JAPANESE GRAND PRIX

SUZUKA CIRCUIT - SUZUKA

Friday 07

FP1: 12:00 - 13:00 / FP2: 15:00 - 16:00

Saturday 08

FP3: 12:00 - 13:00 / QUALI: 15:00 - 16:00

Sunday 09

RACE: 14:00

07 - 09 october

JAPANESE GRAND PRIX

SUZUKA CIRCUIT - SUZUKA

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Friday 07

FP1: 12:00 - 13:00 /
FP2: 15:00 - 16:00

Saturday 08

FP3: 12:00 - 13:00 /
QUALI: 15:00 - 16:00

Sunday 09

RACE: 14:00

Japanese GP: all you need to know

The Japanese Grand Prix is an unmissable event for true motor sport fans.

In fact, it was the founder of the Japanese auto company, Soichiro Honda, who wanted to build this facility, as a test track for the company’s cars. It’s also home to our friends from Casio, so Suzuka feels a bit like home for us at Scuderia AlphaTauri.

The Japanese GP rewards the audacious!

There have been 35 editions of the Japanese Grand Prix, from 1976 to the present day. The first two and those in 2007 and 2008 were held at Fuji, with all others taking place at Suzuka. Dating back to 1962, the John Hugenholtz-designed Suzuka Circuit is that rare creature, a Formula One circuit that tests every aspect of car and driver.

Like Spa, there are awesome high-speed corners such as 130R that push a driver’s resolve to the limit, an amazing ‘esses’ section, where incredibly rapid changes of direction put a premium on bravery and car balance, and the Degner Curves, at which the only options are perfection or a long walk back to the pits.

Not enough? OK, how about this: the Suzuka GP is held in the middle of a theme park called Motopia, it’s got its own Ferris wheel and the track is F1’s only figure-8 layout, even if the original design featured three cross over points!

Ask any F1 driver to nominate their favourite circuits and this one will make the top three every time. The last 6 editions of the Japanese Grand Prix, thus covering the turbo-hybrid era have all been won by Mercedes: 1 win for Nico Rosberg, in 2016 when he won the championship, 4 for Lewis Hamilton and one for Valtteri Bottas in 2019, the last time the race was held as the 2021 Japanese Grand Prix was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

SUZUKA CIRCUIT

Making history from the off

The first Japanese Grand Prix in 1976 produced a thrilling finale to the fight for the Drivers’ World Championship, between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, a rivalry captured in the film, “Rush.” Spoiler alert, Lauda pulled out after one lap, deeming the atrociously wet conditions too dangerous. Hunt went on to finish third, picking up enough points to take the crown.

In 1987, the race reappeared on the calendar at the Suzuka circuit, built in 1962 as Soichiro Honda wanted a purpose-built track to test his cars. The track, famous for its “figure of eight” section was designed by Dutchman John Hugenholtz.

The Japanese Grand Prix has always produced thrilling racing over the years and has very often been the title decider. All the drivers love Suzuka, which is both technical and fast with some of the nicest corners on the calendar, such as the high speed esses in the first section and the legendary 130 R, which requires plenty of pace and a good helping of courage.

FIRST GRAND PRIX
1987
NUMBER OF LAPS
53
CIRCUIT LENGTH
5.807km
RACE DISTANCE
307.471 km
LAP RECORD
1:30.983 Lewis Hamilton (2019)

WEEKEND TYRE CHOICE

C1
HARD
C2
MEDIUM
C3
SOFT

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