Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2019

Bottas takes ‘provisional pole’ from Hamilton in second practice

2019 Japanese Grand Prix second practice

Posted on

| Written by

Valtteri Bottas headed the second practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix, which could decide the times for Sunday’s race grid.

As qualifying has been delayed to Sunday due to the threat from Super Typhoon Hagibis, and with the possibility of further rain on Sunday morning disrupting that session, the stewards announced the fastest times from second practice could be used to determine the grid.

That added an extra edge to the usual second practice qualifying simulations. However Mercedes didn’t feel the need to do last-gasp runs on soft tyres at the end of the session having set the two top times earlier in proceedings.

Despite a spin at the final corner earlier in the session, Bottas bounced back to claim lead the session ahead of team mate Lewis Hamilton by exactly one tenth of a second. Max Verstappen slipped to third place after briefly splitting the pair.

Verstappen put his Red Bull ahead of the two Ferraris. The two SF-90s did make final runs on soft tyres, and Charles Leclerc took the opportunity to jump ahead of Sebastian Vettel into fourth place. Alexander Albon fell short of beating Vettel by two hundredths of a second.

As in first practice, Carlos Sainz Jnr led the midfield, putting his McLaren two tenths of a second ahead of the usual close fight behind him. Sergio Perez was next, followed by Pierre Gasly and the second McLaren of Lando Norris.

It was a poor session for Renault. Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg ended up 17th and 18th – potentially on the penultimate row of the grid – in their updated RS19s.

Alfa Romeo had more problems. Antonio Giovinazzi managed only four laps in the first practice session after being sidelined by a problem. In second practice it was Kimi Raikkonen’s turn to be summoned into the pits with a fault, though he was able to rejoin the track.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’27.785 33
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’27.885 0.100 34
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1’28.066 0.281 24
4 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1’28.141 0.356 28
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’28.376 0.591 37
6 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda 1’28.402 0.617 34
7 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr McLaren-Renault 1’29.051 1.266 29
8 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1’29.299 1.514 28
9 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1’29.354 1.569 34
10 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1’29.358 1.573 35
11 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’29.477 1.692 29
12 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1’29.512 1.727 35
13 8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’29.553 1.768 28
14 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1’29.597 1.812 27
15 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’29.651 1.866 33
16 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’29.749 1.964 31
17 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1’29.859 2.074 30
18 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’30.334 2.549 29
19 88 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1’30.916 3.131 35
20 63 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1’31.071 3.286 36

Second practice visual gaps

Valtteri Bottas – 1’27.785

+0.100 Lewis Hamilton – 1’27.885

+0.281 Max Verstappen – 1’28.066

+0.356 Charles Leclerc – 1’28.141

+0.591 Sebastian Vettel – 1’28.376

+0.617 Alexander Albon – 1’28.402

+1.266 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’29.051

+1.514 Sergio Perez – 1’29.299

+1.569 Pierre Gasly – 1’29.354

+1.573 Lando Norris – 1’29.358

+1.692 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’29.477

+1.727 Daniil Kvyat – 1’29.512

+1.768 Romain Grosjean – 1’29.553

+1.812 Lance Stroll – 1’29.597

+1.866 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’29.651

+1.964 Kevin Magnussen – 1’29.749

+2.074 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’29.859

+2.549 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’30.334

+3.131 Robert Kubica – 1’30.916

+3.286 George Russell – 1’31.071

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 Japanese Grand Prix

Browse all 2019 Japanese Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

51 comments on “Bottas takes ‘provisional pole’ from Hamilton in second practice”

  1. F1 website is showing both Ferrari’s improved their time on last runs and moved closer to Verstappen.

    1. Ver did his times on medium!

      1. erikje Both Ferraris ran on a ‘conservative’ power setting. If there is a qualifying on Sunday things will possibly change with at least on Ferrari in front of Verstappen.

        1. a ‘conservative’ power setting

          @johnrkh AKA ‘non jet fuel’ setting I guess

        2. Considering high risk of qualifying being cancelled on sunday as well dont think any team with sane head would risk in FP2.

      2. No, he did his time on the softs.

  2. Cool!

    Can we consider this the first trial of “non-standard” weekend?
    And if qualifying takes places on Sunday – it will be the second test.

    I am perfectly fine with both new formats))

    1. Been there done that.

  3. Yet again Leclerc ahead of Vettel in quali.

    And Verstappen on the radar for a good result after a long time. It is gonna be a fun race, especially if it goes wet.

    1. In Leclerc’s mind the song “Oops, I did it again” can’t stop playing.

      Consistently around 0.2s in qualy over Vettel this year.

  4. With qualifying having been postponed, does that mean there is extra time to submit predictions championship entries @keithcollantine?

    1. @3dom Yes you should see the timer on the page is already running to the updated qualifying start time.

      1. Thank you Keith

      2. That’s an impressiv dedication to a game :)

      3. So if you guess Bottas on Pole you have a good chance of being right :)

  5. Very surprising to see Renault languishing down at the bottom. If they were using it, perhaps the new front wing is doing the opposite of what it is supposed to Haas.

    1. @webtel I think like Ferrari they are hoping for a clear Sundy for a proper qualy.

      1. @johnrkh
        Leaving it late and hoping for better conditions is one thing, but still you wouldnt expect them to be so away from McLaren given the fact that they have brought upgrades.
        Nevertheless, we’ll get a better picture on sunday.

    2. Hopefully Renault come back stronger next year and can have a proper fight

      1. I thought this year was that year. I have lost faith now. They have been dismal this year. No works team again outshining them. Pathetic really. Sadly I am now agreeing with the rest of the world…Daniel made a mistake. It hurts to say it but there it is.

