McLaren Honda F1 Japan GP stats and facts

McLaren Honda F1 Japan GP stats and facts

04.10.2016: Japanese Grand-Prix Round 17/21 07-09 October 2016 Circuit stats 2015 winner Lewis Hamilton, 53 laps, 1:28

Japanese Grand-Prix Round 17/21
07-09 October 2016




Circuit stats

2015 winner Lewis Hamilton, 53 laps, 1:28:06.508s
2015 pole position Nico Rosberg, 1m32.584s
2015 fastest lap Lewis Hamilton, 1m36.145s (lap 33)



Name Suzuka International Racing Course


First race 1987


Circuit length 5.807km/3.608 miles (5th longest of the season)


Distance to Turn One 350m/0.217 miles (longest of season: Barcelona 730m/0.454 miles)


Longest straight 900m/0.559 miles, on the approach to the Chicane


Top speed 330km/h/205mph, on the approach to the Chicane


Pitlane length 413m/0.257 miles, estimated time loss 23s (longest of season: Silverstone, 489m/0.304 miles)


Full throttle 65 per cent, with the longest period of full throttle being 16s



DRS zones One, on the approach to Turn One


Key corner Turn Nine, a third-gear right-hander that passes underneath 130R at the exit to create the unique figure-of-eight shape of Suzuka. Also known as ‘Degner Two’, this corner is relatively slow, but a bump on entry makes it difficult to get the car into the apex. There’s very little run-off due to the bridge, so the smallest of mistakes can prove very costly



Fastest corner 300km/h (186mph), Turn 15


Slowest corner 72km/h (45mph), Turn 11


Major changes for 2016 None, except for maintenance work on kerbs and Astroturf


Fuel consumption 1.89kg per lap, which is average


ERS demands Medium. An interesting mix of slow, medium and fast corners tests every aspect of car performance, including the ERS


Brake wear Low. Only 10 per cent of the lap is spent braking, with only one significant braking event, into the Chicane


Gear changes 42 per lap/2,226 per race




Circuit facts

History lesson



Owned by the Honda Motor Company, Suzuka Circuit has been a regular fixture on the F1 calendar since 1987. It was designed by Dutchman John Hugenholtz in 1962, since when it’s become renowned as an excellent test track due to its eclectic mix of corners.



What makes it unique


The figure-of-eight layout. This is the only circuit on the F1 calendar that has this configuration (crossing at Degner Two/130R), creating a relatively equal split of right and left-handers.




Grip levels



High. The asphalt is relatively old, which means the roughness of the surface helps to provide grip. Combine the asphalt with the aerodynamic loads created by the cars at high-speed and grip levels at Suzuka are deemed to be good.




Run-off


Medium. The track is narrow and it has a predominance of gravel traps in its run-off areas, so cars can end up beached after only a relatively minor mistake.




Watch out for…



Rivers. Suzuka’s coastal location means the weather conditions can change quickly, particularly at this time of year. When it rains, the undulations mean rivers flow across the track, which can lead to aquaplaning.






The drivers on: the circuit

 
#14 Fernando Alonso



“Like me, many drivers love going back to Suzuka every year and it’s easy to see why. It’s a classic ‘drivers’ circuit’ and its configuration is unusual, demanding and very unforgiving, so putting together a good lap is really satisfying, and all these characteristics make it really popular with both drivers and fans.


It’s a difficult circuit to set up the car perfectly for because the track temperatures change so much with the unpredictable weather, but we know this circuit well and will use the Friday sessions to dial the car in to the conditions and get the most out of it.”


 
#22 Jenson Button



“The Suzuka circuit is incredible – almost in a class of its own on the calendar. It’s as close to a ‘perfect’ track as you can get in terms of having all of the different elements you would want as a driver.



 It’s fast, technical, difficult, rewarding, and really fun to drive, so it’s up there among the best. My win there in 2011 is definitely one of my favourites because to do well there you have to put so much into it, and when you get a good result it’s the best feeling.”



 
Event stats

Start time 14:00hrs local/06:00hrs BST


Race distance 53 laps (full world championship points will be awarded after 75 per cent distance/40 laps)


Safety Car likelihood High. There’s a 60 per cent chance of a Safety Car because accidents are usually high-speed and result in a lot of debris



When to press record Qualifying. It’s always exciting to watch the cars on-track at Suzuka, but never more than in qualifying. With light fuel, new tyres and maximum revs, the cars look spectacular – particularly through the Esses, Degner and Spoon corners – and average 226km/h (140mph)


Don’t put the kettle on…All of the front-running cars completed last year’s race with two pitstops. Race winner Lewis Hamilton pitted on laps 16 and 31, but the appearance of the Soft tyre this year could force three pitstops



Weather conditions NOW 27 degrees RACE FORECAST 29 degrees



Tyre choices Soft/Medium/Hard, the same combination that was used in Malaysia last weekend



Event facts


First Japanese Grand Prix   1987.



Official slogan


There’s no official slogan, but most drivers agree that Suzuka is one of the most challenging racetracks in the world.



Japan's F1 heritage



This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Japanese Grand Prix. But Japan’s F1 heritage extends further back, thanks to the commitment of the Honda Motor Company. They entered F1 in 1964 and won their first grand prix in ’65, since when they have taken a total of 75 victories.



Smallest winning margin



0.344s, in 1991. World title protagonists Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell lined up on the front row of the grid, but it was Gerhard Berger who led Ayrton into Turn One. Gerhard disappeared into the distance, leaving Ayrton to hold up Mansell – who crashed at the start of lap 10. Ayrton went on to take the lead, but he slowed exiting the final corner of the race to gift victory to Ayrton.



Sporting legacy


Japan’s love of motor racing needs no introduction. Suzuka is a sell-out most years and there is a strong domestic racing scene. But the country is becoming a sporting powerhouse: it will host the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the summer Olympics in 2020.




Did you know?


McLaren has won the Japanese Grand Prix nine times, with two of those victories powered by Honda.




Don’t forget



This year marks the 110th anniversary of Soichiro Honda’s birth.




Fan zone



Ali, aged 51, from Tokyo, asks: This is the Japanese Grand Prix and it’s Honda’s home race; do you feel more pressure to get a good result than at other races?”


McLaren’s answer: “There’s pressure to perform at every race, so nothing changes in terms of our desire to get a result. But there’s no doubt that our victories at Suzuka in 1988 and ’91, with Honda, were very special and it would be fantastic to get another good result on their home turf this weekend.”





- Sophie Ogg - photo McLaren

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04.10.2016 / MaP

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