It was Jenson Button’s turn to blaze a trail during the practice sessions ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.
The McLaren driver was quickest in the morning using P Zero White medium tyres and again in the afternoon after switching to P Zero Yellow soft tyres.
Button is the only person who is theoretically able to deprive Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel of the championship this year.
Pirelli also had cause to be happy with the way the day panned out.
Paul Hembery, the tyre manufacturers motorsport director, said: “There’s no question that Suzuka is an extremely tough track for the tyres, so we’re pleased with the way that our tyres have performed so far.
“In the morning using the medium tyre we saw drivers carrying out runs of around 20 laps on a track that was still ‘green’, without much rubber laid down, and in the afternoon the durability of the soft tyre was good too, with some drivers putting in more than 12 laps on heavy fuel loads as we expected.
“We will analyse all the data we collect tonight now, but from what we can see so far we’re anticipating between two and three stops during the race. Due to the nature of the pit lane here, we could end up seeing a multi-stop strategy from some of the teams, while others go longer.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team