F1 MSC CRUISES JAPANESE GRAND PRIX 2024

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Everso Biggyballies
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F1 MSC CRUISES JAPANESE GRAND PRIX 2024

#1

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

JAPANESE GP 2024 - SUZUKA

April 5th - 7th 2024

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Not much current fact in this one as I have a very busy couple of days coming up. People arriving shortly and staying tonight, then I have errands to run tomorrow.... then a significant birthday for me on Wednesday has had me ordered to be available. Yes I turn 70 on Wednesday. Scary innit.

Oh.....Apologies a lot is in bold type. I think I have dropped an extra in somewhere and cant find it. Just had a phone call to say my guests are 10 minutes away so not going to find it now, and wanted to get it posted. You will have to live with it.

OVERVIEW

So, round 4 of this years marathon, and we head to Japan and the legendary Suzuka Circuit for the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend. Yes this weekend. An odd time of year perhaps to get away from Typhoon time, or maybe to fit in with China and Australia. Last year we were looking at the title being decided in Japan. Well, we were until Red Bull imploded the race before in Singapore. Sound familiar? Yes, Red Bull arrive fresh from a dreadful Aus GP. Last year of course they fired back with a Max win here in Japan. I dont see it being any different this year.

It was great to see Carlos win last weekend, as he did last time Red Bull didnt win as above. In fact Carlos is the only non Red Bull driver to win a race since George Russell won in Brazil back in 2022.

Can Ferrari win again? Probably not.... unless Max has another bad day at the office. Ferrari themselves believe that they will have a hard time matching Red Bull's Formula 1 pace until the team brings its first major upgrade. That is not until Imola, although they are trying to get it sorted earlier. Only a small aerodynamic development to be introduced for the next race at Suzuka, unless they are more advanced with the upgrade than they are letting on.. Of course I am sure Red Bull will have their own improvements in the pipeline too.

Last race of course we saw Williams only start one car thanks to a lack of a spare chassis. Hopefully Alex's repaired chassis is pretty much ready to be shipped off to Japan from the Grove factory, in time to be built up for Alex to use this weekend. They still wont have the luxury of a spare chassis this weekend either so hopefully both Williams drivers bear that in mind through practice and qualy.

Of course we had a bit of controversy at the end of the AGP with Russell's accident and the alleged misbehaving of Fernando brake testing George. Telemetry showed Fernando braked changed down a gear all 100 metres earlier than other laps. Nando said he was trying something different wanting to be slow in and early on the power out, but admitted he screwed up on his calculations. At the end of the day Nando said its racecraft but clearly the Stewards didnt agree and thought it more dirty tricks yhan racecraft. Whichever way people think I still believe that George was a bit amiss and lacking concentration. Its not the first time he has thrown a car into the barriers or foreign objects on the last lap of a race. He should be expecting something different on the final lap of a race.. Im not saying Nando was not a bit unconventional, but I dont think he did anything with the intent of George ending up across the track in a wrecked car.

I just hope that we are not saying racecraft is no longer allowed and trying different ways to race is frowned upon. Others have done worse than Fernando did and got away with it.

Is this next news some sign of things to come? Max Verstappen’s Chief Mechanic, Lee Stevenson has left the team . Lee Stevenson’s exit, amid the Red Bull situation, does come as a surprise. After having worked with the team for nearly two decades, Max Verstappen’s Chief Engineer’s boots would now have to be filled by someone else. Ever since Verstappen took over Daniil Kvyat’s seat in 2016, he and Steveson have worked together. The former No.1 mechanic of Red Bull has been a part of Verstappen’s pit lane crew for all his 56 F1 race wins to date. A big hole to fill. Will it affect Max? Lee is not obviously the famed Gianpiero (GP) we hear Max on the radio to whom I have always understood to be Max's engineer but who knows. Maybe Lee is his boss. Where is Lee off to? :idunno:

The now former Red Bull engineer uploaded a video to his Instagram account where he said, “You won’t be seeing any more posts from me from Red Bull because today is my last day… Is this the first of many exits? Does he know something we dont?? Was he the one responsible for not torquing up the caliper bolts that might have cause Max's AGP DNF. more questions.

EDIT: I have just read that this is not a sudden exit rather he gave notice a couple of months ago. Maybe Horner was harassing him :wink: :haha:

Other news I can think of are that is relevant is thatVCARB will have an all Japanese line up in FP1, with F2's Ayumu Iwasa, a Red Bull Junior and Honda 'Formula Dream' driver standing in for Danny Ric alongside Yuki Tsunoda.


Japan has a long Formula 1 history and the enthusiasm of the fans is world renowned. The Japanese Grand Prix is one of the most popular venues on the Formula 1 calendar owing to the challenge posed by the rollercoaster 5.8 km circuit, located in the Mie Prefecture on Honshu's eastern coast. Japan first joined Formula 1's circus in 1976, at Fuji Speedway, but it was not until 1987 that the figure-of-eight Suzuka circuit welcomed the championship.

Suzuka's place towards the end of the season meant it was the scene of several iconic title-deciding moments in Formula 1 history. The likes of Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Mika Häkkinen and Sebastian Vettel have all been crowned World Champion at Suzuka. Japan has crowned 13 World Champion drivers – more than any other country – with 11 of those at Suzuka. None of that this year though with the early date.

We might see the Cherry Trees in blossom though..... hence the cherry tree pictures at the start.

This year, the Japanese Grand Prix takes place in April for the first time in its history..... right up to last year the race was always scheduled for the second part of the season, in September or October. However, the first Pacific Grand Prix took place at Aida in April 1994, before moving to October in 1995.

A bit about Suzuka

The city of Suzuka lies on the southeast coast of Japan's main island of Honshu and is 50 kilometres south west of Nagoya, Japan’s third largest city, belonging to the Mie Prefecture. The car manufacturer, Honda, has major production plants in this city of 200,000 inhabitants. . Suzuka's commerce is also focused on food, and textiles. Suzuka is also home to a medical university and Buddhist temples & Shinto shrines.

