Form guide: Don't bet against a Red Bull walkover
There have been tantalising glimpses that Mercedes can carry the fight to Red Bull in Japan but, as MARK HUGHES reveals, the RB9 is still the pick of the bunch - while further down Sauber and Toro Rosso appear to have closed on McLaren
It might not necessarily be the Red Bull Suzuka walkover pretty much everyone is expecting.
But it probably will be.
The ray of hope for some competition to Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber came in the form of a 13-lap run by Nico Rosberg's Mercedes on Friday afternoon. On the option medium tyre, Rosberg's average was 1m39.0s, while on shorter 'long' runs both Vettel and Webber were in the high 1m39s.
But treat the comparison with caution: a difference of almost one second in the Merc's favour is just too much to be feasible.
As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season
After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades
Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect
OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era
Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021
As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts
There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years
Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains
Japanese GP practice quotes: Marussia
Japanese GP: Mark Webber fastest as Sebastian Vettel hits trouble