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Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Formula 1

    Well, it was not one of the most eventful days of practice this season as rain ruled, but it certainly sets things up for a frenetic Saturday.

    With dry conditions expected throughout the weekend, teams will have just one hour of final practice to get themselves set up for both qualifying, and the race.

    We'll be back bright and early at 03:30 BST for final practice on Saturday. See you then.

  2. Post update

    OK, we are just about done with our coverage of today's practice for the Japanese Grand Prix. 

    If you missed any of the action, here's Andrew Benson's report, while video highlights will be available online later today.

  3. Making a McLaren...in hats

    We had the rear of a McLaren...

    Formula 1

    ...and the front of a McLaren...

    Formula 1

    ...will we see the rest of the car in hat form on Saturday?

  4. Get involved #bbcf1

  5. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton sums it up best when asked by Tom Clarkson what he learned today: "Have you heard of the term diddly squat? That is exactly what.

    "There was not much to learn, we learned it all in the last race here when it was raining. It is irrelevant what we did today, with the weekend going to be dry."

  6. Post update

    Mercedes F1 team boss Toto Wolff: "If you don't need to test any new items on the car, there is no need to take a risk in these conditions.

    "This circuit should definitely suit our car more than in Singapore but nevertheless the enemy has come alive."

    Toto Wolff
  7. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst

    Quote Message: It was changing conditions. We were expecting drier conditions after a wet first practice, but then the rain came again for second practice and it became irrelevant running with dry weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday.
  8. Second practice result

    1) Kvyat 2) Rosberg 3) Hamilton 4) Ricciardo 5) Vettel 6) Raikkonen 7) Sainz 8) Verstappen 9) Nasr 10) Maldonado

    11) Hulkenberg 12) Button 13) Ericsson 14) Perez 15) Grosjean 16) Massa 17) Alonso 18) Stevens 19) Rossi

  9. Chequered flag

    Daniil Kvyat finishes fastest in second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

  10. Post update

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    Into the final three minutes of a wet second practice and Daniil Kvyat is set to finish top of the timesheet. The conditions have meant we've not had the opportunity for a sneak peak at the pace of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

  12. Post update

    Formula 1

    Stand down Ferrari horse hat man [see 07:12]. We have our new winners.

  13. Post update

    Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button also head out for some late laps, or to "potter around" as Allan McNish describes it on BBC commentary. The circuit is still very wet.

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    Into the final 15 minutes of FP2 and Lewis Hamilton, full wet tyres bolted on, emerges on the track. Nico Rosberg soon follows suit.

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    Japanese F1 fans

    The rain is not dampening the mood of some of the fans at Suzuka today, including this chap on the left who is quite possibly winning the crazy hat stakes with this Ferrari horse face effort. It's an homage to Vettel's white helmet, which sports the head of the Prancing Horse and the stripes of the German flag.

  19. Post update

    McLaren

    Fernando Alonso is out on the circuit after an engine change between practice sessions to give the McLaren fans something to cheer about. He posts a 1m57.087s with his first flyer, putting him 17th fastest.

  20. What you may have missed

    Just got up? Here's what you've missed from Suzuka so far today.

    • Daniil Kvyat currently fastest in FP2
    • Carlos Sainz fastest in a wet first practice
    • Nico Rosberg third, Lewis Hamilton fifth 
    • Drivers cautious because of the conditions
    • A couple of drivers running off the track in the wet
    • Some fans falling asleep in the stands
  21. Post update

  22. Post update

    The rain is coming down harder now and Marcus Ericsson has a moment at the second corner, losing the back of his Sauber. After a 1:55.658, a time four seconds slower than his best of the session, he heads back in.

    Thirty minutes left.

  23. Post update

    Marcus Ericsson, with full wet tyres on his Sauber, heads back out to break the silence.

  24. Post update

    Formula 1

    It is all quiet on the circuit as the drivers head into the pits. It hasn't been the most exciting of days for the fans in the stands...

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    "I cannot see anything with this spray," says Carlos Sainz over team radio.

    "OK Carlos, box this lap," is the reply.

    A frustrating day of practice so far, with little to be learned with dry conditions forecast for much of the weekend.

