Home Sports Piastri fastest in wet Japanese Grand Prix second practice | The Express Tribune

Piastri fastest in wet Japanese Grand Prix second practice | The Express Tribune

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Piastri fastest in wet Japanese Grand Prix second practice | The Express Tribune

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JAPAN:

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri went fastest on Friday in a second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix that was badly affected by rain at Suzuka.

Australian Piastri, who finished third at last year’s race, clocked 1min 34.725sec in on-off showers to finish 0.501sec clear of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Triple world champion Max Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez did not come out for second practice.

Verstappen led Perez for a Red Bull one-two in first practice.

They were among the drivers who stayed in the garage for the second session as the teams tried to preserve their tyres in the tricky conditions.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was third fastest, 4.035sec behind Piastri.

Japanese home favourite Yuki Tsunoda was fourth, followed by RB team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren’s Lando Norris in sixth.

Hamilton was first to emerge over 10 minutes in but it was not long before he returned to the garage.

Ricciardo, who sat out the first session with Japanese driver Ayumu Iwasa taking his seat, did the same as the rain began to fall again.

Tsunoda and Ricciardo were the only two drivers to record a timed lap until Piastri jumped to the top of the leaderboard and sparked a flurry of activity in the dying minutes.

It was a different story in the day’s first session, where Verstappen finished fastest in dry conditions.

Verstappen won the first two grands prix of the season but the Dutchman retired from a race for the first time in two years in Melbourne after a brake issue.

Normal service resumed at Suzuka in a first session that was red-flagged for around 10 minutes after Williams driver Logan Sargeant crashed.

Sargeant came skidding off the track at a corner and spun across the gravel before slamming into a barrier midway through the session.

The American walked away unhurt and his car was carried off by a crane.

Williams boss James Vowles said the damage to Sargeant’s car was “extensive”.

“He struggled to see where his position was on the track, so it fundamentally looks like he didn’t quite realise where he was,” said Vowles.

Sargeant did not take part in the second session.

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