Nico Rosberg took the upper hand in both of the Friday practice sessions for the Japanese Grand Prix. He leads his team mate Lewis Hamilton by 23 points and that first World title is getting closer and closer.
Lewis Hamilton wasn’t in the best of moods after the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend after yet more engine problems. His mood won’t have improved today after he complained of a lack of power early in the first practice session. Nico Rosberg finished fastest 0.215 seconds quicker than the British driver. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third, 1.094 seconds behind Rosberg but he has been given a three-place grid penalty for causing that first lap collision last weekend. His team mate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth with the two Red Bulls in fifth and sixth with Daniel Ricciardo ahead of Max Verstappen but both were using the slower medium tyre.
The Mercedes performance was even better considering they are running their engines in a revised spec. This means their performance won’t quite be so supreme at certain points but you wouldn’t really have noticed to be fair.
It was an eventful practice session for Fernando Alonso in his McLaren. He finished ninth despite having to go into the pits after going off and damaging his car at Spoon Curve. Despite that he was still 0.674 seconds ahead of team mate Jenson Button who finished down in 13th after problems with the balance of his McLaren.
It was closer between the two Mercedes in second practice. Rosberg again finished fastest though but was just 0.072 seconds ahead of Hamilton. Raikkonen was in third with Max Verstappen pipping Sebastian Vettel for fourth. There were more problems for Jenson Button who this time was down in 16th.
Hamilton believes there’s “still some work to be done overnight In order to find more pace” but will also have one eye on the weather. The forecast is uncertain so it could well be an interesting weekend as Lewis tries his best to narrow that gap between himself and Rosberg.
’ll be back tomorrow with a report of qualifying and a look ahead to the race. Till then enjoy your racing.