Japanese Grand Prix

Japanese Grand Prix – Latest News, Winners, Qualifying, Circuits, Track

The Japanese Grand Prix traditionally marks the culmination of the Asian leg of the Formula One calendar. The race is often held at the Suzuka Circuit, as has been the case since 1987.

Unfortunately, F1 will not race in japan this season due to COVID-19 concerns and the dynamic nature of the 2020 Formula 1 calendar.

Since then, it has been a regular feature in the Formula One World Championship. However, the Japanese Grand Prix was held at the Fuji Speedway in 2007 and 2008.

The McLaren team has thrived here, having taken 9 wins, with Ferrari in 2nd with 7 and Mercedes with 6.  Mercedes have been on a streak since 2014, winning last year’s event to keep up their unblemished record in the turbo-hybrid era.

Significant Events

The Japanese Grand Prix was the scene for several significant events. First and foremost, in 1989, controversy erupted when Ayrton Senna and teammate Alain Prost collided at the chicane.

At the start, Prost got away much faster than Senna and negated the Brazilian’s pole position advantage. In fact, Senna’s start was so poor that Gerhard Berger got alongside him from third. However, Senna’s McLaren had the inside line into the first corner, and he managed to keep the Ferrari behind him.

At the chicane, Prost braked and Senna dived alongside the Frenchman. However, Prost moved across the track to block his path. Neither driver gave an inch and the two collided just before the apex of the turn.

In 2005, Kimi Raikkonen clinched a win after a titanic battle with Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella. Fisichella took a comfortable lead while Alonso and Räikkönen were putting pressure on Michael Schumacher. After they passed the German, Alonso chased after Raikkonen, while he was stuck behind Webber and Button.

Fisichella looked the odds on favourite, but after the final round of pitstops, Raikkonen had a clear track. What followed next was a series of fastest laps, before he pitted. By then he was only 5 seconds behind Fisichella and was closing on the Renault. The Finn was now right on the tail of race leader Fisichella.

With 3 laps to go, Fisichella went defensive under braking at the Casio Triangle, which allowed Räikkönen to get a tow on the pit straight. Fisichella defended but the story repeated next lap, and this time Räikkönen was able to get past around the outside of turn 1 of the final lap.

Finally, in 2000, Michael Schumacher took his third win in Japan and his first title.

While the Suzuka circuit has witnessed countless commendable drives and records being broken, it is also the scene of one of the most tragic events in recent F1 history.

At the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, Jules Bianchi suffered a fatal crash in treacherous conditions at Suzuka. The Frenchman’s demise often acts a stark reminder of the unforgiving nature of the Suzuka circuit.

Valtteri Bottas won last year’s Suzuka race after a brilliant start following pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel’s false start.

Past Winners

Michael Schumacher Germany 1995, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004
Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom 2007 (Fuji), 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
Sebastian Vettel Germany 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
Ayrton Senna Brazil 1988, 1993
Gerhard Berger Austria 1987, 1991
Damon Hill United Kingdom 1994, 1996
Mika Hakkinen Finland 1998, 1999
Fernando Alonso Spain 2006, 2008 (Fuji)

Past Constructors Winners

McLaren 1977, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2011
Ferrari 1987, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004
Mercedes 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Red Bull 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
Williams 1992, 1994, 1996
Renault 2006, 2008

Japanese Grand Prix Circuit Details

The Suzuka Circuit is a 5.807-kilometer circuit, in a figure-of-8 form. The circuit has been modified four times since it was built in 1962.

In 1983 a chicane was put at the last curve to slow the cars into the pit straight. Similarly, the Degner curve was made into two corners instead of one long curve. The circuit was also made considerably safer by adding more crash barriers, more run-off areas and removing straw bales leading into vegetation;

In 2002, the chicane was slightly modified, 130R was also modified and some of the snake curves were made a bit straighter and faster.

Where to watch the Japanese Grand Prix

In India, the practice sessions, qualifying and the race will be broadcast on the Star Sports network. In Africa, Supersport is in charge of broadcast while in Asia and Australia, Fox Sports handles the broadcast. Canada has RDS while China telecasts the race on CCTV. France relies of TF1 and Canal+ for their Formula One telecast. Germany, Austria and Switzerland have RTL Germany to thank. Italians who cannot travel to Monza will be watching on Sky Italia. Spain and Andorra have Movistar, while the United Kingdom has Channel 4 and Sky Sports. USA also shows the race on ESPN.

Japanese Grand Prix Tickets

Tickets are mostly available on the official Formula One website.

Session Day Time
FP1 Friday 10:00-11:30 Local time
FP2 Friday 14:00-15:30 Local time
FP3 Saturday 12:00-13:00 Local time
Qualifying Saturday 15:00-16:00 Local time
Race Sunday 14:10-16:10 Local time