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Russell leads Mercedes domination as Ferrari struggle
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Russell leads Mercedes domination as Ferrari struggle

Russell leads Mercedes domination as Ferrari struggle

Russell leads Mercedes domination as Ferrari struggle

Russell leads Mercedes domination as Ferrari struggle

George Russell led Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes one-two in second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

The British duo found great pace on the intermediate tyres, with the W13 looking after the compound much better than rivals Red Bull and Ferrari and allowing the times to tumble as the abrasive Suzuka surface dried up from a sodden start.

Russell posted a lap time of one minute 41.935secs, two-tenths faster than his team-mate but eight-tenths up on third-placed Max Verstappen and the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

But Ferrari had an FP2 to forget with Carlos Sainz in sixth and Charles Leclerc only 11th.

Much like the first session, heavy rain meant the extreme wets were the tyres of choice for those brave enough to venture onto the circuit.

Drivers and teams were given 90 minutes for FP2, though the scheduled Pirelli prototype tyre test was cancelled due to the conditions.

After half an hour, Russell had become the first to switch onto the intermediate tyres and headed the 11 drivers to have completed a lap, with Hamilton trailing in second.

Yuki Tsunoda was the first driver on inters to struggle for grip, running wide into the gravel at Degner.

Leclerc endured a troubled session, the Monégasque only just keeping his F1-75 out of the barriers at the hairpin after locking up and skipping through the gravel.

It would later transpire that Leclerc was suffering from a braking issue and was forced to spend over 10 minutes in the garage while a solution was found.

Perez made the same error as Leclerc, though his exit from the gravel was significantly more gracious than his rival.

Kevin Magnussen underlined Haas' strong wet weather pace with fifth, the same result the Dane managed in the opening session.

Sainz was sixth ahead of Alpine's Fernando Alonso, who was unable to replicate his table-topping performance from FP1. Valtteri Bottas completed a promising day for Alfa Romeo in eighth ahead of Esteban Ocon and team-mate Zhou Guanyu, who rounded out the top 10.

Nicholas Latifi had a strange excursion early on in the session, taking to a lesser-known escape road at the final chicane. The Canadian recovered to finish ahead of team-mate Alex Albon as Williams finished 12th and 12th.

Tsunoda wound up 14th ahead of Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel. McLaren ended its session after an hour of running, with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo 16th and 17th.

Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly closed the field out, with Mick Schumacher unable to take part due to a chassis change following his crash at the end of FP1.

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