Piastri hits the front late to top rain-affected Japanese GP FP2 ahead of Hamilton

A rain-affected session yielded precious little running in FP2 for the 2024 Japanese GP

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Oscar Piastri topped the timesheets in FP2 at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix but it was a somewhat hollow victory as only six other drivers set times – with Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc completing the podium.

Rain meant most drivers spent the hour safely in their garages, though Yuki Tsunoda held top for much of the session as RB were one of the few teams to venture out on intermediate rubber.

However, Piastri hit the track on the soft tyres to steal it away at the death with Hamilton five-tenths away. Despite running on slicks, Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz couldn’t topple the two RBs and enter the top five, only heading out on track to get a practice start.

Those conditions bailed out Logan Sargeant though, as Williams announced before the session had begun that the American wouldn’t be taking part while they assessed damage on his FW46.

Sargeant took a heavy shunt in FP1, so was saved in losing out on too much running but will still be eager to get back into the car for FP3 if it’s safe to do so, as he missed out on the Australian GP.

Rain stops play

It wasn’t torrential downpours by any means – especially by Suzuka standards. But the infrequent drizzle was still enough to bring any real running to a screeching halt in FP2.

When Ricciardo headed out early in the session there was hope that he could start a wave of track action but he quickly radioed that conditions were getting worse, sparking a long down period of inaction instead.

The RBs, Saubers and McLarens did their best to dry out the track but when Haas headed out on the soft tyres with five minutes remaining, Kevin Magnussen immediately told the pit wall that conditions were still too wet.

Teams have limited sets of intermediate tyres and seven drivers elected to remain in the garage in case conditions don’t improve throughout the weekend.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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