Its European twin city likewise has a strong automotive connection: Le Mans in France.

The 3.6 mile track is a relentless series of challenging, fast corners - headlined by the high speed snaking S bends, and the super-fast bravery test of the 130R. The Suzuka circuit has 18 corners, some of which – such as Spoon, 130R and the uphill combination between Turns 2 and 7 – are among the most famous on the world championship calendar. Less well-known are the two Degner corners, named after Ernest Degner, a German motorcycle racer of the 1950s and 1960s.

Born in Gleiwitz (in Poland’s Silesian Highlands) in 1931 and raised in East Germany, Degner was one of the most prominent sportsmen in Eastern Europe. He raced MZ two-stroke motorcycles designed by Walter Kaaden: a brilliant engineer who worked for the Nazis at Peenemunde during World War II.

Degner raced for Suzuki in 1962; despite living in constant fear of being killed by the Stasi, he still managed to win the first world title in the 50cc class. But the dream turned into a nightmare the following year. At the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka he fell from his bike in the place now known as the Degner Curves and, when the fuel tank exploded, he suffered severe burns requiring over 50 skin grafts.

He returned to racing the following year but was dogged by other accidents before retiring for good in 1966. Living with constant pain caused him to slip into morphine addiction: his death in 1983 aged just 51 (when he was living in Tenerife) was officially down to a heart attack, but many thought it was caused by an overdose, while some people believed that the Stasi finally caught up with him.

In any case, Turns 8 and 9 of the Suzuka track are now named after him as a tribute to his contribution to Japanese motorcycling history.


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TIMETABLE

New format timetable... one to cater for those in the UK Aus and also the US of A.
In 24-hour format – Please also note due to the timings, some of the events in the US will feature a day prior in select time zones


If you are in Aus, specifically AEDT zones then dont forget we put our clocks back an hour for raceday. (AEDT finishes 2:00 am Sunday.) UK went on to Summer time (GMT) yesterday. I believe CET also changed so the difference between UK and CET is still CET +1 hour. Please check because I am not sure.



2024 Japanese Grand Prix Practice 1: Friday, April 5th

New York, NY, USA: 22:30 – 23:30 EST (Thursday)
Los Angeles, CA, USA: 19:30 – 20:30 PST (Thursday)


London, UK: 02:30 – 03:30 GMT

AUS AEDT 13:30 - 14:30



2024 Japanese Grand Prix Practice 2: Friday, April 5th

New York, NY, USA: 02:00 – 03:00 EST
Los Angeles, CA, USA: 23:00 – 00:00 PST (Thursday)


London, UK: 06:00 – 07:00 GMT

Aus AEDT 13:30 - 14:30



2024 Japanese Grand Prix Practice 3: Saturday, April 6th

New York, NY, USA: 22:30 – 23:30 EST (Friday)
Los Angeles, CA, USA: 19:30 – 20:30 PST (Friday)

London, UK: 02:30 – 03:30 GMT

Aus AEDT 13:30 - 14:30



2024 Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying: Saturday, April 6th

New York, NY, USA: 02:00 – 03:00 EST
Los Angeles, CA, USA: 23:00 – 00:00 PST (Friday)


London, UK: 06:00 – 07:00 GMT

Aus AEDT 17:00 - 18:00




2024 Japanese Grand Prix Race: Sunday, April 7th

New York, NY, USA: 01:00 EST
Los Angeles, CA, USA: 22:00 PST (Saturday)


London, UK: 05:00 GMT

Aus AEST 15:00




BRAKES

The Suzuka circuit is described by Brembo as undemanding for the braking systems, classifying it with a score of 2/5 regarding the use of its braking systems.

The Suzuka track, which has plenty of fast corners, is therefore not very demanding for braking. The track is 5807 meters long and the average lap time is 1’31 “50. (mid point of qualy and fastest race lap The braking time is only 11.76 seconds, equal to 13% of the lap.

In only 9 of the 18 corners of the entire track, the drivers apply the brakes and, in three of them, the braking distance does not even reach 50 meters,

Of the nine braking sections, two are demanding, one is of medium difficulty and the remaining six are light


TYRES

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Suzuka is all about lateral forces rather than traction and braking, but the loads are quite evenly balanced between the left and right hand sides of the car. The cars and tyres are subjected to some of the longest sustained g force loadings seen throughout the year. 130R, for example, is a long radius corner (of 130 degrees) but it’s taken flat-out, as if it were a straight.

“The only circuit that features a figure of eight, where demands on tyres are equally balanced”

“Ask the drivers which are their favourite circuits and Suzuka will always be high on the list: it contains demanding corners like nowhere else, such as 130R and Spoon, as well as a truly special atmosphere and history with incredible fans. There’s a roughly equal number of left and right corners in the unique figure of eight layout, which means that the circuit demands are evenly balanced.

The sustained energy loads through the tyres are some of the highest we register all year, and the track layout means that Pirelli bring the three hardest compounds in the range because of the high levels of tyre duty. That is C1 as hard, C2 as medium and C3 as soft. This is the same selection as was used in Bahrain for the first race of the season.

With the latest generation of cars being heavier than before and the limits of performance constantly being pushed, that challenge is bigger than ever now.

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STRATEGY

A two-stopper is the most common strategy, due to the energy going through the tyres and the stress to which they are subjected. However, lower temperatures might mean that a one-stop strategy becomes possible, especially for drivers who are gentle on their tyres. On the other hand, this might make it harder to keep the tyres in the correct operating window, particularly when bringing them up to temperature on an out-lap from the pits. A one-stopper also decreases the effectiveness of the undercut, which is usually very useful at Suzuka, even with the hard and medium compounds being the preferred race compounds.


THE TRACK

One of the greatest tracks used in Formula One today, Japan's Suzuka circuit is a massive
test of car and driver ability. It's a tough track for the engine as well: in the ultra-fast
130R turn you get lateral acceleration forces of up to 6g and it's essential the oil keeps
flowing.

