?? THE 2021 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX
ROUND 17. 8th – 10th October.
1052nd F1 GRAND PRIX | 46th JAPANESE GRAND PRIX | 32nd GRAND PRIX AT SUZUKA
2019 POLESITTER: SEBASTIAN VETTEL | 2019 WINNER: VALTTERI BOTTAS
Friday 8th October
Free Practice 1 (11:30am Local Time/ 3:30am UK Time)
Free Practice 2 (3pm Local Time/ 7am UK Time)
Saturday 9th October
Free Practice 3 (12pm Local Time/ 4am UK Time)
Qualifying (3pm Local Time/ 7am UK Time)
Sunday 10th October
The 2021 Japanese Grand Prix (2pm Local Time/ 6am UK Time)
- This will be Max Verstappen’s 113th race start with Red Bull. That’s the same number of races as Sebastian Vettel started with the team. Only Mark Webber has made more appearances with Red Bull.
- This weekend, Haas will equal the number of F1 appearances by the BAR team. BAR started 117 races.
- This will be the fourth race to be held on 10th October. It’s the first race to be held on this date since the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix.
- Lap 27 of the 2021 Japanese Grand Prix will be the 1,650th racing lap held at Suzuka in F1 World Championship history.
- Yuki Tsunoda will become the first Japanese driver to partake in his home Grand Prix since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014.
READ MORE IN MILESTONES AND RECORDS TO BREAK
Information about the upcoming race weekend, such as DRS zones and track changes, will be added here.
SUZUKA TRACK GUIDE
Mastering the flowing nature of Suzuka requires an enormous attention to detail. The only figure of eight circuit on Formula 1’s calendar is regarded as one of the most technically challenging of the year.
The Suzuka circuit was built as a test track for Japanese manufacturer Honda in 1962. The circuit, which was designed by John Hugenholtz, is situated 30 miles south-west of Nagoya. While Honda tested their latest motorbikes and cars, the track was seen as too good to be used only for testing, and so racing began at the circuit. For its first years of existence, the track was used only for national events. Formula One ventured into Japan in the mid-seventies with a couple of races at Fuji, before the death of a marshal in the 1977 race put a halt to the sport’s tenure there. Suzuka was finally placed on the calendar in 1987.
The elevation change around the track is one of the factors which makes Suzuka such a demanding track. The drivers travel downhill into the long first bend, before ascending up through the esses. Near the end of the track – after the drivers have passed over the circuit in the only figure of eight layout on the calendar – the drivers hurtle into 130R, which is one of the fastest corners of the year, taken at just under 190mph, before the cars approach the final chicane – the slowest section of the track.
PRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULES
The world’s media will have the opportunity to talk to the drivers on the Thursday before the race. The drivers appearing in the press conference are yet to be announced.
The media will also be talking to prominent members of Formula 1’s teams on Friday. The team members appearing in the Teams’ Press Conference for this race weekend are yet to be announced.
Each weekend a former Formula 1 driver, or a driver from another prominent series of motorsport, joins the stewards to help judge any incidents from a drivers’ perspective. The Driver Steward this weekend is yet to be announced.
The weather forecast for the week ahead at the circuit currently looks like this:
In 2021, each team will be supplied with the same selection of tyres by Pirelli: two sets of hard compounds, three sets of medium compounds and eight sets of soft compounds. Pirelli will supply the C1, C2 and C3 compounds for this race weekend.
2019 JAPANESE GP RECAP
While Typhoon Hagibis affected the Suzuka schedule, Ferrari locked out the front row in Sunday qualifying, before Valtteri Bottas won and ensured the destiny of the 2019 championships in Mercedes’ favour.
The onset of Typhoon Hagibis led to an unusual Japanese Grand Prix weekend, with Saturday’s running cancelled and qualifying moved to Sunday morning. The weather was dry when qualifying finally began, but that didn’t prevent two Red Flag periods in Q1. The first was a result of Robert Kubica hitting the wall on the main straight in the Williams, and the second was for Kevin Magnussen who crashed in the same place. Ferrari locked-out the front row, with Sebastian Vettel starting from pole position. Vettel made a poor start, and Valtteri Bottas swooped around both Ferrari drivers to take the lead. Charles Leclerc collided with Max Verstappen, sending the Red Bull driver into a spin. With damage flying from Leclerc’s car, he was called in to pit and the pair did battle again after they had both pitted. Verstappen ultimately retired from the race, while his team-mate Alex Albon made an ambitious move on Lando Norris into the final chicane. As the race reached half distance, Lewis Hamilton questioned how he was so far down on the leading pair of Bottas and Vettel. After the pit stops, Hamilton was on Vettel’s tail. He attempted an overtake at the first turn, but stayed behind the Ferrari. Sergio Perez crashed out of a points-paying position on the final lap – or at least he would have done, if the chequered flag had not been shown a lap early. Bottas won the race, with Vettel and Hamilton completing the podium. The result ensured that Mercedes would win a sixth consecutive Constructors’ Championship, and also ensured that the 2019 World Champion would be either Hamilton or Bottas.
FASTEST EVER LAP
RECENT FASTEST LAPS IN EACH SESSION
|Free Practice 1||1:29.166 (Sebastian Vettel)||1:28.691 (Lewis Hamilton)||1:28.731 (Valtteri Bottas)|
|Free Practice 2||1:48.719 (Lewis Hamilton)||1:28.217 (Lewis Hamilton)||1:27.785 (Valtteri Bottas)|
|Free Practice 3||1:29.055 (Valtteri Bottas)||1:29.599 (Lewis Hamilton)||–|
|Qualifying||1:27.319 (Lewis Hamilton)||1:27.760 (Lewis Hamilton)||1:27.064 (Sebastian Vettel)|
|Grand Prix||1:33.144 Valtteri Bottas)||1:32.318 (Sebastian Vettel)||1:30.983 (Lewis Hamilton)|