Mercedes and Alonso progress with the rain

It rained in the morning, it rained in the afternoon and free practice for the Japanese GP was washed out. Good for Mercedes, who stood out as the benchmark for the grid in water. Good for Alonso, who led the first session and posted the third fastest time of the day, although he was unable to lower it in the second practice. Good, but possibly useless: the weather forecast that the teams manage grants a zero percent chance of rain for classification of this Saturday. Although in the race it rises to 40% (with a clear progression throughout the afternoon) and that may be a factor to take into account. This tarmac drains well, in fact it didn’t stop raining all day and the riders were able to switch between extreme rain Pirelli and intermediates. A full race could be held here in the rain if necessary.

Difficult to read the time table, because the best record of several drivers corresponds to Free Practice 1. This is the case of Alonso, Sainz or Leclerc. Russell, Hamilton and Verstappen, however, stood out in Free Practice 2 with a slightly more difficult track. These workouts, by the way, they lasted an hour and a half instead of the statutory 60 minutes because it was planned to take advantage of it to test prototypes of the 2023 Pirelli. As it rained, it was not possible, but the planned duration was not modified.

There were bugs throughout the day. Many minor ones, like Leclerc’s and Pérez’s crashes in the hairpins, settled with some skill by the gravel and the grass. The braking area was flooded and any slip became uncontrollable. But the award Friday’s cafrada corresponds to Mick Schumacher: he crashed with the first training already finished after seeing the checkered flag after the esses. He lost control of the Haas and regained it after hitting the wall and breaking the front suspension. He could not participate in the afternoon, there was no time to repair the car. And this weighs on his cache just as he must trade to save his spot on next year’s grid. At Haas, at Williams or wherever.

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Sainz was sixth in the afternoon, overtaken at the last minute by Magnussen in addition to the Mercedes and Red Bull, and Alonso seventh. In the global classification on Friday, Carlos signed the fourth time. The Ferrari looked good on the extreme wet tyres, although the intermediates degraded too quickly when going for fast laps. Verstappen also specified it on the radio. He saw the man from Madrid comfortable, but not an erratic Leclerc (11th in Free Practice 2). He gives the feeling that when understeer is the trend of the weekend, the Monegasque does not finish finding the sensations. Ferrari’s reference at Suzuka is Carlos. For the rest, about 30,000 fans populated the Suzuka stands on a gray day that was not accompanying. A total of 195,000 are expected throughout the weekend. On Saturday, under the sun. On Sunday, we will have to see it.

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