finishes P4. Incredible drive by the Australian. 
07 Oct 08:41 Hamilton wins the Japanese GP ahead of Bottas with Verstappen in P3. 
07 Oct 08:39 Final lap. Verstappen is within DRS distance of Bottas. 
07 Oct 08:36 Three laps to go. 
07 Oct 08:31 Hamilton is cruising at the front, holding down a 10 second lead over Bottas. 
07 Oct 08:31 Bottas now increases the gap to Verstappen by 1.7 sec with just six laps to go. 
07 Oct 08:24 Hard to believe, but Vettel is up to P6 with 10 laps to go. 
07 Oct 08:21 Virtual Safety Car as marshals push Le Clerc's car out of the danger zone. 
07 Oct 08:21 Le Clerc's race is over, he parks his Sauber on the side of the track at Turn 10. 
07 Oct 08:19 Verstappen is just one second behind Bottas now. 
07 Oct 08:18 Verstappen is within striking distance of Bottas, the medium compound has given the Red Bull immense grip and Verstappen's pace has been good all race. 
07 Oct 08:17 15 laps to go at Suzuka. 
07 Oct 08:16 The fastest man on track is Sebastian Vettel, he just put it in a 1:33.243. 
07 Oct 08:12 Gasly passes Le Clerc and is into the points for P10. 
07 Oct 08:10 Mercedes say Verstappen in P3 is edging closer to Bottas. 6.7 secs separate the drivers. 
07 Oct 08:10 Hamilton leads Bottas by just under 6 seconds with 19 laps to go. 
07 Oct 08:09 We've hardly mentioned the two Mercedes drivers at the front because of the all the action in the middle of the field. 
07 Oct 08:00 Vettel pits and takes on soft tyres. He's in P16 at the moment. 
07 Oct 07:56 Race leader Hamilton pits and rejoins in P1. 
07 Oct 07:54 Bottas pits and so does Ricciardo. 
07 Oct 07:53 Stewards take no action to Verstappen and Vettel for their earlier incident. 
07 Oct 07:53 Williams' Lance Stroll handed 5-sec penalty for causing a collision.
07 Oct 07:52 Verstappen serves his 5 sec penalty for clash with Raikkonen, the Dutchman comes out in P4. 
07 Oct 07:51 Fernando Alonso picks up 5 sec penalty for leaving the track and was deemed to have picked up an advantage. 
07 Oct 07:46 Raikkonen rejoins in P10 but now the race is on for Ricciardo to make the jump on the Finn when he eventually pits. 
07 Oct 07:44 Raikkonen boxes and changes onto the medium tyre compound. 
07 Oct 07:43 Ricciardo started the day in P15... he's now P5. Verstappen is P3 and Red Bull will be happy with their progress today. 
07 Oct 07:34 Haas confirm Magnussen is out of the race after that incident with Le Clerc. 
FINISH After an encapsulating Japanese Grand Prix, it is time for us to end our coverage. Hamilton has both hands on the trophy now, join us in a couple of weeks' time for the United States Grand Prix. Bye for now!
FINISH Hamilton now leads the title race by 67 points, and can win the Championship in Austin next time out!
FINISH There were three retirements: Charles Leclerc, Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen all failed to finish this afternoon.
FINISH Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean, Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz round out the points scorers.
FINISH Daniel Ricciardo finishes P4 after starting in P15. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel finish in the top six.
FINISH Hamilton wins from Bottas and Verstappen, who round out the podium places.
Lap 52 LAST LAP!
Lap 51 Hamilton sets a new fastest lap of the race to assert his dominance. He now leads by 12s.
Lap 50 The hearts of the Japanese fans are broken, as Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso Honda is overtaken by Carlos Sainz for P10.
Lap 49 "The engine is so rough.." You get the feeling that Verstappen isn't happy with the Renault product in the back of his Red Bull.
Lap 48 "Keep it clean Max" says the Dutchman's engineer.
Lap 47 Verstappen is now within a second of Bottas, because he locked up and went straight on at the final chicane.
Lap 46 Will Ferrari ask Kimi to drop back? The gap is 40s.
Lap 45 As it stands, the gap would be 63 points in favour of Lewis Hamilton.
Lap 44 Verstappen is still right behind Bottas, but the Finn looks to have this covered.
Lap 42 Sergio Perez takes over as the 'best of the rest' in P7.
Lap 42 The VSC ends, with Mercedes bluffing in the pit lane.. Tactics ey?
Lap 41 The Virtual Safety Car is out and neutralises the race for the time being.
Lap 40 Charles Leclerc goes wide at the second Degner and retires from the grand prix with something broken in the car.
Lap 39 Verstappen is now just 1.4s behind Bottas! Without that five-second penalty, the Dutchman would be right behind Lewis Hamilton.
Lap 38 Nico Hulkenberg retires from this race, and has now only scored one point in the last six races...
Lap 38 Alonso now gets past the second Williams of Sergey Sirotkin for P14.
Lap 38 Hamilton: "Have you gone for a break Bono (engineer) because I haven't heard anything for a while" Bono: "Yeah I am back now Lewis" All cool at Mercedes.
Lap 37 Alonso gets past Lance Stroll with a clear retaliation from what happened earlier... (See Lap 22)
Lap 36 Ricciardo is going quicker than his team-mate on the harder tyres... But, both are quicker than Bottas!
Lap 35 Gasly then goes purple in sector 1, while Sainz bashes wheels with Sirotkin. He gets past the Williams, and then both Saubers for P11.
