Pirelli reveal challenges of new Japanese GP date change

Formula 1 is back in Asia for the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit


Formula 1 makes its return to Japan in just over six months following its last appearance in the country. This year marks a historic first for the Japanese Grand Prix, as it takes place in April instead of its traditional scheduling in the latter part of the season, typically September or October.

Suzuka, a track synonymous with crowning world champions, has witnessed Max Verstappen securing his second title in 2022 and Red Bull claiming constructors’ glory last year.

The April timing of the event coincides with the peak of the cherry blossom, or Sakura, season, adding a picturesque backdrop to the race. It also marks the first instance of the Japanese GP being held during this period, with previous editions predominantly scheduled in October.

The early spring setting introduces lower temperatures than usual, ranging between 15°C and 20°C, challenging the teams accustomed to Japan’s conditions.

Suzuka Circuit, owned by Honda, stands as a true classic in F1, featuring a demanding layout characterised by a figure-eight design, a rarity in the sport.

The track not only tests the skill of drivers but also challenges the resilience of tyres due to its high asphalt roughness and abrasiveness.

Multiple pit stops expected

Pirelli, opting for the hardest tyre compounds, faces the challenge of providing durability amidst the demanding conditions, similar to the selection in Bahrain, the season’s inaugural race.

While a two-stop strategy remains common due to tire wear and stress, the colder temperatures may open possibilities for a one-stop strategy, especially for drivers who conserve their tires. However, maintaining optimal tyre temperature poses a challenge, particularly during out-laps from the pits.

Despite potential advantages, a one-stop strategy diminishes the effectiveness of the undercut, a favoured tactic at Suzuka.

Following the Japanese GP, Pirelli will conduct two days of tyre testing on April 8-9 to develop compounds and constructions for the upcoming season.

Suzuka track layout

The Suzuka circuit boasts 18 corners, including iconic ones like Spoon, 130R, and the challenging uphill combination from Turns 2 to 7. Lesser-known are the Degner corners, named after German motorcycle racer Ernest Degner.

Degner’s story intertwines with the evolution of Japanese motorcycling history. His collaboration with Suzuki marked a turning point, despite the risks he faced, including fleeing East Germany amidst surveillance by the Stasi. The Suzuka track commemorates his contribution, immortalising Turns 8 and 9 in his name.

Degner’s journey, fraught with challenges and triumphs, remains a testament to the pursuit of excellence amidst adversity, leaving an indelible mark on the motorsport landscape.

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
- Advertisment -


Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Driver Ratings — 2024 British GP

Lewis Hamilton finally ended his long wait for a race victory at the Formula 1 2024 British GP as...
George Russell leads the field into Turn 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Winners and Losers from the British GP

Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious in one of the most memorable races in recent Formula 1 history, which begs the...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton masterclass proves he can take fight to Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton basked in the glory of his long-awaited victory at the British Grand Prix, celebrating in front of...
Max Verstappen looks on at the 2024 Austrian GP | Chris Graythen / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen rues ‘poor’ British GP as Red Bull battle rare issue

Max Verstappen conceded it was a "poor afternoon" for Red Bull at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix...
Lando Norris with engineers at 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

Are McLaren becoming ‘new Ferrari’ after another strategy blunder?

Lando Norris' media appearances after the British GP were a genuinely tough watch, with reporters seemingly counselling the 24-year-old...
Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes Max Verstappen on the podium after the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lewis Hamilton: British GP win more crucial to Mercedes than Russell victory

Lewis Hamilton explained why he felt his victory at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix on Sunday was...
Carlos Sainz at the 2024 Austrian GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

F1 2024 British GP – Fastest Lap

Carlos Sainz snatched the fastest lap at the 2024 British GP at the final opportunity as an all-time classic...
Lando Norris during 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

F1 Standings after 2024 British Grand Prix

An emotional 2024 British Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton take a record-breaking win at Silverstone, outsmarting Lando Norris and...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 British GP: Driver of the Day

There is a reason why the British Grand Prix remains the hottest attraction on the Formula 1 calendar and...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

Hamilton outsmarts Verstappen and Norris to clinch record-breaking British GP win

Lewis Hamilton finally celebrated on the top step of the podium after a dramatic finale to the Formula 1...
- Advertisment -