Suzuka International Racing Course
Team Reaktionen
Presseberichte vom Freitag
Pierre Gasly (Alpine F1 Team)
Position T1: 17 (1:32.277)
Position T2: ()
We tried a few things in Free Practice 1 today, which was the only running we did on Practice day here in Japan. There was some rain in the afternoon, quite unfortunately timed, so it meant we remained inside the garage for the one-hour duration. We learnt a lot in the morning session with the new parts. Everything worked as expected and we have some valuable data to run through to confirm a few more things. That’s always the most important thing in Practice, especially when you have upgrades running for the first time. We’ll see what we can do to improve the car ahead of Qualifying tomorrow. There have been no surprises so far and all eyes are on the rest of the weekend.
Esteban Ocon (Alpine F1 Team)
Position T1: 11 (1:31.935)
Position T2: 13 ()
It was great to see the fans out in force today, as always here at Suzuka. It’s a shame they did not see too much running in the afternoon, so hopefully the rest of the weekend will be better. Today was about having a first look at how the car behaves with some of the new updates. It seemed to be in line with expectations in Free Practice 1 and we aimed to try something different for Free Practice 2, but we could not do that with the mixed conditions. Given the limited running it’s hard to get a full picture, but we will see what we can learn and analyse overnight to prepare for final practice. It will be a busy session for everyone to gather as much information as possible before heading into Qualifying.
Lance Stroll (Aston Martin F1 Team)
Position T1: 15 (1:32.055)
Position T2: ()

We've got updates on the car here and it's always good to test them out on track. This morning, it was a lot of aero rake running. Then, it was a bit of a slow day with the rain, so we didn't get too many laps today.
Tomorrow, the focus will be on Qualifying. We have an idea of where we're going to be, but we'll see.
It's great to be back in Japan in front of the passionate fans. It's a brilliant track to drive with the speed of the corners and flow of the track.

Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin F1 Team)
Position T1: 7 (1:30.599)
Position T2: ()

It's great to drive around Suzuka, but there's not much more to say today since we didn't get out during FP2 because of the wet weather.
It's a shame for the fans who come here to support us. They always generate a fantastic atmosphere - hopefully tomorrow and on Sunday we can provide some entertainment.
It was looking strong in FP1, but today doesn't really count for much. We'll look to optimise everything for tomorrow and Qualifying, and then we'll aim to make the most of that in the race on Sunday.

Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari)
Position T1: 3 (1:30.269)
Position T2: 11 ()
It was not an ideal Friday as we lost all of the second session due to the changing conditions. This morning in FP1 I was quite comfortable in the car, but I was looking forward to the afternoon session to continue working on the setup. The track was too wet for slicks and too dry for Intermediates, so it really made no sense to run and we decided to stay in the garage.

