Thanks for fighting off sleep to join us for opening practice and hopefully you can go the distance with FP2 later today - two hours and 20 minutes in fact - with more LIVE coverage here on Yahoo!-Eurosport.
Free Practice 1
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Webber of Red Bull third though Vettel's own programme took priorty as the German finished 17th. Mercedes took 4th and 5th through Rosberg and Schumacher.
Button's 1'34.507 leaves him top after FP1 with outgoing fellow McLaren man Hamilton second. Of course Jenson has a five place gearbox penalty looming for the race itself.
Second flag is out and the opening practice session is winding down.
The Spaniard isn't the only one sticking with the worn hard tyres as softs stay preserved for FP2. Button looks to be having some understeer on his McLaren.
Alonso isn't having much fun at the moment as his rear tyres look spent.
Glock locks up on the second Degner, just avoiding the barrier on the other side of the gravel trap.
Vettel begins a timed lap as team-mate Webber also heads back out, followed by Maldonado. Last-placed de la Rosa also back on track.
Di Resta and Vettel return too as the track builds up with cars again.
Kobayashi has melted his rear Pirellis, and the two McLaren cars also come back out.
Vergne begins another run with 14 minutes left. He rests 16th at the moment but with most other drivers having already used the best grip for their allocated hard tyres, he will fancy a small climb up the charts.
But Schumacher is one of the few still speeding up, with a 1'35.122 to move fifth behind Button, Hamilton, Webber and Rosberg.
Improved times drying up at the moment as teams undergo serious preparations and durability tests.
Bit of a scare for Perez as he runs wide to the run-off at the rapid 130R.
Grosjean locks up at the hairpin. Both of his front tyres are smoking heavily.
Raikkonen improves to 1'35.691 whilst fine-tuning his Lotus' air ducting and returns to pits.
Vettel and Schumacher join the masses for another run - they're near the back of the pack, two seconds behind the best time.
The circuit now a busy place with less than half an hour remaining.
Hamilton moves back to second behind team-mate (for now) Button with a lap time of 1'34.740.
Button's fresh rubber gets him top with a new fastest of 1'34.507 while Di Resta goes 12th and then 11th with his first two runs.
Di Resta will shortly join Button somewhere on the times list as he begins his first recorded lap as Hulkenberg comes out for his second session.
Vergne and Karthikeyan trim down their respective bests while Button flies straight into fifth on the board with 1'35.249.
Button is back out and after spending the early stages conducting aerodynamic tests, will soon finally record his first lap time. Hamilton is back out shortly after.
Vergne returns to the circuit after a long time in pits thanks to problems with his car's rear. Karthikeyan is also back out there while Alonso completes his 12th lap of the session in a long feel-out for the championship leader.
Rosberg with a 1.35'059 to move into third. Everybody is favouring hard tyres at the moment - with no rain on the horizon, they can hold back on the softs for FP2.
Webber now takes the fastest time, beating Hamilton with 1'34.856.
Vettel, like stablemate Webber, has some uncertainty in the Red Bull car before continuing beyond the S-curves unaffected.
Karthikeyan has lengthy discussions with his engineer about potentially tweaking his front wing as Alonso and Massa in their Ferraris clock top-four times.
Webber ran wide at the final chicane as he completed his first lap but has been able to continue without any problems and now with his second lap goes behind early pace man Hamilton with 1'35.289.
Webber is on the board and at 1'39.268 is sixth fastest thus far. Alonso soon squeezes into fifth with 1'36.455 with Schumacher fourth, less than a tenth of a second faster.
Maldonado now out in his Williams, closely followed by Ricciardo, Bottas and Vettel. Grosjean has clocked a 1'37.507, just under a second slower than Perez before him.
The HRT pair return to pits having got everything they needed as Alonso, Schumacher and Webber all come out for a spin.
Pic, Button and Raikkonen join the fray as de la Rosa receives instructions to hold back on using DRS and Button takes on a constant-speed aero test. Karthikeyan has trimmed a second or so off his lap time.
So three times on the board for now with Hamilton well over five seconds faster than both HRT cars.
1'40.729 for Karthikeyan and 1'41.293 for de la Rosa.
Both Karthikeyan and de la Rosa are back out for HRT to gather data.
Hamilton completes his first lap, the time one minute and 37.435 seconds.
Extensive resurfacing took place over the winter here, with the entire west half of the circuit getting fresh asphalt.
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The Mercedes techies are hard at work at the back of Rosberg's drive. Looks like most of the other camps are just biding their time for better conditions.
Rosberg and Vergne retreat after two laps leaving Kobayashi, who had just joined them out on the circuit, as the lone driver out there for the time being.
Alonso, current leader of the driver's standings, is taking it easy in the Ferrari garage as mechanics perform further checks on his car.
Rosberg returns to the circuit while Vergne is told over the Toro Rosso team radio of the DRS plan for his run, which he now embarks upon.
Maldonado is one of the final drivers to complete the installation lap and meet with data analysts for checks back at the pitlane.
Most drivers have now completed their installation runs including Alonso, who has his Ferrari's front wing coated in flow-vis paint in an effort to bolster performance going forward.
Alonso and Hamilton are out for installation as Vergne and Hulkenberg are among those already back at pits.
The retiring Schumacher is here now while Rosberg, Bottas and de la Rosa are out for an installation run.
Red Bull are out for practice as Webber and Vettel emerge from the garage.
We are underway with Jean Eric Vergne the first driver on circuit. He is soon followed by local hero Kobayashi as well as Hulkenberg, Karthikeyan and Ricciardo.
Good morning and welcome to our LIVE coverage of Free Practice 1 as the Japanese Grand Prix weekend gets underway.