Lap 35 Honda are in the points at their home race. Gasly moves into the top ten!
Lap 34 Vettel now gets ahead of Grosjean and is into the top six, but is 40s behind his team-mate who sits in P5.
Lap 33 Vettel gets past Perez for P7 and immediately sets a purple sector 1. The German is now on a charge.
Lap 33 Carlos Sainz pits and returns to the track in P14, while Gasly gets past Ericsson for P11.
Lap 32 Ocon follows Vettel through past Leclerc and is now in the points.
Lap 31 And then Vettel is let past by Leclerc... (SHOCK!)
Lap 31 Vettel gets past Ocon into the final chicane to move into the points.
Lap 30 Grosjean comes out of the pit lane right into the line of fire of Perez attempting to get past Leclerc. The Frenchman remains in P7, with Perez and Leclerc line astern.
Lap 29 Vettel gets past Ericsson for P13, with plenty of action going on around him.
Lap 29 Leclerc forces his way past Hulkenberg at the final chicane, with Perez also squeezing past the German.
Lap 28 Vettel gets past Sirotkin for P15, but the German is struggling..
Lap 26 Vettel pits and goes onto the (S). He comes out in P16, while the two McLarens are now comfortably at the back of the field with Alonso behind Vandoorne having made his stop.
Lap 26 "Upshifts feel really harsh" says Lewis Hamilton.. All not well in Mercedes?
Lap 26 So Verstappen is the only one of the top five to go onto the (S), while the rest are on (M). Bottas now sets a new fastest lap. He is 4.3s behind his team-mate.
Lap 25 It is the medium tyres for Lewis Hamilton, as the race leader comes into the pit lane. He rejoins in the lead once more.
Lap 24 Bottas (M), Verstappen (S), Ricciardo (M), and Raikkonen (M) have all pitted.
Lap 23 Ricciardo jumps Raikkonen in the pit lane! He now sits in P4.
Lap 23 No further action for the incident between Vettel and Verstappen, while Bottas is the first Mercedes pits.
Lap 22 Verstappen gets past Grosjean down the back straight and is back into the top four.
Lap 22 Meanwhile, Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso are both given five-second penalties. Causing a collision the reason for the Canadian, while the two-time World Champion left the track and gained an advantage.
Lap 22 Max Verstappen pits to serve his five-second penalty and rejoins just in front of Kimi Raikkonen. The pair are P5 and P6.
Lap 21 Kimi is now into P7 and right behind Pierre Gasly now.
Lap 20 Kimi is into P8, past Esteban Ocon. Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo is the fastest man on the circuit right now.
Lap 19 Vettel is now past Alonso and into P12, while team-mate Raikkonen gets ahead of Sainz and into P9.
Lap 18 Kimi Raikkonen is the first of the front runners to pit. He comes in from P4 and changes from (SS) to (M). The Finn will go to the end. He comes out in P10, ahead of Brendon Hartley.
Lap 17 A look at the front: Hamilton leads by 3.8s from Bottas, who has a further 2.3s ahead of Max Verstappen.
Lap 16 Vettel gets past Hulkenberg and into P13.
Lap 15 Vettel gets past Leclerc (shock!) for P14.
Lap 15 Stroll comes back out in P19, the last of the runners.
Lap 14 Lance Stroll comes into the pit lane, while Kimi Raikkonen is on the radio swearing and saying they were in trouble..
Lap 13 Ricciardo is into the top five, past Grosjean!
Lap 13 Ricciardo gets past his replacement for 2019 and is into P6, ahead of Pierre Gasly.
Lap 12 Vettel has started to come back through the field and is now up to P16.
Lap 11 Ricciardo gets past Perez into the final chicane and into the top seven.
Lap 10 Replays show that Marcus Ericsson went into the back of his team-mate behind the Safety Car.. A comical error.
Lap 9 Kevin Magnussen comes into the pits to retire from the grand prix.
Lap 9 A terrible mistake from Vettel.. Another terrible mistake..
Lap 9 Ricciardo gets past Ocon and into the top eight.
Lap 8 Vettel has a quick look at Verstappen but the top ten remain the same through the opening corners.
Lap 7 The lights are off the SC and we are about to go racing once again!
Lap 7 Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll are also under investigation..
Lap 7 Magnussen has been allowed to un-lap himself behind the SC.
Lap 6 Vettel up 4, Ricciardo up 5, Alonso up 5 Those are the three big winners in the early laps now.
Lap 5 Max Verstappen has been given a five-second penalty for leaving the track and not returning safely.
Lap 5 Sauber bring Charles Leclerc in for a front wing change after that incident with Magnussen. He puts on the medium tyres and could go to the end.
Lap 4 The SC is out for the amount of debris on track after the Magnussen puncture.
Lap 4 The stewards are looking at both Verstappen v Raikkonen and Magnussen v Leclerc.
Lap 3 Ricciardo gets past Brendon Hartley and into the points.
Lap 2 Kevin Magnussen has a rear left puncture... He moved far far too late to try and cover from Charles Leclerc and it is his own fault..
Lap 1 Hamilton and Bottas are well clear at the front!
Lap 1 Verstappen runs wide at the chicane and then forces Raikkonen off the track. Vettel now up to P4.
START Vettel is already past both Toro Rossos and up into the top six!
START The top five get away well from the start!
14:13 The cars are starting to line up on the grid.. Just moments away from the start of the Japanese Grand Prix..
