Suzuka to reward quick thinkers

Suzuka has escaped the attentions of the anticipated Typhoon 22, which headed for Tokyo instead, and the Formula 1 fraternity now turns its attentions to coping with qualifying and racing all in one day

Suzuka to reward quick thinkers

Whatever happens, the race will throw up some interesting scenarios and potential surprises. The teams have thus far had no dry running and race day could yet even present teams with a wet qualifying session followed by a dry race, with tyre choice down to guess work.

In the wet on Friday, the Bridgestone-shod cars of Michael Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella were fastest, over a second up on the fastest Michelin-shod runner, Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren. More Bridgestone cars had off-track excursions, however, prompting speculation that while the Bridgestones were quicker, they may have been more prone to aquaplaning.

"The circuit features a number of elevation changes and, as a result, a number of mini-rivers form at various points around it," explained Michelin F1 programme manager Pascal Vasselon. "The biggest problem is not so much generating grip as trying to prevent cars from aquaplaning. We saw a number of drivers sliding off the track although Fernando Alonso was the only Michelin runner affected."

Renault's engineering director Pat Symonds also pointed out that Suzuka wears tyres relatively quickly and that the characteristic will be all the more apparent if there is the need for extreme wet tyres and then the circuit subsequently dries.

"Twenty cars on extreme wets will move the water very rapidly and missing the changeover window by just one lap could have a significant effect," Symonds said. "This race looks like being one of those challenges that F1 throws up every so often and it could well reward those who react quickly to the circumstances. It could turn out to be a classic."

Pre-qualifying will take place at 9am Japanese time tomorrow, with qualifying proper at 10am and the race itself starting on schedule at 2.30pm.

shares
comments
Group claims Brit GP is saved

Previous article

Group claims Brit GP is saved

Next article

Saturday Night Fever: Soggy Suzuka

Saturday Night Fever: Soggy Suzuka
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021