Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Suzuka, 2015

Sainz tops the times at soaked Suzuka

2015 Japanese Grand Prix first practice

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Carlos Sainz Jnr led the practice times after a very wet 90 first minutes of running at Suzuka.

With rain varying in intensity throughout first practice over half the session had passed before anyone set a time – Sainz’s team mate Max Verstappen being the first driver to do so.

The conditions improved enough for a few drivers to attempt laps on intermediate tyres, including Sainz’s session-topping effort. Daniil Kvyat, second, and Sebastian Vettel, fourth, also ran the shallower-grooved rubber – the latter also being warned about an overheating clutch during his brief spell on track.

The Mercedes drivers stuck to full wet weather tyres, and Lewis Hamilton only appeared in the final few minutes for a single timed run which left him fifth.

The Williams drivers were the first to try intermediate tyres but Felipe Massa went off in the Degner curves during his run.

Eight drivers decided not to set times at all including both Lotus, Force India and Manor drivers.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
155Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’49.43410
226Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’49.9380.5046
36Nico RosbergMercedes1’50.0770.64314
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1’50.5191.08512
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’50.7221.2886
633Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’50.9401.50610
77Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’51.2121.77815
819Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’52.2882.85412
99Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’53.8204.38612
1077Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’53.9644.53014
1112Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’54.0134.5799
1222Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’55.6786.2446
133Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1
1427Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes4
1511Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes3
1614Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda5
1713Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1
1813Jolyon PalmerLotus-Mercedes1
1928Will StevensManor-Ferrari3
2053Alexander RossiManor-Ferrari4

First practice visual gaps

Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’49.434

+0.504 Daniil Kvyat – 1’49.938

+0.643 Nico Rosberg – 1’50.077

+1.085 Sebastian Vettel – 1’50.519

+1.288 Lewis Hamilton – 1’50.722

+1.506 Max Verstappen – 1’50.940

+1.778 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’51.212

+2.854 Felipe Massa – 1’52.288

+4.386 Marcus Ericsson – 1’53.820

+4.530 Valtteri Bottas – 1’53.964

+4.579 Felipe Nasr – 1’54.013

+6.244 Jenson Button – 1’55.678

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on “Sainz tops the times at soaked Suzuka”

  1. So…what would Mercedes will show us in Suzuka this weekend? ;)

  2. Decent running for a wet practice. What a moment from Bottas. Strange to see so much camber on his car early on, I guess Williams were just going through all set-up possibilities for wet conditions. I know it shouldn’t be more rain for the weekend but rain would certainly show who’s confident with themselves and the car. This is contract time. The resilient lady with the Manor banner was a nice touch.

  3. I guess you can’t blame teams/drivers for saving their engines.

    1. @HoHum, this is about more than just saving engines, because even in the past when engine use was unlimited, teams would rarely send drivers out onto a wet track if they expected the race itself to be dry.

      The drivers and teams are not going to be learning anything useful from this session if the conditions are going to be completely different in the race – so, from their point of view, what is the point in going out? At best they earn information of very limited use, and at worst they run the risk of the driver crashing and damaging the car – so why take unnecessary risks for very little reward?

    2. (Wet/Inter)Tyres are toooo limited!

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