Salvaging fourth place from last on the grid in Malaysia was a relief for Scuderia Ferrari German driver SebastianVettel but the fact remains he has lost points to Lewis Hamilton at every race since the summer break. If that doesn’t change this weekend Hamilton will be in the same position Nico Rosberg was after this race 12 months ago: He will be able to take the championship by finishing second behind his title rival in all the remaining races. Which, of course, is exactly what happened.
On a cooler track with fewer of the long, slow corners where the W08 struggled in Malaysia, Mercedes should be in better shape. Suzuka is more akin to Silverstone, where they were unstoppable, but it seems nothing can be taken for granted with this fickle car. Sebastian Vettel’s superb form at this track will make him a significant threat. The two title contenders have notfaced each other in a race situation for a while, but this weekend promises to be a closer fight.
Follow us for the latest updates and results from the Suzuka Circuit as the second practice session ahead of the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix is about to get underway, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen at the wheel of the SF70H.