Regarded as one of the best drivers circuits in the world, Suzuka first hosted a Grand Prix in 1987 and the iconic figure-of-eight circuit presents the drivers and engineers with a real challenge; a series of fast sweeping corners with few braking zones. Like Barcelona, it is a track where a good well balanced car really stands out. It is often a dramatic race and the chances of a safety car are relatively high at 60%. Among many highlights here over the years are the duels between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna in 1989 and 1990, where the pair collided to decide the outcome of both year’s championships. Kimi Raikkonen’s victory in 2005, starting from 17th place on the grid, is another classic, with his last lap pass on Giancarlo Fisichella. Sebastian Vettel has won this race four times, with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button both victorious here in the last decade.
Circuit length 5.807 km
Race distance 307.471 km
2013 winner Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
Race Strategy Briefing
Race strategy has been the decisive factor at Suzuka on many occasions. Last year the Red Bull drivers ganged up on Lotus' Romain Grosjean and beat him by splitting strategies, with Sebastian Vettel doing two stops and Mark Webber three. Despite being a high speed circuit, Suzuka is not the easiest track on which to overtake but DRS certainly helps. Pirelli is once again bringing the medium and hard tyres, so timing stops is crucial to not leave too many laps in the final stint and risk losing performance.
In collaboration with James Allen
Race Strategy Report
The race history chart and accompanying text recap of the key moments of the race, are together designed to offer a unique review and insight into the strategic who, what, why and how that decided the latest race result.
The graph illustrates the relative performances on each stint of the cars and the gaps between each driver on a lap by lap basis. Use the control to show/hide different drivers and click on the pins for more details of race incidents.
The ‘as it happened’ key talking points, provide a more in-depth accompanying commentary and analysis of the key decisions on the pit wall and in the cockpit decisions that again ultimately helped determine the final race outcome.
Pit stop league table
The league table shows the order of the pit crews based on their best total time in the pit lane in the recent 2014 FORMULA 1 JAPANESE GRAND PRIX. Please note that this table shows the total pit lane duration, whereas the season best pit stop referenced in the latest race strategy briefing considers the stationery time of the car only during the pit stop.
01. Red Bull (23.443s)
02. Lotus (23.656s)
03. Mercedes (23.677s)
04. McLaren (23.701s)
05. Force India (23.878s)
06. Ferrari (24.173s)
07. Toro Rosso (24.222s)
08. Sauber (24.314s)
09. Williams (24.374s)
10. Caterham (24.907s)
11. Marussia (24.910s)
Start league table – after Round 15, Japan
Starts are a critical part of the race and strategy can be badly compromised by a poor start, while good starts can make strategists change their plans in the hope of a good result.
The below table illustrates whether drivers have gained (+) or lost (-) places off the start line this season on an aggregate basis. Please note that where a driver has been eliminated on a first lap this has been noted and removed from the sample as it skews the table and therefore serves as a guide of trends, rather than a definitive list
As far as 2014 start performance is concerned drivers have gained (+) or lost (-) places off the start line this season, on aggregate as follows; ie taking places lots away from places gained.
+18 Maldonado, Hulkenberg
+15 Räikkönen, Kobayashi
+4 Button, Lotterer, Perez
Melbourne notes: Kobayashi, Massa eliminated in a first corner accident; Perez, Gutierrez pitted at the end of lap 1; Bianchi, Grosjean started from pit lane
Malaysia notes: Perez started from pit lane; Bianchi pitted at the end of lap 1
Bahrain notes: Vergne pitted at the end of lap 1 after contact
China notes: Sutil lost power at start and dropped 8 places, retiring soon after
Monaco notes: Maldonado did not start, Ericsson started from pit lane; Perez crashed on lap 1
Canada notes: Gutierrez started from pit lane; Bianchi and Chilton crashed on lap 1; Ericsson pitted on lap 1
Austria notes: Grosjean started from pit lane
Silverstone notes: Räikkönen and Massa eliminated after accident on lap 1
Germany notes: Massa eliminated in lap 1 after accident; Magnussen and Ricciardo also dropped back as a result
Hungary notes: Hamilton, Magnussen, Kvyat started from pit lane
Belgium Notes: Grosjean and Bianchi collided on lap one; Kobayashi absent and replaced by Lotterer
Italy Notes: Ericsson started from pit lane
Singapore Notes: Kobayashi did not start; Rosberg started from pit lane
Japan Notes: Race started behind the safety car