2022 AM Wings_Mono Negative
On Track

Plenty of wet running on Friday at Suzuka

Persistent rain severely affected the opening day of running at the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, with Lance the faster AMF1 driver across the day.

Japanese GP

While the morning rain eased off at the start of the first Free Practice session, it returned late in the running, and it heavily influenced FP2 as well.

The second session was originally scheduled to be a Pirelli tyre test for 2023-spec rubber and therefore was extended to 90 minutes, but the rain prevented running on the new tyres.

The weather meant the Intermediates and Full Wets were the tyres to be used on Formula One's return to Suzuka for the first time since 2019, but both Lance and Sebastian completed plenty of laps across the day.

Lance

With rivers across the circuit in some places in the early stages of the session, Lance waited a short while before taking to the circuit on Full Wet tyres.

He completed two laps on them, but the circuit conditions had improved quickly to the point where Intermediates were the better tyre to be on.

Lance returned to the circuit with the green-marked tyres and completed five laps on them. His best time was a 1.44.570, which put him 14th overall.

As the conditions worsened towards the end, Lance switched back to the Full Wet tyres from the start of the session and added three further laps on them as FP1 drew to a close.

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Conditions were still sub-optimal by the time FP2 came around, and Lance sat in the garage for around half an hour while the conditions started to clear.

He took to the track on the same Intermediates from FP1, and his first proper time was a 1.47.387.

He went on to improve to a 1.46.966 and then finally a 1.46.766 before the conditions started to worsen again.

For the remainder of the session, Lance continued to circulate on that set of Intermediate tyres and completed 21 laps in total in FP2 and finished 18th overall in the session.

FP1
1.44.570
P14
FP2
1.46.776
P18

"Despite the wet weather today, we were able to learn some things here and there on the track.

"Tomorrow will be a complete reset, with it expected to be dry, although there is still a chance of rain on Sunday.

"If the conditions are like this in the race, then what we have learned today will definitely come in handy.

"Either way, I am loving being back in Japan; the energy is great and the circuit is fantastic, even in these conditions."

Sebastian

Sebastian completed a small number of laps in FP1. He took to the circuit on the Full Wet tyre in the early part of the session, before waiting in the garage for the track to improve.

He then took to the circuit on Intermediate tyres, and only completed one timed lap – a 1.48.090 – before returning to the pits.

With the track wetter again, Sebastian returned to the track at the end on the blue-marked Full Wet tyre to conclude the session with eight laps on the board.

The circuit was still damp and greasy for the start of FP2, and Sebastian bided his time before taking to the track in the extended session.

When he got going, using the Intermediates he briefly ran in FP1. He put in an early marker of 1.46.963.

FP1
1.48.090
P20
FP2
1.45.261
P15

He went on to improve to a 1.45.867, and then a 1.45.261, before settling in for a long run.

With plenty of life left in the Intermediates, Sebastian completed 24 laps in the session, all on that one set of tyres, and finished in 15th overall.

"All the banners in the grandstands and the fans around the circuit make it feel like the closest thing to a German Grand Prix without the German flags! It is great to see so much support.

"Out on track, the grip was not great, but it was good fun – it is still a great track, even if it is wet, and I enjoyed myself.

"Obviously, it was all about being out at the right time if you wanted to set a competitive lap-time – but that was not the most important thing for us today.

"There is probably not much we can carry over into tomorrow, when it is expected to be dry – but we were still able to test some things, especially in the second session, and they might give us some added direction.”

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