Daniil Kvyat finished at the top of the timesheets in FP2 for the second time in a week as the Formula 1 field was left with another soaking wet Suzuka for practice on Friday afternoon.
Overnight rain extended into FP1 earlier in the day, limiting drivers’ running throughout the first session and allowing Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr. to finish fastest.
Conditions failed to improve for FP2, with the spray on the circuit forcing the drivers to run on the intermediate tire from the outset.
Kvyat managed to produce a fastest lap of 1:48.277 at the halfway point in the session, edging out Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg by 0.023 seconds for P1. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton ran in third place, a half a second further back.
Another bout of rain hit Suzuka before the end of the first hour, soaking the track once again and forcing the drivers to switch back to the full wet tires for the final leg of the session.
As a result, Kvyat’s benchmark went unbeaten, allowing him to finish fastest in a second practice session in just seven days for Red Bull. Teammate Daniel Ricciardo underpinned the team’s good wet weather pace by finishing fourth.
Ferrari struggled to match the pace set by Red Bull or Mercedes in the wet as Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished two seconds down on Kvyat’s fastest time. However, with no rain forecast for the remainder of the weekend, the Italian marque still remains capable of a second straight win in 2015.
Sainz was unable to repeat his P1 from FP1 on Friday afternoon, but the Spaniard ran well to finish seventh for Toro Rosso ahead of teammate Max Verstappen. Felipe Nasr and Pastor Maldonado rounded out the top ten.
Valtteri Bottas was the only driver not to take part in FP2 as Williams opted to save his tires in case of further showers, leaving him at the bottom of the timesheets behind American driver Alexander Rossi, whose first wet grand prix session saw him finish 19th.