Japanese GP: Bottas leads Mercedes 1-2 in a dry FP1 at Suzuka
Valtteri Bottas led Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in FP1 of F1 Japanese GP with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in third in a dry running.
With Typhoon Hagibis in fray in Japan, any dry running for the F1 teams and drivers was crucial as the Mercedes duo led the way in FP1 of Japanese GP at Suzuka, with Bottas (1m28.731s) leading Hamilton (1m28.807s) and the Ferrari drivers.
It was Vettel (1m29.720s) in third as he led teammate Charles Leclerc (1m29.912s) with Red Bull Racing drivers behind as Max Verstappen (1m30.046s) led Alexander Albon (1m30.375s). It was a clear run mostly but had some interesting sequences.
Bottas had a big lock-up when he had to stop for Leclerc in the right-hander despite the attempt from the Monegasque to move away. At the same time, Hamilton had a slight off as well while the Ferrari drivers did not face much of an issue.
The best of the rest had McLaren's Carlos Sainz (1m30.702s) in seventh from Racing Point's Sergio Perez (1m30.810s) - this despite Sainz not having a great start to the FP1 session when he stopped at the pit exit just as he headed out for his first run.
He managed to get back out soon but the team decided not to run the new bits they had. The Top 10 was then completed by the other Racing Point of Lance Stroll (1m30.959s) and the McLaren of Lando Norris (1m31.001s).
Haas' Romain Grosjean (1m31.283s) missed out on a Top 10 spot in 11th with Alfa Romeo Racing's Kimi Raikkonen (1m31.307s) in 12th as Renault's Nico Hulkenberg (1m31.426s) was 13th ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo (1m31.563s).
The other Haas of Kevin Magnussen (1m31.785s) was only 15th with Toro Rosso duo Daniil Kvyat (1m31.920s) and Naoki Yamamoto (1m32.018s) in 16th and 17th as the Japanese racer did well in his first-ever F1 drive in place of Pierre Gasly.
The Williams duo were next in with their new front wing as George Russell (1m32.800s) led Robert Kubica (1m33.484s), while Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi (1m36.887s) was only 20th after the team were unable to fix the hydraulic pressure issue.
[Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]