Built in: 1987
First Grand Prix:
Grand Prix Helds: 19
Capacity around 100000
Track Lenght: 5.807 km
Laps Number: 53 (307.573 Km)
Corners: 21 (left:10) (right:11)
Top Speed: 330 Km/h
Start Offset line: 198 m
Best lap time: K. Raikkonen - 1'31''540
F1 2006 Track Review :
Suzuka is a very tough and technical circuit, with enormous crowds. It has been a huge event since 1987 when the Japanese Grand Prix was reinstated to the calendar, due to Honda's return to Formula One as the then supplier of the Williams team.
In the shape of a figure eight, Suzuka has a variety of fast and slow corners. It is loved by all the drivers, although overtaking was made virtually impossible when the chicane before the pits was tightened in 1991, spoiling the best passing opportunity that had been at the end of the main straight.
The 1987 race will be remembered best for the practice accident that dashed Nigel Mansell's' title hopes. 1988 saw Senna take the win from a very bad start, and the following year, he collided with his McLaren team-mate, Alain Prost, when battling for the lead. Although Senna crossed the line first, he was later disqualified, handing the win to the Benetton of Alessandro Nannini.
1990 saw Prost and Senna tangle again, although they were now in different teams. Senna took the title, later admitting that he deliberately caused the accident that took Prost's Ferrari out of the race. Riccardo Patrese won his last Grand Prix here in 1992, after Nigel Mansell retired. Senna won again in 1993, dominating a wet/dry race, and afterwards he made headlines by punching newcomer, Eddie Irvine after a dispute on the track.
The 1994 race was spectacular. Rain struck, and with a string of accidents, it saw a pace car, and a stoppage. After the restart, Damon Hill overcame Michael Schumacher's advantage, to score perhaps the hardest win of his career.
Damon Hill took an emotional win that lead to him clinching the title here in 1996, with Michael Schumacher winning in 1997. Hakkinen took the win for McLaren in 1998, where once again the world title was decided in Japan. The Finn walked away from Japan like Hill did two years before him, with his first championship title, an event he recreated in 1999.
2000 was a special event for millions of fans around the globe as they watched Michael Schumacher take the win and with it the first drivers crown for Ferrari in 21 years. The German was ecstatic and the crowd went wild as the Ferrari ace crossed the line to become a champion for the third time.
Due to the dominance displayed by Ferrari in 2001 and 2002, the title was well and truly wrapped up before the final race of the season unfolded. Michael Schumacher took the win in 2001 with a repeat in 2002, this time with yet another Ferrari one-two as Rubens Barrichello crossed the line behind him.
Rubens Barrichello took the chequered flag to win the 2003 race and helped his team-mate Michael Schumacher win his sixth World title in the process. The German nearly retired after a closely-fought tussle with his brother but managed to finish to race... and win the championship title!
Michael Schumacher was already the 2004 champion come the penultimate race of the season at Suzuka but as ever, the German was focused and fast as he notched up his sixth Japanese Grand Prix triumph. Brother Ralf Schumacher pushed Michael hard throughout the race to record his best result of the season with BMW Williams while Jenson Button scored a fine third position for Honda on home soil.
The 2005 event was a real nail-biter. Starting from third position on the grid, Giancarlo Fisichella soon found his way past Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button and seemed to have the race firmly won at mid-distance. Kimi Raikkonen started back in 17th position just behind his arch-rival Fernando Alonso and the two would put on an awesome display of race craft to work their way up through the field.
Out front Fisichella found himself under pressure from Raikkonen with a handful of laps to go. Taking a defensive line through the chicane on the penultimate lap enabled Raikkonen to make a stunning move for the lead as the duo started the final lap. Raikkonen would win from the disheartened Fisichella while Alonso would finish in third position after a stunning pass around Michael Schumacher at the daunting 130R.