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FIA Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix 2017

Round 16: Japanese Grand Prix

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Japan
Japan
October 6, 2017

"IT FEELS SPECIAL AROUND HERE"

Both McLaren Honda drivers made a solid start to their Japanese Grand Prix weekend, despite finishing this morning’s FP1 session not completely satisfied with the balance of their MCL32s.

A torrential rain shower in FP2 rendered the afternoon’s session a near-complete washout, with only five drivers establishing a lap-time in the wet conditions.

While neither Fernando nor Stoffel set a time, they both ran a couple of incomplete laps to evaluate set-up changes ahead of qualifying tomorrow, which is currently expected to be drier.

FERNANDO ALONSO
#FA14 MCL32-02

FP1 1:31.235s (+2.069s) 19 laps 12th
FP2 No time 2 laps 11th
FP3 1:30.414 (+1.369s) 13 laps 8th

“As predicted, we had a Friday with only one dry session, so we tried different things in the first session, and did as many laps as we could.

“In FP2, it was raining too hard so we couldn’t do much. We did a few laps at the end of the session, when it had stopped raining, but there wasn’t much purpose in running in the wet as it looks like it’ll be dry in the race, and probably qualifying too.

“The car was behaving well on a circuit where performance is mainly expressed in the fast corners of the first sector. It feels special because there’s so much grip out there.”

STOFFEL VANDOORNE
#SV2 MCL32-03

FP1 1:21.202s (+2.036s) 24 laps 10th
FP2 No time 1 lap 14th
FP3 1:30.770 (+1.715s) 18 laps 12th

“So far, it’s quite difficult to know what to expect, especially as today’s running was very limited. FP1 was quite normal, without any trouble, but we only got to do an installation lap in the rain during FP2.

“The weather will be key tomorrow – it looks like it’ll be a dry race on Sunday, so qualifying will be super-important. Looking at the weather radar for tomorrow, it's still a bit difficult to predict, it should potentially be dry in quali tomorrow.

“The car felt nice around here. Suzuka’s a high-speed circuit with lots of direction changes and, especially with with the downforce and wider tyres we have this year, they’re very impressive in the first sector;very exciting to drive.

“Whatever happens, we’ll make the best of it this weekend.”


Eric Boullier

MCLAREN-HONDA RACING DIRECTOR

“As ever, at Suzuka, the weather can make things difficult – and this afternoon’s FP2 effectively became a complete washout due to the heavy rain. Luckily, we managed to get a few exploratory laps under out belts, which was useful for evaluating a few systems checks, but, like everyone else, we’ve got a lot of work to do tomorrow.

“Both drivers were relatively happy with their cars during this morning’s dry FP1 session – but, again, they’ve highlighted a few shortcomings which we’re still working to cure ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

“Nevertheless, I think we’ve made a solid start to the weekend.”


Yusuke Hasegawa

HONDA R&D CO LTD HEAD OF F1 PROJECT & EXECUTIVE CHIEF ENGINEER

“We have been looking forward to having our home Grand Prix at Suzuka. However, it was disappointing that we lost so much track time due to the rain today.

“With such a complex circuit layout, car set-up is key. Therefore, we will look to analyse the data that we were able to gather from today's session together with McLaren tonight.

“I’d like to thank all the home fans who visited the circuit in such poor weather conditions. It was great to see so much support. We hope to show them a good result in tomorrow's qualifying.”

FIA Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix 2017
Round 16: Japanese Grand Prix Practice1
Rank Driver Team
1Sebastian VettelFerrari
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull
4Kimi RäikkönenFerrari
5Valtteri BottasMercedes
6Max VerstappenRed Bull
7Esteban OconForce India
8Nico HulkenbergRenault
9Romain GrosjeanHaas
10Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda
11Kevin MagnussenHaas
12Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda
13Sergio PerezForce India
14Lance StrollWilliams
15Jolyon PalmerRenault
16Felipe MassaWilliams
17Carlos SainzToro Rosso
18Pierre GaslyToro Rosso
19Pascal WehrleinSauber
20Marcus EricssonSauber

Practice2
Rank Driver Team
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes
2Esteban OconForce India
3Sergio PerezForce India
4Felipe MassaWilliams
5Lance StrollWilliams
6Kimi RäikkönenFerrari
7Nico HulkenbergRenault
8Jolyon PalmerRenault
9Marcus EricssonSauber
10Sebastian VettelFerrari
11Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda
12Pascal WehrleinSauber
13Carlos SainzToro Rosso
14Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda

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