After finishing 0.626s clear with a dominant performance in opening practice at Suzuka, the reigning world champion once again led the way in FP2 as Red Bull continued to bounce back from their shock defeat in Singapore. 

But this time, Verstappen’s advantage was narrowed to 0.320s over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during the low fuel runs on soft tyres. 

Land Norris again finished third, ending up 0.464s adrift in his McLaren. 

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was fourth ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. 

Alex Albon was a strong seventh for Williams as Oscar Piastri took eighth in his McLaren ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who was a full second down on Verstappen. 

The Mexican has lagged considerably behind Verstappen throughout Friday but is running Red Bull’s old floor, while his teammate trials a new specification. 

Lewis Hamilton was only 14th fastest as he struggled for pace, with his Mercedes losing significant time compared to their competitors in the first sector. 

The seven-time world champion was 1.141s off Verstappen’s benchmark and half a second slower than his Mercedes teammate Russell.

Pierre Gasly caused a late red flag when his crashed his Alpine at the second Degner Curve.