Valtteri Bottas eclipsed Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the second practice session that could determine the grid for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Officials have cancelled Saturday’s track action due to the impending arrival of Typhoon Hagibis, with qualifying shifted to Sunday morning.
But with the risk that a change in meteorological conditions, or potential damage, could mean the abandonment of qualifying, the FIA clarified that FP2 times would be used to determine the grid.
Bottas recovered from an out-lap spin exiting the final corner to post a time of 1:27.785, edging out team-mate Hamilton by a tenth of a second.
Those laps were set relatively early in the session and remained unbeaten, as Ferrari’s late attempts came up short.
Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel took only fourth and fifth, behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, with Alexander Albon sixth.
Carlos Sainz Jr. repeated his FP1 position of seventh, with McLaren team-mate Lando Norris at the foot of the top 10, split by Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly.
Gasly, who missed FP1 due to Honda-affiliated Naoki Yamamoto receiving his F1 bow, was only 17th before his late effort, and is now well-placed in case FP2 results are taken to form the grid.
Kimi Raikkonen recovered from a temporary mechanical issue to place 11th, ahead of Daniil Kvyat.
Romain Grosjean was the lead Haas driver in 13th position, in front of Racing Point’s Lance Stroll and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, who added valuable mileage after his FP1 setback.
Kevin Magnussen took 16th while Renault had a low-key showing; Daniel Ricciardo was only 17th, with Nico Hulkenberg four-tenths adrift at the rear of the mid-pack in 18th.
Williams brought up the rear once more though Robert Kubica held the edge on George Russell by a tenth-and-a-half.
Sunday’s qualifying session is scheduled for 10:00 local time.