Suzuka includes some of the Grand Prix calendar's most challenging corners. Among the
drivers' favourites are the high-speed 130R and the famous Spoon Curve. On top of this the
circuit's figure-of-eight layout makes it unique in Formula One..

The crowd are pretty close to the Italians in terms of how knowledgeable and passionate
they are, although they're also very reserved.

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Aerial view
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First Grand Prix
1987

Number of Laps
53

Circuit Length
5.807km

Race Distance
307.471 km

Lap Record
1:30.983 Lewis Hamilton (2019)


When was the track built?

In 1962. Soichiro Honda, whose car company you may have heard of, was a man with big ambitions. Seeking to turn Honda into an automotive powerhouse, he decided his company should have its own test track. Dutchman John Hugenholtz got the nod, and drew up the now-iconic ‘crossover’ Suzuka track – although original drawings saw the track pass over and under itself a full three times, which would have been sweet!

When was its first Grand Prix?

Despite most people agreeing that Suzuka is a worthy successor to sliced bread in the ‘Best Thing’ stakes, the Japanese track was a relative latecomer to the F1 calendar, making its first appearance in 1987. Nigel Mansell would remember that weekend well, after he suffered a crash in qualifying that ruled him out of the race, gifting that year’s championship to his bitter rival Nelson Piquet.

What’s the circuit like?
Show us a racing a driver who doesn’t love Suzuka, and we’ll show you a liar. The high-speed track remains one of the ultimate driving challenges, with the snaking ‘S’ Curves, the two commitment-rewarding Degners and the white-knuckle ride of 130R all highlights in a series of highlights at what is one of F1’s seminal tracks. And hey, it’s got a crossover, which is always cool, right?


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WHAT HAPPENED IN 2023?

Max and Horner were mates...... Max won and Red Bull tied up the Constructors title (again)

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Oh and Williams had a very pretty livery.

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Verstappen was attacked by Piastri and Norris at the start but kept both of them at bay, navigated Safety Car and Virtual Safety Car periods and then romped into the distance, taking the chequered flag first for the 13th time this season.

A battle between the McLaren drivers was ultimately settled in Norris’ favour, Lando getting ahead at the start, dropping behind when Piastri pitted under a Virtual Safety Car but then displaying enough pace for the team to swap positions.

CLAP led Ferrari’s charge in fourth position, completing a bold, late move on George Russell – the only front-runner to attempt a one-stop rather than two-stop strategy – around the outside of Turns 1 and 2.

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George fell into the clutches of team mate Lewis Hamilton in the closing laps and was instructed to let him by, which he agreed to do, after the Mercedes drivers had gone wheel-to-wheel and almost collided earlier in the race.

Carlos Sainz also pounced on Russell’s ageing tyres to take sixth behind Hamilton, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly – despite a first-lap incident for the former – scoring the final points of the day.

With their cars starting ninth and 11th, AlphaTauri (as VCARB were last year) had been points contenders in the opening exchanges, but faded as the various strategies played out. Liam Lawson just beating home favourite Yuki Tsunoda to the flag 11th and 12th respectively.

Joe (Zhou) was another to bounce back from Lap 1 drama as he crossed the line 13th, the only Alfa Romeo (as Sauber were last year)driver to finish after team mate Valtteri Bottas was punted into the gravel by Williams rival Logan Sargeant.

Haas pair Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen were the final finishers in P14 and P15 respectively, a theme of their 2023 season amid tyre degradation struggles, with a gaggle of cars behind retiring at different stages.

Williams suffered a double DNF as Sargeant returned his car to the garage after clashing with Bottas, having been penalised pre-race and given a pit lane start for major car changes following his qualifying crash, while Albon retired with damage after his own Lap 1 incident involving the Alfa Romeo.

Another bottleneck moment at the start saw Red Bull’s Sergio Perez bang wheels with Hamilton, before a separate incident with Magnussen forced him to pit for a second new front wing, leading to his retirement. It was not Sergio's finest weekend..... two collisions and he collected two five-second penalties in the space of a dozen laps at the start of the race. Amusingly, having initially 'retiring' with car damage at the end of his 13th lap having by then dropped to last place, Perez was back out on track the best part of an hour later as the race approached its closing stage. Having had a 2nd coming together, this one with with KMag, they retired the car due to damage. Soon after he retired the Stewards gave him a 5 second penalty for the KMag incident.

Red Bull patched up the car sufficiently for Sergio to go out on track, an hour after 'retiring' just so he could serve his penalty..... the fear not serving it might earn Sergio a grid penalty next race. After serving his penalty with another pitstop, the team for the second time ordered Sergio to retire the car. Even though Sergio rejoined several laps down, it was enough for the stewards to no longer be able to give him a grid penalty for the following race. Up here for thinking by someone at RBR who knew the rulebook.

Is Sergio the only one to officially DNF the same race twice? :idunno:

Lance Stroll was the other driver to retire with a rear wing issue on his Aston Martin.


RESULT


POS NO DRIVER CAR LAPS TIME/RETIRED PTS
1 1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 53 1:30:58.421 26
2 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 53 +19.387s 18
3 81 Oscar Piastri MCLAREN MERCEDES 53 +36.494s 15
4 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 53 +43.998s 12
5 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 53 +49.376s 10
6 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 53 +50.221s 8
7 63 George Russell MERCEDES 53 +57.659s 6
8 14 Fernando Alonso ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 53 +74.725s 4
9 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 53 +79.678s 2
10 10 Pierre Gasly ALPINE RENAULT 53 +83.155s 1
11 40 Liam Lawson ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT 52 +1 lap 0
12 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT 52 +1 lap 0
13 24 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 52 +1 lap 0
14 27 Nico Hulkenberg HAAS FERRARI 52 +1 lap 0
15 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 52 +1 lap 0
NC 23 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES 26 DNF 0
NC 2 Logan Sargeant WILLIAMS MERCEDES 22 DNF 0
NC 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 20 DNF 0
NC 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 15 DNF 0
NC 77 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 7 DNF 0


2023 Video Highlights.

Click watch on youtube.






