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Japanese Grand Prix: Suzuka’s Racing Harmony

The Japanese Grand Prix is set to take place on Sunday, September 24, 2022, marking the seventeenth race of the season. In both 2020 and 2021, the Suzuka Circuit did not host races due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Explore the full calendar for the 2023 season here.

Japanese Grand Prix

Suzuka Circuit Japanese Grand Prix

This year will witness the 31st edition of the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit. Given its position late in the calendar, this track has been the stage for numerous world championship crowning moments, with twelve title decisions out of the 30 races held at Suzuka. Drivers generally consider it one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar, attributed to its many high-speed corners. Another contributing factor is the weather; races at Suzuka often take place in the rain, leading to cars finding themselves in the gravel. No other track sees as many cars go off track as Suzuka.

Dutchman Hans Hugenholtz, renowned for designing the Hockenheimring and the Zolder circuit, shaped Suzuka’s 5.8-kilometer layout. The circuit includes two lengthy straights and eighteen turns, with eight of them typically navigated at speeds exceeding 200 kilometers per hour. This configuration makes Suzuka a challenging circuit for drivers.

The sole DRS zone is around the start/finish line. While overtaking is typically challenging here, the use of DRS allows cars to pull alongside on the straight and make a move into the first corner. The most significant overtaking opportunities come towards the end of the lap. With speeds exceeding 300 kilometers per hour, turn fifteen, known as 130R, provides a chance for overtaking. However, the risk includes the possibility of ending up in the gravel. If the attempt fails, another opportunity arises immediately. Following turn fifteen is a long straight where, although DRS cannot be used, drivers can leverage a slipstream to pass in turn sixteen.

Japanese Grand Prix F1 Japanese Grand Prix F1

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