By Christopher Emenyonu
The formula 1 season heads to Suzuka this weekend for the Japanese Grand Prix and after a week break from gruesome consecutive races, the drivers will be rearing to go again this weekend. With both Mercedes and Ferrari sharing the wins in the last four races, with Mercedes the most recent winners having remained unbeaten in Russia, the battle will look to continue between the two constructors.
Mercedes vs Ferrari
The return from summer break saw the Ferraris firing from all cylinders, winning the first three races as Charles Lerclerc won at Belgium and Italy and Sebastian Vettel for the first time since 2018 won at Singapore. These wins stimulated a response from log leaders (drivers and constructors) Mercedes on a ground where they had never lost (Sochi) and also saw them finish for the fourth time this season in first and second positions.
Mercedes on top
After that resounding victory in Russia, the Silver arrows will be hoping to build confidence on that and get closer to yet another world championship triumph. Sitting comfortably at the top of the logs; drivers and constructors standings, Mercedes will look to finish up chase on the title with five races left to the end of the season while Lewis Hamilton who is edging closer to his sixth world tiltle will be looking to shake off challenges from team mate, Valtteri Bottas and closest rival driver, Charles Leclerc.
Charles lerclerc, Sebastian Vettel and the Ferrari team will look to put behind a disappointing outing after Vettel refused taking decisions from pit before having engine problems at the Russia Grand Prix. Vettel’s decision left the team stranded as plans did not come through at the race but impressive Lerclerc rallied back to finish third behind the Mercedes. Heading to Japan, all hands have to be on deck for the red team to replicate what they did at Belgium, Italy and Singapore.
Toro Rosso will be having a Japanese, Naoki Yamamoto make his Formula 1 debut when he drives in first practice at his home grand prix tomorrow. The current Japan’s Super Formula and Super GT series will drive Pierre Gasly’s car for the practice before Gasly re-joins Daniil Kvyat for the rest of the weekend at Suzuka.
While we might see a repeat of 2004 where strong storm disrupted schedule, Typhoon Hagibis has been reported to hit central Japan on Saturday which will affect practice 3 and pole qualification which have been scheduled to hold that day.
This means that pole qualification race might be moved to early morning Sunday before race time.
Japanese Grand Prix kick starts tomorrow with practice 1 and 2 while practice 3 and pole qualification are to hold on Saturday pending weather report and race comes on Sunday.