An onboard lap for @Star.... Seb's pole lap from 2019. click watch on Youtube








SUZUKA HISTORY


Designed as a Honda test track for its motorcycles in 1962 by John Hugenholtz,(the Dutchman who also produced Zandvoort and Jarama), Suzuka is one of few circuits in the world, and certainly the only one on the F1 calendar to have a figure 8 layout, with the crossover being dealt with by means of an overpass. Since its establishment in 1962 as Japan’s first full-fledged racing course, the centre of Japanese motorsports has been Suzuka Circuit. It is located in the middle of a large motorcycle themes leisure park dominated by its hallmark Ferris wheel and rollercoasters, originally built to entertain the families and workers from the nearby Honda factory.

As Honda diversified into cars so the park grew to include automobile exhibits as well and today it boasts swimming pools, ice skating rink, monorails, event halls, hotels, golf courses and restaurants. Aside from the prestigious races held there, Suzuka Circuit has also been active in establishing a school for fostering future racing talent, Honda's Racing School, whose graduates include Takuma Sato, as well as hosting entry-level races and various training courses for aspiring drivers..


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At Suzuka, the Japanese Grand Prix has decided the driver’s championship 12 World Champions
being crowned over the 36 World Championship Japanese Grands Prix that have been hosted. (32 at Suzuka and 4 at Fuji)
Japan was the only Asian nation to host a Formula One race (including the Pacific Grand Prix)
until Malaysia joined the calendar in 1999..

Up until Brazil being moved to the last race of the year in 2004 it traditionally held the final
round of the F1 Championships. The legendary Suzuka circuit has been the scene of many
classic F1 races. I have given a one line review with some pics of many of the races later.

In 2002, the circuit was reduced in length, courtesy of some realigning of several key
corners to provide greater run-off areas. Retaining walls were also moved back and the
track slightly altered at the S-Curves and Dunlop Curves.

Following two major accidents, in 2002, when Toyota driver Allan McNish suffered a
high-speed crash through the bump, which sent him through a metal fence; fortunately, he
was not seriously injured and 2003, (not in F1) the circuit's famous 130R corner, a 130
metres radius bend was reprofiled as a double-apex section, one with an 85 metres (279
ft) radius, and then a second featuring a 340 metres (1,115 ft) radius, leading to a much
closer Casio Triangle (chicane). The corner has still retained its challenge to drivers
though.

*Note: The Japanese often name their corners based on the radius of the corner ie 130R*

The circuit has a long history of many important races on two wheels and four. Other
events include the Suzuka 8 hours for motorcycles (since 1978), the Moto GP World
Championship, until ironically in 2003 when, having just been made safer, as mentioned
before, local rider Daijiro Kato lost his life in the new section, on his way to the braking
zone for the Casio Triangle Chicane, and MotoGP has not returned to Suzuka since. The
Japanese Road Racing Grand Prix is another race held there, as is the Suzuka 1000km
endurance race, plus of course the local Japanese GT series...

It has even held NASCAR races! NASCAR organized a pair of exhibition 100-lap races on
the East Circuit, a 1.4 miles (2.3 km) layout which utilizes the pit straight and esses, before
rejoining the main circuit near the Casio Triangle. The cars were Winston Cup and Winston
West Series cars and the field was by invitation for the two races, run after the 1996 and
1997 seasons. In fact in 1997, for trivia buffs, rain caused Goodyear to use rain tyres in
NASCAR for the very first time.


Cars compete during the NASCAR Thunder Special Suzuka at Suzuka Circuit on November 24, 1996 in Suzuka, Mie, Japan
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We even have a bit of video of that.



Or NASCAR drivers being Tourists


Although opened for the major races, the circuit was closed at the end of 2007 for a year
so that modifications and upgrades could be made to bring facilities up to (Bernie's) ever
increasing F1 standards, specifically for the circuit to host this years race. It was always
very basic in terms of a cramped and outdated pit area, but this has all been completely
refurbished and expanded in line with current expectations. Following last year's withdrawal
of Mount Fuji from hosting the Japanese GP it has been confirmed the race will be held at
Suzuka at least until 2012.

Some of the best drivers of all time, in all categories, have raced there, all of them
claiming it as a true test of skill mastered by few. It remains one of the favourites of
every driver.


Formula One debuted at the track in 1987. Nigel Mansell crashed his Williams-Honda in
qualifying, injuring his ribs and as a result lost his chance to be WDC that year, the honour
going to Piquet. Also this race track will be remembered for the legendary ongoing feuds
between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. In 1989, as McLaren team mates, Senna and
Prost collided amid much controversy (Prost got the title) and the following year they
did it again although by then Prost was driving for Ferrari, and it was Senna's turn to be
World Champion. Senna admitted to having crashed into Prost on purpose.

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One of the most memorable duels on this track was between Michael Schumacher and Mika
Hakkinen, and in 2000 Schumacher won the first World title for Ferrari at Suzuka..


More recently we saw Raikkonen drive through from 17th on the grid to win the race in 2005
with a last lap overtake on Fisichella. It is also, thanks to some superb overtaking moves
such as Alonso round the outside of Schumacher at 130R and many others, probably regarded
as one of the most exciting and best GP's of the last couple of decades.

One thing that teams know about Suzuka is to be ready for anything nature can throw at
them.
Im not just referring to the odd wet race, but far more extreme and indeed unique
events and forces of nature. Formula One had already had a taste of natural forces at
Suzuka back in 2000 when a mild earthquake and aftershocks were felt through the track
and paddock during FP1
The 2004 Japanese Grand Prix remains in the memory of the
teams who were there. On the Saturday the track was completely closed off due to an approaching
typhoon, which eventually made landfall elsewhere. Amid heavy downpours on Friday, the teams
had packed up and secured all their equipment. The all-clear came late on Saturday afternoon and
qualifying was eventually held on Sunday morning.

