"This track is awesome - I'm having the best day”. That was Lewis Hamilton’s assessment during second practice in Japan - and the timesheets backed up the Mercedes star, who blew his rivals away on Friday…
Having topped the timesheet in FP1, the world championship leader repeated those exploits in Free Practice 2 – and in some style. Shod with the supersoft rubber for the first time this weekend, he clocked an impressive 1m 28.217s, finishing four tenths ahead of Silver Arrows team mate Valtteri Bottas in second.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel completed the top three behind the Mercedes duo, but the German -trailing Hamilton by 50 points coming into this event - couldn’t get anywhere near his championship rival , finishing 0.833s behind the pacesetter, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen over a second off the pace in fourth.
The sister Prancing Horse of Kimi Raikkonen, a Japanese Grand Prix winner back in 2005 with McLaren, pipped Verstappen’s team mate Daniel Ricciardo to fifth - but only just, the Finn edging that battle by going 0.015s quicker than the Australian.