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  • Oscar Piastri Sets Fastest Time In Weather Affected FP In Japan

Oscar Piastri sets fastest time in weather-affected FP2 in Japan

Just nine cars set times as the second practice for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix proved to be a damp squib, with McLaren's Oscar Piastri setting the fastest time.

Local favourite Yuki Tsunoda and his RB team-mate Daniel Ricciardo were the only drivers to set lap times early on in changeable conditions, but set their times on the intermediate tyre.

The hour-long session began in rain and, although it later stopped, the track was not deemed sufficiently dry enough for most teams to send out their cars.

Piastri was one of them and his time of one minute 34.725 seconds proved fast enough to top the timesheets, with the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc's Ferrari the only others to set representative times.

Earlier, Max Verstappen set the pace in first practice as Willams endured another Friday to forget.

Reigning champion Verstappen retired in Melbourne a fortnight ago but was back at it here, his time of one minute 20.056 seconds was enough to see him go quickest at Suzuka, with team-mate Sergio Perez his closest challenger 0.181 seconds back.

A red flag halfway through the session stopped running for 11 minutes as Logan Sargeant crashed off at turn two – further adding to the Williams woes.

Sargeant sat out the Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago as team-mate Alex Albon took his car after destroying his own in a practice crash and the team currently have no spare chassis.

Williams team principal James Vowles confirmed the car had suffered "extensive" damage and Sargeant was forced to sit out of second practice – although the lack of running meant there was little that would have been gained from taking part.

"It is pretty significant (damage). So the chassis is OK, fortunately, but I would say pretty much everything else isn't – so the suspension around, the gearbox is cracked, big damage.

"At the top of the brow of the hill there, he struggled to see where his positioning was on track. So it fundamentally looks like he didn't quite realise where he was with where the grass was on the outside and put a wheel on the grass."

Albon went 12th fastest after the action restarted, while Verstappen assumed his usual position as the car to beat.

Carlos Sainz, who won in Australia last time out, was third-fastest for Ferrari ahead of the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Hamilton, while the second Ferrari of Leclerc was sixth.

FP2 results:

1    Oscar Piastri    AUS    McLaren F1 Team    1m34.725s
2    Lewis Hamilton    GBR    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team    1m35.226s
3    Charles Leclerc    MON    Scuderia Ferrari    1m38.760s
4    Yuki Tsunoda    JPN    Visa Cash App RB F1 Team    1m40.946s
5    Daniel Ricciardo    AUS    Visa Cash App RB F1 Team    1m41.913s
6    Lando Norris    GBR    McLaren F1 Team    1m44.977s
7    Carlos Sainz    ESP    Scuderia Ferrari    1m52.579s
8    Esteban Ocon    FRA    BWT Alpine F1 Team    1m59.113s
9    Kevin Magnussen    DEN    MoneyGram Haas F1 Team    2m30.427s
     Nico Hulkenberg    GER    MoneyGram Haas F1 Team    No Time Set
     Valtteri Bottas    FIN    Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber    No Time Set
     Zhou Guanyu    CHN    Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber    No Time Set
     Alex Albon    THA    Williams Racing    No Time Set
     Max Verstappen    NED    Oracle Red Bull Racing    No Time Set
     Sergio Perez    MEX    Oracle Red Bull Racing    No Time Set
     George Russell    GBR    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team    No Time Set
     Fernando Alonso    ESP    Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team    No Time Set
     Lance Stroll    CAN    Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team    No Time Set
     Pierre Gasly    FRA    BWT Alpine F1 Team    No Time Set
     Logan Sargeant    USA    Williams Racing    No Time Set




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