14:12 Leclerc, Magnussen, Sainz, Stroll, Sirotkin, Alonso, Vandoorne and Ericsson also all have the (S) on. Daniel Ricciardo has the (M) tyres on..
14:07 Hamilton, Bottas and Grosjean managed to get through Q2 on the soft tyres, and therefore could have an advantage in the race.
14:05 Grosjean is the best of the rest with the two Toro Rosso men behind him. Sebastian Vettel starts in P8, with Daniel Ricciardo all the way back in P15.
14:02 A reminder of the grid: Hamilton and Bottas start on the front row, with Verstappen and Raikkonen behind.
13:58 A reminder of the tyre choices available for the grand prix. The three available to the teams are the white-striped mediums (M), yellow-striped softs (S) and red-marked supersofts (SS).
13:55 It looks like a five-way fight for the 'best of the rest'. Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg both have 53 points, with Fernando Alonso on the half-century mark. A further three points behind the double World Champion come both Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.
13:52 The next battle is between the Red Bulls. 24 points separates fifth placed Max Verstappen from his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
13:50 The battle of the Finns is currently in the hands of Valtteri Bottas. The Mercedes man has a three point advantage over Kimi Raikkonen.
13:47 Lewis Hamilton has a 50 point lead in the Drivers' standings over Sebastian Vettel, and with just five races left, he has one hand on the trophy already.
13:44 Looking at the Championship standings now, and it comes down to two men.. (Just about)..
13:42 The two Ferraris and Max Verstappen start on those red-striped supersofts, while the two Mercedes and surprisingly, Romain Grosjean, managed to get through Q2 on the softs. It could be advantageous for those three come the mid-part of the race.
13:39 Those high temperatures, which could reach 43C through the race, could have a negative effect on the supersoft tyres.
13:36 The drivers are all coming round to line up on the grid with weather temperatures almost 14C higher than they have been at any point this weekend.
13:33 Stoffel Vandoorne lines up on the back row alongside Marcus Ericsson. The Swede starts last having had a shunt in Q1, before taking penalties for changes to engine components and gearbox.
13:30 The second Williams of Sergey Sirotkin lines up in P17, with Fernando Alonso in the lead McLaren starting P18.
13:27 Daniel Ricciardo had another power unit problem in the second part of qualifying and failed to set a time. He lines up in P15, with his 2019 team-mate Nico Hulkenberg surprisingly dropping out of Q1. The German starts in P16.
13:24 Carlos Sainz and Lance Stroll were the last two men to set times in Q2, and line up in P13 and P14.
13:22 Esteban Ocon starts in P11 after receiving a three-place grid drop for failing to follow red flags. Kevin Magnussen lines up alongside him on the sixth row.
13:19 Sergio Perez will start in P9 as the first Force India, with Charles Leclerc promoted into the top ten. The Monegasque driver will be the first man to have a choice of tyres for the race.
13:16 Pierre Gasly put the second Toro Rosso into the top seven, giving the team their best qualifying in 2018. Sebastian Vettel had another bad Saturday, qualifying down in ninth, but he will start the grand prix in P8.
13:13 The 'best of the rest' is Romain Grosjean, who starts in P5. Brendon Hartley will line up alongside him on the third row, after his best qualifying in Formula 1.
13:10 Max Verstappen took a surprise P3 on Saturday afternoon. Kimi Raikkonen is still yet to qualify inside the top three in Suzuka. The Finn lines up in P4.
13:08 It is a Mercedes lock-out on the front row. Lewis Hamilton takes the fifth straight pole for the Silver Arrows around the Suzuka circuit, with Valtteri Bottas alongside him.
13:06 Let's take a look down at the grid for this Japanese Grand Prix then...
13:03 This is the 30th race to be held at the Suzuka circuit, and we have had some memorable moments in the past. Who can forget Senna v Prost, twice.. Kimi winning from P17 and many many more!
13:00 Hello and welcome to our coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix from Suzuka. Another pivotal race in the Championship gets underway in an hour and ten minutes. All times local.
16:09 That is all from us at what was a terrific and interesting qualifying session. Join us tomorrow as Lewis Hamilton has the chance to put one hand firmly on the Championship trophy. Bye for now.
16:08 The top ten then: Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Hartley, Gasly, Ocon, Vettel, Perez.
16:07 Esteban Ocon, Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez round out the top ten, with the German and Mexican not managing to put a lap in at full throttle.
16:07 Romain Grosjean will start the Japanese Grand Prix in P5 as the 'best of the rest', with the two Toro Rossos in the top seven. Brendon Hartley out qualified Pierre Gasly, but a fantastic showing for the new Honda engine on home soil.
16:06 Max Verstappen will start P3, with Kimi Raikkonen alongside him on the second row.
16:06 QUALIFYING IS OVER! Lewis Hamilton takes pole position for the second year running. It is the fifth straight Mercedes one-two at Suzuka!
16:05 Even at slow speed, Vettel goes wide and into the gravel at Degner 2...
16:03 The rain seems to have started coming down again.. And qualifying is essentially over. The track is too wet for the supersofts to work now.
16:00 FIVE MINUTES TO GO / FIRST RUNS DONE HAM BOT VER RAI GRO HAR GAS OCO VET PER Sebastian Vettel slid wide on his lap and limped home to a P9.
15:59 The two Toro Rosso drivers have put their cars ahead of the two Force Indias. Romain Grosjean immediately goes ahead of the lot to take P4.
