- News broke in the lead-up to FP1 on Friday morning that Saturday’s activities at Suzuka had been cancelled due to the approach of Typhoon Hagisi, which will make landfall tomorrow. Qualifying has been rescheduled for 10am on Sunday, concluding three hours before the planned start of the race at 2:10pm local time.

- The circuit will be closed, with teams only sending essential personnel (such as those who need to keep generators going or key security) into the track. The gates will open up for fans again at 7am on Sunday.

- The paddock was quick to begin pack-down plans on Friday after FP2 finished. The pit gantries, podium, start lights and trackside hoardings have all been removed, while the broadcast centre will also be deconstructed. A meeting will then be held on Sunday morning to assess the situation at the track. You can see a full run-down of the measures being taken by clicking here.

- Drivers offered a number of different responses when they were asked about their plans for Saturday, now they have an unexpected day off. Charles Leclerc, Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel all said they planned to check out some data from practice on Friday, while Daniil Kvyat joked he would be playing golf. Lewis Hamilton had more ambitious ideas: “I will probably do some training and go back to Tokyo tonight, have a nice night and good food and then maybe come back tomorrow.” He may require the memo about the Shinkansen being suspended…

- On-track, Valtteri Bottas was the man to beat on Friday as he topped both FP1 and FP2 for Mercedes. “It felt good since the beginning,” he said. “I’m pretty happy with the car in general. Just some minor things with the balance to treat, but the short and long runs, at least today, felt good.”

- Lewis Hamilton enjoyed the added running afforded to teams as they used up the tyre sets that would typically be allocated for FP3 on Saturday, saying it could give F1 an idea of a change for the future. “If we had three tyres in practice one and practice two and three for practice three, it would just be better for the running, for the fans, because we would be running from the beginning of the session,” he said.

- With the stewards making a rule change so the order from FP2 could set the grid in the event of qualifying being rained off on Sunday, Ferrari opted to go for its qualifying simulations at the very end of the session, only for the plan to not work entirely. “I got stuck in traffic,” said Vettel, who ended the day P4. “The track maybe didn't do the step that we expected. But we tried.”

- Teammate Charles Leclerc finished fourth, and was surprised by Ferrari’s lack of pace compared to Mercedes after finishing three-tenths of a second off the pace. “it seems we are lacking pace this weekend, which is a bit of a surprise because at the end we were very strong in the last four races,” he said. “We expected to be quite good here, but it's less this case. We will be working to prepare at its best for qualifying on Sunday.”

- Max Verstappen ended the day P3 for Red Bull in second practice, hailing the improvement made between the two sessions. “I think the first practice was not so good, but the second practice we improved a lot,” he said. “That seemed a bit more promising. But still, Mercedes is very quick and we have some more work to do. But it was a decent recovery.”

- One of the feel-good stories from Friday’s running at Suzuka was Naoki Yamamoto’s practice bow for Toro Rosso. The Super Formula and Super GT champion ended FP1 in P17, lapping within one-tenth of a second of full-time Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat. Yamamoto thanked the team profusely over team radio after completing the session.

- Carlos Sainz was sidelined by an electrical issue on his car early in FP1 on Friday, but was able to get back out on-track later in the session once it had been resolved. Antonio Giovinazzi also lost track time due to an issue through the opening session at Alfa Romeo.

- Haas F1 team boss Gunther Steiner was called before the stewards on Friday at Suzuka over his radio comments in Russia, when it emerged one member of the panel would also be serving this weekend. Steiner stressed his comments about an “idiotic” steward were only aimed at one individual (not Gerd Ennser), and expressed regret over what he said. The stewards handed him a €7,500 fine, and warned him about his future conduct.

- The Paddock Notebook will take a break like the rest of the paddock tomorrow, returning on Sunday.

 

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