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Japanese Grand Prix

From Academic Kids

Template:F1 race Since its first inclusion in the Formula One Championship, the Japanese Grand Prix has become synonymous with excitement and controversy. Its traditional place at the end of the season means this event has seen a great number of Championship crowns being won and lost. As a result of this, and due to the exciting and challenging layout of Suzuka Circuit, the Japanese Grand Prix is one of the most-loved races in the Formula One season. In the 19 Japanese Grands Prix (1976-1977; 1987-2003), 11 have seen the title destiny decided (1976, 1987-1991, 1996, 1998-2000, and 2003), with 5 of those events (1976, 1996, 1998-1999 and 2003) being last race Championship deciders. In 2004 the Brazilian Grand Prix replaced the Japanese Grand Prix as the last race of the season.

History

The first Formula 1's Japanese Grand Prix, in 1976, was held at the Fuji Speedway, 40 miles west of Yokohama. The race was to become famous for the title decider between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. In monsoon conditions, Lauda, who had survived a near-fatal crash at the German Grand Prix earlier in the season, withdrew from the race stating that his life was more important than the championship. Hunt scored the 3rd position he needed to win the title by the slender margin of one point. Hunt returned the next year to win the 2nd Japanese Grand Prix, but a collision between Gilles Villeneuve and Ronnie Peterson during the race saw Villeneuve's Ferrari somersault into a restricted area, killing a marshal. The race did not reappear on the Formula One calendar for another decade.

On Formula 1's return to Japan in 1987, the Grand Prix found a new venue at Suzuka Circuit, 50 miles south west of Nagoya. The circuit, set inside a funfair, was designed by Dutchman John Hugenholtz and owned by Honda, who used it as a test track. Most notable initially for its layout—Suzuka is the only figure-eight race track on the F1 calendar—immediately it saw another World Title decided, as Nigel Mansell crashed his Williams-Honda in practice, handing the crown to his teammate Nelson Piquet. Suzuka will always be chiefly remembered, however, for the legendary feud between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. During the 1989 Grand Prix, Senna tried to overtake Prost to keep his Championship hopes alive, only for Prost to swerve into him, taking both men out and handing the title to Prost. A year on and Senna reciprocated, ramming Prost off the road at the first corner to secure his own World Crown. Senna later admitted that he had done this on purpose.

The late 20th and early 21st century have seen a number of other, rather more sporting duels for the Championship at Suzuka, most memorably those between Michael Schumacher and Mika Häkkinen. The most notable of these was at the 2000 race, where Schumacher took advantage of his superior speed in damp conditions during a mid-race rain shower to secure the race win, and his first World Title for Ferrari—his third in all. At the most recent Japanese Grand Prix, on October 12, 2003, Michael Schumacher endured one of the most trying races in his illustious career but managed to secure the point he needed to take his sixth World Championship, beating the record held by Juan Manuel Fangio.

The qualifying session for the 2004 Grand Prix, due to have been held on 9 October, was postponed until race day after a typhoon hit Suzuka.

Winners of the Japanese Grand Prix

Year Driver Constructor Location Report
1976 Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford Fuji Report
1977 James Hunt McLaren-Ford Fuji Report
1987 Gerhard Berger Ferrari Suzuka Report
1988 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda Suzuka Report
1989 Alessandro Nannini Benetton-Ford Suzuka Report
1990 Nelson Piquet Benetton-Ford Suzuka Report
1991 Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda Suzuka Report
1992 Riccardo Patrese Williams-Renault Suzuka Report
1993 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Ford Suzuka Report
1994 Damon Hill Williams-Renault Suzuka Report
1995 Michael Schumacher Benetton-Renault Suzuka Report
1996 Damon Hill Williams-Renault Suzuka Report
1997 Michael Schumacher Ferrari Suzuka Report
1998 Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes Suzuka Report
1999 Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes Suzuka Report
2000 Michael Schumacher Ferrari Suzuka Report
2001 Michael Schumacher Ferrari Suzuka Report
2002 Michael Schumacher Ferrari Suzuka Report
2003 Rubens Barrichello Ferrari Suzuka Report
2004 Michael Schumacher Ferrari Suzuka Report

External link

Japanese Grand Prix (Unofficial) (http://www.japanese-grand-prix.com)


Races in the Formula One championship:
2005 championship Grand Prix events:

Australian | Malaysian | Bahrain | San Marino | Spanish | Monaco | European | Canadian | U.S.
French | British | German | Hungarian | Turkish | Italian | Belgian | Brazilian | Japanese | Chinese

Past championship Grand Prix events:

Argentine | Austrian | Czechoslovakian | Dutch | Indy 500 | Las Vegas | Luxembourg | Mexican | Morocco
Pacific | Pescara | Portuguese | South African | Swedish | Swiss | USA East | USA West

es:Gran Premio de Japón

ja:日本グランプリ sv:Japans Grand Prix de:Großer Preis von Japan

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