The 18th race of the F1 season gets underway this weekend at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan. This is the first time in 3 years that the drivers will race in Japan due to the pandemic. Here's everything you need to know ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.
Japanese Grand Prix: Everything You Need To Know
What time is the Japanese Grand Prix?
It will be an early start for viewers here in Ireland, with the race getting underway at 6am on Sunday.
How to watch the Japanese Grand Prix
The race will be broadcast on Sky Sports F1 with coverage starting from 4:30am.
The Coronation of Champions
The Japanese Grand Prix is famous for crowning champions. The Suzuka Circuit has seen 11 champions being crowned at the chequered flag despite it only being the last race on six occasions. The 1976 world championship was also won by James Hunt at the Japanese Grand Prix at the Fuji Circuit. The latest championship win at the Japanese Grand Prix was by Sebastian Vettel in 2011. This bodes well for Max Verstappen. The Dutchman needs to finish first and have the fastest lap to add a second world championship to his name.
Form Guide :
Max Verstappen - Red Bull
The championship leader 5 race winning streak came to an end at Singapore. After a mistake by the Red Bull team left him without enough fuel in qualifying, Verstappen had to settle for p8 in the starting grid. From there, it was an uphill battle for the 25-year-old to be crowned champion and he finished in 7th place. The Dutchman will aspire to win the race and the championship in Japan.
Charles Leclerc - Ferrari
Starting in pole position for the race, the Monaco native let the lead slip to Sergio Perez at the start. From then on, Leclerc had a solid race but was unable to overtake Perez to regain first. Ferrari's main driver has had 9 poles so far this season but none of them have translated to wins. He'll be hoping to spoil Verstappen's party and finish first in Japan.
Sergio Perez - Red Bull
The Mexican raced spectacularly to win his second grand prix this season. His previous win came at the Monaco Grand Prix, so it appears street circuits are his specialty. With the glow of his latest win, the 32-year-old will be hoping to at least finish on a podium position for the 9th time.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 2, 2022
George Russell - Mercedes
One of the most consistent drivers this season endured a horrible Singapore Grand Prix. The 24-year-old struggled on the wet circuit colliding twice into other cars and finishing last. Mercedes's strategy of putting slick tyres on his car also did not help with his pace. Russell will be hoping to bounce back and finish within the top 5 at the Suzuka Ciruit.
Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes
After being so dominant in the past decade, the 7 time world champion only has 5 races left to get his first victory of the season. His record of having a win every season of his career is in serious risk. The 37-year-old struggled on the circuit last weekend after an error in the dying minutes of the race allowed Verstappen to overtake him. He finished 9th and like his Mercedes's teammate, Hamilton will be hoping to improve this weekend.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 3, 2022
Carlos Sainz - Ferrari
The Spaniard had a consistent race last time out finishing 3rd behind his teammate Charles Leclerc. This was the first time since Miami that Ferrari had both drivers on the podium. This may prove that Ferrari were capable of fighting for the championship but let it go due to multiple mistakes. It was Sainz's 8th podium so far and he will be hopeful of another or even first next time out.