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FP1: Hamilton leads Bottas in Japan

  • Published on 05 Oct 2018 04:30
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Lewis Hamilton has topped the first practice session in Japan, heading his teammate by almost half a second. The Briton enters the weekend with a 50 point gap to title rival Sebastian Vettel, who has not won a race since Belgium in August.

Hamilton's fastest lap time was a 1:28.691 which was set on the yellow-walled soft compound, the middle tyre Pirelli has brought to the Suzuka Circuit. Following the Mercedes pair in third place was the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.

Ferrari was fourth and fifth, with Kimi Raikkonen ahead of teammate Vettel. Both men set their fastest laps on the super soft compound, but Vettel was almost a whole second down on pace-setter Hamilton, who set his best lap on a harder compound.

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Max Verstappen followed the Ferrari pair in sixth place. The Dutchman is on a high following his star performance in Russia last weekend, where he finished in fifth place after starting at the back of the grid.

Despite his future in major doubt, Esteban Ocon didn't appear phased around the demanding Suzuka track, coming home in seventh place. Romain Grosjean followed his compatriot, with just two-tenths separating the French duo.

Continuing its resurgence, Sauber looks to have impressive pace this weekend as it finished the opening practice session with both of its cars inside the top ten. Charles Leclerc set a 1:30.929, which was marginally quicker than his teammate.

There was a threat of rain lingering throughout the session, with the threat set to become more prominent for the second practice session. Teams were running their race simulations during the morning,  in case the rain falls later in the afternoon.

Pierre Gasly ended up in eleventh but didn't have a smooth session. The Frenchman found himself blocking Hamilton at the final chicane, with the Briton having to slam on the brakes and take to the escape road to avoid the Toro Rosso. Gasly also found the grass while travelling through the first sector.

Renault and McLaren's worries about its oil not arriving on time were squashed overnight and the two teams were able to run this morning. Carlos Sainz was twelfth, ahead of the Force India of Sergio Perez and the Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

Nico Hulkenberg was next, ahead of Lance Stroll. The second Toro Rosso of Brendon Hartley followed, while Fernando Alonso slotted in behind the Kiwi. Alonso made a rare mistake during the session, dipping two wheels on the grass heading into the first Degner corner.

Alonso spun around and found himself in the gravel, but out of the barriers. The Spaniard was able to return to the pits on his own. Sergey Sirotkin was nineteenth while Lando Norris, who took over Stoffel Vandoorne's car for the session, rounded out the timesheets.

Photos Japan 2018

JP Circuit Suzuka - 05 October 2018

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AT Grand Prix of Austria

Local time 

  • Friday weather-image

    Saturday weather-image

    Sunday weather-image

  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 3

    12:00 - 13:00

    Race

    15:10 - 17:10

  • Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

    Qualifying

    15:00 - 16:00

    Fastest lap

     

AT Grand Prix of Austria

Local time 

  • Fridayweather-image

  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

  • Saturdayweather-image

  • Free practice 3

    12:00 - 13:00

    Qualifying

    15:00 - 16:00

  • Sunday weather-image

  • Race

    15:10 - 17:10

    Fastest lap

    15:10 - 17:10

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Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
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Spain
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Spain
13 - Mar 15
Australia
20 - Mar 22
Bahrain
3 - Apr 5
Viet Nam
17 - Apr 19
China
1 - May 3
Netherlands
8 - May 10
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21 - May 24
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5 - Jun 7
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12 - Jun 14
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26 - Jun 28
France
3 - Jul 5
Austria
17 - Jul 19
United Kingdom
31 - Aug 2
Hungary
28 - Aug 30
Belgium
4 - Sep 6
Italy
18 - Sep 20
Singapore
25 - Sep 27
Russian
9 - Oct 11
Japan
23 - Oct 25
United States of America
30 - Nov 1
Mexico
13 - Nov 15
Brazil
27 - Nov 29
United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2020

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
13 - Mar 15
Australia Albert Park
20 - Mar 22
3 - Apr 5
Viet Nam Hanoi Circuit
17 - Apr 19
1 - May 3
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
8 - May 10
21 - May 24
Monaco Monte Carlo
5 - Jun 7
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
12 - Jun 14
26 - Jun 28
France Paul Ricard
3 - Jul 5
Austria Red Bull Ring
17 - Jul 19
United Kingdom Silverstone
31 - Aug 2
Hungary Hungaroring
28 - Aug 30
4 - Sep 6
Italy Monza
18 - Sep 20
25 - Sep 27
Russian Sochi Autodrom
9 - Oct 11
23 - Oct 25
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
30 - Nov 1
13 - Nov 15
Brazil Interlagos
27 - Nov 29
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
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