15:58 Lewis Hamilton takes provisional pole with a 1:27.760, by three tenths from team-mate Bottas.
15:57 Esteban Ocon puts in the first lap with a 1:30.1
15:56 Both Ferraris immediately return to the pits and do racing pit stops to put the (SS) on.
15:54 FERRARI COME OUT ON THE INTERS... WHAT? Mercedes out on the slick tyres..
15:54 The cars have started lining up at the end of the pit lane as the rain has abated.. Q3 IS UNDERWAY
15:51 Daniel Ricciardo tells Sky Sports he is "pissed" and that he just "can't catch a break" as he fails to reach Q3 for the fifth time in seven races. The Australian "blew out his vocals" in anger before the interview..
15:47 Franz Tost said on Friday that both cars had to get into Q3 with the new Honda Spec 3 engine. Job done for Toro Rosso!
15:46 BOT HAM VET RAI RIC OCO PER GRO GAS HAR the ten cars through to the final part of qualifying.
15:45 Q2 IS OVER! The five men out of the session are: Leclerc, Magnussen, Sainz, Stroll, Ricciardo.
15:44 Charles Leclerc does a complete 360 in between the two Degner curves, and that is it for Daniel Ricciardo.. The Australian gets out of his RB14 and fails to make Q3 for the fifth time in the last seven races.
15:42 There is rain in the air.. Could this spell the end for Q2, as times will not be improved on...
15:40 Lance Stroll is P14, and is the last man to put a time in, bar Daniel Ricciardo's stricken Red Bull.
15:36 Ricciardo's team-mate Max Verstappen is also on the team radio complaining about the Renault C-spec engine.
15:35 Daniel Ricciardo is having to be pushed down the pit lane... "I had a loss of power"
15:35 Raikkonen puts in a 1:28.5 Hamilton puts in a 1:28.0 Bottas goes quickest with a 1:27.9.
15:32 The two Mercedes are the first men out and they come out on the (S) tyres, while the Ferraris come out on the (SS). The strategy call could be huge for tomorrow as to whether it is a one or two-stop.
15:28 For those of you joining us, we are running a couple of minutes behind in Suzuka. There was a brief red flag period in Q1, as Marcus Ericsson's Sauber was recovered from the gravel trap.
15:27 At the front, Lewis Hamilton led the way once again. Four sessions down, three to go for the four-time World Champion?
15:27 Meanwhile, another race goes by for Stoffel Vandoorne. That is now 22 grands prix that he has been out-qualified by Fernando Alonso.
15:26 The five men out after Q1: Hulkenberg, Sirotkin, Alonso, Vandoorne, Ericsson. Lance Stroll makes it through, as do both Toro Rosso drivers at the home race of their engine supplier Honda.
15:25 Lance Stroll survives! Nico Hulkenberg drops out...
15:24 Leclerc up to P6!! Gasly in P10.
15:24 Lance Stroll goes up to P11.
15:22 "Rain in the pit lane" says Sergio Perez's engineer.
15:20 FIVE MINUTES LEFT IN Q1 Drop Zone: Alonso (0.3s), Stroll (0.3s), Ericsson (OUT), Sirotkin (0.5s), Vandoorne (0.7s). Those are the gaps the drivers have to Pierre Gasly, who sits in P15.
15:18 Marcus Ericsson is out of the session. He currently sits in P18. Will it be the two McLarens and two Williams joining him?
15:18 Nico Hulkenberg goes just 0.014s ahead of his team-mate, before Sergio Perez moves up into the top ten as well. All 20 have now set a time.
15:17 Carlos Sainz puts his Renault into P10 on his first timed lap in Q1.
15:14 That queue is joined by Stoffel Vandoorne and Sergio Perez, as the green light comes back on and the first part of qualifying is back underway.
15:13 The session will restart at 15:14 local time, and the two Renaults have come straight out and are waiting at the end of the pit lane.
15:12 With the stoppage, lets take a look at the timings. HAM VET BOT VER RAI RIC OCO GRO LEC MAG HAR GAS ALO STR ERI Drop Zone: SIR VAN PER SAI HUL Perez, Sainz and Hulkenberg are yet to set a time in qualifying.
15:10 There is just under ten minutes left in this first part of qualifying, with the clock stopped as the marshals start the process of getting the C37 away from the barriers at the exit of the Dunlop Curve.
15:08 RED FLAG! Not for Vettel, but for Marcus Ericsson, who has had a big shunt and broken the rear wing of his Sauber C37.
15:07 Lewis Hamilton drops the target down again. The Brit puts in a 1:28.7.
15:05 Only the two Renaults are not out on track right now. The other 18 are all out of the pt lane.
15:04 Raikkonen goes into the 1:29s, but Vettel beats his time by another six tenths.
15:04 Both Haas cars move into the 1:30s, with Grosjean two tenths of a second ahead of Magnussen.
15:03 Vandoorne puts in the first timed lap, a 1:32.170.
15:01 With rain possible, drivers are getting out there early on. Both Haas, Williams and the McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne out in the first twenty seconds.
14:59 The Renault mechanics have managed to fix Nico Hulkenberg's RS18 and the German will get out on track in this session.
14:59 A second reminder, this time of the tyres. We have the white-striped mediums (M), yellow-striped (S) and red-striped supersofts (SS). The inters (I) and wets (W) might also be used this morning/afternoon.
