Williams were among those off the pace in the opening practice session at Suzuka, with FP2 all-but washed out.
Lance Stroll: "It was a good day. FP1 was very positive, the car felt good and I really enjoyed driving on the circuit, as it is a lot of fun and very special. Then, in FP2, there wasn't a lot of running with the rain, which was not easy as you never know where the limit is in such conditions. I just did one proper push lap and that was about it. It was not much of an afternoon, but all in all a good day."
Felipe Massa: "It was not a very interesting day, to be honest. The first impression of the car here is that it is alright, but it’s difficult to say where we are compared to the others. It was interesting to see how the car will behave, but in the rain I only did one lap. There was a lot of aquaplaning and standing water, so there wasn’t much we could do, this was mostly a day of waiting. The forecast I just saw says it will rain this evening and stop for tomorrow, so maybe we will be driving in the dry. I hope that we can have a good day tomorrow."
Carlos Sainz: “A tricky Friday for us! Obviously, the accident in FP1 was a bit of a pity… I didn’t expect that to happen, I just clipped the outside kerb a bit too much and it sent me into a spin and then into the barriers. It looked quite incredible on the TV, but luckily it wasn’t such a big one from inside the cockpit. We can’t forget that a minimal miscalculation here can make you pay a big price! I’m happy that the mechanics could put the car back together for FP2 – they did an amazing job like they always do, pushing for me and the team. We were ready to run in FP2, but unfortunately the weather conditions didn’t help us and we were only able to complete an installation lap. Hopefully tomorrow is a better day!”
Pierre Gasly: “Not the most exciting day in terms of running, I must admit… Having said that, it was still good to be back here in Suzuka and be able to drive during this morning’s FP1. We didn’t do many laps in total – we didn’t even drive out of the garage in this afternoon’s FP2 because of the weather conditions! – but we got some good data and we now have some work for tomorrow in order to improve our performance. Another positive is that the seat now feels much better than in Malaysia, I’m happy about this and now we just need to find a bit more pace. We have one more practice session left to get ready for qualifying and I think it will be a pretty busy one! I’m now really looking forward to tomorrow.”
Pascal Wehrlein: “FP1 went quite smoothly for me. I felt comfortable in the car and was satisfied with the car balance. It is unfortunate that we could not have more time on track due to the rain in FP2. I am looking forward to more track action tomorrow. Let’s see what the day will bring.”
Marcus Ericsson: “FP1 was ok – with stable track conditions, we were able to test different car set-ups and obtain some data there. It rained all through FP2, so we were unable to run our programme – that was a shame, and did not just affect us but everyone in the paddock. We are going to pick up where we left off in FP1 during the third free practice tomorrow, and work on making some improvements for the rest of the weekend.”