The Suzuka race track offers long fast corners, 310kph straights and short testing curves.
The course is considered technically challenging and usually produces the highest average
engine speed over a lap. Suzuka’s length is 5.807 km (3.644 miles) and it is a permanent road
circuit, clockwise. The spectators’ capacity is 100,000 .

This fabulous race track offers every type of corner in the book - from the spectacular
esses after the start, to the challenging Spoon curve and the tight hairpin, all the way to
the high-speed 130R.

For three years drivers had to forego the unique thrills of this
circuit while Formula One was hosted by Fuji, in which time we had the controversial
very wet and incident interrupted race which saw accusations of dodgy behaviour behing
the SC and ended with Vettel running into the back of Mark Webber.

2009 saw the Japanese Grand Prix return to Suzuka in October.to the relief of most fans and drivers alike. They dont build tracks like Suzuka too often, and certainly none of the new style of tracks come close.

It's quite a long circuit, very varied, and it flows beautifully. Many drivers rate the track on par with Spa as their favourite driver challenge on a personal satisfaction level.

2024 marks the 34th Japanese Grand Prix to be staged at Suzuka. Formula One debuted at the track in 1987; prior to that two Japanese Grands Prix were held in 1976 and 1977 at the Mount Fuji, which also hosted the Formula One events in 2007 and 2008. In 1994 and 1995 the Pacific GP was held at Japan's Aida circuit.

Takuma Sato scored his maiden Formula One points in his first home grand prix in 2002.

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Prior to that, the last time a Japanese driver scored points at Suzuka was in 1990 when Aguri Suzuki finished third for Lola, with compatriot Satoru Nakajima sixth for Tyrrell.

Nakajima was the first Japanese driver to race regularly in Formula One racing, partnering Ayrton Senna in the Lotus-Honda team from the start of 1987.
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The most successful driver in Japan is Michael Schumacher
.He has won at Suzuka on six occasions - with Benetton in 1995 and with Ferrari in 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004.

Multiple winners are

Driver Nb
SCHUMACHER Michael 6
HAMILTON Lewis 5
VETTEL Sebastian 4
BERGER Gerhard 2
SENNA Ayrton 2
HILL Damon 2
HAKKINEN Mika 2
ALONSO Fernando 2
VERSTAPPEN Max 2


Max has 1 win (last year) so he is the only won who can join multiple winners this year. Oh wait, Bottas can but that is a bit of a long shot.



JAPANESE GP HISTORY
Before the World Championship.

The first Japanese Grand Prix took place at Suzuka in 1963 and was a sportscar race which was won a young British driver called Peter Warr, the man who would go on to become the motive force in the Lotus F1 team after the death of Colin Chapman.

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Peter Warr Suzuka 1963 Japanese GP Winner.

The Japanese GP remained a sportscar race until 1969 and was then held for Formula 2 cars between 1971
and 1975.
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The winning Nissan R381 (H. Kitano) in the 1968 Japan GP. The winning Nissan R382 (M. Kurosawa) in 1969

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Moto Kitano survived a classic battle of attrition to win the 1968 Japan Grand Prix for Nissan and the new R381.
When Nissan inspected the car after the race, they found a crack in the crankshaft of his small-block Chevy V8. If the race had been just a few lapslonger, it’s not sure if Kitano would have even finished at all, let alone won the biggest race of his career. But his yellow-winged R381 held on just long enough to claim the victory in the famous T-N-T Showdown of 1968, which cemented the “Monster Bird” as a legend of Japanese motor racing.

Some more pics from 1968

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Tetsu Ikuzawa completed an impressive drive to finish one lap off the lead in second place, driving the relatively underpowered, but ultra-light Porsche 910.

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Motoharu Kurosawa, driving with a broken clutch, finished a gutsy race to finish in third, two laps down, in the tried-and-true Nissan R380A-III.


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The wounded number 19 R381 of Yoshikazu Sunako would finish in sixth, a good 54 seconds behind Oishi– his car was never able to show its total potential, much to the regret of the 1966 champion.

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Yoshio Otsubo was the highest finishing Toyota 7 driver, coming back from mechanical troubles to finish in eighth place, five laps off the lead.

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Kazuo Myochin drove his Shelby Daytona from 25th on the grid to a respectable 11th place finish (-14 laps).

Suzuka has been the favoured home of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix since 1987, but prior to this two races were held at the Mount Fuji track in 1976 and 1977. The only other Japanese circuit to stage a Formula One race was the TI Circuit Aida where the Pacific Grand Prix was held in 1994 and 1995.

As mentioned, the first Japanese F1 World Championship GP took place at the Mount Fuji circuit in 1976, Briton James Hunt took the third position to win the World Championship by one point from Niki Lauda, and Mario Andretti was the winner of the race.

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The race was of course famously remembered more for the torrential rainfall that led up to the race, and visibility was so poor that many drivers, including Larry Perkins and Niki Lauda pulled into the pits after a couple of laps. The following year the race was marred by an accident where Gilles Villeneuve and Ronnie Peterson collided, Villeneuves car vaulting a barrier and killing two marshallas. The race didn't return to Japan for 10 years, and when Honda influence finally swayed Formula 1 to return in 1987 F1 startedits association with Suzuka.


Japanese Grand Prix. Previous winners .
Date Winner Team
Year Driver Car Location Category Report
1963 United Kingdom Peter Warr Lotus 23-Ford Suzuka Sports Cars
1964 United Kingdom Michael Knight Brabham BT6-Ford Formula Libre
1965 Not held
1966 Japan Yoshikazu Sunako Prince R380 Fuji Sports Cars
1967 Japan Tetsu Ikuzawa Porsche 906
1968 Japan Moto Kitano Nissan R381-Chevrolet
1969 Japan Motoharu Kurosawa
Japan Yoshikazu Sunako Nissan R382
1970 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Brabham-Cosworth Formula Libre
1971 Japan Kuniomi Nagamatsu Mitsubishi Colt F2000
1972 United Kingdom John Surtees Surtees TS10-Ford BDA
1973 Japan Motoharu Kurosawa March-BMW Formula 2000
1974 Japan Noritake Takahara March-BMW Suzuka
1975 Japan Masahiro Hasemi March-BMW Fuji
1976 France Jacques Laffite Chevron-BMW Suzuka

