The Japanese Grand Prix takes place this weekend at one of the most exciting circuits on the F1 calendar.
Have all the important information for this weekend’s race at your fingertips with the F1 Fanatic unofficial race programme including a video lap of the track:
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2010 Japanese Grand Prix – Session times, support races and more information
The fast, flowing Suzuka circuit is a firm favourite among drivers, even if they admit it could use more run-off in places.
It’s little changed since it was first used for a world championship in 1987. This year a few tweaks have been made to the kerbs at Degner 1 and Spoon Curve, and more artificial grass has been added at Spoon and the chicane.
The video above shows a lap of the circuit narrated by Mark Webber. See here for a version featuring Sebastian Vettel.
A lap of Suzuka with Robert Kubica:
Everybody knows Suzuka and all fans of motorsport love it. It’s also my favourite circuit because it’s clearly the best track – the track that gives the driver the greatest challenge. I’ve only been to Suzuka twice before, but every time you go there it feels very special.
It’s what I call a ‘proper’ track, and last year we saw lot of drivers getting caught out in qualifying. And if you do go off the track, there’s very little run-off area. It’s important to have confidence in the high-speed corners because if your confidence is down you can lose a lot of lap time. It’s one of the most challenging tracks, but when you get it right it gives you the most satisfaction.
The start of the lap through the first six or seven corners is really challenging. If you make a mistake in one corner, you suffer through the next few corners because you lose the line. Consistency is very important and you have to somehow carry as much speed as you can through these corners.
Turns eight and nine, which make up the Degner Curve, are quite tricky. The first part is short, but it’s quite narrow, so you come from a very wide part to a very narrow part. You try to bring a lot of speed because, even though the next corner is 60 or 70 metres away, the short apex invites you to carry a lot of speed. You need to be careful because there’s a really dangerous kerb on the inside, but it’s important to get really close to it. If you touch it or bottom out there, you lose the car, go off the track and hit the wall, just as two cars did last year. So it’s a very tricky place; the sort of corner you are approaching and feeling that something might go wrong.
Another difficult part of the lap is turn 13, the entry to Spoon Curve, where it’s important to get the line right because you want to get on the power very early. It narrows and it’s also off camber. It’s unbelievable. There is always something special in this corner, but it’s difficult because the car always wants to understeer. Apart from the last corner, the chicane, the whole track is unbelievable.
130R is taken flat, but it may not be as easy now with a heavy car full of fuel. For overtaking, the final chicane is definitely the best place to get alongside someone under braking.
Suzuka, Japan – circuit information – Fastest laps, strategy and set-up data
Changing tracks: Suzuka – Revisions to the track since 1987
What F1 Fanatics say about… Suzuka – Fans share their experiences of visiting Suzuka
We’ve seen rain many times in the past at Suzuka, and it’s often fallen very heavily at the circuit.
The weather is expected to play a role this weekend with rain predicted to fall on Saturday, potentially during qualifying.
Read more: Rain forecast for Saturday at Suzuka
Following the race live
We’ll be commenting live on the Japanese Grand Prix from start to finish. Join us for the race, qualifying and all three practice sessions at these times:
Friday 8th October 2010
Japanese Grand Prix Free practice 1 – 10:00 – 11:30 (02:00 – 03:30)
Japanese Grand Prix Free practice 2 – 14:00 – 15:30 (06:00 – 07:30)
Saturday 9th October 2010
Japanese Grand Prix Free practice 3 – 11:00 – 12:00 (03:00 – 04:00)
Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying – 14:00 (06:00)
Sunday 10th October 2010
Japanese Grand Prix – 15:00 (07:00)
Times are local times with British time conversions in brackets.
More session times and live blog details here: Japanese Grand Prix live blog and TV times
Also make sure you follow F1 Fanatic on Twitter for updates throughout the race weekend.
2009 Japanese Grand Prix highlights
Sebastian Vettel won from pole position while Jarno Trulli gave Toyota their best ever result at home.
The race was interrupted by the safety car following a huge crash for Jaime Alguersuari at the very fast 130R corner.
Japanese Grand Prix race report – Vettel keeps title hopes alive at Suzuka
2009 Japanese Grand Prix – The complete F1 Fanatic review
Previous Japanese Grands Prix
2008 Japanese Grand Prix: Alonso wins as Hamilton and Massa stumble
2007 Japanese Grand Prix: Mighty Hamilton takes crucial win
2006 Japanese Grand Prix: Advantage Alonso
2005 Japanese Grand Prix: Last-lap pass seals stunning win for Raikkonen
1977 Japanese Grand Prix: Hunt wins but two die after horror crash
1976 Japanese Grand Prix: Hunt wins title after Lauda withdraws in downpour
Japanese Grand Prix winners
Images © Red Bull/Getty images, Force India F1 Team