When is the Japanese GP? Start time, TV channel

Date published: October 6 2018

Lewis Hamilton is closing in fast on a fifth Drivers’ title as F1 heads to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend.

The British ace now leads Sebastian Vettel by a massive 50 points after Ferrari were again left trailing in his wake in the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi.

Here is a guide to all you need to now about the upcoming weekend at Suzuka – including details of how to watch the race on TV and the latest betting odds.

What time does the Japanese Grand Prix start?

The start times for the Japanese Grand Prix are as follows:

Practice 1: Friday October 5, 1000 local time (0200 BST)

Practice 2: Friday October 5, 1400 local time (0600 BST)

Practice 3: Saturday October 6, 1200 local time (0400 BST)

Qualifying: Saturday October 6, 1500 local time (0700 BST)

Race: Sunday October 7, 1410 local time (0610 BST)

Where does the Japanese Grand Prix take place?

Grand Prix racing was first held in Japan in 1976 at the Fuji circuit – but switched to Suzuka a decade later.

Suzuka is unique to the world championship, with a figure of eight configuration. It has a reputation as a tough and technical track. It has a lengthy lap of 5.807km, which is hard on tyres. Sunday’s race will be run over 53 laps.

Directions: The Suzuka Circuit is not easy to get to. The best way to reach it is by public transport. Most prefer to fly to Nagaya, or the recent opened Kansai International and then transfer to Suzuka using the bullet trains or other public transport. Car hire is available, but traffic is heavy.

Where can I watch the Japanese Grand Prix on TV?

Japanese Grand Prix weekend – including the race proper – will be screened live in the UK by pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports on its dedicated Sky Sports F1 channel. The race will also be aired live by free-to-air broadcaster Channel 4.

Subscribers to F1’s own app can hear radio commentary on the race proper from the BBC and access live data around each session.

PlanetF1 will carry live timing and expert commentary on every session of the race weekend along with all the latest news from the track.

The Japanese Grand Prix will be shown live on TV by the following outlets in other key markets:

United States: ESPN (English), Univision (Spanish)

Canada: RDS (French), TSN (English)

Australia: Fox Sports

France: Canal +

Italy: Sky Sport F1

Germany: RTL

Spain: Movistar F1

What is the weather forecast for the Japanese Grand Prix?

Friday October 5: 25C, cloudy with brief rain.
Saturday October 6: 26C, cloudy.
Sunday October 7: 30C, cloudy with sunny periods.

Which drivers have won the Japanese Grand Prix?

Recent winners of the race are:
2008 Fernando Alonso (Renault)
2009 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2010 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2011 Jenson Button (McLaren)
2012 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2013 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2014 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2015 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2016 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2017 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

Track Lap Record: 1:31.540 by Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren, 2005)

What are the odds for the Japanese Grand Prix?

Lewis Hamilton is a strong favourite to win the Japanese Grand Prix according to major British bookmaker Bet365.

The leading odds are as follows:

4/5 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2/1 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

9/1 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

11/1 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

14/1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

16/1 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

(Prices correct at 1200 BST on Monday October 1)

What are the latest F1 Championship standings?

The leaders in the race for the driver and constructor titles are as follows:

Drivers’ Championship

Lewis Hamilton – 306 points

Sebastian Vettel – 256 points

Valtteri Bottas – 189 points

Kimi Raikkonen – 186 points

Max Verstappen – 158 points

Daniel Ricciardo – 134 points

Constructors’ Championship

Mercedes – 495 points

Ferrari – 442 points

Red Bull – 292 points

Full F1 championship standings are here

Tyre compounds for the Japanese Grand Prix

F1 tyre manufacturer Pirelli will bring three compounds to Suzuka – the white Medium tyre, the yellow Soft tyre and the red Supersoft tyre.