GP Japan: Timetable, standings, track info, weather

To get up early

Max Verstappen Charles Leclerc GP Japan F1 (ANP)

Formula 1 will remain in Asia for a while, because after the race weekend in Singapore it is time for action in Japan. At Suzuka, which is so beloved by many, Max Verstappen hopes to make an important step on the way to his third title.

GP Japan times

Due to the somewhat disappointing result in Singapore, Max Verstappen no longer has a chance to win his third title in Japan. However, he can close the gap in such a way that it will probably happen the following weekend. Here in the Netherlands you can probably set your alarm clock if you want to see everything happen live. After all, racing is taking place in Japan and unlike last weekend, it is happening in daylight.

Day Session Time (NL)
Friday September 22 First free practice 04:30 – 05:30
Friday September 22 Second free practice 08:00 – 09:00
Saturday September 23 Third free practice 04:30 – 05:30
Saturday September 23 Qualification 08:00 – 09:00
Sunday September 24 Race 07:00

Championship standings

As mentioned, Max Verstappen has no chance of becoming champion again next weekend. The Dutchman must increase his lead over teammate Sergio Pérez from 151 to 180 points (29 points) and he can gain a maximum of 26 points over Pérez next weekend. In the meantime, we see a different name behind the two Red Bull drivers than has been there for a long time: Lewis Hamilton has taken over third place from Fernando Alonso in the championship.

Driver Points
1. Max Verstappen – Red Bull 374
2. Sergio Perez – Red Bull 223
3. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes 180
4. Fernando Alonso – Aston Martin 170
5. Carlos Sainz – Ferrari 142
6. Charles Leclerc – Ferrari 123
7. George Russell – Mercedes 109
8. Lando Norris – McLaren 97
9. Lance Stroll – Aston Martin 47
10. Pierre Gasly – Alpine 45

Ferrari also did good business in Singapore and is therefore moving slightly closer to Mercedes in the constructors’ championship. It also now looks like Aston Martin, despite its good start this year, will not finish in the top three in 2023. It has been surpassed by Mercedes and Ferrari in the development of the car, but the form of Lance Stroll also helps not included. There was a nice boost for AlphaTauri in Singapore; impressive substitute Liam Lawson grabbed two points for the team.

Constructor Points
1. Red Bull 597
2. Mercedes 289
3. Ferrari 265
4. Aston Martin 217
5. McLaren 139
6. Alpine 81
7. Williams 21
8. Hare 12
9. Alfa Romeo 10
10. AlphaTauri 5

Circuit

The Suzuka circuit is very popular with many drivers. It is a spectacular track to drive, with a wide variety of turns. The circuit was designed by the Dutchman Hans Hugenholtz, the same man responsible for Circuit Zandvoort. A piece of Dutch pride, in a sense. The fans always create a special atmosphere here, because the Japanese often dress up in special costumes to support their favorite driver or team. The hats in particular are often striking. You can bet that there will be a lot of support for Max Verstappen and Red Bull, because of the use of Honda engines. Yuki Tsunoda can of course also count on many fans.

The Suzuka Circuit, fully called Suzuka International Racing Course, was opened in 1962. A year later, a Formula 1 Grand Prix of Japan was held for the first time, although it was not yet part of the world championship. This was only the case from 1987, when Formula 1 returned to Japan after a ten-year absence. Since then, Suzuka has hosted most Japanese GPs; only in 2007 and 2008 it was raced at the Fuji Speedway. The Japanese GP has had a dark side since 2014, when French driver Jules Bianchi tragically ended up in hospital after a collision with a shovel that was recovering another car. Bianchi fell into a coma and died less than a year later.

Next weekend, the Formula 1 drivers will drive 53 laps in the Japanese GP, over a total distance of almost 307.5 km. The race lap record at Suzuka is held by Lewis Hamilton, who lapped the circuit in 1:30.983 in the 2019 Japanese GP. Last year, Max Verstappen won a race that was chaotic due to rain and heard in a very confusing way that (even though he didn’t think so) he had enough points to secure his second title.

Weather

The weather regularly plays a decisive role in the course of the Japanese Grand Prix. The weather may become less important next weekend. Although Friday looks set to be a somewhat wet day, the chance of precipitation will decrease as the weekend progresses. Sunday itself seems to be an almost dry day, with room for the sun. It will be quite warm all weekend, with temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius.

– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl

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