The Japanese F1 Grand Prix is set to take place at the Suzuka Circuit on 13 October 2013. The race covers a distance of 307.471 km in 53 laps. The lap record of 1:31.540 was set by Kimi Raikkonen in 2005. For more information visit formula1.com
Date: 13 October 2013
Venue: Suzuka Circuit
State: Mie Prefecture
Born in the town of Amagasaki, Japan, on 13 September 1986, Kamui Kobayashi was nine years old when he started his motor-sport career as so many drivers have – by competing in kart racing. His determination, and no small degree of skill, won him third place in the 1996 SL Takarazuka Tournament Cadet Class series. Over the next seven years, Kobayashi won the series twice, in addition to winning two other karting titles.
Kobayashi raced in the Esso Formula Toyota championship for the first time in 2002, following up with a second season in 2003 and finishing the season in second place. In 2004 he competed in the Italian Formula Renault series, winning two races and ending the season seventh in the standing. In 2005 he walked off with both the Italian and Eurocup Formula Renault Championship titles. Moving on to Formula Three in 2006, Kobayashi claimed three podiums in his first season. The following year, he claimed one victory in his second season of Formula Three racing, and tested for Toyota GP2.
Competing in the GP2 Asia series in 2008, Kobayashi won the second race of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya, north of Barcelona. However, after only finishing in the points once again that season, he was placed sixteenth in the final tally. In the GP2 Asia winter series of 2008/2009, Kobayashi finished sixteenth again.
Kobayashi’s opportunity came to move up to F1 racing, when he replaced Franck Montagny as the test and reserve driver for Toyota during 2008 and 2009. An opportunity arose for Kobayashi to race in the 2009 Japanese Grand Prix when Timo Glock took ill, recovering in time to participate in free practice and to qualify, but crashed in the practice session. However, as Kobayashi had not met the criteria of driving in at least one session on the Saturday, he was not eligible to participate. With Glock battling to recover from an injury sustained in his accident, Kobayashi made his F1 debut at the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix, qualifying eleventh and finishing in tenth place, later promoted to ninth. He raced again in Glock’s place at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, qualifying twelfth and finishing sixth, notching up his first World Championship points.
It was widely anticipated that Kobayashi would be signed on with Toyota for the 2010 F1 season, however Toyota withdrew from Formula One racing leaving him with an uncertain future. In December of 2009 it was announced that Kobayashi would be driving for the newly re-launched Sauber team, with McLaren’s former test driver Pedro de la Rosa as his team-mate.
Don’t miss out on the Japanese leg of the Formula One Grand Prix Championship.
Date: October 4th, 2009
Venue: Suzuka International Racetrack
The Japanese Grand Prix is synonymous with the words, excitement, thrilling and controversy. Since it hosted its first Formula One Japan has frequently been at the end of the season, and has been the scene of joy and heartbreak for years. The Japanese Grand Prix has seen many Championship crowns won and has seen many of them lost. So, with being the last race of the season, and an extremely challenging and nail biting circuit, the Suzuka Circuit has been host to a number of Championship decider races and seen title destinies fulfilled. The Suzuka Circuit, host of the Japanese Grand Prix, is completed in 53 laps and is a total race length of 307.57 kilometers.
Approximately forty miles outside Yokohama, lies the Fuji Speedway – the venue that hosted the very first Formula One Japanese Grand Prix, in the year 1976. The decider between legendary drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt, shot this event to fame. Lauda had experienced a near fatal accident earlier in the racing season at the German Grand Prix. The track was overwhelmed by monsoon conditions, and Lauda chose to withdraw from the race. Hunt needed to take third position in order to win the championship, which he did. Hunt also won the 1977 Japanese Grand Prix. During the race Ronnie Peterson and Gilles Villeneuve collided with each other, which caused Villeneuve’s Ferrari to be thrown into a somersault that resulted in the death of a marshal. Formula One would not have the Japanese Grand Prix on their racing schedule, for the following decade.
