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Japanese GP: Early Weather Forecast Predicts Wet Race at Suzuka

Published 03/30/2024, 9:20 PM EDT

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via Reuters

We are nearing one of the most exciting races on the calendar: the Japanese GP! This race means a lot to motorsport lovers, especially fans of Japan’s automobile culture. The race is known for its tight chicanes and celebratory audience, which bring together a race unlike any other on the grid. Over the years, we have seen a wide variety of weather conditions in Suzuka leading to some interesting races, with many wondering, ‘How will it be this year?’

This will be the first Japanese spring race since its introduction to the calendar in 1987. Everyone is curious to know what the conditions of the track will be. While we have seen many wet races in Japan in the past, will this year bring the need for an umbrella?

How to be prepared for the Japanese GP

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An umbrella is suggested for the Japanese GP but might not be necessary, according to the weather forecast. But this will be subject to change as there is still time for the race and the weather conditions are unpredictable. So far, the Japanese GP has often been a wet race, with the last one being in 2022, which led Carlos Sainz Jr to crash his Ferrari on the 28th lap.

Currently, the weather report states that rain is on the cards for the weekend, and another wet race might be in action. 2023 was a dryer year and led to the uneventful victory of Max Verstappen, continuing his dominance. Verstappen is showing dominance again, and maybe the rain might make it so that he loses two consecutive races after the longest time in his career.

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The wet conditions make things more interesting for fans too, with more action on the track and an escape from the heat that usually surrounds the circuits of the earlier races on the calendar this season. The Japanese GP has always been something to look out for, and the wet races have brought in some of the most iconic races in the sport.

The most famous moments from the wet races at the Japanese Grand Prix

Over the years, the Japanese Grand Prix has gained a reputation for wet races, occurring amid Japan’s typhoon season. However, only nine races have actually been held in rainy conditions, with truly soaking conditions encountered just five times. In 1994 at Suzuka, Damon Hill’s exceptional drive in the rain led to victory in a race decided by aggregate times, intensifying the title fight with Michael Schumacher.

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via Reuters

Another memorable wet race was at Fuji Speedway in 2007, marked by crashes and restarts. A tragedy struck in 2014 at Suzuka when Jules Bianchi’s collision with a recovery vehicle led to fatal injuries. Last year’s race at Suzuka brought back memories of Bianchi’s accident, as it was also red-flagged due to appalling conditions and featured a recovery vehicle incident, ultimately concluding after 36 laps.

There is a unique charm to wet races in Formula One, especially the ones held at Suzuka. The challenging track just becomes more difficult to navigate as, during heavy downpours, it’s almost impossible to see another driver coming out of a tight turn.

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That being said, wet or dry, after Ferrari’s dominance in Australia, the Japanese GP will be an interesting one. Will Red Bull make their usual 1-2, or will it be time for more Sainz and Ferrari action? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Written by:

Viren Mirpuri

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Viren Mirpuri is an F1 Writer at EssentiallySports. With a Degree in Mass Media and a Specialization in Journalism, Viren is known for his speedy race day coverage outside of discussing the engine technicalities. Whether he's dissecting the latest technical innovations or unraveling the drama on and off the track, he ensures that his readers stay engaged and informed.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta