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F1 2015: Japanese GP First Free Practice Report – Sainz Quickest In Wet

Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz set the quickest time in a rain-hit first free practice session in Japan.

Roughly and and a half hours before the start of the first free practice session in Japan the heavens opened and drenched the Suzuka circuit. As usual it did nothing to dampen the spirit of the Japanese fans who turned up in large numbers to get a glimpse of Formula 1.

The initial part of the session remained quiet as team waited out the worst of the condition. As the predication for the rest of the weekend looks decidedly more sunny there wasnt a whole to gain by running in the wet conditions. However, the weather around these parts has been known to be quite volatile in the past and whatever the prediction there is always a chance of inclement weather.

As a result all cars eventually ventured out onto circuit which dried enough towards the end of the session for intermediate tyres to be used. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen set the most laps at fifteen followed closely by Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg with fourteen laps.

Spanish driver Carlos Sainz set the fastest time of the one and a half hour session ahead of Red Bull’s Dannil Kvyat. Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton completed the top five.

One of the biggest stories, stemming from yesterday, was that the Lotus team had been locked out of its hospitality area as a result of some “unpaid bills.” It’s made for a rather uncomfortable start to the weekend for the team and its drivers whose engineers had to stop off at a famous burger joint for breakfast. Here’s hoping this issue is resolved before long.

Final free practice 1 standings:


About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

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Countdown to Next Race


2017 Chinese GP Broadcast Times

Free Practice 1Thursday 22:00Friday 04:00Friday 05:00Friday 10:00
Free Practice 2Friday 02:00Friday 08:00Friday 09:00Friday 14:00
Free Practice 3Saturday 00:00Saturday 06:00Saturday 07:00Saturday 12:00
QualifyingSaturday 03:00Saturday 09:00Saturday 10:00Saturday 15:00
RaceSunday 02:00Sunday 08:00Sunday 09:00Sunday 14:00

2017 Drivers Championship

1 Sebastian Vettel25
2 Lewis Hamilton18
3 Valtteri Bottas15
4 Kimi Raikkonen12
5 Max Verstappen10
> Full Championship Table