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Japanese GP: Unsurprising result for Williams Martini in FP1

By Andrew Hooper
October 5 2018

It would be an unsurprising result for the Williams Martini team in the opening Friday practice session for the 2018 Japanese GP. Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin would finish in 16th and 19th respectively. Both drivers would focus on runs on the supersoft tyre with longer runs late in the session. As was the case in previous weekends both drivers would set times but would see others quickly move ahead of them.

 Williams Martini Japanese GP Friday 1st Practice

Team Summary:
With drivers completing their installation laps it would be Ricciardo who would set the first competitive time with a 1m:30.651 running on the soft tyres. He would improve with a 1m:30.312 from Leclerc and Ericsson. But Verstappen would go quicker with a 1m:30.298 also on the soft tyre. Then Ricciardo would also improve with a 1m:30.030 to again be quickest. Verstappen was second followed now by Leclerc, Perez, Ericsson, and Ocon. More drivers started to come out with an hour and ten minutes remaining. Both Mercedes cars were out on the track while neither Williams car had come out for timed laps. Bottas would move into third with Raikkonen now fourth with Bottas on soft tyre and Raikkonen the supersofts.

On the medium tyre Hamilton would go third followed by Bottas. Both Williams cars would come out with the pair on the supersoft tyre. Bottas was again third with Vettel fifth. Hamilton would go quickest on the medium tyre with a 1m:30.015 but Bottas would move ahead with a 1m:29.842 but on the soft tyre. Slowest were the two McLaren's with both running on the medium tyre. Vettel would improve to be second but was on the supersoft tyre. Hamilton had to run wide to avoid Gasly at the final chicane with Gasly having been running very slowly. This would see Gasly under investigation. The track would empty as drivers returned to return their set of Pirelli tyres. The Williams drivers were currently 15th and 18th. The top ten was currently Bottas followed by Vettel, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Gasly, Leclerc, and Ocon tenth.

The first cars would be both McLaren's and Bottas all on the medium tyre. Hamilton was back out on the soft tyre as Alonso went through the gravel at Turn nine, Degner curves, but was able to continue and would pit. Hamilton would go quickest with a 1m:28.691 followed by Bottas with a 1m:29.137. Vettel was now third but on the supersoft tyre. Leclerc and Ericsson were eighth and ninth, both on the supersoft tyre. Raikkonen had been in his pit as his team worked on his car but was now back out. On the supersoft tyre Ricciardo would go third but was 0.6 off Hamilton's time on the soft tyre. Raikkonen would improve to now be fourth running on the supersoft tyre. Ocon was in seventh running on the soft tyre. With twenty minutes remaining there were only a handful of drivers on the track. Both Mercedes and Red Bull cars were out on the track with under fifteen minutes remaining.

Both Williams cars were back out doing what were longer runs on used supersoft tyres. With under ten minutes remaining the track was again busy as teams worked on longer runs. The session would end with the Williams pair 16th and 18th. The top ten would be Hamilton, Bottas, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Vettel, Verstappen, Ocon, Grosjean, Leclerc, and Ericsson tenth. Not an unsurprising result for Williams with their cars down the times in 16th and 18th.

Lance Stroll:
Lance would follow Sergey out but was on the soft tyre completing two installation laps. He would complete further laps but would not set a time. Lance would join his team-mate out for his first timed laps also on the supersoft tyre. Lance would set a 1mn:32.094 to be 14th. He would drop to 15th and would pit after a eight lap run. Lance would return on a new set of supersoft tyres. Lance would set a 1m:31.508 to be ninth dropping to tenth. He would drop to 15th as others went quicker. Lance would pit after a six lap run. In his pit Lance would drop to 16th. Lance woudl also come back out on used supersoft tyres. Lance would pit ending his session still in 16th having completed a total of fifteen laps on the supersoft tyre. Lance would finish a second ahead of his team-mate.

Sergey Sirotkin:
Sergey would be first out for Williams running on the medium tyre. Sergey would complete a single installation lap. Sergey would quickly return completing another lap on the medium tyre. With an hour and five minutes remaining Sergey would come out for his timed laps running on the supersoft tyre. He would set a 1m:33.696 to be 20th on his first run at the Suzuka circuit. He would improve with a 1m:32.750 to now be 18th. Sergey would pit after a seven lap run. Sergey would drop to 19th as Norris went ahead of him. Sergey would also return on a new set of supersoft tyres with thirty five minutes remaining. Sergey had improved with a 1m:32.513 to be 18th but Alonso would move ahead of the Williams. Sergey would return on a ser of used supersoft tyres. Sergey would complete the session having done a total of twenty four laps on the supersoft tyre.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m28.691s - 25
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m29.137s 0.446s 26
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m29.373s 0.682s 32
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m29.627s 0.936s 20
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m29.685s 0.994s 20
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Renault 1m29.841s 1.150s 30
7 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 1m30.591s 1.900s 28
8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m30.814s 2.123s 22
9 Charles Leclerc Sauber-Ferrari 1m30.929s 2.238s 27
10 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1m31.073s 2.382s 29
11 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1m31.073s 2.382s 20
12 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m31.100s 2.409s 23
13 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m31.272s 2.581s 29
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m31.274s 2.583s 28
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m31.418s 2.727s 18
16 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1m31.508s 2.817s 27
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso-Honda 1m31.908s 3.217s 23
18 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Renault 1m32.034s 3.343s 21
19 Sergey Sirotkin Williams-Mercedes 1m32.513s 3.822s 26
20 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m32.683s 3.992s 30

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Japanese GP: Unsurprising result for Williams Martini in FP1
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05/10/2018 05:16
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