Start, Suzuka, 2022

No repeat of last year’s race-halting rain forecast at Suzuka

Formula 1

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There will be no repeat of the lengthy rain delay that shortened last year’s Japanese Grand Prix as a dry Sunday is expected at Suzuka.

The 2022 season saw F1 return to the Suzuka circuit for the first time since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the race was hit by heavy rain before the start which led to a delay of over two hours before resuming.

The race eventually ended after just 28 laps, having reached the maximum three-hour cut-off point. Max Verstappen average speed of 53.58kph making it the slowest world championship grand prix in history.

Fortunately, there will be no repeat of last year’s rain as forecasts predict that the risk of rain on Sunday is so low that it is almost zero.

Friday’s opening day of practice has the greatest risk of rain, but even that sits at under 20% for the first hour of running, reducing into the second hour of practice. Practice is expected to be warm, with the second session seeing ambient temperatures rise to almost 30 degrees.

Saturday’s qualifying day is expected to be dry and sunny all day, with temperatures reaching just under 30 degrees for the start of qualifying at 3pm.

Sunday’s race day will again be dry, with minimal risk of rain disrupting proceedings. The race will take place in very warm conditions, with an ambient temperature of 28C and track temperatures likely to be over 40C.

That will make this weekend’s race at Suzuka the hottest since 2018, which ran in almost identical conditions despite being held in early October, instead of late September. F1’s next visit will come in spring instead of autumn, as Japan’s race has an April date on the 2024 F1 calendar.

NB. No Japanese Grand Prix was held in 2020 or 2021. The 2007 and 2008 events took place at Fuji Speedway.

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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4 comments on “No repeat of last year’s race-halting rain forecast at Suzuka”

  1. This news will make @jerejj’s day (or weekend)

    1. Yes, and annoy people who want rain like me.

      I mostly think about the intermediate start last year, I didn’t even realise there was heavy rain already at the start, but in that case they should’ve started on full wet, in my experience, seeing for example canada 2022 quali, drivers tend to be able to stay on the track when they have full wet tyres, then the track dries out a bit, some hazard the intermediates and crash out, stopping the race; I think there’s a much higher likelihood we’d have got a proper race if they had started on the right tyres.

    2. Simon – Of course you couldn’t think of anything else but annoying me before I’d even got to the article.

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