    Carlos Sainz driving in the rain
  27. Post update

    Sebastian Vettel

    "OK there is quite a lot more rain now," says Sebastian Vettel as he briefly pops his hand out of the cockpit. Waving to fans or checking the rain?

    He goes on to clock a 1:50.268, the fifth fastest time so far.

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    Daniil Kvyat is back into P1 with a 1:48.227, just 0.023s quicker than Nico Rosberg.

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    Formula 1

    Waterproof ponchos aplenty in the stands as the rain starts to get a little heavier. The changing conditions are having an impact on the track too, as Max Verstappen finds himself briefly off the track again, this time at the hairpin.

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    Eighteen of the 20 drivers have completed at least one timed lap now, just waiting for appearances from Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso.

  34. Post update

    Missing screw located, Max Verstappen is back out on the circuit but looks to tackle the final chicane with too much speed and runs wide. 

    "Massive understeer," he complains over team radio.

    Max Verstappen driving into the gravel
  35. Get involved #bbcf1

  36. Post update

    Just under one hour to go and Nico Rosberg tops the timesheet ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat and Sebastian Vettel.

    Nico Rosberg driving in the rain
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    As well as Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas are yet to make an appearance on the circuit in this session.

  39. Rain returning?

  40. Post update

    Jennie Gow

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    Quote Message: "Unfortunately McLaren have found some anomalies in the engine and power unit at the end of FP1 in Alonso's car and in the break between sessions they have done an engine change, it is back to another one, it is not using a new one and they hope to get him out in the next 20 minutes or so."
  41. Post update

    Fernando Alonso doesn't look to be heading out any time soon. He's not in his McLaren and is instead sat at a table watching the action.

  42. Get involved #bbcf1

  43. Post update

  44. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton can't beat his team-mate into P1 as he clocks a 1:48.853, half a second off Nico Rosberg's time.

    Meanwhile replays just catch Pastor Maldonado, who currently has the sixth fastest time, off the circuit and on the artificial grass at Turn 2, having run well wide. Sebastian Vettel also has a brief excursion off the circuit. Still wet out there.

    Maldonado spins off
  45. Post update

    A few drivers struggled to keep the car on the circuit in first practice because of the wet surface and Kimi Raikkonen is the first to go off in FP2, running onto the artificial grass at the final chicane.

  46. Post update

    The clouds are starting to lift and the spray kicking up from the back of the cars is getting a little smaller as conditions continue to improve. 

    Nico Rosberg gets up and running in FP2 with a 1:48.300 that takes him straight to the top of the leaderboard. 

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    Kimi Raikkonen goes second fastest with his first effort of the day, just under a second slower than Daniil Kvyat's early pacesetter.

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    No rain falling at the moment but still plenty of standing water on the track. "Look out for the rivers," Nico Rosberg is warned on team radio.

    Meanwhile, no hanging around for our fist timed lap in FP2 as Daniil Kvyat is round in 1:49.374.

  51. Max's loose screw

    Max Verstappen is not going anywhere soon, there is a screw loose in his Toro Rosso...

    "When they were tightening up the bodywork one loose screw fell in and they had to take off the bodywork to find it,"Verstappen tells BBC Sport's Jennie Gow. "Hopefully it won't be too long before I'm out."

  52. Post update

    Daniil Kvyat, on the intermediate tyre, does a practice start before blasting out onto the circuit.

  53. Go! Go! Go!

    The green light is on and the circuit is open. Who will be the first to pop their head out for a look?

  54. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst

    Quote Message: "It is still a wet condition but it has dried up a little bit. I think we will see a bit more running than we did in the first practice."
  55. Post update

  56. 'Suzuka in wet like driving on ice'

    Lewis Hamilton

    It may have been an uneventful first practice session, and one that was perhaps not conducive with trying to stay awake in the early hours of the morning, but it is nevertheless still a challenge for drivers, as Lewis Hamilton explains in his latest column:

    "When you're driving, you are normally looking really far ahead. But in the wet, you can't see a lot at the best of times and if you are behind a car, it is like you are driving through thick fog.  

    "It is a bit like driving on ice - the acceleration and braking have to be more progressive and the car is more unpredictable."