14:57 A quick reminder of how important qualifying is in Japan. The race has been won from the front row in 27 of the previous 29 races.
14:53 Some rain would bring the Ferrari and Red Bulls into play, you would think, but the gap between Hamilton and Vettel was only a tenth in FP3 this morning.
14:50 There have been showers in the area, but it looks like it will be a dry qualifying at Suzuka, which should lead to a normal-looking grid.
14:47 The last four races have all seen Mercedes take pole position around the figure of eight circuit, with Lewis Hamilton at the head of the field last year.
14:44 Looking to qualifying now, and can Lewis Hamilton make it a fourth session at the top at Suzuka? Or can Sebastian Vettel take pole in an attempt to cut down the gap in the Championship come tomorrow.
14:41 Meanwhile, there was a big shunt for Nico Hulkenberg, which brought out a red flag for the session. His Renault should be ready for qualifying, though.
14:38 Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz led the 'best of the rest' for Force India, while Pierre Gasly had more engine issues this morning.
14:36 Hamilton led from Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen. Valtteri Bottas was in P5, with Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the top six.
14:33 In a wet-dry FP3 session this morning, Lewis Hamilton made it three out of three in Japan.
14:30 Hello and welcome to our coverage of qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. The race for pole position gets underway in 30 minutes time. All times shown are local.
13:00 And that will see us through to the checkered flag. Lewis Hamilton completes a practice hat-trick but there is now only a tenth between himself and title rival Sebastian Vettel. Things are delicately poised heading into qualifying, which gets underway in two hours. Join us again shortly.
12:58 Uh-oh. Red flag! There is never a good time to crash, but Hulkenberg has binned it through the esses and has left his team with one helluva of a repair job ahead of qualifying.
12:57 And he is three tenths down on his previous best. Those supersoft tyres are cooked.
12:56 Slight improvement from Verstappen in P4, seven tenths off Hamilton's best. The Brit is going for another qualy sim run...
12:55 Problems for Gasly in the Toro Rosso as the new Honda Spec-3 engine is suffering from oscillations. He is bogged down in P19 at the moment.
12:50 Neat and tidy from Hamilton this time and he goes a tenth quicker than Vettel in P2. The new benchmark is a 1:29.599, but the encouraging thing for Ferrari is Hamilton lost a lot of time after a rock-solid first sector.
12:48 The sun has popped out again, just as Hamilton starts his latest hot lap. Blessed.
12:42 Raikkonen appears to have been caught out by a gust of wind and has relived his rallying days going through the dirt at Dunlop. He just about avoids the barrier.
12:36 Seems like, slowly but surely, everyone is coming back out to play again.
12:34 "It feels ok, it's just the kerbs that are wet," Bottas reports. Hopefully that will tempt a few more cars to reappear on track. 25 minutes left in the session.
12:32 Still rain in the air, but the track is drying very quickly. As a result, Bottas has strapped the supersofts back on and is off for an exploratory lap.
12:27 Still no track action, so you're not missing anything at all.
12:22 11 MAG 12 PER 13 OCO 14 SIR 15 STR 16 HAR 17 GAS 18 ALO 19 VAN 20 HAM.
12:21 1 RAI 2 VET 3 BOT 4 VER 5 RIC 6 LEC 7 SAI 8 GRO 9 ERI 10 HUL
12:20 While drivers and teams wait for the track to become suitable enough to strap some intermediates on. Here's a quick run through of the top 20...
12:19 The rain continues to get heavier. All drivers out on track have gone back to the garages to duck for cover.
12:17 We are aware that our live timing is not currently working. Our tech wizards are on the case.
12:12 ...And he locks up at the final corner and heads down the escape road.
12:10 The rain is getting steadily heavier but Hamilton is still going to try put in a hot lap on those supersoft tyres...
12:07 Bottas slots into P3, half a second away from top spot.
12:06 Vettel slightly down on his team-mate, a tenth behind after his first hot lap. Ricciardo and Verstappen are nine tenths and 1.3 seconds off the pace respectively.
12:04 And Raikkonen pumps in a 1:30.054. 2.5 seconds quicker than the Renault driver.
12:03 First time on the board is a 1:32.563 from the Hulk.
12:00 Green light! Kimi Raikkonen one of the early starters and assessing a few lingering damp patches on the track.
11:55 Almost set for FP3. It's hot, humid, very windy and there are spots of rain in the air. Almost like there have been typhoons close by...
11:50 It was not a good day for Red Bull, either, with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo over a second off the pace. Verstappen said he hated every lap of practice on Friday; let's hope he enjoys at least one today.
11:45 But Mercedes boss Toto Wolff thinks that eight-tenth gap flatters the team and Ferrari's pace is lurking in the data there somewhere. Surely at least some improvement to come from the Scuderia...
11:40 The gap to the leading Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was a whopping eight tenths in second practice. Vettel conceded after the session that they were "destroying" the tyres compared to their rivals.
11:35 Friday in Japan belonged to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, with the World Championship leader at the head of a Silver Arrows 1-2 in both FP1 and FP2.
11:30 Welcome back to the Suzuka circuit for Saturday's third and final practice session. All times are local.
15:33 That is all from the Suzuka circuit in Japan, as Friday's running has come to an end. It was a successful day for Mercedes, with two 1-2 finishes today. Will they continue their good form in FP3? Find out tomorrow morning. Bye for now.
15:30 CHEQUERED FLAG IS FP2: Lewis Hamilton takes top spot for the second time on Friday, with Valtteri Bottas following him in P2 once again.
