While Fernando Alonso spun early and ended his Free Practice session in Japan, it was Mercedes who topped the time sheets led by championship leader Nico Rosberg. Lewis Hamilton was .215s off his teammates pace followed by a brace of Ferrari with Sebastian Vettel leading the way.
The Red Bulls looked sharp on longer runs and slotted 5th and 6th with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. On form was Force India leading their closest rivals, Williams F1, in 7th and 8th with Hulkenberg leading Perez.
Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean had an off and said he had no brakes and this is a knock-on effect from his issues a week ago in Malaysia. Makes you wonder how he can have much confidence at all in the car.