  6. Great to see the old ‘provisional pole’ phrase back in use. Reminds of 1995 or 2005(didn’t work out to well then)

    1. It seems you didn’t watch qualifying recently, because I normally listen to italian commentators ofc, but whenever I watch highlights in english, which are actual phrases english commentators used, they say “he is in provisional pole!”.

      1. Croft over uses the term. He’ll call provisional pole 2 minutes into Q3.

  7. merc have gone all out, squashed to the floor tyre deflecting big top speed friday, yet bot and lewis combined lap time is far quicker.
    since singapore that ferrari has a front end, I think Ferrari might be the quickest on dry weather, maybe the limited running will hinder ferrari.
    Ferrari running a slightly slimmer rear wing, isn’t it supposed to be wet?
    Albon is driving like Max, that’s the way to do it, right approach, emulate max.
    norris is fading, he is understeering like crazy.
    tight grid from the top6 down.

  8. Are the cars on provisional parc ferme too?

    1. No, it is still not an exact decision to not have a qualifying session. So, we still have a qualifying session to go.

  9. Is there any info on long runs / race pace? For me, that is usually the more interesting part than the fastest laps in FP because we rarely know what fuel load or engine modes the top team were using.

    1. Karun was discussing those during FP2. The Mercs were around 8 tenths faster over longer stints than the Ferrari and Red Bulls.

      1. thanks JC! So, basically a one horse race if the track will be dry(ish).

  10. So does this mean the cars can start on any tyre they choose?

    1. @ob1 Good question, presumably so. Much better too since it opens up the race tactically.

  11. Grid in reverse championship order? I know none of the top teams would agree to it, but what fun for the spectators ; – )

    1. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
      11th October 2019, 22:23

      @frasier – That would make no sense but be so cool!!!! Russel on pole and Hamilton last. In a dry race it would be really interesting and I’m not sure who would win – but I Verstappen would be my best bet. The top 3 teams would surely still get back to the top and the Red Bulls seem to follow cars more effectively than the Ferrari’s or Mercedes, plus Verstappen would be ahead of both Mercs anyway. Unfortunately both Williams cars would probably still be last, but if that grid would happen this weekend I would predict a podium of: VER, LEC, HAM. What would your prediction be?

      1. It depends on whether the race is wet or dry.. Suzuka isn’t a great overtaking track hence I imagine the usual suspects would end up leading a series of very long queues, the longest probably behind Magnussen..

        Never going to find out of course..

  12. As Hamilton didn’t go out again to try to secure provisional pole and Renault were hardly trying, and perhaps Ferrari weren’t either, I would assume most teams think the weather will permit a proper qualifying on Sunday morning at 10am local time.

    1. Maybe so but that seems quite a presumption to take.

      1. @david-br The eye currently looks it will be around 900-1000 kilometers away at qualifying (10 Sunday, Japan time), and high wind speeds also well away from the track, so unless something changes, it should be fine.

        Play or click forwards until you hit 9-12 at the 12th. Outside the yellow bubble, there’s under 5% chance of 50 knot winds (92.7 km/h). Of course, that’s still quite extreme winds for racing, but that edge is far away (around 500km), so it will probably be much, much lower wind speeds.

        1. D’oh, typo: 9-12 at the 13th

        2. @losd Thanks losd, a sprinkling of rain would be nice though :o)

  13. Albon is doing really well in that RB.

  14. Does anyone in Australia know what time Quali will be on Sunday morning? It doesn’t seem Foxtel have update new times.

    1. The official shows timetables converted to your local time (you can toggle between the two).

    2. Garns In QLD it will be 13:00, NSW/Vic/Tas 12:00 that is if it starts at the time they say of 10:00 Japan time.

  15. Gasly seems at least on Kvyat’s level. I don’t know how that Red Bull is built, but it sure seems a different thing altogether compared to TR.

  16. I either want rosberg back or bottas should just let ricciardo or another top driver have his seat

    1. @caelosmedrano What makes you think Ricciardo could beat Lewis i highly doubt Lewis would be going life and death with Hulkenberg or getting destroyed in oace his last year at redbulll

      1. @carlosmedrano Apparently there is a rumour that Ricciardo has next refusal at Ferrari.

  17. @carlosmedrano What makes you think Ricciardo could beat Lewis i highly doubt Lewis would be going life and death with Hulkenberg or getting destroyed in oace his last year at redbulll

  18. FYI I understand that qualifying taking place Sunday morning or not will be more down to if the systems are back up & running than the actual track conditions.

    The TV tent is been torn down & loaded into permanent buildings, All of the trackside cameras, timing/tracking systems & the fibre ring that picks up all the onboard feeds, team radio & telemetry is also been packed away.

    All of that stuff will need to be unloaded & re-setup which will depend on when it becomes safe to set all of that stuff back up, It will then need to work out the box & a full systems check will need to be conducted before qualifying can run in order to ensure everything works.

    It is possible that we have a scenario where track conditions are fine to run qualifying at 10am local as planned but that it can’t run because things are still been setup or have been setup but aren’t working correctly.

    It usually takes a full day to build the communication center & set all the systems up yet they will be trying to do it in a morning which is a massive ask.

    1. Yeah okay, that’s not a lot of time. It seems the area will be safe-ish some time after midnight, so probably less than 8 hours before a decision has to be made… And that would require an all-nighter from everyone, which is not a given (it’s not like the race-time and post-race work disappears).

Comments are closed.