Formula One

F1 Japanese GP preview – start time, how to watch & more

F1 Japanese GP preview
7th October 2022; Suzuka Circuit, Ino, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan: FIA F1 Grand Prix of Japan, Free practice day; Scuderia AlphaTauri, Yuki Tsunoda – Photo by Icon sport

F1 is back for more this weekend, making it back-to-back races with the Japanese GP. Here is everything you need to know ahead of round 16, including how to watch. We also have F1 predictions and odds up for this weekend.

Japanese GP start time and UK schedule

Japanese Grand Prix date

The Japanese GP is set to take place on Sunday, September 24th.

Japanese Grand Prix start time

F1 fans will have to get up early this Sunday. The Japanese Grand Prix will get underway at 6:00 am. You can check out all session start times below.

Japanese GP schedule

Friday, September 22ndStart time (BST)
Free Practice 13:30 am – 4:30 am
Free Practice 27:00 am – 8:00 am
Saturday, September 23rdStart time (BST)
Free Practice 33:30 am – 4:30 am
Qualifying7:00 am – 8:00 am
Sunday, September 24thStart time (BST)
Race6:00 am

How can I watch the Japanese GP?

If you want to watch the Japanese GP in the UK, check out Sky Sports, which will broadcast the action live on TV, and will also stream it live on the internet. NOW will also stream the race. For viewers in the US, ESPN will broadcast and stream the race as well.

Television channels

TV channelLocation
Sky Sports F1UK
Fox SportsAustralia

Streaming services

Streaming serviceLocation
TSN DirectCanada

About the Japanese GP

The Japanese GP was added to the F1 schedule in 1976, at the old Fuji Speedway. The high-speed, almost oval-like track was surrounded by controversy, with drivers often complaining about the venue’s safety.

The first ever Japanese GP was the final chapter in the Lauda versus Hunt battle for the 1976 title. Lauda, then fully recovered from his horrific Nordschleife crash, famously decided to sit out of the final race due to safety concerns over the lack of visibility. Under heavy rain, Hunt secured the title on the penultimate lap, following a dramatic sequence of overtakes.

Japan was already out of the schedule in 1978, and only returned in 1987, now at Suzuka. The legendary track has hosted its fair share of title deciders in F1. Few of them are more famous than the 1989-1990 double, which saw Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna each secure one title apiece after two highly controversial crashes.

Japan has a healthy national motorsports scene as well, with Super GT and Super Formula being the highlights. Plenty of former and future F1 drivers either started or finished their careers on Japanese soil. From the current grid, Pierre Gasly was the Super Formula runner-up in 2017, while rookie sensation Liam Lawson is in a tight battle for the 2023 championship. His title rival is Toyota’s rising star Ritomo Miyata, the former F4 rival of Lawson’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

Altitude and weather

It’s a bit of a rarity, but we can expect a fully dry weekend for this year’s Japanese Grand Prix. The forecast has clear skies for all three days with high temperatures as summer bids goodbye.

Japanese GP stats

These are some of the stats you need to know ahead of the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix:

Last Singapore Grand Prix2022
Circuit length5.807 km
Number of laps53
Race distance307.471 km
Lap recordLewis Hamilton, 2019 (1:30.983)

Most wins (drivers)

DriversNumber of wins
Michael Schumacher6
Lewis Hamilton5
Sebastian Vettel4
Gerhard Berger, Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill, Mika Hakkinen, Fernando Alonso2
Mario Andretti, James Hunt, Alessandro Nannini, Nelson Piquet, Riccardo Patrese, Rubens Barrichello, Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen1

Most wins (constructors)

ConstructorsNumber of wins
Red Bull5
Benetton, Williams3

Japan offer more than just racing

Suzuka is part of the Mie prefecture. Mie’s economy is centered around the manufacturing industry. Suzuka itself is home to one of Honda’s largest factories. Electronics giant Sharp also has a major manufacturing plant in Suzuka.

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