    You can read more from Hamilton here.

  57. Post update

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    No asphalt rusk for Nika Lauda and Toto Wolff, however. All about the Wiener Schnitzel.

  59. Anyone for an asphalt rusk?

  60. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    “Does Jenson Button want to retire from F1? Investigations so far this weekend would suggest no, he does not. Do McLaren want to keep him? That’s a different question. It seems they probably do - but whether the team and driver can agree the basis on which that happens, in terms of contract, salary etc, is another matter. 

    "Button promised on Thursday a resolution to the uncertainty ‘soon’. But asked how soon, he added: ‘How long is a piece of a string?' It seems this may drag on for a while.”

  61. Suzuka shenanigans

    McLaren

    Being in Japan appears to be an opportunity for the drivers to get up to some unusual things. Not quite sure what Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button are up to here...

    Formula 1

    ...oh and here's Daniel Ricciardo posing with some Power Ranger-types. Naturally.

  62. Post update

  63. Coming up

    Second practice gets under way in just under 20 minutes and all the action is live on BBC Two and online.

    There will also be commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  64. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    Romain Grosjean

    "Lotus driver Romain Grosjean is making light of the team’s rather difficult situation here in Japan. The team have no hospitality tent because of unpaid bills from last year and therefore no offices, other than for the engineers in the garage, and nowhere for the mechanics to eat. 

    "Grosjean, whose deal to join the new US-based Haas team is expected to be confirmed next week, is posting pictures on Twitter of himself and mechanics sitting on boxes in the paddock and making jokes about the mechanics enjoying eating fast food: ‘We have some friends around the paddock who are helping us get some food. It is not going to stop us trying to get a good result. The guys are not so unhappy having pizza and burgers.’ 

    "It’s all very admirable, and confirms the impression Grosjean is an all-round good guy. But it is a sad reflection of the situation the team find themselves in as the deal for Renault to buy them drags on and on and on. Will it ever happen? That remains to be seen.”

  65. Homeless Lotus

    While most teams are able to shuffle off to the warmth of their hospitality areas between practice sessions for a spot of lunch, there was no such luck for Lotus. 

    The British-based constructor face an uncertain future amid mounting money problems, and they were locked out of their hospitality tent on Thursday and Friday.

    Jolyon Palmer had an interesting solution to the problem...

  66. Post update

    The answer to that question is...not quite. It did appear that the rain had stopped but I'm seeing a fair few umbrellas and miserable faces in the crowd at Suzuka. The circuit does look drier than it did a few hours ago, however.

    In case you missed first practice, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz was the man to top the timesheet, but he was just one of 12 drivers who set timed laps because of the conditions.

  67. Post update

    Formula 1

    Hello and welcome to our coverage of second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

    The rain put paid to hopes of witnessing some decent track action in first practice at Suzuka, but has it subsided for the second session?

  68. Post update

    So that's the end of a very wet first practice in Japan. What did we learn? Not a lot, but we might get a bigger clue as to whether Mercedes are back on the pace in FP2, when the conditions are set to be drier.

    That takes place at 06:00 BST, and we'll be firing up our live coverage half an hour before. 

    I'll leave you with Andrew Benson's report. Have a read, have a nap, then join us again in just under a couple of hours.

  69. Get involved #bbcf1

  70. Post update

    That, by the way, was the first time Carlos Sainz has topped a practice session in his short F1 career to date.

  71. First practice result

    1) Sainz 2) Kvyat 3) Rosberg 4) Vettel 5) Hamilton 6) Verstappen 7) Raikkonen 8) Massa 9) Ericsson 10) Bottas 11) Nasr 12) Button

    *Eight drivers did not complete timed laps

  72. Post update

  73. Chequered flag

    Carlos Sainz finishes fastest in first practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

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    One minute left and just 12 timed laps on the board. There's not been much action from Lotus, with both Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer having managed one lap each.

  76. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton decides to head back out for a few laps before the clock hits zero and he goes fifth fastest with 1:50.722.

    Carlos Sainz leads the way ahead of Daniil Kvyat, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and then Hamilton.

    Meanwhile, both Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa have had a slide at Spoon Curve as the rain continues to get heavier.

