The Japanese Grand Prix, up until the late 90s, was the only Formula One race to be held in Asia. As such, it is a pioneer in the F1 racing scene in the region. Since the Japanese GP is typically held towards the end of the Formula 1 Grand Prix’s calendar, many drivers are crowned world champions in this race. As far as F1 betting odds goes, favorites have all but dominated at Suzuka.
- Course: Suzuka International Racing Course.
- Location: Suzuka, Mie Prefecture, Japan
- Course Length: 3.608 miles (5.807 kilometers)
- Distance: 53 laps, 191.053 miles (307.471 kilometers)
The Suzuka International Racing Course is known for its “figure eight” layout and is one of only two FIA Grade 1-licensed tracks to have this (the other is Ferrari’s Fiorano Circuit).
The 130R corner is notorious in this course as it was been the place for a pair of major accidents. Following these, track officials revised the corner as a double-apex section leading to a much closer Casio triangle.
Top 5 Results: TBD
Current F1 Standings- 2022 Season
History of Japanese Grand Prix
The Japanese GP originated in the 1960s as a sports car race at the Suzuka Circuit. But Formula One was not held in Japan until 1976 at the Fuji Speedway. This race was supposed to be the title decider between Niki Lauda and James Hunt.
But due to a torrential downpour, Lauda withdrew. Hunt finished third and won his first and only F1 title while Mario Andretti won with Lotus-Ford. The following year, Hunt won the race though it would be the last in Japan for a while thanks to a crash that killed two spectators.
F1 returned to Japan in 1987 at the Suzuka Circuit. Austrian Gerhard Berger won the race with Ferrari. The subsequent races became famous for the intense rivalry between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. The latter rallied to edge the former in 1988 and won his first Drivers’ Championship. This would be the only race won between the two until 1993 thanks to their heated antics on the track, which included several collisions.
1992 was the first year in which the Japanese GP did not determine the championship as Nigel Mansell had already clinched it. But by the late-1990s, Michael Schumacher had some dramatic showdowns with the likes of Jacques Villeneuve and Mikka Hakkinen. While the Finn beat Schumacher a pair of times, Schumacher went on to win the Japanese five times, which is tied for the most.
In 2007, the Japanese GP returned to Fuji briefly, which saw Lewis Hamilton win his first race in the country. And in 2009, the race returned to Suzuka where world champions and F1 betting favorites like Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have dominated.
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Japanese GP is back at Suzuka for the 2022 race.
This track has been modified at least eight times with the most notable:
- 1983: a chicane was inserted at the last curve
- 1987: the track was brought up to F1 and Grand Prix motorcycle standards; the Degner curve was made into two corners instead of one long curve
- 2002: the chicane was slightly modified and the 130R was also modified to be straighter and faster
- 2003: the chicane was modified to be slightly faster and closer to the 130R