Racing Point report from the first day of free practice of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, Round 17 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Suzuka Circuit.
FP1 1:30.810 P8 21 laps
FP2 1:29.299 P8 28 laps
“I think we can be quite happy with the performance today – certainly compared to the teams we expect to be racing on Sunday. With the rain due to arrive later tonight, and qualifying cancelled tomorrow, there’s still a chance that qualifying might not take place on Sunday morning. If this happens, then today’s practice results will make up the grid. If that is the case, then eighth place is not a bad place to start the race. It’s close in the middle of the grid – with half a second covering about ten cars – so it’s going to be a close battle whatever happens on Sunday.”
FP1 1:30.959 P9 27 laps
FP2 1:29.597 P14 27 laps
“It was a good day. I think the car is working well, but we need to see what happens with the weather on Sunday. There are question marks about whether qualifying will even happen – because we don’t know if the storm will have cleared by Sunday morning. It certainly made things a little bit more interesting in FP2 and we had to think more about qualifying today.
“With everything cancelled tomorrow, it’s quite a strange feeling. There are not a massive amount of things to do in the hotel and we won’t be going outside. So I guess we will hang out and watch some movies until the weather improves.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal: “It has been quite an unusual day. The Super Typhoon is closing in on Japan and the organisers took the sensible decision to call off-track activities on Saturday.
“With qualifying and the race taking place on Sunday, it means we lose the final practice session. We knew this just as first practice began, so we hastily adjusted our programmes to ensure we completed our qualifying preparations today.
“Now it’s a case of wait and see what happens when the typhoon hits and how long it takes to clear us. I’m hopeful that we can still have the race on Sunday, but obviously the safety of the fans and everybody involved in the sport will take priority.”