  77. Post update

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    Felipe Nasr

    Into the final 10 minutes of first practice as Lewis Hamilton returns to the Mercedes garage after an out lap. 

    Big drops of rain on Felipe Nasr's onboard camera. Looks like the conditions are getting worse.

  79. Post update

    Not long after setting the fastest time of the session so far, Carlos Sainz reports that he is "aquaplaning everywhere" over team radio.

    Just 10 drivers have completed timed laps as Lewis Hamilton climbs back into his Mercedes and prepares to return to the circuit.

  80. Post update

    Carlos Sainz is also on the intermediate tyres and he goes fastest, dipping below 1:50 with 1:49.434. If Max Verstappen's time hasn't tempted other teams to make the switch, Sainz's time might just do the trick.

  81. Post update

    Max Verstappen's Toro Rosso has had some intermediate tyres bolted on and he goes second fastest with 1:50.940. Verstappen is only the third driver to switch to the green walled compound, but that time might encourage others to follow suit.

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    Felipe Massa, who currently has the sixth fastest time, runs off at Turn 9 and into the gravel as he tests the limits of the circuit in the wet conditions.

    As he does so, Nico Rosberg is purple through all three sectors to improve his pacesetting time to 1:50.077.

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    Valtteri Bottas is not quite so successful at keeping his car on the track soon after, though, as he runs wide through 130R. No dramas though as he swiftly corrects himself to get back on the circuit.

    More times on the board now as Sebastian Vettel goes second fastest with 1:51.270.

    Still just the one lap completed for Lewis Hamilton. No sign of him heading out again any time soon.

  87. Post update

    Nico Rosberg is back in the Mercedes and goes fastest with 1:51.117.

    Williams have sent their drivers out on intermediates and Valtteri Bottas has a moment of oversteer as he flies through a puddle, but keeps it together.

  88. Post update

    At least Romain Grosjean has been able to keep his sense of humour despite the uncertainty surrounding Lotus. 

    He told Lee McKenzie that his current situation is "a bit like camping", adding: “We have some friends around the paddock who are helping us get some food. It is not going to stop us trying to get a good result. The guys are not so unhappy having pizza and burgers.”

  89. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    “Things are still not looking that great for Lotus. Romain Grosjean had to do his interviews under an umbrella outside on Thursday because the team were locked out of their hospitality unit, a result of their ongoing financial problems. The unit remains locked on Friday morning. As the planned sale to Renault drags on with no apparent conclusion, what is the future for this once-great team?”

  90. Post update

  91. Post update

    We've finally got some times on the board as Max Vestappen clocks a 1:51.741. His Toro Rosso team-mate is also out on the circuit and also completes a timed lap - a 1:52.201.

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    Formula 1

    That's that for Nico Hulkenberg's little spell on the track just now as he is rolled back into the Force India garage to leave the circuit silent once again.

  94. Post update

  95. Post update

    The circuit is still very wet as Nico Hulkenberg heads out for another installation lap.

    Meanwhile, Mercedes look unlikely to venture out again any time soon, with both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg out of their cars.

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    Japanese Grand Prix fans with Honda hats

    Drivers are pretty much taking it in turns to have a venture out on to the circuit as teams discuss how much running to do, given the weather. Nico Rosberg has popped out, as has Fernando Alonso. 

    Still not quite enough to delight those hardy McLaren-Honda fans who have braved the rain.

  99. Post update

    Japanese GP

    Just over half-an-hour gone and there has not been a lot for fans to get too excited about at the moment...

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    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Monza

    “There have been some changes made to drainage at Suzuka following last year’s wet race and the crash involving Jules Bianchi. Drainage has been improved around the track, including at Dunlop, with the aim of reducing the chances of aquaplaning. 

    "In addition, a new crane has been placed at Dunlop, to be used in the event of an accident rather than a recovery vehicle, a collision with which is what resulted in Bianchi’s fatal injuries.”

  102. Post update

    Formula 1

    It is, of course, an emotional weekend, with Formula 1 returning to Suzuka for the first time since Jules Bianchi's fatal crash at the circuit last year.

    In an interview with the BBC's sports editor Dan Roan, Jules' father describes how he finds it "too difficult" to watch F1.

