Reigning champion Max Verstappen missed out on his first shot at holding on to his title at last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.
After a chaotic qualifying saw him finish prematurely and just seventh on the grid, an even more tumultuous race saw him remain in seventh and miss the chance of winning his second title.
Charles Leclerc once again failed to capitalise on what should have been a perfect opportunity to win a much needed race, as the Ferrari driver was unable to match the pace of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.
It was not just the title contenders that suffered the fate of the chaos, as seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate George Russell were also embroiled in controversy which saw Hamilton come in eighth and fellow Briton Russell finish down in 14th - his first time this season out of the top five.
However, with only a few days to go before the next event, the drivers will look ahead to the upcoming opportunity and for Verstappen it’s another shot at winning the Championship with just four races remaining.
With just a few days before the Japanese Grand Prix begins, here is all you need to know about the circuit...
When is the Japanese Grand Prix?
The race weekend will begin on Friday 7 October 2022 and will conclude with the race on Sunday 9 October 2022.
(All times are BST)
Friday 7 October:
- Practice 1: 4am-5am
- Practice 2: 7am-8.30am
Saturday 8 October:
- Practice 3: 4am-5am
- Qualifying: 7am-8am
Sunday 9 October:
- RACE: 6am-8am
Where is the Japanese Grand Prix?
The Japanese Grand Prix takes place at the Suzuka Circuit in Inoc, Suzuka City. The first Grand Prix at this track was held in 1987 and has fast become on the firm favourites on the circuit.
It has not held a race since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Lewis Hamilton currently holds the lap record. It was one of the ultimate driving challenges with its’ snaking ‘S’ curves, two Degner curves and ride of 130 R.
The track also has a crossover between Sector 2 and Sector 3 - what’s not to love?
How to watch the Japanese Grand Prix?
Sky Sports will have all of the coverage from this weekend on Main Event and their dedicated Formula 1 channel.
Subscriptions for Sky Sport start at £46/month while NowTV passes are available for £11.98/day.
Who will win the Japanese Grand Prix?
Verstappen once again seems the obvious choice to win the race in Japan. Not just because of his outrageous success this season (excluding last weekend’s debacle) but because he once again has a very achievable shot of winning the Drivers’ Championship for a second consecutive year.
The Dutchman has to win the race and secure the bonus point for fastest lap in order for him to lift the trophy, and it will not matter where Leclerc finishes.
However, if Verstappen wins the race but does not secure fastest lap, theoretically the pair could still draw the title.
Additionally, if Leclerc takes the win, the game is still very much on - something any neutrals will certainly be hoping for.
Hamilton is still in search for his first win this season and as a five-time winner of the Japanese Grand Prix, this weekend could be the one. But as we have been saying this all year, it seems once again rather unlikely he will catch up to his Ferrari and Red Bull rivals.