Hulkenberg crashes heavily at Suzuka

Date published: October 6 2018

The weather conditions made for a tricky final practice for the Japanese GP with Nico Hulkenberg having a heavy crash in the final minutes of FP3.

Formula 1 arrived at the Suzuka circuit on Saturday morning to damp and windy conditions. But while there was some rain in the build-up to FP3, it remained hot and muggy.

Taking to the track, the drivers once again explored every inch of the Suzuka circuit with many riding the kerbs as they ran a bit too wide. Gusting winds did not help with Sergey Sirotkin sending up a spray of sparks as he ran wide and the floor of his Williams hit the ground.

Ferrari held the early 1-2 before the rain arrived.

Lewis Hamilton had a big lock up with the Brit one of three drivers who didn’t set a time before the rain came down.

It was rather windy…

After a lull as the rain came down, Valtteri Bottas broke the silence, heading out onto a nearly dry Suzuka circuit thanks to the heat and wind.

Esteban Ocon puts in the laps in what could be his final Japanese GP, at least until 2020. He is in talks with Williams in the hope of finding a place on next year’s grid.

Kimi Raikkonen added his name to the list of those getting tripped up by the wind as Sebastian Vettel reported that the rear of his SF71H felt very unstable.

The session, though, belonged to Hamilton who laid down a 1:29.599 to claim the practice hat-trick.

It was, however, Nico Hulkenberg who made the headlines as he crashed heavily at the Esses to bring out the red flags. Renault face a race against time to get his car ready for qualifying.

More to follow…