Usually, Friday’s day is of vital interest to the Formula 1 teams, since both in the first free practice sessions and in the second practice session they work hard on the track to set up their cars and arrive as prepared as possible on Saturday and to Sunday, the days where everything is decided.
Those two sessions, Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2, were even more important this weekend at the 2022 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, since the highest category of motorsport had not been able to visit the historic Japanese track for the last two seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the teams’ training program for this Friday was severely affected by the weather and hardly any useful data could be obtained for the rest of the weekend. As the weather forecasts indicated, the rain made an appearance in Suzuka, in fact, it did so in such a way that both practice sessions were completed only in wet conditions, with the extreme wet and intermediate tires.
After FP2, many were the pilots, as was the case of Lewis Hamilton, who admitted to being “lost” in terms of the position of their teams compared to the rest of their rivals, a clear example of how useless were the first two practice sessions.
Due to this and taking into account that everything indicates that Saturday’s day will be dry, the teams will have to complete all the work they had planned to carry out in FP1 and FP2, with a total duration of 120 minutes plus 30 extra minutes for the test of the Pirelli tires for 2023, in just 60 minutes in some FP3 that will be held three hours before the qualifying session of the Japanese GP.
On paper, it seems difficult that the work planned for 150 minutes can be completed in just 60, but in Formula 1 nothing is impossible and this weekend the teams will try to prove it again.
Without a doubt, this could make more differences between the teams that get it right or not when it comes to configuring their cars, for that same reason, the teams that make the most of the third free practice session in Suzuka could start with a wide advantage for the rest of the weekend, when the poleman and the winner of the eighteenth test of the course will be decided.
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