    Listen to the interview here.

  103. Post update

    Now Lewis Hamilton does decide to get involved, heading out on to the otherwise empty circuit to get a feel for the conditions. Hamilton won the race last year.

  104. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

    "There have been an awful lot of conspiracy theories surrounding Mercedes’ mysterious lack of pace in Singapore, which is hardly surprising given the team lost a net two seconds from one weekend to the next. Lewis Hamilton said he did not believe in them, but Fernando Alonso dropped a fairly heavy hint that he thought something odd was going on when he was asked whether he expected the Singapore form to continue into Japan. 

    "‘I think I will be surprised if this will be the normal performance of Mercedes,’ the Spaniard said. ‘We have all been here many years, and we never saw being one second faster all year long and being 1.5 seconds slower for another race. This is a mystery that we will probably never understand: but this is F1. You take it or you leave it.’” 

  105. Not yet Hammer time

    Nineteen drivers have been out for exploratory laps, just Lewis Hamilton yet to emerge with 20 minutes of the session gone.

  106. Post update

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    Lotus are on the radio to Pastor Maldonado as he makes his way around the circuit. "Do not take any risks, there is a lot of standing water out there," comes the message.

    Sage advice...

  108. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    “If you habitually read a British newspaper, you will have been anticipating a retirement announcement from Jenson Button on Thursday. But it didn’t happen. Was Button really intending to announce his retirement and something made him stop, or had Fleet Street taken a bit of a flier based on some remarks the McLaren driver made in the heat of the moment after a depressing race in Singapore last Sunday? That is not yet clear. And neither is Button’s future.

    “McLaren have said they ‘intend’ to keep him, but whether they actually do is a different matter. As for Button, he was giving mixed messages. He admitted he had no ‘joy in finishing 10th, or 14th’. And also: ‘I enjoy fighting for wins and podiums and I also enjoy the thought of it happening one day. If you think it is never going to happen and you’re going to be fighting at the front for years to come of course there is no interest in that.’

    “But he did not say whether he believed McLaren could achieve that next year. ‘If I am in F1, I will 100% be with McLaren-Honda,’ he said. ‘This team will achieve in the future; I don’t know when. a lot is missing but the important thing is to understand what is missing and we do understand. It could happen very quickly or it could take a few more years, I don’t know the answer to that.’ What we do know is that talks are ongoing - but whether both parties want him to stay, or McLaren want him (and they have a contractual hold on him) and Button wants to quit, remains as opaque as the skies over Suzuka today.”

  109. Get involved #bbcf1

    Who do you want to see on the grid in 2016?

  110. Post update

    Several drivers have now been out for a lap, Jenson Button among them. Will this be his last weekend at Suzuka, should he decide to retire at the end of this season?

  111. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    “There is uncertainty over a lot of aspects of Formula 1 at the moment, and one of the biggest is the future of both Red Bull teams, who at the moment have no engine for next year. Their split with Renault is happening, although it has not been officially announced yet, Mercedes have declined Red Bull’s request to supply them and their only remaining option is Ferrari. But that deal is not done, and Red Bull have already made some complaints about the Italian company before even getting their engine - saying they will only accept one that is pretty much comparable with the works team and that they will pull out if they don’t get it. That rather leaves the team in limbo, and potentially four unemployed drivers.

    “But Daniel Ricciardo said he had been reassured by team bosses Christian Horner and Helmut Marko things would be OK.’Christian and Helmut are confident we'll figure it out one way or another,’ Ricciardo said. ‘They're not promising me anything, but I'm confident they'll sort it out. I'm confident we'll get what we're after. If it gets later in the year and it still hasn't come, I'll make a little bit of noise, but I don't think it will get to that.’”

  112. Post update

    Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat, who has finished inside the top 10 in the last five races, joins Marcus Ericsson on the circuit, before Daniel Ricciardo joins him.

  113. Post update

    No, hang on. Marcus Ericsson fancies heading out and he tentatively makes his way round the circuit, spray kicking up behind his Sauber.

  114. Go! Go! Go!

    The rain is a little heavier now than it was around half an hour ago and no surprise to see no-one making a dash onto the circuit as the session gets under way.

