Suzuka is one of two circuits to have hosted the Japanese Grand Prix. It first joined the calendar in 1987. Here are all the facts and statistics you need to know about Suzuka ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix!
Track length: 5.807km
Race length: 307.471km
Circuit opened: 1962
F1 first visited: 1987
Races held: 31
Track Record: 1:27.064, Sebastian Vettel, 2019
Lap Record: 1:30.983, Lewis Hamilton, 2019
There have been 31 F1 races held at Suzuka since 1987. The Japanese Grand Prix was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since 1987, sixteen different drivers have won the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
Michael Schumacher has taken the most victories at the track, having won here six times. Ferrari and McLaren are tied for the most team victories here, with seven apiece. German drivers have eleven victories at Suzuka, more than any other nation. Mercedes are the most successful engine manufacturers at the circuit, with their engines winning here ten times.
McLaren, Benetton, Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes are the five teams who have recorded 1-2 finishes at Suzuka. Mercedes are the most recent team to do so, in 2018.
Mika Hakkinen, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are the four drivers to have taken back-to-back victories at the Suzuka track. Michael Schumacher is the only driver to have taken more than two consecutive victories here, having won three times in a row in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Benetton, McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes have all taken back-to-back wins at Suzuka. Mercedes’ current streak of six successive wins is the record at this track.
There are four previous winners of the Japanese Grand Prix on the current grid. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have each won at Suzuka four times, while Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas have won here once.
The longest streak of different winners at the Japanese Grand Prix came between 1989 and 1995, when there were no repeat winners for seven seasons.
The largest win margin at the track was in 2012, when Sebastian Vettel won the race by 20.632 seconds. Gerhard Berger’s win in 1991 saw the smallest win margin at Suzuka, as the Austrian finished 0.344 seconds ahead of team-mate Ayrton Senna.
The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka has been won by less than five seconds on thirteen occasions, and has been won by less than ten seconds eighteen times. It has been won by less than a second twice.
The average win margin at Suzuka is 8.278 seconds. From the past ten Japanese Grands Prix at Suzuka, the average win margin has been 9.042 seconds.
ON THE PODIUM
From the 31 races here, 36 different drivers have finished on the podium.
The driver with the most Suzuka podium finishes is Michael Schumacher, who finished in the top three here nine times. McLaren have had the most podium appearances of any team at the track, with 23. German and British drivers are currently tied for the most podium finishes here, with 21 apiece.
There are six drivers on the current grid who have previously finished on the Suzuka podium. Sebastian Vettel has the most podiums of any current drivers here with eight, Lewis Hamilton has finished in the top three seven times, Fernando Alonso has appeared on the podium four times, Max Verstappen has three podium finishes at the track, Valtteri Bottas has had two, while Daniel Ricciardo has a single top three Suzuka finish.
The polesitter at Suzuka has gone on to finish on the podium in every race at the track since 2006, and in 24 of the 31 races held at the track.
There have been just two races at Suzuka where none of the top three qualifiers went on to finish on the podium. It happened in 1989 and 1990.
There have been five occasions where the top three on the grid all finished on the podium, including twice in the past four races. 2000, 2009 and 2018 were the only occasions where the top three finished in the order in which they started at Suzuka.
Thirteen different drivers have started from pole at the Suzuka circuit. Michael Schumacher has more pole positions than any other driver here, with eight, while Ferrari have taken the most poles of any team, with ten starts from the front. German drivers have taken more poles than any other nation, with seventeen pole positions shared between Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Ralf Schumacher.
Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are the only drivers on the current grid to have previously started from pole at this track. Vettel has taken pole at Suzuka five times, while Hamilton has done so twice.
Ayrton Senna, Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are the six drivers who have taken back-to-back poles at Suzuka. Michael Schumacher holds the record for the most consecutive pole positions at the track, having set the fastest qualifying time in every season between 1998 and 2002.
The record for most consecutive team poles at Suzuka belongs to Ferrari, who set the pace in every season between 1998 and 2004.
There has been just one occasion where pole has been taken by more than one second here. That came in 1989, when Ayrton Senna took pole by 1.730 seconds. The smallest pole margin here is 0.009 seconds, which has happened twice – for Michael Schumacher in 2000 and Sebastian Vettel in 2011.
Pole has been decided by less than a tenth of a second at Suzuka eight times.
The average pole margin at Suzuka is 0.343 seconds. From the past ten Japanese Grands Prix at Suzuka, the average pole margin has been 0.161 seconds.
SATURDAY TO SUNDAY
Just under half of the Japanese Grands Prix held here have been won from pole position (15 of 31), while 27 have been won from the front row of the grid. Just four races here have been won from further back than third on the grid.
There have been nine occasions where the polesitter has gone on to finish on the podium at Suzuka without winning the race.
The furthest back win here came in 2005, when Kimi Raikkonen took victory from seventeenth on the grid. It also marks the furthest back podium finish at the circuit.
There have been nine races at Suzuka which have featured a Safety Car. The most Safety Car appearances in one race here is three, which occurred in 2014.
Six Japanese Grands Prix at Suzuka have been affected by rain.
Michael Schumacher has taken more fastest laps than any other driver at Suzuka. He set the Sunday pace on four occasions.
From the 692 cars which have started a race here, 473 have reached the chequered flag. That gives an overall finish rate of 68.35%.
Two Suzuka races have been red-flagged. This happened in 1994 and in 2014, when the Grand Prix was red-flagged twice. Both of those races, and the 2019 race, failed to reach their scheduled distance. The chequered flag was shown one lap early in 2019.
There have been 1,623 racing laps of the Suzuka Circuit since F1 first visited in 1987.
A World Champion has been crowned at Suzuka eleven times, including in five consecutive years between 1987 and 1991. The most recent World Champion to be crowned here was Sebastian Vettel in 2011.
The Constructors’ Championship has been decided at Suzuka on eight occasions, most recently in 2019 when Mercedes took their sixth successive title. There has never been a year where the leading team in the Constructors’ Championship after the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka has failed to go on to win that year’s title.
The winner of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka has gone on to win the title in the same season on eighteen occasions, including in all but one of the past eight seasons in which the Japanese Grand Prix has been held. The exception was Valtteri Bottas, in 2019. The polesitter at the Suzuka race has won the title in the same year seventeen times.
From the 31 races held at Suzuka, there have been just three where the leader of the championship after the race has failed to go on to win the World Championship. Michael Schumacher led after the Japanese Grand Prix in 1997, but failed to seal the title, while Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso suffered a similar fate in 2010 and 2012 respectively.
There have been five dead rubber races held at Suzuka. Both titles had already been decided before F1 visited Suzuka in 1992, 1993, 2001, 2002 and 2004.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.