Max Verstappen is moderately satisfied after his first day of the chaotic race weekend in Japan. The Red Bull Racing rider clocked the fifth and third fastest time in the first and second free practice on the Suzuka circuit.
The usual third free practice is not going to happen, because a line was drawn because of the approaching typhoon Hagibis. In addition, the qualification was moved from Saturday to Sunday.
"The first free practice was not good, but during the second free practice we made progress," said 22-year-old Verstappen on his own website.
In the first training the Dutchman came to a time of 1.30.046 on behalf of Red Bull. During the second session at Suzuka he was almost two seconds faster: 1.28.066. Mercedes has dominated so far.
"The second training looks good. Mercedes is very fast and we have a little more work to do, but we have recovered well."
Max Verstappen in action during the second free practice in Japan. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Second training determines possible starting setup
If the qualifying cannot continue on Sunday due to the weather conditions, then the result of the second free practice determines the starting line-up for the race. In that case, Verstappen starts from third place behind Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.
For the time being, the qualification is scheduled for Sunday at 10 a.m. (3 a.m. Dutch time). More than four hours later, at 2.10 pm (7.10 am Dutch time) the Grand Prix starts.
Last year, the victory in Japan went to world champion Hamilton, who shared the podium with his Mercedes teammate Bottas and Verstappen.
Top 10 second free training
- 1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) - 1,227,785
- 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - 1,227,885
- 3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 1.28.066
- 4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) - 1.28.141
- 5. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) - 1,228,376
- 6. Alexander Albon (Red Bull) - 1.28.402
- 7. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) - 1,229,051
- 8. Sergio Pérez (Racing Point) - 1.29.299
- 9. Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) - 1,229,354
- 10. Lando Norris (McLaren) - 1.29.358
See also: Five questions about GP Japan: "Honda and Red Bull are going to take a risk"