Grand Prix 2018 Japanese Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

After a fairly soporific Russian GP the circus moves nearly 7,000 miles (by road according to Bing maps) to Suzuka in Japan. The Japanese have a love affair with the automobile and Japanese car companies make up 4 of the top 15 car manufacturers in the world with Toyota top of the list, just above VW.

Japan also has a long association with Formula One. Many Japanese manufacturers have made cars and engines which have raced in F1, with varying degrees of success. Honda prepared a car and engine in the 60’s and Richie Ginther won the Mexican GP in 1965. They had further success in 1968 when John Surtees won the Italian GP but the team withdrew from racing after the death of Jo Schlesser in a car with a magnesium chassis caught fire quite horrifically.

Honda came back as an engine supplier in the 80’s and pretty much wiped the floor with everyone with their motor bolted in the back of the Williams and McLaren chassis. Yamaha and Subaru have made engines and Toyota and Honda coupled their motors to their own chassis in the early 2000’s, albeit with little success (I just remembered Button's win in Hungary with the Honda engine - sorry Jenson fans, what a lovely day that was)

I don’t think I need to remind anyone of the Honda’s latest foray into the world of F1 engine supply.

Japan has also supplied the grid with 20 drivers. The first was Hiroshi Fushido in 1975 with the Japanese made Maki chassis coupled to the inevitable Cosworth DFV. The most successful Japanese F1 driver is Kamui Kobayashi who amassed 125 points in his career as well as taking a podium in Japan for Sauber in 2012 and fastest lap in the same year in China. Two other Japanese drivers have stood on the podium, Takumo Sato at Indianapolis in 2004, the Michelin tyre debacle, and Aguri Suzuki for Larousse in Japan in 1990, the one with the infamous crash between Prost and Senna at the first corner.

So what of the race itself? Lewis Hamilton goes in to the final phase of events with a healthy lead in the Championship and Mercedes showed in Russia that they will do anything to ensure that their man takes the drivers title. The constructor’s title is already pretty much nailed on for the Stuttgart team so expect team orders to come in to play if Lewis finds himself behind Valterri Bottas at any point during the race.

What of the rest? Ferrari looks to have peaked before the summer break and are now on their way down. Red Bull may well figure close to the front but I doubt they can beat the Mercedes. Back in division 2 we should see some racing between Hass, Force India and the Sauber of Le Clerc which might compensate a little for the Silver Arrows running away at the front.

It will be an early start with Qualifying at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday and the race starting at 6:10 in the morning on Sunday but at least you will have the rest of the day to something after the inevitable Mercedes 1-2.
Last edited:
Since the Live Timing is the most interesting part of the race I normally try to see races live. As I am not an early riser will it be worth the effort of recording it to ensure that I see the race?
FB fact check. The Indy tire gate race was 2005 and it was not Sato who stood on the podium. Sato got his podium in 2004 having a good race.

Other than. That great article.
I am an early riser but not always that early on a Sunday. As it's a live race I will record it and start watching it once I'm up, if it's not that interesting I might be able to fast forward a bit until either a) it gets better, or b) I catch up with the recording.
I have a bad feeling about this race because they talking about typhoons in area next week for the japanese gp & its been proveb tragically how useless FIA are in that situation.

Yeah the fat lady not singing but she warming up. Ferrari need a crash or engine failure & vettel win. I dont see How likely either of them 3 are because How ferrari have dropped so far back i dont know as they were dominant in beligium & italy. Then were so bad in Russia that red bull had caught them up. I think 2017 dejavu close title battle, ferrari had the slight advantage not many points in it. Then vettel blows up under pressure & its over by mexico
Seeing rumours on social media that Arrivabene is leaving Ferrari and going to work for Juventus. Perhaps the fall guy for Ferrari not winning a title since 2007?
Isn’t Juventus a football club? What do football and motor racing have in common. Or does it not matter. Surely the top men/women in a sport need to have some knowledge of the sport they are in ?
How many fall guys are ferrari going to have FB , soon they will be in double figures

Isn’t Juventus a football club?

Yeah & put it this way be would have an easier life at ferrari as they have lower expectations. Because they won the italian league 7 years in a row & now bought for alot of money the 2nd best player in the world. So have expections to make the final. Which is probally doesnt match teams quality
Honda's new engine is supposedly brilliant, so it would be very Honda-ish if the race was held in monsoon conditions and the power gain was negated.
Hamilton hasn't been beaten in a wet race since Hungary 2014 so Max would have to go a bit to be the rainmeister.

He started that one that back very nearly won it. But if we get a brazil 16 display we be in for a treat because that 1 was if the best drives through the field i have seen live in my 20yrs. Because he made quality drivers look average
Damon Hill, 1994 Japanese GP. The best drive of his career. Beating Schumacher, in the wet to close the title gap to one point. Having to haul back over 6 seconds to Schumacher in awful conditions to win by over 3 seconds on aggregate.

One of the brightest moments in a horrible, horrible season.
Ahh yes, I remember that drive in 1994 well. It was a hell of a race. They don't make 'em like that these days sadly.
yes I have seen that one on the classic F1 & im quite sure it was 3.2secs because I remember murray walker & nobody shouted a gap like that. but was weird one with aggregate timing & did nigel Mansell force a safety car start after a big discussion with stewards on the grid
Top Bottom