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

1976 United States Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford Fuji Formula One
1977 United Kingdom James Hunt McLaren-Ford
1978–1986 Not held
1987 Austria Gerhard Berger Ferrari Suzuka Formula One
1988 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda
1989 Italy Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford
1990 Brazil Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford
1991 Austria Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda
1992 Italy Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault
1993 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Ford Report
1994 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault
1995 Germany Michael Schumacher Benetton-Renault
1996 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault
1997 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
1998 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes
1999 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes
2000 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
2001 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
2002 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
2003 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Ferrari
2004 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari
2005 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes
2006 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault
2007 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes Fuji
2008 Spain Fernando Alonso Renault
2009 Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault Suzuka
2010 Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2011 United Kingdom Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
2012 Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2013 Germany Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2014 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2015 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2016 Germany Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2017 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2018 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2019 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
2022 Nederlands Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT
2023 Nederlands Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT


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Raikkonen puts that move on Fisi.

In facts lets do the video. :smiley:




It was a great race so Click watch on youtube and watch the highlights.





SOME SUZUKA/JAPANESE GP STATS

Ironically Michael Schumacher has in the past been the master of Suzuka, and indeed has scored 6 of his wins at the track. Of the current field the other winners at Suzuka are Verstappen Hamilton and Alonsol. Other current Japanese GP winners at Fuji are Hamilton (2007) and another win for Alonso in 2008.

To convert that to team performances, it shows McLaren to be the most successful Team in Japan.


Team Wins
Constructor
McLaren 9
Ferrari 7
Mercedes 6
Red Bull 6
Benetton 3
Williams 3
Renault 2
Lotus 1


Driver Podiums (Both Suzuka and Fuji combined)
Driver Nb
SCHUMACHER Michael 9
HAMILTON Lewis 8
VETTEL Sebastian 8
HAKKINEN Mika 6
RAIKKONEN Kimi 5
ALONSO Fernando 5
SENNA Ayrton 4
COULTHARD David 4
BERGER Gerhard 3
PATRESE Riccardo 3
IRVINE Eddie 3
ROSBERG Nico 3
VERSTAPPEN Max 5
HUNT James 2
DEPAILLER Patrick 2
PROST Alain 2
BOUTSEN Thierry 2
HILL Damon 2
BARRICHELLO Rubens 2
BUTTON Jenson 2
FISICHELLA Giancarlo 2
MASSA Felipe 2
WEBBER Mark 2
BOTTAS Valtteri 2
ANDRETTI Mario 1
REUTEMANN Carlos 1
JOHANSSON Stefan 1
NANNINI Alessandro 1
SUZUKI Aguri 1
MORENO Roberto 1
PIQUET Nelson 1
BRUNDLE Martin 1
ALESI Jean 1
HERBERT Johnny 1
FRENTZEN Heinz-Harald 1
MONTOYA Juan-Pablo 1
SCHUMACHER Ralf 1
KOVALAINEN Heikki 1
KUBICA Robert 1
TRULLI Jarno 1
KOBAYASHI Kamui 1
GROSJEAN Romain 1
RICCIARDO Daniel 1
PEREZ Sergio 1
LECLERC Charles 1
NORRIS Lando 1
PIASTRI Oscar 1



Some notable Suzuka events:

2006
Michael Schumacher's Ferrari blew its engine during the Japanese Grand Prix of 2006. The
first time his Ferrari had had an engine failure since France 2000. In fact it had only
happened twice before in his whole career at Ferrari. There was a roar of approval. A loud
roar. The F1 Media - the representatives of the fans (in theory at least) - did not want
Michael to win this one. Why did they react as they reacted? Here was a great champion
coming to the end of his era and the chroniclers of F1 history were cheering his demise.
Alonso won the race and they went to Brazil with Alonso 10 points ahead......

2005
Kimi Raikkonen famously drove through the field from 16th place on the grid to pass Fisichella, his current teamate, then driving for Renault, on the very last lap to take a brilliant victory. Fernando Alonso's dice with Schumacher - which the Spaniard settled with a spectacular outside pass at the daunting 130R corner - was another highlight

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2004
The year of the Typhoon, the day F1 battened down the hatches and all went tenpin bowling, with qualifying postponed until Sunday.

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2003
Schumi limped to his sixth title at Suzuka in 2003 with a scrappy drive to eighth place. That was cutting things fine - but it was enough

2001
Schumacher won the ninth time in the season and all time point record and powered from pole victory ahead of Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya in the William’s and Mclaren’s David Coulthard.

French Jean Alesi retired after crashing out with Kimi Raikkonen. It was also two times champion Mika Hakkinen’s final race.

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2000
The first world title for Ferrari for 21 years was won by Michael Schumacher and with this victory he got his third championship. The earth moved for everyone on Friday when P1 was interrupted by a small earthquake.

1999
McLaren's Mika Hakkinen led from start to finish, with the exception of three laps following his first pit stop, to win the race and beat Ferrari's Eddie Irvine to the title.

Irvine took over the title chase when Michael Schumacher broke his leg at Silverstone earlier in the season. A second place for Schumacher and third for Irvine in Japan handed Ferrari the constructors' title for the first time since 1983.

1998
Hakkinen was second fastest in qualifying, but took the lead at the start when pole-setter and sole title rival Michael Schumacher stalled at the lights and went to the back of the grid. Schumacher roared back to third position but was forced to retire on lap 32 when his right rear tire exploded. Hakkinen, driving for McLaren, won the race and the title.


1997
Eddie Irvine handed Schumacher victory when he allowed his Ferrari teammate to pass him and then blocked Williams' Jacques Villeneuve. Schumacher's win, and Villeneuve's disqualification for ignoring a yellow flag, saw the title race go to the final round in Spain.