15:29 Looking at the race pace averages of the top six, it looks like the supersoft could be the best tyre to start the race on. Only Raikkonen did his race pace on the soft tyres, as Ferrari split their drivers to get more information.
15:27 Kimi Raikkonen locks up going into the final chicane and immediately returns to the pit lane for a quick change of tyres before returning to the track.
15:26 Gasly was reprimanded for almost causing a collision with Lewis Hamilton in FP1. Now, the Frenchman has annoyed the second Mercedes, with Valtteri Bottas claiming on the team radio that "he stopped on the racing line".
15:23 Kevin Magnussen and Brendon Hartley are currently the only men not out on track, with the pair both in the pit lane.
15:20 Gasly immediately goes into a qualifying sim in the short time remaining in the session, putting in a 1:30.7 to sit in P13.
15:18 Sebastian Vettel returns to the pit lane with blisters on both of his rear tyres.
15:15 Pierre Gasly is finally coming out on track, as Valtteri Bottas copies Kevin Magnussen's route across the chicane (see 15:04) and making his tyres green from the damp astroturf.
15:13 Fernando Alonso is the only man to have not set his fastest time in this session on the (SS) tyres. The two-time World Champion's quickest lap came on the (S). He sits in P16 at the moment, 2.7s behind Hamilton.
15:12 Down the bottom end, Stoffel Vandoorne moved closer to the pack, 3.7s behind Hamilton's pace. However, the Belgian is still eight tenths behind Lance Stroll, his nearest competitor.
15:11 Looking back to the qualy sims for a moment, and Esteban Ocon seems to be comfortable in P7. The Force India man went four tenths quicker Romain Grosjean, who was the next man in line.
15:08 Pierre Gasly has his crash helmet on, so hopefully the Frenchman will get some track action before the end of the session.
15:06 "It's like rallycross, drifting everywhere" says Max Verstappen about his Red Bull.
15:04 Kevin Magnussen runs straight on at the final chicane and picks up a lot of green astroturf on his tyres.
14:56 Don't expect any lap times to fall now. The race pace part of the session has begun, with most starting on the supersoft tyres.
14:55 The second Degner is catching a lot of people out in this session, with Daniel Ricciardo running wide and going onto the astroturf.
14:52 At the back of the field, Stoffel Vandoorne remains last of the 19 cars to have set a time. The Belgian is 4.2s off Hamilton's pace, and even worse, 1.3s behind his nearest competitor.
14:49 Meanwhile, back down the grid at Toro Rosso, Pierre Gasly is still yet to appear in FP2. His car has a fuel cell issue, but the exact problem is not known yet.
14:48 Lewis Hamilton goes seven tenths quicker! A 1:28.2 comfortably puts him out front, with Bottas following him into P2, just under half a second.
14:45 Max Verstappen has gone into P3 with a 1:29.2, three tenths behind Hamilton.
14:43 Valtteri Bottas had put in a purple first sector, before making a slight error at the second Degner and backing off from that lap.
14:40 Charles Leclerc and Lance Stroll go side-by-side through the final chicane, as if it were race day.
14:39 Another big improvement for Williams. Sergey Sirotkin goes 1.6s quicker on the (SS) tyres, with Brendon Hartley also improving by 0.6s for Toro Rosso.
14:36 Daniel Ricciardo goes P3 on the (SS), 0.6s behind Hamilton, while Lance Stroll improves by a second on the red-striped tyres.
14:35 Vettel does not go quickest with the (SS), remaining a tenth behind Hamilton's (S) benchmark time so far.
14:34 Grosjean is the first man onto the quickest tyre, the (SS), and he improves by close to seven tenths of a second.
14:27 Hamilton looks to go quicker on the (S) tyres, but he has a moment at the second Degner and that puts pay to his lap.
14:25 Stoffel Vandoorne is the slowest of the 19 cars to have set a time so far, more than 4.2s behind Hamilton's.
14:21 Hamilton dips into the 1:28s to extend his lead to five tenths so far in this FP2 session.
14:19 The top six have all set their fastest times on the (S), with the midfield runners all on a mix of (S) and (M) tyres.
14:17 Bar Pierre Gasly, whose car is not ready yet (see 14:10), Lewis Hamilton is the last man to set a time, and he immediately goes quickest. The Brit puts in a 1:29.005 to lead the field by just less than four tenths.
14:16 Max Verstappen follows his Red Bull team-mate into the low 1:30s, to go P4. However, Valtteri Bottas knocks the pair down a place as the Finn moves into the top two.
14:15 Daniel Ricciardo goes P3, eight tenths behind Vettel.
14:13 Sergio Perez goes into P3, and between himself and Kevin Magnussen in P9, there is less than half a second. That tight midfield battle (see 13:42) is still continuing.
14:10 Charles Leclerc runs wide at Spoon, as his Sauber looks a handful early on in this session. Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly's cars is being worked on. It could be a while before the Frenchman is out on track.
14:09 That immediately changes with Sebastian Vettel putting in three purple sectors to go six tenths quicker with a 1:29.398.
14:08 Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen have put their Haas cars into the top four, both inside 1.5s.
14:07 The two Ferraris go quickest, with Sebastian Vettel ahead of Kimi Raikkonen by just 0.032s. The German is the only man into the 1:29s so far.
14:04 The Spaniard puts in a 1:32.5.
14:00 Fernando Alonso is the first man out on the Suzuka tarmac in the second practice session.
