Mercedes unsure about Japanese GP potential after leading wet practice

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Mercedes are unsure about their potential in the dry after leading a wet Friday practice at the Japanese Grand Prix.

After having both cars outside the the top 10 in FP1, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished one-two in the second session at Suzuka in similar conditions.

And though the weather is expected to be better for the rest of the weekend, the Briton was pleased with the performance Mercedes was able to extract in the wet.

"It is always nice to end the day top of the time sheets, and it was a decent improvement from FP1 when we were pretty much at the bottom," Russell reflected.

"The wet conditions today were probably not that representative for the rest of the weekend, but it was a good learning opportunity for the future.

"It's important to understand things like the tyre crossover from wet to intermediate, and even if that doesn't pay dividends this weekend, it will in the future."

More rain is possible on Sunday, but qualifying on Saturday is set to be dry and Russell was cautious about setting expectations.

"I've no idea what to expect tomorrow, we will be battling for the top six positions, and hopefully we have a shot at something better than that. Let's wait and see," he said.

"It's amazing to be back here in Suzuka, the circuit is so iconic, one of the best in the world, and the first sector is just a joy to drive because it is so fast and flowing."

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As for teammate Hamilton, he too admits predicting Saturday is a shot in the dark for Mercedes.

"It's been a very chilled day! Grey and wet with a little bit of running, but we expect different conditions for the rest of the weekend," he commented.

"There's always something useful to learn on set-up, tyre wear and temperatures, as well as moving around the car balance between the sessions, and it was positive in second practice that we could switch the tyres on today.

"Looking to tomorrow, I don't really know what to expect. I guess Ferrari and Red Bull will be rapid, and I hope that we are fast too - like I do each week!"