If inclement weather prevents qualifying from taking place on Sunday morning at Suzuka, the Japanese Grand Prix grid will be determined by the results of FP2.

The Japanese organisers wisely decided early on Friday to cancel on track activity for Saturday, a decision that will see qualifying take place at 10h local time on Sunday morning.

However, the Japanese Grand Prix stewards have announced that they will rely on the FIA International Sporting Code to amend their event’s regulations and establish the race’s grid based on classification from FP2.

The decision could lead to a lively second free practice session, with teams eager to accumulate mileage and conduct crucial set-up work for race day while putting fast times on the board.

“I wouldn’t say [FP2 will become] a qualification, but a lot of us will try to put a fast time in to prevent if qualifying is cancelled on Sunday morning. It will be quite interesting,” said Haas boss Guenther Steiner, quoted by Motorsport.com.

Teams routinely use less fresh power units during Friday practice and then swap to their race engine for qualifying.

Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul said his team would stick to its original plan despite the disruption.

“We are minded to stay with our Friday engine, which is down on power because it is an engine we were using initially at the start of the season,” said the Frenchman.

“It is costing a little bit but on balance we still believe that Sunday will be decent enough so qualifying can run, so we prefer to stay in line with that plan.”

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