Valtteri Bottas managed to go top again in FP2 as Ferrari and Red Bull both managed to close the gap set in FP1.
The Finn set the fastest time of the weekend thus far with a 1.27.785, just one hundredth of a second in front of his British counterpart Lewis Hamilton.
Both Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc managed to do better than FP1, leapfrogging Sebastian Vettel to take third and fourth and seeing the German dropping to 5th. Alexander Albon continues his solid start to life in the Red Bull, rounding out the top 6.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, a team that seemed to struggle once again was Renault, as they dropped further down the order, finishing FP2 in 17th and 18th place.
If this kind of pace continues on Sunday, the French team could have a very long race ahead. Especially if McLaren can continue the pace they have shown so far.
Despite a strong showing in both FP1 and FP2, Friday hasn't been without mistake for Mercedes's Bottas. Coming in to start a lap towards the start of FP2 the Finn lit up his back tyres coming onto the back straight spinning off of the track.
To make things worse the car behind him at the time was teammate Hamilton, who's flying lap was delayed due to the mistake. None the less, it was still an extremely strong showing from the Silver Arrows.
McLaren best of the rest, yet again
Carlos Sainz proved 'Mr Consistent' yet again as he managed to put the car seventh. His FP1 started in a shaky fashion, stopping early on, however the issues seemed to subside and he squeezed a few good laps out of the car.
Following the second session he detailed where the car shone and where it needed to improve. According to the Spaniard the car preferred the higher down force first and second sectors, but fell short in the more power hungry final sector. If the pace can continue throughout the weekend I'm sure he wont be concerned.
Ferrari battle continues
The inter-team battle between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc seemed to continue in FP2.
There were a couple of times where the two tripped over one another. The atmosphere over at Ferrari could be described as dicey given the last few races.
The whole situation of the experienced German who could arguably be past his peak and the young, hungry driver who is going to be a big talent in the future will be a concern of Ferrari. The rest of the season could prove vital in the race for the number one driver spot.
Japanese GP FP2 Results
- Valtteri Bottas - 1.27.785s
- Lewis Hamilton +0.100s
- Max Verstappen +0.281s
- Charles leclerc +0.356s
- Sebastian Vettel +0.591s
- Alexander Albon +0.617s
- Carlos Sainz +1.266s
- Sergio Perez +1.514s
- Pierre Gasly +1.569s
- Lando Norris +1.573s
- Kimi Raikkonen +1.692s
- Daniil Kvyat +1.727s
- Romain Grosjean +1.768s
- Lance Stroll +1.812s
- Antonio Giovinazzi +1.866s
- Kevin Magnussen +1.964s
- Daniel Ricciardo +2.074s
- Nico Hulkenberg +2.549s
- Robert Kubica +3.131s
- George Russell +3.286s