13:58 The three compounds of tyre at Suzuka this weekend are the white-striped medium (M), yellow-striped softs (S) and red-striped supersofts (SS).
13:52 Back at McLaren, Stoffel Vandoorne will take his place back in the car for FP2, after Lando Norris deputised for the Belgian this morning.
13:49 There was also a scary moment for Lewis Hamilton, who came up on Pierre Gasly too fast into the final chicane. The Frenchman was driving slowly on the racing line, and was reprimanded by the stewards.
13:46 Fernando Alonso had a huge moment during first practice, as he clipped the grass at Degner 1 and sent his McLaren through the gravel trap. He did manage to get his MCL33 back to the pits.
13:44 Brendon Hartley, Fernando Alonso, Sergey Sirotkin, and Lando Norris (in for Stoffel Vandoorne) rounded out the field.
13:42 The midfield battle was tight, though. Romain Grosjean (P8), Charles Leclerc (P9), Marcus Ericsson (P10), Pierre Gasly (P11), Carlos Sainz (P12), Sergio Perez (P13), Kevin Magnussen (P14), Nico Hulkenberg (P15) and Lance Stroll (P16) were all within seven tenths of a second, so the battle for points could be interesting come Sunday.
13:39 Max Verstappen was the slowest of the top six, with Esteban Ocon the 'best of the rest' for Force India. The Frenchman was P7, and the only other man to be within two seconds of Lewis Hamilton's benchmark time.
13:36 Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull sat in P3 in FP1, with the two Ferraris behind him. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were both over nine tenths behind Hamilton.
13:33 The two Mercedes have been dominant over the last few races, and it has carried over into Japan. The pair were fastest in FP1, with Lewis Hamilton four tenths quicker than Valtteri Bottas.
13:30 Hello and welcome back to the iconic Suzuka circuit as practice continues ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix. FP2 gets underway in 30 minutes. All times local.
11:32 That's it for FP1, join us in two hours for second practice. Cheers.
11:31 FP1 ends with a dominant display from Hamilton, 0.446s up on Bottas. Ricciardo is third with Vettel P5 and almost a full second down on his title rival.
11:30 The chequered flag falls on FP1.
11:26 Norris is currently slowest of all, 3.9s off the pace and six-tenths behind Alonso. He has, however, been working on the development test programme for McLaren and not pushing for times.
11:24 Grosjean is complaining with his ERS, saying it is "no better." He's told to push the next lap.
11:20 Final 10 minutes and still no sign of the forecast rain.
11:16 It has been a good start to the weekend for Sauber with Leclerc P9 and Ericsson P10. Gasly in P11 has the same time as Ericsson, however, the Swede is ahead as he set it first.
11:09 Raikkonen takes fourth off Vettel, 0.006s faster than his team-mate.
11:05 Heading toward the Esses, Perez has to make his way around not one but two cars and reports "so much traffic". It's all a bit hairy as this high-speed circuit.
11:04 Alonso is heading down the pit lane having spent a few minutes in the pits while McLaren gave his car the once over.
11:01 Ricciardo takes third place off Vettel while Ocon has worked his way up to seventh place to run best of the rest.
10:56 Vettel on the supersofts is flying but comes up to traffic and stays P3 behind the Mercedes drivers.
10:54 Hamilton on the soft tyres goes quickest with a 1:28.691.
10:51 Alonso has a spin in the dirt. He clipped the grass on the inside of the corner, lost control of his car and spun/slid through the gravel. He avoids the barriers, gets back on the track and heads to the pits.
10:48 Alonso breaks the silence as he heads out in his MCL33. Norris and Bottas are the next out of the pits.
10:46 A quick rundown of the top ten: Bottas, Vettel, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Gasly, Leclerc and Ocon.
10:40 All 20 drivers are back in the pits as the rules state they have to now hand their first set of tyres back to Pirelli. Expect a brief lull in the action.
10:37 Perez eats grass as he gets it wrong.
10:36 Gasly tried to get out of Hamilton's way but wasn't very successful, forcing the Mercedes driver to miss the corner as his closing speed on the Toro Rosso, who had slowed down to let through, was immense. Gasly is under investigation.
10:35 Vettel goes quickest, Bottas goes quickest... and Pierre Gasly and Hamilton are having a moment.
10:31 Major grass cutting moment for Ricciardo as he rejoins the party. Moments later Verstappen had a off but kept his to the asphalt runoff.
10:27 Vettel makes his mark with his opening bid putting him P5 as he lost ground when he locked up at the chicane. He is out on the supersoft tyres.
10:23 Hamilton follows the Finn out, he's on the white Pirellis, and goes third. His team-mate Bottas is P4.
10:21 And here come the Ferraris. Kimi Raikkonen takes to the circuit on the supersoft Pirellis and goes third, 0.8s down on Ricciardo's time.
10:18 Ricciardo and Verstappen head back to the Red Bull garage after their first run of the morning.
10:14 Ricciardo lowers the benchmark to a 1:30.030 with Verstappen P2.
10:10 With rain in the air several drivers are going straight into their morning's programmes with Max Verstappen joining his team-mate out on track.
10:06 First time on the board is a 1:30.6 set by Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull. Charles Leclerc goes second.
10:02 Brendon Hartley leaves the pits with a massive aero rake attached to the rear of his STR13 while Lando Norris is back in the McLaren for this session. He's replacing Stoffel Vandoorne for FP1.