In 1987, the Formula One races returned to Japan, but this time, the venue was at Suzuka Circuit, located to the south west of Nagoya. Honda owned the track that was designed by John Hugenholtz, and was constructed inside a funfair. Honda used the Suzuka Circuit as a test track. It is also the only track on the Formula One circuit that is designed in a figure eight. And with the return of the Grand Prix, Suzuka did not disappoint. Nigel Mansell was set to win the Championship, but he unfortunately crashed his Williams-Honda, and Nelson Piquet, Mansell’s teammate, walked away with the championship. But amongst the different events, it is the feud that took place between legendary drivers Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost that will forever be etched into the history of the Japanese Grand Prix. The year was 1989, and Ayrton Senna was trying to overtake Prost. He needed to pass Prost if he was going to win the Championship. This risky move had Prost swerving into Senna, and both drivers out of the race. Alain Prost won the Championship. In 1990, Ayrton Senna repaid Prost by bumping him off the track, and winning his World Crown.
Suzuka was home to the nail-biting duels between Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher, as well as being the scene of Schumacher’s first World Title, won for Ferrari. Due to the typhoon that was experienced in 2005, the FIA announced on 24 March 2006, that all future Japanese Grand Prix’s, will be held at the Fuji Speedway which had been redesigned by Hermann Tilke. Reportedly this news was not welcomed by drivers who counted Suzuka as one of their favorite tracks. In September 2007 it was announced that, beginning in 2009, the F1 Grand Prix would alternate between the two tracks.
The 2009 Japanese Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton take the victory in heavy rain. Second place was claimed by Heikki Kovalainen, with Kimi Räikkönen coming in third, making it the first time in F1 history that two Finnish drivers stood on the podium together. The 2008 Japanese Grand Prix was won by Fernando Alonso, with the 2009 victory going to Sebastian Vettel. The 2010 F1 Grand Prix will take place at Suzuka on 8-10 October, with spectators and drivers looking forward to seeing the action on one of the F1 Championship’s favorite tracks.
In December 2008, Honda announced that it would be withdrawing from F1 racing, citing financial pressure as a result of the global financial crisis as being the reason.
The Honda Motor Company Ltd, also known simply as Honda, is a Japanese corporation involved in the manufacture of engines and various modes of transportation. While the company is well known for its cars, motorcycles and F1 team, they also involved in the development and production of aeronautical and marine craft as well as robotics and even garden equipment. They are also rated as the largest engine-maker in the world with a production rate of 14 million internal combustion engineers a year. While the manufacturer is based in Tokyo, Japan, the Honda Formula One team has its headquarters in Brackley, Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom.
Honda has thus far enjoyed a long and prosperous period as a Formula One constructor. The company first entered the sport as a constructor in 1964 with Ronnie Bucknum as their driver. In 1965 the Honda F1 team enjoyed their first win at the Mexican Grand Prix at the hands of new team member Richie Ginther. The following year they won the Italian Grand Prix and dominated the French Formula Two championships only to suffer a year of loss in 1968. The death of a teammate coupled with bad sales in the United States resulted in Honda withdrawing from the sport for a while. In the early 1980s they returned to F2 in which they once again enjoyed much success. In 1983 the decision was made to return to Formula One Racing and in 1984 Honda partnered with the Williams team. The partnership proved to be most fruitful and the Williams cars, which were powered by Honda engines, went on to win six consecutive F1 Constructors Champions. The Williams F1 team went on to win again in 1986 and 1987 before Honda made the decision to switch to the McLaren team in 1988.
With the help of their new partners, McLaren went on to win the title in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991. At this point, the company made the decision to withdraw from the sport with their related company, Mugen-Honda, continuing to keep the Honda name going strong in the sport until the end of the 1999 season. At the turn of the century, Honda once again entertained ideas of getting involved with F1 racing. They eventually returned to the sport as the official engine suppliers to the British American Racing team. By 2004, Honda had purchased a stake in the team and by the end of 2005, they bought the team and became a constructor. In 2006 Honda clinched a victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix with driver Jenson Button at the wheel.