The grid moves on to Suzuka this weekend, one of the most exciting tracks on the schedule. With it’s sector 1 esses to the Spoon Curve and the flat-out 130R, this challenging but loved figure-of-eight circuit is a grid favorite. It has seen some awesome battles (Senna-Prost), some terrible tragedy (Jules Bianchi) and some championships clinched. It shapes up to be a high tension race with Red Bull wanting to ride the wave of momentum they built at Malaysia, Mercedes wanting to avenge Hamilton’s race loss and Ferrari looking to shape up after two turbo failures that saw them struggle on Saturday and Sunday last week.
On Wednesday, Scuderia Ferrari (@scuderiaferrari) posted a tweet that the gearbox for Sebastian Vettel’s car was “still available” after inspection. Vettel and Lance Stroll were involved in an incident on the slowdown lap after the Malaysian GP, and Fears were raised that the gearbox may have been damaged in the collision, requiring replacement. A new gearbox would have cost Vettel a 5-place grid penalty under the current sporting regulations.
CJ: Hamilton Vettel Bottas
SS: Hamilton Ricciardo Vettel
Times in CST:
Thursday – Practice 1 : 2000-2130
Friday – Practice 2 : 0000-0130
Friday – Practice 3 : 2200-2300
Saturday – Qualifying : 0100-0200
Sunday – Race : 0000-0200