Tuesday, July 16, 2024

2022 Formula 1: How to watch, stream, preview, TV info for the Japanese Grand Prix

Formula 1 returns to Suzuka International Racing Course for the Japanese Grand Prix, a circuit that has seen 11 drivers crowned champion since it came onto the calendar in 1987. This is Formula 1’s first time back in Japan since 2019, as it missed the previous two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As it is where he took his first turns in an F1 car, Suzuka holds a special place in Max Verstappen’s heart, and to claim his second Formula 1 title all he needs to do is leave Japan with a lead of 112 points or more over Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

Or will it be his first title? As reported by Racer.com, accusations have floated that Verstappen’s team, Red Bull Racing, along with Aston Martin, both exceeded the 2021 budget limits. Formula 1 was originally going to release its findings on the matter on Wednesday, but that has now been pushed back to Monday, a day after the Japanese Grand Prix. 

Any excess that is less than five percent of the budget cap is considered a minor breach that teams can then work out with F1 through an “Accepted Breach Agreement.” Anything over five percent would be considered egregious, and the parties involved would have to appear before the Cap Adjudication Panel. Penalties range from being reprimanded to having Drivers’ and Constructors’ points deducted and even exclusion.

Through all the speculation, Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner insists they have not exceeded the 2021 budget cap, but with the ruling now pushed back to Monday, there will certainly be whispers following Verstappen, Horner and the rest of the Red Bull team throughout the weekend.

So, along with all the regular distractions and noise, Verstappen must also find a way to simply keep his focus on winning the title on Sunday, which he states will take an effort where everything must go just right, regardless if it will be his second … or his first.

“We need a perfect weekend, that’s for sure,” Verstappen told F1.com. “It would be very nice if it happens here, but if it doesn’t happen here, I will be even more in favor the next race. It doesn’t really change anything. You want to have a good weekend and try to maximize everything you can, and of course I need a perfect weekend to be able to clinch the title here but, to be honest, I’m not really thinking about it too much.”

How to watch the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 9
  • Location: 3.608-mile (5.807 kilometer), 18-turn Suzuka International Racing Course
  • Time: 1 a.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN2
  • Stream: fuboTV (try for free

What to expect

Storied Suzuka is a challenging track noted for not one, not two but several turns that are considered classics. There’s the downhill first corner and the ending chicane before the front straight, both locations made famous by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost crashing each other out as teammates on consecutive seasons. There’s the Spoon. Degner. The off-camber, sweeping double-apex 130R. Dunlop. Any track would be amazing with one or two of those, but Suzuka has them all. Legendary.

Like many circuits, Suzuka is a track that punishes you for taking something for granted. Focus will be a premium over its 53 laps.

Depending on the tire compounds Pirelli shows up with, there is the temptation to try a one-stop strategy, but with Suzuka’s high speeds and high-g loads, tire degradation will likely make two stops the way to go. Add into the weather — some rain is expected, and temperatures should be fairly comfortable, if not cool, at 70 degrees Fahrenheit — and you have typical Suzuka. Anything can happen over 53 laps.

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