1996
Jacques Villeneuve's chase of Hill ended when a wheel fell off his wagon.
“I’m afraid I am going to have to stop talking now because I have a lump in my throat.” – Murray Walker commentating on Damon Hill’s 1996 Japanese Grand Prix Championship winning race.

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1995
Schumacher won when the two Williams drivers fell over one another

1994
Damon Hill was quite brilliant and beat Michael Schumacher fairly and squarely in horrible weather conditions in what was a two part race.. Probably Hills best ever performance.

1993
The great Brazilian showed his customary rain mastery to win the 1993 race in the underpowered McLaren-Ford - and afterwards punched at young upstart Eddie Irvine, who he felt had failed to show due respect while being lapped

1992
Mansell dominated the race but gave the win to Riccardo Patrese as a thank you.

1991
Senna dominated the race but handed over the victory to his pal and team mate Gerhard Berger to say thank you for the Austrian's efforts.

1990
Senna took revenge on Prost by wrapping up his second title but driving into Alain at the first corner. This mess led to an emotional 1-2 result for Benetton with Piquet and a tearful Roberto Moreno

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Senna takes out Prost


1989
It was at Suzuka that Alain Prost took Ayrton out of the race in the closing laps to ensure himself the World Championship title. Ayrton continued but was DSQ'd for a push start . Victory was given to Sandro Nannini

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Alain and Ayrton get together at the chicane.



1988
Ayrton Senna drove an amazing race after stalling at the start to secure his first World Championship.

1987
Nigel Mansell crashed in qualifying and went home with a bad back leaving his Williams team mate Nelson Piquet to be World Champion

Mansell's Crash



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Onboard qualifying lap with Senna. About as good as it gets.



Overtaking opportunities:

Well, we have seen some of the most dramatic passes of all time at Suzuka, especially in the 2005 race, but overtaking at Suzuka is normally done into the slowest corner on the track, the 65 kph (40 mph) Casio Triangle chicane at the end of the lap. More difficult passing moves can be performed into the 225 kph (140mph) First Corner and very occasionally at the Turn 11 Hairpin. It is not known for being an easy place to overtake but history shows that if you put your mind to it, it can be done with spectacular results.

The 2005 race proved that with some very memorable overtakes that year, notably Alonso round the outside of Schumacher round the outside at 130R at 200mph, and Raikkonen's similarly adventurous last lap move round the outside at First corner to take the lead and win.



WEATHER FORECAST


Friday we have a low chance of rain
Saturday seems dry from the forecast I saw (link below)
Sunday seems to forecast rain from 3:00am to 6pm. Might well be heavy (forecast suggests 35mm between midday and 6pm.


Suzuka Circuit Hourly weather forecast https://www.myweather2.com/Motor-Racing ... rcuit.aspx



You always have to love the spirit and enthusiasm of the Japanese Supporters.

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Got to love this one....
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DISCUSS AWAY
Last edited by Everso Biggyballies 1 week ago, edited 1 time in total.

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#2

Post by erwin greven »

Japanese F2 race in 1982. Without the Casio chicane in the last corner.
Brian Redman: "Mr. Fangio, how do you come so fast?" "More throttle, less brakes...."
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#3

Post by Star »

An excellent read as always and lots of pretty pictures to enjoy as well :cool: :bow:
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#4

Post by Star »

@Everso Biggyballies I meant to say, thanks for the link to Seb's pole, trouble is I can't watch footage onboard footage :tearful:

I have to look away when they do that during the race, it makes me feel :sick: ridiculously quickly :sorrow: :sorrow:

I appreciate the thought though :angelic: :bow: :cool:
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#5

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

Pirelli have now confirmed tyre details for the weekend, so I have updated the tyre info to this year (I mentioned that the tyre info originally here was last years info.) Now updated although the compounds remain the three hardest tyres possible.

I have also added a section on strategy.

FWIW after the Japanese Grand Prix there will be two days of Pirelli tyre testing on Tuesday 9 April and Wednesday 10 April..... with the Sauber and VCARB teams, to develop constructions and compounds for next season.

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#6

Post by Picci »

Happy birthday @Everso Biggyballies and thank you for the wonderful intro!

I think this will be easier for RBR to take. I expect a straightforward Max win.

Lately these cars have become so quick that these drivers are navigating this track like a walk in the park. Only Degner 2 and Spoon are a bit of a challenge and in the rest of the corners there's barely a downshift.
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Post by caneparo »

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This post is a total off topic but…today I attended an event at the porsche center franciacorta. It was a 5 stage event that consited of
5 laps on a boxster
Drifting experience
Off road on a cayenne
5 laps on a 911 gts
3 laps on a gt3 as copilot with a special guest driver

And the driver qas…IVAN CAPELLI
ivan is maybe remembered for his half flip in a ferrari at the swimming pool chicane of monca but he was a damn good driver. He was surprised of my f1 knowledge and we had an immediate feeling. He recalled his first f1 drive in a tyrrell when he was so broke he took a bus from london to the circuit and he had to rely on a lift by martin brundle at 7am the race day to get to the circuit. 93 gos two podiums…he was surprised i knew he drove the leyton house and gugelmin was his teammate. Ivan was the cilor commentator for 10 years in rai in schumacher era and now he’s back as post race guest in sky f1. Cool thing he said all the f1 comentary of japan gp will be made from milan…sky is damn broke!
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Post by caneparo »

Oh well there was also this…
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#9

Post by Picci »

caneparo wrote: 1 week ago Image

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This post is a total off topic but…today I attended an event at the porsche center franciacorta. It was a 5 stage event that consited of
5 laps on a boxster
Drifting experience
Off road on a cayenne
5 laps on a 911 gts
3 laps on a gt3 as copilot with a special guest driver

And the driver qas…IVAN CAPELLI
ivan is maybe remembered for his half flip in a ferrari at the swimming pool chicane of monca but he was a damn good driver. He was surprised of my f1 knowledge and we had an immediate feeling. He recalled his first f1 drive in a tyrrell when he was so broke he took a bus from london to the circuit and he had to rely on a lift by martin brundle at 7am the race day to get to the circuit. 93 gos two podiums…he was surprised i knew he drove the leyton house and gugelmin was his teammate. Ivan was the cilor commentator for 10 years in rai in schumacher era and now he’s back as post race guest in sky f1. Cool thing he said all the f1 comentary of japan gp will be made from milan…sky is damn broke!
Wow great stuff!! I am so jealous! I am a big fan of his even though I was too young to see him race. Shame how his stint in Ferrari turned out. Too many Italian drivers did not find luck with the Scuderia.

