Red Bull finally looked vulnerable last weekend in Singapore, but Friday's practice at Suzuka saw Max Verstappen right back on form – streaking clear of the field to finish top of the timing sheets in both sessions.
That being said, his team-mate Sergio Perez seemed to struggle for pace himself, dragged into the midfield dogfight with best lap times about a second slower than the Dutchman in each session.
All of that means that qualifying on Saturday morning should be well worth watching. Remember, it's not the 'standard' F1 time slot – so be sure to set your alarms.
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Here is all you need to know heading into Saturday at Suzuka.
Free Practice 3 (FP3) - September 23, 2023
We get under way on Saturday morning local time in Japan with a one-hour practice session. Here is the crucial start time wherever you are in the world:
Local time (Suzuka): 11:30am Saturday
UK time (BST): 3.30am Saturday
Central European Time (CET): 4.30am Saturday
United States (Eastern Time): 10.30pm Friday
United States (Central Time): 9.30pm Friday
United States (Pacific Time): 7.30pm Friday
South Africa: 4.30am Saturday
Australia (Sydney/Melbourne): 12.30pm Saturday
Free Practice 2 (FP2) - September 22, 2023
We continue on Saturday afternoon local time in Japan with the all-important qualifying shootout. Here is the crucial start time wherever you are in the world:
Local time (Suzuka): 3pm Saturday
UK time (BST): 7am Saturday
Central European Time (CET): 8am Saturday
United States (Eastern Time): 2.00am Saturday
United States (Central Time): 1.00am Saturday
United States (Pacific Time): 11pm Friday
South Africa: 8am Saturday
Australia (Sydney/Melbourne): 4pm Saturday
How to watch F1 practice live on TV today
The following broadcasters have F1 rights to cover the action from Japan, please check local listings:
UK: Sky Sports F1
United States: ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Australia: Fox Sports
Canada: RDS, TSN
Germany: Sky Sport F1
Italy: Sky Sport F1)
Netherlands: Viaplay Xtra
Brazil: BandSports, Bandeirantes
South Africa: SuperSport
Malaysia: beIN Sports
Singapore: beIN Sports, Mediacorp Channel 5 (FP2 delayed)
F1 TV Pro is also available in selected territories.
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