Carlos Sainz topped the timesheets in FP1 while lap times were on the low side for the Lotus drivers.
Carlos Sainz: “Overall it was a good day and there’s a lot of positives to take from today. Even though it’s been raining all day and we haven’t been able to complete any laps in dry conditions, I managed to learn the track quickly and showed some good pace. To finish FP1 on top was also something special, as it’s the first time I lead a Formula 1 practice session. The track is amazing, very challenging, and even more in the wet! I had a lot of fun out there and I hope we can continue like this the rest of the weekend.”
Max Verstappen: “It’s a shame that it’s been raining all day, as it would’ve been good to spend more time out on track. However, we did some running in the wet and the car felt good. I think we learned quite a bit and have a lot of data that will be useful if it also rains on Sunday during the race. We know that normally we have a decent pace in the wet and it’s always enjoyable to drive in these conditions. I’m now looking forward to tomorrow, when hopefully we will have some dry running and have lots of fun at this great track.”
Felipe Nasr: “Although we had wet conditions in both free practice sessions, I am still satisfied I was able to run a few laps. As it is a new circuit for me, it is important to learn it as quickly as possible. We were able to collect some data in the wet, which can be useful in the future for the next sessions. Tomorrow hopefully I will get a first taste of the track in dry conditions. This will be a different experience which I am looking forward to.”
Marcus Ericsson: “It was a difficult day because of the rainy weather conditions. We did some running on intermediate as well as wet tyres, from which we collected some useful information. For the rest of the weekend, according the weather forecast, the conditions seem to be dry.”
Pastor Maldonado: “A wet Suzuka circuit is a fun place to be, but there’s no point risking the car when there’s not much to be learnt so most of the sessions were spend in the garage. We think the rest of the weekend will be dry, but the car felt pretty stable if we do see rain again.”
Romain Grosjean: “We went out and validated that it was wet and slippery then I sat out most of the session as there’s not much to be learn in conditions like we saw today. The car felt okay, but it’s not the time to take risks. Tomorrow will be interesting as we think it should be dry, we have a lot of tyres available and a lot of work to be done.”