I grew up listening to him on RAI and miss his insights (even though he now does a few bits and pieces on Sky). In my mind he was just as good support to Italian commentary as Brundle is to the UK.

I did notice Sky has really scaled down on the depth of coverage. I switch between UK and Italian Sky during the weekend and then follow Croft/Brundle for the race proper (sorry Carlo’s voice is too shrilling for me to bear more than 5 minutes and with Federica gone I don’t have much motivation anymore).
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Post by caneparo »

Picci I can add some cool things. The 3 lap stuff was 1 heat lap, time attack and, on request crazy mode. When at the the lap ivan asked me if he could push i shouted “ivan beat that fucking clock now! (Ivan spacca quel cazzo di cronometro subito). He took the shit out of that gt3 and added some some stories when i told him all the team he drove for (including ags in 1987!?) and jordan. He said he did 2 races in 93 but quit when eddie asked him 750k bucks per race more than what he was alredy putting in!!!!
Regarding sky…fede masolin was upgraded to champions league main events and indeed he is not sky face. Vanzini is a total prick. He is incompetent, i watch the race without comentary
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#11

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

McLaren have launched a "bespoke Edomoji-inspired livery for the Japanese Grand Prix"

I was expecting to see a new livery, but reality shows it to be a bit same old with a couple of splashes of colour. I dont even think I know what Edomoji is. Some Emoji thing or a bloke called Edomoji penned it I guess.

Edit: It seems not the latter as this press release type blurb suggests. Edomoji it seems is a "traditional Japanese calligraphy, which is a fusion of modern art and culture. " Sigh.... Spot the changes I shall call it. If you are looking for WOW factor, nothing to see here.
Designed by Japanese artist MILTZ, the livery highlights the Driven by Change campaign, which returns for its fourth F1 season. The campaign celebrates emerging creatives through the global motorsport platform, providing opportunities to showcase their innovative artwork to the world.
For McLaren’s special design, MILTZ’s artwork is inspired by Edomoji, a traditional Japanese calligraphy, which he fuses with modern art and culture. On the McLaren MCL38 he has used this to represent the speed of a Formula 1 car in the form of a dragon racing through the clouds.

Livery artist MILTZ assesses his special design, which will adorn both McLaren cars across the Japanese Grand Prix weekend
“When I first became a freelance artist, I never thought an opportunity like this was possible – this is the biggest international project I have ever done!” said MILTZ.

“As I continue to build my profile as an artist, I want my artwork to champion the rich traditions of Japanese writing culture, such as Edomoji, but with a modern twist. From my work with local businesses in Japan to the McLaren Formula 1 Team, there are so many beautiful stories to tell through art.”
All together on the count of 3..... 1-2-3 wow. Fuss over nuffink.

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#12

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

Williams have confirmed that they have now received the hastily repaired Albon chassis in Suzuka ....

and that two cars will be on track in P1 at least. Fingers crossed for them they dont break anything major this weekend,

Broken Willies wont be a good look, as effecting this repair came at the expense of readying a spare chassis which is still on the MIA list in terms of whats in the spare parts container.. No doubt both Albon and Sargeant will each be treating theirs especially carefully this weekend.

All that remains to be seen now is can Williams get off the mark pointswise this weekend. Or will they get pipped to that by one of the other pointless outfits, Sauber and Alpine.

That sounds a bit strong..... I dont mean pointless outfits in a why bother sense, just pointless outfits as in teams with no points scored.

We need a poll.... Which of Williams ,Sauber, or Alpine will be first to trouble the scorers and when. Last race with 3 DNFs at the AGP, and one less starter was a lost opportunity.

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#13

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

Updated Weather Forecast.

Still a likleyhood of rain particularly on Sunday although the probability has dropped by a few percent. Friday is also a chance.... it is also officially cold on Friday with temperatures low to mid teens

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FRIDAY, APRIL 5 – FP1 AND FP2
Conditions: Chilly morning and mostly cloudy but likely dry for FP1. Overcast with an increasing chance of light rain from the afternoon. 30% chance of one light shower for FP2. Light breeze peaking in the afternoon at 15-20kph.
FP1: 14°C. FP2: 15°C.
Maximum temperature expected: 15 Celsius
Minimum temperature expected: 9 Celsius
Chance of rain: 40%

SATURDAY, APRIL 6 – FP3 AND QUALIFYING

Conditions: Overcast with a slight chance of drizzle or light rain all day long. Increasing chance of rain overnight. Light southeasterly breeze.
FP3: 15°C. Q: 16°C.
Maximum temperature expected: 17 Celsius
Minimum temperature expected: 10 Celsius
Chance of rain: 20%


SUNDAY, APRIL 7 – RACE WEATHER
Conditions: Moderate chance of rain in the morning (less than 5mm in 24h if occurs). Slight improvement expected for the race with likely drier conditions in the afternoon.
RACE: 18°C.
Maximum temperature expected: 18 Celsius
Minimum temperature expected: 12 Celsius
Chance of rain: 40%

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Post by caneparo »

So david sanchez ALREADY left Mclaren. What happened? He didn’t fullfill the trial period of his contract? It seems he already has a job offer, where will he go?
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#15

Post by Everso Biggyballies »

Everso Biggyballies wrote: 1 week ago Williams have confirmed that they have now received the hastily repaired Albon chassis in Suzuka ....
A bit of an update on that is that today we get confirmation that Alex will continue with the Sargeant chassis, whilst Logan will be running the repaired chassis this weekend. Williams are certainly pushing home who they believe is the #1 in the team and where their priorities lie.

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