Preview for 2023 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, with Red Bull seeking to secure the Constructors’ Championship.
After a crazy Singapore GP, Max Verstappen’s chances of wrapping up the title are now on hold until Qatar but his team – Red Bull can now have a chance to seal the constructors’ title in Suzuka.
Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes however will be looking to build upon positive performances in Marina Bay and further delay Red Bull’s title celebrations.
Yuki Tsunoda meanwhile will be looking to impress for AlphaTauri at his home race in a difficult campaign for the Japanese driver.
Circuit: Suzuka International Circuit
Race Distance: 305.573km
Tyre Compounds: C1, C2 & C3
|Friday 22 September||FP1||3:30am|
|Friday 22 September||FP2||7:00am|
|Saturday 23 September||FP3||3:30am|
|Saturday 23 September||Qualifying||7:00am|
|Sunday 24 September||Race||6:00am|
Three Key Pointers
- Given the tight and twisty characteristics of Suzuka mixed with various sized straights resulting in need for a high downforce setup, Ferrari and McLaren could again could be in the mix for strong results.
- After struggling for performance in Singapore, Friday Practice could provide a key indicator as to whether Red Bull’s issues were track specific or are more serious without flexi-wings.
- Tyre degradation is expected to be high which could open up a mixture of tyre strategies in the race.
Red Bull can wrap up the constructors’ title if they hold a 309 point lead or higher over Mercedes by the end of the race, although Ferrari aren’t mathematically ruled out yet.
- Red Bull will be crowned constructor champions if they outscore Mercedes by a single point and Ferrari fail to outscore them by 24 points or more.
Last Time Out
Verstappen led this race in 2022 from lights to flag despite having to survive a second lap reg flag after Carlos Sainz aquaplaned out of the race on the opening lap, due to rapidly deteriorating weather conditions as rain swept in.
The Dutchman’s second title however was confirmed in further controversial circumstances, after Charles Leclerc was penalised for a last-lap overtake off-track on Sergio Perez which demoted him to third, whilst full points were awarded despite only 28 of the 53 laps having been completed.