  115. Post update

  116. Fans out in force

    It might only be practice, but the Japanese fans don't disappoint when it comes to crazy hats...

    Formula 1

    ...even Fernando Alonso cannot help but get involved.

    Fernando Alonso
  117. Live now

    We've got coverage of first practice LIVE on BBC Two and online right now, with the action about to get under way.

  118. Get involved #bbcf1

    Speaking of Romain Grosjean, Haas are set to announce their driver line-up next week for their debut season next year, and the Frenchman has been linked with a possible move to the American F1 team.

    Who would you like to see drive for the team next season? Let us know via #bbcf1, text in on 81111 (UK only)  or have your say on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  119. Post update

    Romain Grosjean

    We've only had a couple of days between races but there has been plenty going on in the world of F1.

    Jenson Button has been keeping quiet on his future after reports emerged that he could announce his retirement at Suzuka this weekend, saying he has many "many possibilities" for next year.

    Meanwhile, over at Lotus - who face an uncertain future amid mounting money problems - there was the unusual situation for poor Romain Grosjean having to beg for some dinner after the team was locked out of their hospitality tent on Thursday.

  120. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    “Sebastian Vettel’s victory in Singapore five days ago has raised all sorts of questions, about Ferrari’s sudden rise, Mercedes’ fall and what both could mean. 

    "It wasn’t just that Mercedes clearly dropped back into the field by more than a second a lap - although that was the biggest part of the equation - it was also that Vettel had such stunning pace in the race when he needed it. Will that continue here? Vettel was cautious. ’It’s a completely different track here but we’d hope,’ he said. ‘But I think you have to remain realistic. In a way it was a big surprise to see Mercedes struggling, which I don’t expect to be the case here.’ 

    "And both Mercedes drivers said they believed it was a Singapore-specific problem, pointing out that was the race at which they were least dominant last year, too. Whether all are right about that, though, is something that will only begin to be revealed over the next three days.”

  121. Post update

    Sebastian Vettel
  122. Post update

    Formula 1

    Lewis Hamilton's seemingly imperious march towards a second successive world title stumbled in Singapore on Sunday as an unusually off key weekend for Mercedes culminated in Brit suffering his first retirement of the year.

    Instead, the weekend belonged to Sebastian Vettel as he stormed to a third win of the season and one that may well have put him in the title race.

    Vettel is now 49 points behind Hamilton, but will Mercedes bounce back in Japan this weekend?

  123. Post update

  124. Coming up

    OK, here is what is coming up this morning.

    Ninety minutes of first practice gets under way at 02:00 BST and you can watch it live on BBC Two from 01:55.

    Then there is a window of opportunity for a little nap before second practice begins at 06:00 BST, with coverage also on BBC Two from five minutes before.

    Commentary on both sessions will also be on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  125. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer at Suzuka

    Formula 1

    "At its best, Suzuka can look glorious, a riotous ribbon of grey snaking through Japan green, splashes of gaudy colour from the theme park, big blue skies, mountains and sea in the hazy distance. 

    "Today is another kind of Japanese day. 

    "The colour is uniform grey, everything soaked by the kind of pervading rain anyone familiar with, say, the north west of England will know only too well. Although it’s a fair bit warmer than it would be in, say, Macclesfield, on a day like this. 

    "But, whatever the weather, pretty much any day is one to savour at this temple of motor racing, a place that provides a more extreme test for racing drivers and their cars than pretty much anywhere on earth.” 

  126. Konnichiwa!

    Formula 1

    Hello and welcome to our coverage of practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

    The day is just beginning over at Suzuka as Formula 1 prepares for the 14th race of the season, but for hardcore followers in Europe it is way into the small hours of the night. Or really early in the morning. 

    Either way it is time to grab those energy drinks, fill up the coffee pot and settle in for the action, we've got ourselves a wet morning of practice on the cards...

  127. A three-horse race?

    Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton

    For so long this season, the battle for the world championship looked certain to be a two-horse race...  

    Indeed, at one point it looked as though one of those horses had made a sprint towards the finish line...

    Sebastian Vettel

    ...but the Prancing Horse, expertly steered by world champion Sebastian Vettel, is possibly on the charge...