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With Friday proving to be dominated by the inclement weather, the teams and drivers are heading into Saturday's final practice and qualifying sessions at Suzuka pretty much in the dark about how they can expect to shape up compared with their rivals.
A busy FP3 session is expected as it is the first opportunity for dry running this weekend, and you can follow all the action with F1i's live commentary page here.
Carlos Sainz topped FP1 on Friday morning for Toro Rosso thanks to a well-timed run on intermediate tyres when the track was at its best, in a session which saw only 12 drivers set times. The rain stopped before the start of FP2 which meant that the afternoon session saw more activity with only Valtteri Bottas opting to conserve tyres by sitting out the session. Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat ended up top of the timesheets with a lap of 1:48.277s but once again that was more down to good timing than anything, as the rain soon picked up again midway through the session and meant that the end of practice saw full wet conditions.
With the forecast for the rest of the weekend looking much drier and brighter, all that wet running proved to be pretty much without any real value, as Kvyat himself commented afterwards. It means we still don't have a clue where things really stand, and there is now only one final hour-long practice before the all-important qualifying session later on Saturday.
Will Mercedes bounce back after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg's very strange Singapore slump in form last week? Or will the Ferrari renaissance continue? After all, Suzuka has been a very happy hunting ground for Sebastian Vettel in the past and he's coming straight off a dominant victory at the Marina Bay Circuit last Sunday. Or perhaps we really shouldn't be so quick to cast aside Daniil Kvyat's eyecatchingly fast outings in both of Friday's rain-hit sessions. One thing's for sure: Williams will be hoping that it doesn't rain for the rest of the weekend as Bottas really wasn't happy with the way his car was understeering in the wet.
To get you nicely set-up going into FP3, some background information about Suzuka. Built in 1962 and first used by Formula One in 1987, it is 3.609 miles (5.807km) in length with 17 corners and the lap record is held by Kimi Raikkonen who set a time of 1:31.540s in the McLaren in 2005. Suzuka is one of the few circuits in the world to have a 'figure of 8' configuration meaning that the track passes under itself between turns 9 and 10.
You can follow all the live coverage on F1i's live page, which can be bookmarked as it will provide commentary on every session of the 2015 F1 season.
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