Formula 1 will complete back-to-back weekends of racing action with the running of the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, but don’t expect the weather to play a big role.
After an off-weekend in Singapore, Red Bull and Max Verstappen have bounced back in fine form at Suzuka.
The Dutchman has topped every session so far this weekend, including qualifying, which means he will start at the front of the grid for Sunday’s race.
Behind him, the McLaren duo of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris will be hoping to make life difficult, though they finished over half-a-second behind the Red Bull ace.
Ferrari couldn’t match the pace of the Woking team and as a result Charles Leclerc will start in P4 after getting the better of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez. Carlos Sainz rounds out the top six.
Mercedes had to settle for seventh and eighth, Lewis Hamilton finishing ahead of George Russell, as the team’s disappointing performance on Friday carried over to Saturday.
The home crowd were treated to quite the showing from Yuki Tsunoda, who put in a fine performance to qualify ninth after he was announced at AlphaTauri alongside Daniel Ricciardo for next season. Fernando Alonso completes the top 10.
As for Sunday’s race, how might the weather forecast affect the drivers? Let’s take a look.
Partly cloudy skies are expected at Suzuka on Sunday, with temperatures expected to hit a high of 28 degrees Celsius.
Those hoping that rain may help their cause should likely look elsewhere, as the chance of rain currently sit at just 22 percent.
Instead, race performance will likely dictate who takes the chequered flag, giving Verstappen the clear advantage.
One factor that could affect the race is the wind, with a northwesterly wind expected to blow across the track and impact the drivers when it comes to braking.