Sainz surprised in FP1 at Suzuka
Carlos Sainz set the fastest lap time during the first free practice before the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix.
Surprisingly, young Spaniard was the fastest during first free practice at rainy Suzuka. But, only 12 drivers took part in this session and Toro Rosso driver put the best performance on beating Daniil Kvyat in Red Bull and Nico Rosberg in Mercedes.
Sebastian Vettel, winner of the previous race in Singapore, was fourth, while reigning champion and championship leader Lewis Hamilton finished fifth.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso were among the 10 drivers who opted not to set a time, just as Force India’s Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, Marussia’s Alexander Rossi and Will Stevens, and Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer – the latter pair managing just one exploratory lap each in a very cautious start of the weekend.
Despite heavy conditions, there weren’t any major accidents on and off the track. Many drivers ran wide at Spoon Curve, while Felipe Massa was the only driver to trip through the gravel at Turn 9.