Paul Hembery: “We always enjoy coming to Japan: the atmosphere is electric and the enthusiasm for Formula One over here is nothing short of incredible. We had two solid free practice sessions today with the teams collecting data on crossover points, the relative speed of the tyre when used for more than one run and general tyre behaviour. Last year we saw a two-stop tyre strategy and it looks like we are on target for a two to three stop race again this year.
“Suzuka is an abrasive circuit and the tyres are subject to high-energy loadings with fast corners such as 130R and Spoon. It’s no surprise, therefore, that a three-stop strategy was what won this race back in 2011. We are expecting lower temperatures for race day which will reduce the thermal wear of the tyres and some teams might try to go for a straight two-stop race. From the data we currently have the time difference between the two compounds is around 0.5s.”