10:00 The pit lane light is green and FP1 is underway with a bit of light drizzle in the air.
09:55 Five minutes to the start...
09:51 All the talk in the build-up to this weekend's race has been about Mercedes' use of team orders in Russia. The team had Valtteri Bottas move over for Hamilton, handing the Brit the win and 50pt lead in the Drivers' standings. Bottas says he's "accept it" if they did the same this weekend.
09:46 In this season where both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are chasing their fifth World titles, they're also both chasing a fifth Japanese GP win this weekend. The only other current drivers to have won at Suzuka are Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
09:37 The good news this morning is that the deluge that was forecast given the typhoons heading towards Japan has yet to arrive. There are clouds around and the temperature is currently 22'C.
9:30 Welcome to Suzuka, home of the Japanese Grand Prix and some of Formula 1's best fans. All times are local.
Driver Standings
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:33.934 1:27:17.062 1
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:33.437 12.919 1
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:33.863 14.295 1
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:34.619 19.495 1
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:38.406 50.998 1
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:32.318 69.873 1
7 Sergio Perez Force India 1:34.563 79.379 1
8 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:35.202 87.198 1
9 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:35.256 88.055 1
10 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:35.075 1 LAP 1
11 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:39.236 1 LAP 1
12 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:37.500 1 LAP 1
13 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:37.537 1 LAP 1
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:37.460 1 LAP 1
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:36.978 1 LAP 1
16 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:34.355 1 LAP 2
17 Lance Stroll Williams 1:36.070 1 LAP 2
R Charles Leclerc Sauber RETIRED 15 LAPS 2
R Kevin Magnussen Haas RETIRED 45 LAPS 2
R Nico Hulkenberg Renault RETIRED 16 LAPS 2
Driver Standings
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:27.760 - 3
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:28.059 0.299 4
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:29.057 1.297 3
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.521 1.761 5
5 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:29.761 2.001 5
6 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:30.023 2.263 5
7 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:30.093 2.333 5
8 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:30.126 2.366 4
9 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:32.192 4.432 4
10 Sergio Perez Force India 1:37.229 9.469 5
Driver Standings
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:27.987 - 2
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.017 0.030 1
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:28.279 0.292 1
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:28.595 0.608 2
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:28.849 0.862 1
6 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:29.538 1.551 2
7 Sergio Perez Force India 1:29.567 1.580 3
8 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:29.678 1.691 3
9 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:29.810 1.823 3
10 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:29.848 1.861 3
11 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:29.864 1.877 3
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:30.226 2.239 3
13 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:30.490 2.503 4
14 Lance Stroll Williams 1:30.714 2.727 2
15 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1
Driver Standings
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.702 - 0
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:29.049 0.347 0
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:29.297 0.595 0
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:29.480 0.778 0
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.631 0.929 1
6 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:29.706 1.004 1
7 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:29.724 1.022 1
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:29.806 1.104 0
9 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:29.899 1.197 0
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:30.137 1.435 1
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:30.219 1.517 1
12 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:30.236 1.534 2
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1:30.247 1.545 1
14 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:30.248 1.546 1
15 Lance Stroll Williams 1:30.317 1.615 1
16 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:30.361 1.659 2
17 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:30.372 1.670 1
18 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:30.573 1.871 1
19 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:31.041 2.339 3
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:31.213 2.511 0
Driver Standings
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.599 - 0
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:29.715 0.116 0
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:30.054 0.455 0
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:30.304 0.705 0
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:30.422 0.823 0
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:30.474 0.875 0
7 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:31.088 1.489 0
8 Sergio Perez Force India 1:31.483 1.884 0
9 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:31.513 1.914 0
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:31.521 1.922 0
11 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:31.636 2.037 0
12 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:31.760 2.161 0
13 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:32.030 2.431 0
14 Lance Stroll Williams 1:32.201 2.602 0
15 null null 1:32.224 2.625 0
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:32.224 2.625 0
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:32.442 2.843 0
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:32.608 3.009 0
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:32.631 3.032 0
19 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:33.034 3.435 0
20 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:33.105 3.506 0
Driver Standings
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.217 - 5
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:28.678 0.461 5
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:29.050 0.833 6
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:29.257 1.040 6
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.498 1.281 6
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:29.513 1.296 4
7 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:30.035 1.818 4
8 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:30.440 2.223 4
9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:30.478 2.261 4
10 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:30.502 2.285 5
11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:30.510 2.293 4
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:30.644 2.427 4
13 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:30.795 2.578 1
14 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:30.904 2.687 5
15 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:30.906 2.689 4
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:30.956 2.739 4
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:30.988 2.771 6
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:31.087 2.870 7
19 Lance Stroll Williams 1:31.215 2.998 4
20 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:31.981 3.764 5
Driver Standings
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.691 - 1
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:29.137 0.446 1
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:29.373 0.682 2
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.627 0.936 3
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:29.685 0.994 3
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:29.841 1.150 2
7 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:30.591 1.900 4
8 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:30.814 2.123 2
9 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:30.929 2.238 2
10 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:31.073 2.382 2
11 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:31.073 2.382 3
12 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:31.100 2.409 3
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1:31.272 2.581 4
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:31.274 2.583 2
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:31.418 2.727 2
16 Lance Stroll Williams 1:31.508 2.817 3
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:31.908 3.217 2
18 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:32.034 3.343 7
19 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:32.513 3.822 3
20 Lando Norris McLaren 1:32.683 3.992 3
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