F1 Japanese Grand Prix 2024 Free Practice 2 highlights – Piastri quickest as Suzuka rain wreaks havoc

Follow all the action on the Total Motorsport liveblog as teams and drivers hit the Suzuka Circuit for FP2 at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix

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Welcome to this Total-Motorsport.com live blog for Free Practice 2 at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, as we continue coverage directly from the paddock at the Suzuka Circuit

As the Formula 1 season continues in the Land of the Rising Sun, join us for real-time updates, expert commentary, and behind-the-scenes insights into every thrilling moment of the action from FP2 in Suzuka, which is the most representative in terms of track conditions being similar to those in the race.

In the first practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen led the field with the fastest time, closely followed by teammate Sergio Perez, while the session faced a brief interruption due to Logan Sargeant‘s crash at the Dunlop Curve, putting Williams under pressure due to chassis constraints.

The on-track action continued with Free Practice 2 in Suzuka, although with the rain falling in Japan, there was only limited time on the track. Here’s what happened in FP2 on Friday.

F1 2024 Japanese GP – FP2 Highlights


Goodbye!

I’m afraid to say that was about as boring as F1 can get in the rain. Hopefully, FP3 tomorrow morning will be an improvement.

Be sure to join Total Motorsport once again on Saturday, with our coverage beginning at 3am (UK time) tomorrow morning. Until then, it’s goodbye from us!

END OF FP1: Piastri quickest, seven drivers fail to set time

Hamilton does punch in a lap time but he ends up half a second down on Piastri, despite setting two purple sectors. Charles Leclerc goes third right at the end, but the Ferrari man was some way adrift of the McLaren.

In the end, we had seven lap times and 13 drivers out on track overall. The likes of Verstappen, Perez and Alonso didn’t get out at all.

2 MINS TO GO: Piastri goes quickest on softs

Piastri is on a timed lap! And he’s just ruined Tsunoda’s day by going 1.8 seconds quicker on the soft tyre.

He then improves by another three seconds to set a 1:36.862. And here comes Hamilton in his W15.

Verstappen not going out

Max Verstappen is happily chatting away with special advisor Helmut Marko and his race engineer Giampiero Lambiase in the Red Bull garage.

The Dutchman is in no danger of putting his race gear on, so why wouldn’t one of the other 18 drivers go out and put some tyres on? It might be a rare chance to top the timings.

Elsewhere, Alex Albon has just said it’s ready for slicks after an outlap, while Kevin Magnussen said it’s still “quite wet”. That clears it up, then.

15 MINS TO GO

We’re at that point in the session where teams are using their cooling fans to dry out the tarmac surrounding the garage.

Will we see any running from the Red Bulls, Mercedes or Ferraris? As it is, there are no cars on track.

But hold the phone… here comes Zhou Guanyu on a pair of inters. Hooray!

Grey clouds, silver lining?

In Japan, you just never know how bad the weather will be. It could be a simple shower or torrential downpour in Suzuka – there’s really no way of guessing apart from the team’s radars.

Getting your laps in is crucial because if a session is rained off, those lap times will be the only indicator of pace and tyre data. But if there is no qualifying at all, championship order would determine the grid.

Tsunoda sets early pace

Ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a timed lap on the board some 33 minutes into the session.

Tsunoda sets a 1:42.304 – some 12 seconds slower than the fastest FP1 time – but crucially four seconds quicker than Ricciardo.

On his second flying lap, he improves by 1.3 seconds to set a 1:40.946. The Japanese fans loved that.

30 MINS TO GO: Drivers head out on inters

More cars! Oscar Piastri has fitted a set of inters and decided to get a feel for the conditions.

There is some spray coming off the McLaren when it reaches high speed at the famous 130R corner. But the Australian thinks it isn’t too slippery out there, according to his radio message.

Piastri: “It’s not really that wet.”

Ricciardo, Zhou Guanyu and the home favourite Yuki Tsunoda come out on the inters. This is better!

