SUZUKA, JAPAN - Valtteri Bottas was fastest in practice for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix on Friday ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton, which could see the Mercedes pair lock out the front row of the grid if qualifying is cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis.
Formula One's governing body said earlier on Friday that race promoters and the Japanese Automobile Federation had decided to cancel all practice and qualifying sessions scheduled for Saturday due to the typhoon's approach.
The hour-long qualifying session that decides the grid order for the race will now be held at 10 am. (3:00 am South African time) on Sunday, while the final practice session, which would normally take place before qualifying, has been scrapped.
Friday's second session assumed greater importance as it could decide the starting order for the race if conditions have not sufficiently improved for qualifying to go ahead.
That prompted some drivers, most notably Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, to fit fresh tyres in a bid to set a fast lap towards the session’s end.