Adrian Sutil set the fastest time in a largely pointless soaking wet second free practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
The German set a time of 1m47.261s in the final moments of the session, despite running wide at the notorious 130R corner. Second quickest was Sebastian Vettel ahead of the second Force India of Vitantonio Liuzzi. But the heavy rain and a limited supply of tires with which to tackle it contributed to an almost total washout of the second 90 minutes.
The bad weather hit the Suzuka area between the two free practice sessions on Friday, saturating the track and creating small rivers of water that formed at various points around of the circuit as the precipitation continued throughout the 90 minutes.
One of these streams gave Jaime Alguersuari a fright under braking into Degner 1, when the two Toro Rossos came out for an exploratory lap early on in the session. They soon ducked back into the pits.
It was an hour before anyone went out on track again. And then it was the two Spaniards, Fernando Alonso and Alguersuari again, who came out for another look. The double World Champion immediately pitted again, but the Toro Rosso driver gamely continued, posting a 1m56.848s lap. But then that same river convinced him to return to his pit
Romain Grosjean then went out for a trial run, but like his Renault teammate, gave up without so much as completing a lap.
Finally with just over 10 minutes to go, Fernando Alonso led out a brave band of 17 drivers who gave it their best - Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello didn't bother.
Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest ahead of Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:47.261 5
2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:47.923 + 0.662 6
3. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:47.931 + 0.670 4
4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:47.983 + 0.722 5
5. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:48.058 + 0.797 8
6. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:48.691 + 1.430 9
7. Alonso Renault (B) 1:48.693 + 1.432 5
8. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:48.737 + 1.476 6
9. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:48.802 + 1.541 11
10. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:48.861 + 1.600 6
11. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:48.886 + 1.625 4
12. Kobayashi Toyota (B) 1:49.054 + 1.793 7
13. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:49.382 + 2.121 7
14. Grosjean Renault (B) 1:49.405 + 2.144 6
15. Fisichella Ferrari (B) 1:49.553 + 2.292 5
16. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:49.872 + 2.611 7
17. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:50.179 + 2.918 9
18. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) No time
19. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) No time
20. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) No time
All Timing Unofficial