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Japan 2008 - Free Practice 3 - Tyre wear is top of the list of things drivers are worried about

Published by Christine

This is the last chance for our drivers to get their setups right before qualifying later in the day. Many struggled with tyre wear and grip yesterday, so finding the optimum setup is going to be crucial.

We saw Hamilton and Glock lead the Free Practice sessions, with Glock actually showing very well in the morning as well. Looks like Toyota know what they want at their home race, and they've got just the guy to do it. Whether this momentum will last through Saturday remains to be seen, but my guess is that the Trulliometer is slightly low. He says there's no pressure to do well in Japan, but who's he trying to convince?

Meanwhile, the McLaren's seem to have their car hooked up much earlier than Ferrari, with even Kovalainen getting towards the top end of the timesheets. Ferrari seem to be taking it easy so far, Massa certainly wasn't in a hurry to set any times yesterday, and although slightly behind at this early stage, there's plenty of action still to come. With tyre wear such an issue, the difference between McLaren and Ferrari handling could become very obvious. Never count out BMW though. Their FP times weren't stunning, but when are they ever? Kubica seems to have Heidfeld under control, and will be looking to do well in qualifying to keep his championship hopes alive.

Towards the lower end of the timesheets, Honda are putting on a less impressive show so far in their home country, but Barrichello seems very positive that things can improve. Amazingly, he was looking forward to a dry race to help them through to Q2, it's usually the other way round.

All the forecasts I saw suggested that Saturday would be the only day to be wary of a bit of precipitation. Looking at the weather sites now, it appears that clouds will be the only problem, but of course, the mountain can make things slightly unpredictable.

As ever, ITV aren't aware there is a third session of Free Practice, so we will be searching for video streams on the web. 5live Sports Extra hasn't let us down yet, and it doesn't look like they'll be starting now. We'll have the Live Timing up, and I hope you can join us in the Live Commenting Live... Thing. Follow that link or click the triangle in the corner.




This is the last chance for our drivers to get their setups right before qualifying later in the day. Many struggled with tyre wear and grip yesterday, so finding the optimum setup is going to be crucial.

Event start

03:00GMT +01:00

11 October 2008