Albon hoping to contest qualifying to better P6

Suzuka, Japan

Japanese Grand Prix – Alex Albon is hoping that the rescheduled qualifying hour goes ahead after believing that his best time in FP2 fell short of expectations.

With Saturday’s action cancelled and qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix rescheduled to Sunday morning due to Typhoon Hagibis, there are fears that the qualifying hour may not go ahead at all. In this scenario, the times from free practice two will be used to determine the starting grid order.

With that in mind, teams and drivers made a couple of attempts at completing qualifying simulations, and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas topped FP2 ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third fastest, ahead of the two Ferrari drivers of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, with team-mate Albon in sixth place, just four tenths of a second behind.

The Anglo-Thai driver – competing at Suzuka for the first time – said that he was happy with his practice progress, but suggested that he would like qualifying to go ahead in order to beat his fallback position of P6.

“Sector one is really impressive and I’m enjoying myself. I got into a rhythm quite quickly and I’m feeling a lot more comfortable than I was in Sochi, but I still have some work to do. It’s my first time driving here and not running tomorrow means less time for me to learn the track which isn’t ideal,” said Albon.

“Mercedes are very quick and they look good in the corners but our car is getting a lot better and I don’t think the balance is too far away. We’re making good progress and there’s still a bit more to come, so now it’s just about fine tuning things to find a couple more tenths.

“Let’s see if qualifying goes ahead on Sunday as P6 is maybe not quite what we wanted. If it’s dry I hope to be in the mix of things but this track looks tricky in the wet so if it rains it will be a bit more difficult.”

To view the full results from FP2 (and the potential grid for Sunday), click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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