Chris Medland's 2016 Japanese Grand Prix preview

What time does the Japanese Grand Prix start? What channel is the Japanese Grand Prix on? The answers to all of that and more in F1i’s race preview

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Japanese Grand Prix - Race Day - Suzuka, Japan

Just four days on from the dramatic Malaysian Grand Prix, the relentless pace of the 2016 F1 calendar continues as preparations are in full swing at Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend. This is a race which has often been a title decider in the past, but the seventeenth round of the F1 season will only play a supporting role on this occasion with four rounds still to follow after the chequered flag falls on Sunday afternoon. For Lewis Hamilton, there is no room for a repeat of his retirement at Sepang as he is already 23 points behind Nico Rosberg in the championship race, but with 125 still available the defending champion will be glad of the chance to quickly put last weekend’s disappointment behind him at one of the sport’s classic tracks.


It was a messy race for Mercedes on Sunday - partly self-inflicted due to Hamilton’s retirement but also due to Rosberg being hit by Sebastian Vettel at Turn 1 - and that opened the door for Red Bull to take full advantage with a one-two. Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen are now clearly Mercedes’ biggest threat, ahead of Ferrari, and have both the qualifying and the race pace to keep Hamilton and Rosberg on their toes. Ferrari faces a tall order if it wants to regain second in the constructors’ championship, but has a comfortable buffer over Force India and Williams, who should again be closely matched at Suzuka. McLaren has emerged as a consistent factor in that battle for fifth in the constructors’ standings due to its improving pace, but Japan may ask a little more of the Honda power unit than Malaysia did.


Pole position: Nico Rosberg, (Mercedes), 1:32.584

Top three: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

Fastest lap: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), 1:36.145

SESSION TIMES (All times local)

FP1: 10:00 - 11:30

FP2: 14:00 - 15:30

FP3: 12:00 - 13:00

Qualifying: 15:00 - 16:00

Race: 14:00


©Pirelli Motorsport

©Pirelli Motorsport


An unsettled weekend awaits at Suzuka, with typhoon season resulting in a threat of heavy rain at times during the coming days. The two Friday practice sessions look set to take place in dry conditions, with relatively cool temperatures expected with a high of 22 degrees celsius. On Saturday it should be warmer but there is an 80% chance of rain due to thunderstorms, while race day is set to be cooler and will see morning rain which could result in the track being wet at the start of the race.


Sky Sports F1 - Live coverage

FP1 - 0145

FP2 - 0545

FP3 - 0345

Qualifying - 0600

Race - 0430

Channel 4 - Highlights

Qualifying - 1230

Race - 1330


1st - Lewis Hamilton

2nd - Nico Rosberg

3rd - Max Verstappen


Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Japanese Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Suzuka, Japan

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