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fri 26 mar - sun 28 mar
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fri 05 nov - sun 07 nov
Quali sat 06 nov
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fri 12 nov - sun 14 nov
Quali fri 12 nov
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Race sun 14 nov
fri 19 nov - sun 21 nov
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usa Result Race
Start Mexican GP
To circuits

Japanese GP

Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka
  • FP1 08 Oct 2021 -
  • FP2 08 Oct 2021 -
  • FP3 09 Oct 2021 -
  • Quali 09 Oct 2021 -
  • Race 10 Oct 2021 -


First held 1976
Laps 53
Circuit length 5.807 kilometer
Fastest lap 1:30.983 (2019)
Winner in 2019 Valtteri Bottas
Second in 2019 Sebastian Vettel
Third in 2019 Lewis Hamilton


Winner 2019 Valtteri Bottas
Winner 2018 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2017 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2016 Nico Rosberg
Winner 2015 Lewis Hamilton

One of the first races to be run on the Asian continent, the Japanese Grand Prix has a rich history in Formula 1. While the first two races in 1976 and 1977 were run on the Fuji Speedway, the Japanese Grand Prix is usually run on the Suzuka Speedway.

F1 Japanese Grand Prix 2021

Traditionally held towards the end of the season, the Japanese Grand Prix has seen 13 World Champions being crowned at the venue. The origins of the Japanese Grand Prix can be traced back to 1963, though the Grand Prix was catered towards sportscars.

The first F1 Japanese Grand Prix dates back to 1976 when the series visited the Fuji Speedway.

As has often been the case throughout its history, the race decided who would be crowned as World Champion between James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

Adding to the drama was the monsoon conditions, with Lauda, who had only survived a near-fatal crash in Germany months earlier, deciding to retire early on.

The Austrian stated his life was more important than the title, with Emerson Fittipaldi and Carlos Pace joining him. Hunt continued on, and when the rain stopped, climbed from fifth to third to win the title by one point over Lauda. Mario Andretti won the race, the second of his career, ahead of Patrick Depailler.

Hunt won the following year, however the race is remembered for a collision between Gilles Villeneuve and Ronnie Peterson that saw the Canadian's Ferrari somersault into a restricted area, killing two spectators.

Move to Suzuka

Initially included in the 1978 calendar, the Japanese GP was cancelled and didn't return for another decade.

When it did return, the Grand Prix was moved to a different venue, with the redesigned and revamped Suzuka Circuit now hosting the event. Set inside a funfair, designed by John Hugenholtz and owned by Honda, the circuit is known for its figure-eight layout. The demanding track quickly became a favourite amongst drivers and fans.

The 1987 Japanese GP was another dramatic affair. Nigel Mansell crashed his Williams heavily in practice, aggravating an old back injury he had picked up during his Formula Ford days.

As a result he was unable to start the race, handing the title to Nelson Piquet; the third and final of his career. The race was won by Ferrari's Gerhard Berger, the Scuderia's first win since 1985.

Prost v Senna

The 1988 edition of the race played host to another title decider.

McLaren teammates Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna were locked in a close battle for the title having won every race except the Italian GP - McLaren's only double retirement of the season.

Senna actually got off the line poorly, stalling on the grid before getting his car to start on the sloped pit straight. With Prost out front in the lead, the Brazilian found himself down in 14th before the rain turned the race on its head.

The wet-weather specialist Senna made his way up second and eventually passed Prost, who had devoted a gearbox problem, winning the race along with his first Drivers' Championship.

Another dramatic end to the season saw Senna and Prost once again battling it out for the World Championship in 1989, with the two drivers having combined to win 10 of the 14 races before travelling to Japan.

What played out was one of the most memorable races in F1 history. The relationship between the two teammates had deteriorated to the point that it was virtually non-existent. Prost entered the are 16 points ahead of Senna, meaning the Brazilian had to win to keep his championship hopes alive heading into the final race of the season.

Senna qualified on pole with Prost second. The Frenchman got the better off the line and the two pulled away from the rest of the grid. It all came to a head on Lap 47, with Senna attempting an audacious pass at the Casio chicane. Prost turned in, with the two cars interlocked as they slid off track and up the escape road. While Prost got out of his car immediately, Senna asked a group of marshals to push his car back on track. Senna rejoined, still leading the race, but lost the lead to Alessandro Nannini after pitting.

Senna eventually caught and passed the Italian, taking the chequered flag. Or at least, so he thought, as the Brazilian was later disqualified for bypassing the chicane. This handed the title to Prost.

The rivalry continued at the 1990 race. Prost, now with Ferrari, trailed Senna heading into the penultimate race in Japan. Senna took pole and later saw an attempt to have the position moved to the cleaner side of the track by FIA and FISa President Jean-Mari Balestre.

Prost was quicker off the line however, just like the year before, two collided yet again, this time at Turn 1. This time it was Senna who refused to leave space for the Frenchman, with both cars sent into the gravel trap at 260km/h. Neither driver were hurt, with Senna clinching his second title as a result. Given Prost wasn't punished for the 1989 collision, nothing was done to Senna either, with the accident being declared a "racing incident". Nelson Piquet won for Benetton; his first win in three years.

More title deciders

Senna won his third title at the 1991 race after Nigel Mansell went off at the first corner on Lap 10, with the Brazilian's teammate Gerhard Berger winning the race.

