2024 Japanese GP FP2: Rain Disrupts Friday’s Second Practice

Limited track action defined FP2 with rain before and during the session, resulting in only five drivers managing to post lap times.


By Ben Bush
Updated on April 6, 2024

Albon took to the track in FP2 for the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix
Alex Albon took to the track in FP2 for the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix

Rain affected FP2 at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, with Oscar Piastri claiming the fastest lap amidst sporadic track action while drivers waited for dryer conditions.

The session began quietly, with teams opting to stay in the pits to save their intermediate tyres, anticipating more rain over the weekend. Fifteen minutes in, Lewis Hamilton ventured out on medium tyres for a reconnaissance lap but returned shortly as the threat of more rain loomed.

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Daniel Ricciardo, having sat out FP1 for rookie Ayumu Iwasa to take the wheel, briefly emerged before confirming an uptick in rainfall, pausing track activity while spectators in the stands remained hopeful.

As the session reached its midpoint, Piastri took to the track on intermediate tyres, with a handful of drivers following suit as the track began to dry, although not enough for slick tyres.

Alex Albon was notably the only Williams, as the team repaired Logan Sargeant’s car from his FP1 crash. Most of the drivers completed exploratory laps, but Yuki Tsunoda, the home hero, was the first to set a time of 1m 40.946s, leading teammate Ricciardo by nearly a second.

In the last 10 minutes, with the track drying further, Valtteri Bottas and others, including the Haas duo of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg, tested the soft tyres. Magnussen, however, noted the track was still too wet.

Piastri topped the timesheets with a 1m 34.725s lap on softs towards the end, sparking a wave of late attempts from drivers including Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, and Esteban Ocon.

Hamilton secured the second-fastest time, with Leclerc third, as earlier times by Tsunoda and Ricciardo fell to fourth and fifth, respectively, among a total of 13 timed laps, many of which were not indicative of true pace.

Notably absent from the session were Max Verstappen, his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, the Aston Martin duo of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly, Mercedes’ George Russell, and Sargeant.

With the second practice session concluding quietly, teams will review the day’s data ahead of Saturday’s Free Practice 3 at 11:30 am local time, setting the stage for the afternoon’s qualifying round.

Japanese GP FP2 Results

2024 Japanese Grand Prix, 5 April 2024

181Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes1:34.7257
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:35.226+0.501s6
316Charles LeclercFerrari1:38.760+4.035s4
422Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT1:40.946+6.221s8
53Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT1:41.913+7.188s9
624Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber FerrariNTS7
777Valtteri BottasKick Sauber FerrariNTS7
823Alexander AlbonWilliams MercedesNTS5
920Kevin MagnussenHaas FerrariNTS4
1027Nico HulkenbergHaas FerrariNTS5
1155Carlos SainzFerrariNTS3
124Lando NorrisMcLaren MercedesNTS3
1331Esteban OconAlpine RenaultNTS3
141Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPTNTS0
1511Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPTNTS0
1663George RussellMercedesNTS0
1714Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco MercedesNTS0
1818Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco MercedesNTS0
1910Pierre GaslyAlpine RenaultNTS0
202Logan SargeantWilliams MercedesNTS0

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Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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