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Fernando Alonso fastest, Mick Schumacher crashes out in wet Suzuka practice

The car of Haas F1 Team's driver Mick Schumacher sits at the side of the track after crashing during the first practice session ahead of the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix. Edmund So/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Fernando Alonso set the pace in a wet first practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix as Mick Schumacher crashed out after the chequred flag.

Persistent rain throughout the morning saw practice get underway in full wet conditions at Suzuka, resulting in limited running during the hour-long session.

Alonso emerged with the fastest time after he made the most of a break in the weather to set a 1:42.248 on intermediate tyres before another band of rain set in with 15 minutes remaining.

The two Ferrari drivers were second and third, with Carlos Sainz 0.315s off Alonso and Charles Leclerc 0.386s off the Alpine driver. The second Alpine of Esteban Ocon was fourth fastest ahead of Kevin Magnussen's Haas and championship leader Max Verstappen.

Schumacher's practice session ended in the wall when he lost control of his Haas at the Dunlop corner on his return to the pits after making a practice start at the end of the session.

A replay showed the rear tyres of his car aquaplaning as he exited the corner, which pitched him into a spin that ended in the barriers.

The damage looked significant and comes at an unfortunate time for Schumacher, who is fighting for his Formula One future as Haas considers replacing him with Nico Hulkenberg next year.

The rain is expected to continue throughout the day but is unlikely to return over the rest of the weekend. Friday's second practice session was earmarked as a test for Pirelli's 2023 tyres and has been extended to 90 minutes, but the weather means it is unlikely the drivers will be able to run next year's slick tyre compounds.