Japanese Grand Prix: FP3 as it happened

formula 1, ferrari
Adriaan Slabbert Adriaan Slabbert

Follow all the action from FP3 at the Japanese Grand Prix live right here.

12:05 It’s been a difficult FP3 session in Japan, with the iconic Suzuka circuit once again reminding everyone that you should never get too comfortable, because the barriers and the gravel are only ever a single slip away.  Next up we have Qualifying, which starts at 14:00.  Do join us for that, and we’ll talk you through it.  Until then, take it easy!

12:03 Here’s the top ten for you:

12:00 And that’s it!  Practice for the Japanese Grand Prix is done and dusted! On the face of it, it’s another dominant day for Mercedes, but a rather messy session all round.

11:55 Into the final few minutes now, Verstappen has climbed up to P4, 0.855 seconds off Bottas’ time.  Mostly Mercedes power showing up on the speed gun, which makes a fair difference in sector three, with the long drag towards and through 130R.

11:50 Vettel has had a go on supersoft tyres and is 0.324 seconds down on the time set earlier by Bottas.

11:45 Right, let’s get back to it!  15 minutes to go.  Here’s another angle on Raikkonen’s accident.  The angle on the left front tyre is rather unnatural.  Work to do for Ferrari to get their man’s challenger ready for Qualifying later!

11:40 Oh no!  What have I done, writing that we hadn’t seen any mistakes!? Kimi Raikkonen is off at Degner Two, with a hop and a skip across the gravel and into the barriers! Another red flag! It’s a day of attrition for the two Finns!  The Ferrari has been lifted over the barriers by a crane.


11:35 We’re back underway.  Mercedes have confirmed that the entire right rear corner of Bottas’ car needs changing.  All the drivers are out on track for the crucial final 25 minutes of practice.

11:30 Bottas is out of his car with his helmet off, making it (even more) obvious that it will take some time to repair his car.  Marshals are currently cleaning up the scene of the incident, with a race control car making its way over for inspection purposes.  The session is about to restart.

11:25 Oh dear!  Bottas has had a moment on the outside of Spoon and hes damaged his front wing, as well as damaging his wheel rim after brushing the barriers!  The artificial grass on the outside of the corner has peeled off, and we have a red flag!  This is a practice session, of course, so the clock is still ticking down, as Mercedes inspect their Finn’s wounded Silver Arrow.

11:20 No major mistakes to report for the moment.  It appears that Mercedes and Ferrari are on different schedules right now; the two silver cars are out on new supersofts, while Vettel is doing a longer run on a set of softs.  Ah, a mistake!  Vettel has gotten it wrong at Degner Two and taken a trip through the gravel, but the German continues without too much alarm. He pits, however.

11:15 Bottas’ second effort pips Hamilton by 0.014 seconds.  The benchmark is now 1.29.055, about half a second shy of the track record, held by Michael Schumacher.

11:10 Lewis Hamilton has gotten straight into his work, setting a 1.29.699 on soft tyres.  Valtteri Bottas betters the benchmark to a 1.29.529, despite locking up at the hairpin.  Hamilton has another go and goes 0.460 seconds clear of his teammate.  Soft tyres are the order of the day right now.

11:05 Pierre Gasly sets the first time of the day, 1.33.030.  Vettel has reported that the track is entirely dry.

11:00 The light turns green, it’s time for FP3!  Sebastian Vettel is straight out in his Ferrari.

10:55 Here’s the weather then, it’s certainly a lot more dry than yesterday.

10:50 We’re not far from the start now.  The teams are always under pressure in situations like this, where they have rain during a weekend where the race itself is expected to be dry.  Despite yesterday’s weather, however, the fans are back to cheer on their heroes!


10:45 Carlos Sainz bought out the red flag after a big collision with the barriers yesterday.  Suzuka is a notoriously unforgiving circuit, with little margin for error and plenty of gravel.

10:40 FP2 was delayed due to heavy rain, with Lewis Hamilton fastest, while Kimi Raikkonen conceded that “we didn’t even try to learn anything”.

10:35 It was Sebastian Vettel who set the pace for Ferrari in FP1 yesterday, with title rival Lewis Hamilton in P2 and Daniel Ricciardo in P3.

10:30 Hello there, good morning, and welcome to FOX Sports Asia’s coverage of FP3 at the Japanese Grand Prix.  We’re 30 minutes away from the start.

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