The 1992 race was won by Riccardo Patrese, with Mansell having clinched the World Championship in the dominant Williams in Hungary. Senna won the following year, the 40th of his career at that point, though the race is perhaps better remembered for the Brazilian punching newcomer Eddie Irvine in the head after the race after the Northern Irishman tried to unlap himself.

Damon Hill won the 1994 Japanese Grand Prix ahead of Michael Schumacher in wet conditions. This is the last time in F1 history that a race was split into two parts due to race stoppage, with the final classification decided by aggregate time.

Hill won in 1996 as well, clinching the World Championship after teammate and title rival Jacques Villeneuve retired after losing a wheel on Lap 37. Schumacher won for Ferrari the following year, while the 1998 race saw the German battle it out with Mika Hakkinen for the World Championship. Schumacher claimed pole position, but incredibly stalled on the grid, forcing him to start from the back.

Schumacher's attempted fight back was halted on Lap 28 when he punctured his right rear tyre, leaving Hakkinen to take victory and the Drivers' Championship.

Hakkinen won again the following year to clinch his second title, this time beating out Ferrari's Eddie Irvine to top spot. Ferrari's long wait for a World Championship, having last won in 1979, finally came to an end at the 2000 Japanese Grand Prix as Schumacher took the chequered flag for his third title.

Ferrari run of victories

Ferrari won the Japanese GP from 2000 to 2004, with Schumacher winning four of them and Rubens Barrichello taking the other in 2003.

The Brazilian's win came at a race that saw Schumacher finish eighth, which was enough to clinch his sixth Drivers' Championship. Kimi Raikkonen made his way from 17th to first, passing Giancarlo Fisichella on the final lap, to win the 2005 race, while an engine issue ended Schumacher's push for an eighth title the following year, which Fernando Alonso won.

Fuji returns

In 2006 the FIA announced that future Japanese GPs would be held at the redesigned Fuji Speedway. The following year it was announced that Fuji would alternate with Suzuka, starting from 2009 onwards.

Lewis Hamilton took the 2007 race at Fuji in a torrential downpour, with Heikki Kovalainen and Kimi Raikkonen rounding out the podium. It was the first time two Finnish drivers finished on the podium. Fernando Alonso won the 2008 race for Renault after both title contending McLarens and Ferraris ran into trouble at the first corner.

In July 2009, Toyota announced that the Japanese GP would not return to Fuji, citing the global economic slump. As a result the race was moved back to Suzuka, which was given exclusive hosting duties.

Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull dominated the 2009 and 2010 races, with the Milton Keynes outfit recording 1-2 finishes both years. The German clinched his third World Championship by finishing third in 2011, with Jenson Button winning the race for McLaren.

Kamui Kobayashi became the first Japanese driver to finish on an F1 podium in Japan since Aguri Suzuki in 1990 thanks to his third-place finish in 2012, which was once again won by Vettel.

Vettel took his fourth win in Japan the following year ahead of teammate Mark Webber and Lotus' Romain Grosjean. A typhoon caused problems in 2014, though the race was eventually held. Lewis Hamilton took victory ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg while Vettel finished third.

Unfortunately the race was marred by tragedy when on Lap 45, Adrian Sutil's Force India spun off track at the Dunlop Curve. As his car was being recovered by a crane, Marussia's Jules Bianchi spun off and crashed into the crane. The race was red flagged and Bianchi was taken to a nearby hospital, and put into a coma. The Frenchman passed away nine months later due to his injuries.

Mercedes have dominated since then, winning every race since then. Hamilton has won four editions, Valtteri Bottas two, while Rosberg won in 2016.

The Japanese Grand Prix wasn't held in 2019 and 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most successful F1 drivers and teams

Michael Schumacher remains the most successful driver in Japan, winning six editions of the race. He is followed by Lewis Hamilton on five, while Sebastian Vettel slots in just behind both with four.

As for the Constructors side of the equation, McLaren have won the race nine times - the most recent coming back in 2011. Ferrari, who haven't won since 2004, sit on seven wins, with Mercedes climbing up the ranks thanks to six wins, all of which have come since 2014.

The Japanese Grand Prix 2020

Due to the effects of the coronavirus, the 2020 edition of the race was canceled. Valtteri Bottas won the race in 2019 after Ferrari locked out the front row with Sebastian Vettel taking what was to be his final pole for Ferrari. The German would finish second, followed by Lewis Hamilton in third, Red Bull’s Alex Albon and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz would round out the top five.

When is the 2021 Japanese Grand Prix on the F1 calendar?

The 2021 Japanese Grand Prix is scheduled for between October 8-10 and is provisionally set to be the 17th race of the 2021 F1 season. The first two free practice sessions will take place on October 8, with qualifying on Saturday, October 9 at 08:00 CET.

What time does the Japanese Grand Prix start?

The Japanese Grand Prix starts on Sunday, October 10 at 07:00. The race can be followed live on RacingNews365’s blog and via watched on F1 TV.

F1 Japanese GP 2021 Schedule

Session Date Time (UK)
Free Practice 1 Friday 8 October 02:00 - 03:00
Free Practice 2 Friday 8 October 06:00 - 07:00
Free Practice 3 Saturday 9 October 04:00 - 05:00
Qualifying Saturday 9 October 07:00 - 08:00
Race Sunday 10 October 06:00