Race Facts – Japanese Grand Prix

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The Suzuka circuit has been home to the Japanese Grand Prix for all but two years since 1987. Its unique ‘figure of 8’ layout, which includes the fearsome 130R corner, has been host to many memorable F1 moments over the years, including several championship deciders. The 2019 race takes place on 10-13 October.

The Japanese Grand Prix has been staged over 40 times, though not all races have been part of the Formula 1 World Championship. A record 13 championships have been decided in Japan, largely due to the race having a late-season calendar slot for much of its existence. The first (non-championship) race was held on the Suzuka Circuit in 1963, shortly after the circuit had been built by Honda. Over the years, the race has been shared by Suzuka and the Fuji Circuit, owned by Toyota. It was in Fuji that Japan first hosted a round of the F1 world championship in 1976. The race was run under atrocious wet conditions, as depicted in the film Rush. James Hunt finished third and was crowned world champion over his title rival Niki Lauda, who refused to risk his life in the treacherous conditions.

Japanese Grand Prix: Did You Know?

  • Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver in Japan, having recorded six victories between 1995-2004. Hot on his heels is Lewis Hamilton, who has recorded five wins in Japan (four at Suzuka and one at Fuji).
  • Ferrari and McLaren are the most successful teams at Suzuka, having won here seven times apiece.
  • Despite taking five victories in a row between 2000 and 2004, the 2004 Japanese Grand Prix remains Ferrari’s last win in the country.
  • Following Ayrton Senna‚Äôs disqualification, Alessandro Nannini was declared the winner of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka in 1989, his one and only F1 victory.
  • Seventeen Japanese drivers have competed in Formula 1. The best result for a local driver on home soil was jointly recorded by Aguri Suzuki (3rd in 1990) and Kamui Kobayashi (3rd in 2012).
  • The 1993 Japanese Grand Prix saw Mika Hakkinen his first of 51 podium finishes in F1.
  • Suzuka and Fuji are not the only circuits in Japan to host an F1 race. In 1994 and 1995, Okayama International Circuit (previously known as TI Circuit Aida) staged the Pacific Grand Prix
  • There have been eleven occasions where a World Champion has been crowned at Suzuka, including in five consecutive seasons between 1987 and 1991.
  • The 2009 and 2018 Japanese Grands Prix are the only races at Suzuka where the top three finished in the order which they started.
Circuit NameSuzuka International Racing Course
Race first held1987
Track Length5.807km (18 turns)
Race Distance53 laps (307.573km)
Lap Record1:31.540, Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari, 2005)
2018 Result1st Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:27:17.062
2nd Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +12.919s
3rd Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +14.295s


The 2014 Japanese Grand Prix will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. A typhoon made landfall in Japan on race day and Suzuka was subjected to heavy rainfall, which resulted in an aborted start to the race. Near the end of the race and in poor light, Jules Bianchi’s Marussia left the track under safety car conditions and collided with a tractor, which was removing Adrian Sutil’s Sauber from the circuit. Bianchi suffered serious head injuries and after nine months in a coma, died in July, 2015. He was the first F1 fatality since Ayrton Senna in 1994.

June 2, 2019

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The best ways to get to Japan and the Suzuka circuit for the Japanese Grand Prix.

May 20, 2019

Trackside at Suzuka – 2019 Japanese Grand Prix

Your trackside guide to the Suzuka circuit, home of the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix.

May 19, 2019

Tickets – 2019 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka

Your guide to buying tickets for the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit on October 11-13.

May 19, 2019

Budget Planner – 2019 Japanese Grand Prix

Plan the cost of your trip to Suzuka for the 2019 Japanese Grand Prix on October 11-13.

February 23, 2019

Race Facts – Japanese Grand Prix

The Suzuka circuit has been home to the Japanese Grand Prix for all but two years since 1987.

January 23, 2019

Off-Track Activities – Japanese Grand Prix

The best things to do away from the track for F1 fans going to the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, near Nagoya. The next race is on October 10-13, 2019.

November 22, 2018

Travel Basics – Japanese Grand Prix

What you need to know before organizing your trip to the Japanese Grand Prix. The next race at Suzuka takes place on October 10-13, 2019.

November 8, 2018

Accommodation – 2019 Japanese Grand Prix

The best places to stay in Nagoya and Osaka for fans on all budgets attending the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit.

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

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