1075th F1 GRAND PRIX | 46th JAPANESE GRAND PRIX | 32nd GRAND PRIX AT SUZUKA
2019 POLESITTER: SEBASTIAN VETTEL | 2019 WINNER: VALTTERI BOTTAS
F1’s only figure of eight circuit is back on the calendar in 2022. Suzuka ranks among the most challenging circuits to master. The 2022 Japanese Grand Prix is set to take place on October 7-9.
Friday 7th October
Free Practice 1 – 12:00pm Local Time / 4:00am UK Time
Free Practice 2 – 3:00pm Local Time / 7:00am UK Time
Saturday 8th October
Free Practice 3 – 12:00pm Local Time / 4:00am UK Time
Qualifying- 3:00pm Local Time / 7:00am UK Time
Sunday 9th October
The 2022 Japanese Grand Prix – 2:00pm Local Time / 6:00am UK Time
- Yuki Tsunoda will become the first Japanese driver to partake in his home Grand Prix since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014.
A win for Lewis Hamilton this weekend would see him equal Michael Schumacher’s record tally of six Japanese Grand Prix victories. While Schumacher took all of his victories at Suzuka, Hamilton has won here only four times so far – the same number of times as Sebastian Vettel.
Ferrari and McLaren are currently tied for most wins at Suzuka with seven apiece. Either team could set a new outright record this weekend, or Mercedes could equal their existing tallies.
Mercedes have won all of the last six Japanese Grands Prix. They can extend their record of most consecutive Suzuka wins to seven this weekend.
READ MORE IN MILESTONES AND RECORDS TO BREAK
WHAT HAS CHANGED AT THE CIRCUIT SINCE F1’S LAST VISIT TO SUZUKA?
Details of track changes since the last race will be added here.
HOW MANY DRS ZONES WILL THERE BE AT THE 2022 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX?
It’s yet to be announced how many DRS zones there will be at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix.
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 1 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.
WHO WILL BE IN THE PRESS CONFERENCE?
The world’s media will have the opportunity to talk to the drivers before practice on Friday morning. The drivers appearing in the press conference for this race are yet to be announced.
The media will also be talking to prominent members of Formula 1’s teams on Saturday morning. The team members appearing in the Teams’ Press Conference for this race weekend are yet to be announced.
WHO WILL BE THE RACE DIRECTOR?
It has not yet been announced who will be the race director at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix.
WHO WILL BE THE DRIVER STEWARD?
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:
WHICH TYRE COMPOUNDS WILL BE USED?
In 2022, each team will be supplied with the same selection of tyres by Pirelli. Pirelli will supply the C1, C2 and C3 compounds for the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix weekend.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME AT THE JAPANESE GRAND PRIX?
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.