Anyway, we are all in the same situation and we still have tomorrow morning to fine tune the car ahead of qualifying.    
Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Position T1: 6 (1:30.558)
Position T2: 3 (1:38.760)
It was a mixed day. In FP1, we identified a few things we needed to work on in terms of set-up. But then, we barely ran in FP2 and so we couldn't find the answers we were looking for over a flying lap, so we will have to focus on that tomorrow morning to be ready for qualifying.
Kevin Magnussen (Haas F1 Team)
Position T1: 19 (1:32.803)
Position T2: 9 ()
I don’t think we started the day off well with the balance, we had lots of understeer and tried to correct it during FP1. We probably needed a bigger set-up change, so we changed the rear wing and a few other things as well, so I would’ve loved to have tried that out in FP2, but the session got rained on. It was too dry to go out on inters, and too wet to go out on dry tires – so it resulted in no running. Hopefully FP3 can be dry tomorrow before qualifying, and if that’s the case, there will be no issues.
Nico Hülkenberg (Haas F1 Team)
Position T1: 13 (1:31.958)
Position T2: 10 ()
FP1 was good, it didn’t feel too bad in the car, but I think our expectations going in to this weekend is that it’s going to be a tricky track for us with the high-speeds and fast change in direction. It’s a shame about the weather, especially for the fans as they’re so enthusiastic in Suzuka. They show so much love and support, and for us not to be able to give them a full show feels a bit sad, so I’m sorry about that. In FP2 it wasn’t really wet or dry, it was the worst session for Formula 1 cars. Hopefully we can find some performance overnight, but we need to see what we can do in terms of runs and timing.
Valtteri Bottas (Kick Sauber)
Position T1: 14 (1:32.054)
Position T2: 7 ()
It’s great to be back on track here in Suzuka for what, overall, has been a positive day for us, despite the mixed weather conditions. The upgrades we have brought for this race have been working as we expected, and the feeling within the team was quite good this morning. It’s a shame we couldn’t make the most out of FP2, with the rain preventing most meaningful laps, but we still got some decent running and gathered useful information to work on overnight, as well as practiced our pit stops. We still haven’t managed to run on the soft tyres in dry conditions, but we’ll hopefully be able to do that tomorrow in the final practice session, to come prepared for Qualifying and try to get into the top ten.
Guanyu Zhou (Kick Sauber)
Position T1: 18 (1:32.638)
Position T2: 6 ()
It’s only been a few months since our last visit but being in Suzuka is always nice. Today’s sessions were quite different due to the changing conditions: we gathered lots of data in the morning and gained valuable insights, while we used the rainy afternoon session for some pit stop practice. Our performance appears to be even stronger here compared to previous events, especially considering that we only ran the medium compound and used FP1 to experiment with the setup. The team here and in Hinwil has done a great job as our new package seems to be functioning as expected, and I think we should be aiming for the top ten for the rest of the weekend. We’ll continue to work on the car and fine-tune the setup to ensure we’re well positioned for a successful qualifying session tomorrow.
Oscar Piastri (McLaren F1 Team)
Position T1: 8 (1:31.165)
Position T2: 1 (1:34.725)
Not a lot going on in FP2 today, but I was able to get a couple of laps in at the end in the tricky conditions. I think it’s been an okay day, it’s difficult to get a good reading on everybody’s pace because of the lack of representative laps. I think we’re in a decent position, so we’ll take what we have available in the data and look to learn more tomorrow morning ahead of quali.
Lando Norris (McLaren F1 Team)
Position T1: 10 (1:31.240)
Position T2: 12 ()

Not a very busy day on track overall. It's a shame we didn't get much running done in the morning because of the Red Flag and then again in FP2 with the conditions. It’s unfortunate for all the fans who came to watch today.
I think we’re in a reasonable place with the car, so I'm confident we can go into tomorrow and get the final feeling before we head into Qualifying. We’ll work hard to put ourselves into a competitive position.

George Russell (Mercedes)
Position T1: 4 (1:30.530)
Position T2: ()

We performed better than we expected to in FP1. That was a pleasant surprise, and the car was feeling really nice to drive. Both Lewis and I were happy with the overall balance. The W15 has been performing better when the conditions are cooler though, so that is a note of caution. Our focus today was trying several test items and experiments to make the car more consistent in variable conditions. Time will tell whether these have had the intended impact and it was frustrating that we couldn’t evaluate these further in the afternoon.

It’s such a shame for those here and watching at home that we couldn’t do much running in FP2. I hope we can find a solution for these moments and conditions. It’s not the first time it has happened, and it won’t be the last. Looking at tomorrow, Qualifying will be interesting as it’s a clear single lap tyre. Most drivers may only have three or four sets of the Soft compound so you will have to ensure you nail each and every lap.

