Massive moment for Alonso in the Degner dirt

Date published: October 5 2018

Fernando Alonso had a close encounter with the Degner barriers before eating dirt while Lewis Hamilton had a near miss with Pierre Gasly.

Friday’s Japanese GP action in pictures…

Wishing Kevin Magnussen a very happy 26th birthday.

Sebastian Vettel arrived at the circuit sporting a new helmet design for Friday’s practices.

Ferrari had a new livery...

Renault conducted aero tests with a nose and front wing change for Carlos Sainz.

However, the biggest cheese grater of the season award went to Toro Rosso as Brendon Hartley also ran aero tests in what is arguably the most important race of the season for engine partner Honda.

Lando Norris had another F1 outing as he replaced Stoffel Vandoorne. The Brit will replace him permanently next season.

There was a bit of drama for Lewis Hamilton, who had to take avoiding action against Pierre Gasly. Gasly was going extremely slow with Hamilton closing fast and having to dive around the Toro Rosso.

Off the track there were a few strange lessons taking place…

Daniel Ricciardo cut the grass…

Fernando Alonso avoided the Degner barriers and ate dirt.

FP1 belonged to Hamilton, who finished with a 1:28.6 to beat Valtteri Bottas by 0.446s!

Ahead of FP2, Pierre Gasly was reprimanded for that close shave with Lewis Hamilton in the first practice session. One more reprimand this season and he will suffer a 10-place grid drop.

The Frenchman wasn’t able to cause any more mischief as a fuel pump issue kept him in the garage for a big chunk of FP2.

Pierre Gasly: Reprimanded in Japan

In the early stages of FP2, it was the usual suspect once again in P1.

And while Hamilton continue to crank up the pace with a 1:28.217 on his best qualy sim run, Vettel was a whopping eight tenths down on his title rival.

With 15 minutes to go in FP2, Gasly was finally able to get involved after Toro Rosso fixed his fuel cell issue.

There was still time for one more moment of concern for Ferrari, as both cars suffered from big blisters on their rear tyres during the race sims.

Follow all the action from the Japanese Grand Prix via our live race centre