Grand Prix 2023 Japanese Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

The fly away races are now in full swing, and after the blip in Singapore I think we can probably expect Max and Red Bull to reimpose themselves on the 2023 F1 season. You will know that the Japanese love motor racing. They produced engines which have changed the sport. Their huge motor industry has dabbled in making cars, with variable levels of success, and there have been a number of Japanese F1 drivers, none of which has ever won an F1 race.

For something a bit different, here's a story about a Japanese F1 team I suspect many of you will have not heard of, Kojima Engineering.

Matsuhisa Kojima was a motocross rider in Japan. As well as being involved with motor sport he also imported bananas, from which he amassed a sizeable fortune which he used to fund a small engineering business building single seater race cars. This was at the height of the garagiste era in F1, when you could buy a competitive engine from Cosworth, bolt it to a chassis, and go motor racing.

At the Japanses GP in 1976 Kojima unveiled the KE007 (interesting car Mr Bond), driven by Masahiro Hasemi. In the first qualifying session he was 4th fastest (they had two sessions on a Friday and Saturday back then) before he binned it in the second session and the car had to be rebuilt. Hasemi eventually started 10th. You will know that this was a very wet race, won by Mario Andretti. The Kojima car finished 11th and was initially credited with fastest lap. Ther were problems with the timing system and this was eventually awarded to Jacques Laffite in the Ligier.


At the Japanese race in 1977 two Kojima KE009's were entered, one by Kojima Engineering the other by Hero's racing. The Kojima car was retired after running over debris whilst the Hero car went on to finish 11th.

Kojima never entered another international race, concentrating on making F2 cars for the Japanese series. Can you imagine in modern F1 a team being allowed to build a car to only enter one round of the championship? Sadly I doubt this will ever happen again.

This is the timing for Sky's coverage in the UK. It's an early start if you want to watch it live. I'd wait and see what happens in practice myself, as another Red Bull walk over isn't really worth setting an early alarm for now is it?

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How is this for a conspiracy theory?
When RB bonked in Singapore, my wife said they were faking it. She didn't know why, probably for gambling or smth, but you don't go from winning by a landslide to 11th overnight. I tried to explain the bumpy street track versus ride height and the plank and stuff... but what if she was right?
What if RB faked it in Singapore, to win the title in Suzuka, home of Honda?
never rule anything out, but honda involvment is huge confusing because technically audi have a bigger part in F1 than honda do because honda wont be back in F1 until 2026 with aston martin. but then reality says i dont think they ever left & it is convenient that constructors was won on 75th anniversary of honda formation

but i think it was singapore 2015 dejavu where the only race where mercedes were just mysteriously uncompetitive a second of the pace 5th & 6th. as they won & took pole in every 2015 race bar singapore. apparently they cocked up in the simulatior which had brought dreadful baseline set up
i was thinking would it be weird to say that i thinking that this is 1 of hamilton best years he's driven, because i would say he's not had the 2nd best car since Canada. alot of the season its probably been 4th best car. behind the mclaren & ferraris. yet there he is the best non red bull & any more dreadful racing from perez & Hamilton might nick 2nd, as he only 33pts away
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