Join us again at 6am for the second practice session.
Free Practice 1
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Leading times: Vettel (1m32.585s), Webber, Kubica, Sutil, Hamilton, Barichello.
The session ends with the team practising grid starts. It was a session where little happened early or late but in the middle section a superb session from the Red Bull pair and a difficult one for McLaren though Lewis Hamilton recorded the fifth time despite crashing into the tyre wall and damaging the front of his car.
Now Button has halted the McLaren after bumping over the kerb at the Double Degner corner stopping in the gravel ahead of the tyre wall.
Like his team-mate, Button slipped off the track but just avoided the tyre wall that Hamilton hit earlier.
Sutil returns to the pits but many others are still on the track as they anticipate a possible wash-out of tomorrow's practise session.
Vettel runs through the pitlane and then back on the track with just over five minutes remaining.
There seems little prospect of significant movement in times at the end of this session. Schumacher catches traffic at the end of his timed lap so eases off for one last push.
Vettel is out again with less than ten minutes on the clock.
Button and Schumacher are also back on the track with the Brit in particular looking for improvement.
Alonso is now out on the track trying to make an impression on the leaders.
With under a quarter of an hour left the top six is Vettel, Webber, Kubica, Sutil, Hamilton and Barichello.
Barichello is up to sixth place with 1m33.677s and his Williams team-mate Hulkenberg moves just behind in seventh.
Kubica also betters his time in third place with 1m33.129s. The Red Bull drivers head into the pits happy with their work.
Vettel records his best time to 1m32.585s and Webber also records his best in second, just five hundredths of a second behind.
Vettel improved on his own and Webber's first sector time but could not beat his top lap time.
Webber threatened the lead recording the fastest first sector time but slots in just behind his team-mate with 1m33.137s.
Business is picking up! Vettel improves his time to 1m32.725s and Kubica moves up to second with 1m33.380s.
Webber improves his time to 1m33.694s despite going a little wider than he intended on the 180 degree hairpin, but remains in fifth.
Button moves up to 13th and Webber begins his first timed lap trying to compete with his team-mate who earlier set the leading time.
Glock is finally on the track as are Webber, Barichello and Button.
Alonso also has a nervous moment on the Degner bend where Hamilton had his accident but survived unscathed.
Adrian Sutil comes out flying and has now recorded the second fastest time with 1m33.639s.
The cars are back on the track now with Alonso ready to record his first time.
So the top eight times just after the first half of the session: Vettel, Hamilton, Webber, Kubica, Barichello, Hulkenberg, Schumacher, Massa.
Vettel managed to record the quickest time so far with 1m33.157s before the yellow flags come out. Replays show Hamilton hitting the tyre barrier. He is now standing by the side of the road watching his car get carried away.
Lewis Hamilton has crashed his McLaren causing bad damage to the front left of his car and he is now out of the rest of the session.
Happening quick and fast now. Webber is up to second and Barichello third with 1m33.847s.
Webber records a time of 1m34.762s that leaves him eighth at present.
Hamilton now sets a new target for the others to shoot at with 1m33.643s.
Michael Schumacher has moved second behind his countryman with 1m34.251s.
Hulkenberg takes the lead for Williams with 1m34.035s.
Massa records 1m36.534s, the third quickest, and now Schumacher, Webber and Barichello are ready to set times.
Hulkenberg improves his time but still remains behind Kobayashi. Buemi is third, with Petrov fourth.
We're just over a third of the way through this session....and thankfully the action is now heating up.
Kobayashi in front of adoring fans improves his mark to 1m34.271s
Now we have action! Kobayashi pips Hulkenberg to take the lead with 1m35.641s. Buemi puts himself third.
D'Ambrosio is a tenth of a second quicker than Yamamoto but Hulkenberg blows both of them away with 1m35.789s.
Yamamoto lowers his time to 1m41.821s. Jerome D'Ambrosio has now started his timed lap as well.
Finally we have a time on the board as Yamamoto finishes his lap in 1m42.950s.
Excitement for the local fans as Sakon Yamamoto heads out to the track. Nothing for anyone else so far. Button has also returned to the pits.
Hamilton returns to the pits. Still awaiting some drama in this practice session.
Jenson Button has joined his McLaren team-mate on the track.
Hamilton is back on the track in the sunshine in Suzuka for a second lap of testing.
Alguersuari has been out on the track again but once more returned after one lap.
Vettel returns to the pits, as does Petrov. Just testing so far. No one recording a time yet but this may change soon.
Vettel is out now, as are the Renault pair Kubica and Petrov. Buemi is back in the pits after two laps, Heidfeld is continuing for a second circuit.
Sebastien Buemi in the Toro Rosso and Nick Heidfeld in his Sauber hit the track once more.
Alonso carries on for a second lap before pulling into the pit lane leaving the track empty.
Hamilton, Schumacher and Webber all return to the pits after their installation laps. Fernando Alonso is the last man on the track.
All the early riders come back into the pit after the first lap. Now Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber are on the track.
We're underway with Jaime Alguersuari the first man out followed by Sakon Yamamoto and Jarno Trulli. Felippe Massa is also on the track.
We're just moments away from the first practice session of the Japanese Grand Prix. With torrential rain predicted for tomorrow's session the teams will be keen to see how the tyres fare on the surface.