Nothing to bee here…

The cameras are currently fixated on Sebastian Vettel’s bees (yes, that’s right) in their wooden huts. How lovely.

Controversial opinion: F1 rain content is actually more fun than the racing, don’t @ me.

Weather not improving

Daniel Ricciardo has just given us the weather update that we didn’t want.

The Australian has headed out on a pair of medium tyres, but he’s navigating the Suzuka circuit very slowly. Turns out, there’s some droplets on his visor and the rain is intensifying, according to the Honey Badger’s radio message.

Ricciardo: “It’s raining more.”

Hamilton first car out

Well done Lewis Hamilton!

The Briton has gone out for a lap to evaluate the track conditions and the 39-year-old reports his findings to the team on the radio.

Hamilton: “Pretty dry, couple of small spots.”

Why teams won’t risk the rain

It’s a bit of a double-edged sword for F1 drivers if they venture out onto the track.

If they go out now, they risk using up their wet weather tyres, with only four sets of intermediates and three sets of the full wets.

With rain also forecast for qualifying tomorrow, they may want to assess how their car runs in such conditions. But you can almost predict there to be limited running from the 10 teams if the track doesn’t dry out.

Mercedes gearing up

Well, this is at least encouraging.

George Russell has got his helmet on and he’s jumped into the car. We might just get some racing.

George Russell is ready to go out. | Mercedes / Stephen Reuss

FP2 GREEN LIGHT!

So, we’re officially underway with the clock counting down from 60 minutes. But as the TV cameras go through the garages, there isn’t one driver with their helmet on.

That would suggest we’re not going to get any running for a little while yet, although Sky Sports F1’s reporter Rachel Brookes has just told us it’s not raining in the paddock.

Let’s hope we see some cars out on the track not before too long.

Weather update

We’ve had some rain in Japan because, of course, it’s Suzuka! The fans have got their rain macs out to cover themselves from the wet.

What that does mean is we might not get as much running as FP1, with teams cautious about doing a Sargeant and spinning off into the barriers.

BREAKING: Sargeant OUT of FP2

Williams have been working tirelessly to get Logan Sargeant back out for FP2 after his heavy crash, but they have just confirmed he will not be taking part due to the extent of the damage sustained.

“Due to the extent of damage to Logan’s car, he will not participate in FP2. The team will continue repairs in time for tomorrow’s Free Practice session (FP3).”

That’s a real shame for the Florida man, and it means we will only have 19 cars out on track for FP2.

Logan Sargeant had a crash in FP1. | Williams F1 Team

FP1 results: Verstappen on top, Sargeant suffers big crash

Missed FP1 because you were in bed? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen topped the timing sheet in FP1 ahead of his team-mate Sergio Perez, but the session’s biggest talking point was another costly shunt for Williams after Logan Sargeant hit the barrier.

Catch up with the action by reading our full FP1 report:

Good morning!

Rise and shine, F1 fans in the UK!

In case you’re not already up and about, get the kettle on because we’re about to get going for the second free practice session very shortly.

Sure, we should still be in bed snoozing away. But the Japanese GP weekend is not one to be missed, with unpredictable weather and a fine circuit at Suzuka guaranteeing us some drama.

We’re just 30 minutes away from the start of FP2. Let the countdown begin!

2024 Japanese GP Session Times and Dates

The F1 season continues with the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix. Below, find the complete schedule for the race weekend, including session times for F1 fans in the USA, the UK, Canada, as well as in Australia.

SessionUK (BST)USA (ET)USA (PT)Aus. (AEST)
Friday, April 5
Practice 102:0021:00 (Apr 4)18:00 (Apr 4)12:00
Practice 206:0001:0022:00 (Apr 4)16:00
Saturday, April 6
Practice 303:0022:00 (Apr 5)19:00 (Apr 5)13:00
Qualifying06:0001:0022:00 (Apr 5)16:00
Sunday, April 7
Race06:0001:0022:00 (Apr 6)15:00
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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