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Position T1: 5 (1:30.543)
Position T2: 2 (1:35.226)
FP1 was a great session for us. It was the best session for us so far this year and the best the car has felt. I felt very positive and excited heading into FP2 as this is a circuit that every driver loves to drive. It was a shame not to get much running in, therefore. In the last two years here, we’ve struggled with a car that has had an inconsistent balance and has been difficult to drive. The team has done a lot of great work since Australia, and we seemed to hit the ground running today. The car was definitely in a sweeter spot. We’ve got a better baseline to start from this weekend and hopefully we can build on that.
Ayumu Iwasa (RB Formula One Team)
Position T1: 16 (1:32.103)
Position T2: ()
I’ve driven at Suzuka many times but it’s a completely different, amazing and special feeling to do it in an F1 car. There is much more capacity to push, and the limit of the car is much higher. I got good experience for the future, and I appreciate the opportunity. I’m super thankful to Red Bull, Honda, and all the people at VCARB who have made me feel welcome as soon as I walked into the hospitality. There were no issues today and I was able to have a good feeling from the car straight away, so I was able to build up the pace quicker than expected, which was positive. Also, I think I could make quite some good progress with the team throughout the session. The main target was to get as much data for the team as I could, so I shouldn’t push too much because it was important to just complete many laps. I hope they got some good data for the weekend. In the end, my second set of tyres was to build up the pace and get the feeling of driving an F1 car around the Suzuka circuit. I think we achieved all our targets and for the rest of the weekend, I will try to get more experience in the team. Today's drive has given me extra motivation to keep pushing hard.
Yuki Tsunoda (RB Formula One Team)
Position T1: 9 (1:31.230)
Position T2: 4 (1:40.946)
It’s great to come back to Suzuka in front of the Japanese crowd; I enjoyed it so much and it felt great. It was a positive first day for us. I think we started good in FP1, finishing top 10, showing that the pace is there. The upgraded floor is targeted at slow-speed corners, whereas here is more medium- to high-speed corners so we’re not expecting too much. Together we’ll finetune a couple of areas where there’s room for improvement before FP3, put it together for qualifying, and focus to extract the performance. It’s been very special and it’s only Friday, so I’m looking forward to giving it my all and fighting to achieve our maximum!
Daniel Ricciardo (RB Formula One Team)
Position T1: ()
Position T2: 5 (1:41.913)
I sat out while Ayumu had his home run in FP1. Being settled at the pit wall during the first session, I went through a lot of data alongside watching the onboards and hearing the comments of the drivers, so this was definitely productive and there’s always some learning. Then in FP2, when I jumped into the car, it was a bit frustrating to complete only a few laps due to the track conditions. The weather was in the middle and this meant it wasn’t well enough for an inters running, nor a proper run on the dry. I didn’t drive that much, so I’m giving you a long wrap-up of the day, where probably a few seconds would’ve been enough. Looking at the morning, Yuki looked like he got up to speed quickly and was in the top 10 pretty much all session. It felt like we were probably at the front of the midfield. You never know what happens in quali, but it looked like we’re where we expected to be.
Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
Position T1: 1 (1:30.056)
Position T2: ()
It was a good start for us today. The bounce wasn’t too far out and I felt comfortable with the car. There are still a few things to try and look at but, overall, it was a good FP1. Of course, in FP2 we couldn’t do anything, which was a shame as this means that we don’t know the long run pace, but we can’t do anything about the weather. In general, it looks like everyone is a bit closer compared to last year and I don’t expect the same kind of gaps here at this track. There are a few things that we still want to look at tomorrow, but overall I felt quite happy with what we had and the laps that we did. Suzuka is usually a good track for the Team, so we are confident going into the weekend.
Sergio Pérez (Red Bull Racing)
Position T1: 2 (1:30.237)
Position T2: ()
It was unfortunately not a very busy Friday, so we probably got the most out of what we could. We were expecting a better P2 but unfortunately the rain prevented us from running and that meant we couldn’t get any more learnings. I think we have a good base from the morning though, we just have to try and dial up a bit of balance and hopefully we can be in a nice position. I was pleased with the car from the running we had, we have made some changes ahead of this race and it feels good. We had made some alterations for P2 and obviously we didn’t manage to get the read on those but we are in a similar boat to a lot of teams around us. It will be a very busy practice session tomorrow, we are going to be doing some high fuel runs and then go into quali prep, so it should be an interesting morning. We are confident for this weekend; I think the car is working well.
Alexander Albon (Williams)
Position T1: 12 (1:31.943)
Position T2: 8 ()
It’s hard to say where we are with so few laps; we would’ve liked to run more in FP2 as we didn’t feel very comfortable with the car after the first session. We tried to make some changes to improve this, however with limited running, we don’t have much to go off. Hopefully the setup will work for us into FP3 and we can learn more about the car ahead of Qualifying.
Logan Sargeant (Williams)
Position T1: 20 (1:33.204)
Position T2: ()
I put the car in a place I didn’t realise I was at. It’s a bit of a silly mistake and one that I shouldn’t be making especially in FP1. Fortunately, it wasn’t like the mistake last year when I over pushed. Nevertheless, I still left the team with some damage but got away better than it could’ve been.