Mercedes came out on top in FP1 over in Suzuka, as it was announced that threats of a typhoon will postpone qualifying until before the race on Sunday.
Valtteri Bottas topped the session, closely followed by team mate Lewis Hamilton. From there the gap between Hamilton and Vettel swelled to almost a full second as the two Ferrari's took third and fourth.
The Honda fueled Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon rounded out the top six.
There were strong showings for both the McLaren's and Racing point's with Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll splitting the both Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.
On the opposite end of the time-screens, Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi had a poor showing, finishing eight seconds off the pace and only completing four laps in the session. Another team that struggled seemed to be Renault who slumped to outside of the top ten.
Mercedes look strong
Another strong showing from Mercedes in FP1 shows that there is every chance that they could have the Constructors Title all wrapped up by the end of Sunday.
The session finished in a one-two for the Silver Arrows, showing that the only figure of eight track on the calendar suits them down to the ground.
On top of that, the upgrades that they have brought to the weekend look to be making that little bit of a difference that they were after. After Ferrari dominance over the last few races, this could be the boost that they have needed.
After the England Rugby match was postponed during the World Cup over in Japan due to the bad weather that is to come later this weekend, there is every chance that this was the only chance of some dry running.
Reports are that the typhoon is set to hit the track over the course of Saturday, hence the decision to postpone qualifying all together until Sunday. The weather forecast for this FP1 session estimated that there was a 45% chance of rain, however that never materialized.
New boy takes to the track
Naoki Yamamoto made his Formula One debut today for the Honda powered Toro Rosso at their home Grand Prix. He took the place of Frenchman Pierre Gasly for this FP1 session. The Japanese native had apologised to Gasly for taking his seat in practice before Friday had even began.
The 31-year-old currently races in the two major domestic trophies in Japan, Super GT and Super Formula, racing with Team Kunimistu and DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing respectively.
Japanese FP1 Results
- Valtteri Bottas - 1.28.731
- Lewis Hamilton +0.076s
- Sebastian Vettel +0.989s
- Charles Leclerc +1.181s
- Max Verstappen +1.315s
- Alexander Albon +1.644s
- Carlos Sainz +1.971s
- Sergio Perez +2.079s
- Lance Stroll +2.228s
- Lando Norris +2.270s
- Romain Grosjean +2.552s
- Kimi Raikkonen +2.576s
- Nico Hulkenberg +2.695s
- Daniel Ricciardo +2.832s
- Kevin Magnussen +3.054s
- Danill Kvyat +3.189s
- Naoki Yamamoto +3.287s
- George Russell +4.069s
- Robert Kubica +4.753s
- Antonio Giovinazzi +8.156s