Fernando Alonso says he was caught by surprise when the green flag was waved for the delayed start for the second free practice in Suzuka but didn’t felt he missed any key track time ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

The McLaren-Honda driver says he was sat in the team’s motorhome and not wearing his race suit when the afternoon session was eventually started after heavy rain delayed running due to track conditions.

Alonso says he was surprised the FIA gave the go-ahead for the start of the session despite the rain easing off midway through the 90-minute timed slot, giving F1 drivers 45 minutes of track time, but after completing two laps without setting a time the double F1 world champion was confident he hadn’t missed out to his rivals.

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“I was caught a bit by surprise when they announced the afternoon session was actually going to start because I was still chatting in the motorhome and didn’t even have my race suit on,” Alonso said.

“Actually conditions were not that bad when I did my run, but there was no reason to carry on running in the rain because it’s 100 percent certain the race will be in the dry, qualifying should be dry too, so there was no reason to risk anything today.”

FP2 timesheet-topper Lewis Hamilton and Williams’ Lance Stroll completed the most laps of any drivers in the session but only notched up four laps each as the majority of teams opted not to run in order to retain a fresh wet tyre allocation with potential rain forecast for Saturday’s FP3 and qualifying.