Nico Rosberg has been the fastest during the first free-practice session in Suzuka, Japan. Two tenths behind was Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel was third.
Esteban Gutierrez was the first one to head out on track for an out-lap. Most drivers waited for fifteen minutes before setting fast times as the track was completely green. Sergio Perez was the first driver to set a flying lap.
The first incident of the session came from Fernando Alonso which spun following oversteer and hit the tyre-wall from the wall. Incredibly, the car seemed not to be badly damaged but the right side of the development rear wing. The Spanish driver could bring back his car into the pits without much trouble.
Thirty minutes into the session, Perez set the Halo on his car, mostly working on the speed of installation and taking off. In Mercedes, Nico Rosberg was faster on his first flying lap with a 1:33.751 laptime, two tenths faster than Lewis Hamilton.
Kimi Raikkonen managed to sneak between the two Mercedes with the soft tyres and took purple two first sectors. Sebastian Vettel, despite a very bad second sector, set the fastest time just before Rosberg went one second faster with three purple sectors.
Romain Grosjean, who suffered from brake problems since the end of the European season, hit the wall at small speed and eventually managed to get out of the gravel trap.
At the end of the session, top drivers started their race simulations with cars heavy on fuel and with used tyres.
Nico Rosberg was the fastest in the session ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Perez, Alonso and Bottas completed the top 10.