5 big questions that need answers at the Japanese Grand Prix

max verstappan at the 2022 belgian gp

Formula 1 is back at Suzuka for the first time in three years with the Japanese Grand Prix being held this weekend.

It’s a track that is hugely popular with the drivers and a venue that plenty of fans love, and it’s great to have it back on the calendar.

What are the big questions that need answers going into this weekend, then? We take a look now…

Will Suzuka crown another world champion?

Max Verstappen celebrates winning the 2022 Belgian GP
SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 28: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 28, 2022 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The likes of Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen have all won world titles at this famous old circuit, and Max Verstappen bids to add his name to that list this weekend.

His first shot at winning the 2022 crown in Singapore didn’t really go to plan but he has a much better chance of sealing the deal this weekend anyway, and in front of Honda bigwigs that would certainly be pleasing for Red Bull.


Will Sergio Perez build on his Singapore win?

Sergio Perez celebrates winning the Singapore GP
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – OCTOBER 02: Race winner Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on October 02, 2022 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images,)

Sergio Perez can still mathematically win the title this year but he could well be ruled out of it come the end of this weekend, even if the championship is not won by Max come the chequered flag.

Perez has admitted that he is very much focusing on next season now and trying to build momentum for that, with him starting off in decent fashion in terms of that aim by sealing a fine win at the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend.

He’ll be aiming for more of that in Suzuka.

Can Alpine bounce back?

fernando alonso drives at the singapore grand prix
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – OCTOBER 02: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Alpine F1 A522 Renault on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on October 02, 2022 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images,)

Alpine found themselves losing a lot of ground in the battle with McLaren for fourth in the Constructors’ championship in Singapore, with them suffering a double retirement as the Woking-based team finished P4 and P5.

That saw Alpine drop to 5th in the standings with just four points between the teams, and this battle is getting very tasty indeed.

Can Alpine hit back, or will McLaren extend their lead?

Who’ll have the momentum in the battle for seventh?

Sebastian Vettel drives at the Singapore GP
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE – OCTOBER 01: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Aston Martin AMR22 Mercedes on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Singapore at Marina Bay Street Circuit on October 01, 2022 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

As well as the battle for fourth, the fight for seventh in the Constructors’ standings is proving engrossing as well.

Aston Martin earned a double points finish in Singapore with Lance Stroll taking P6 and Sebastian Vettel P8, and that has moved them up into P7 in the table ahead of Haas and AlphaTauri.

A matter of three points separates the three teams so it’s all up for grabs in the final five races – who will have the momentum after Suzuka?

More wet weather on the way?

Singapore GP rain

The weather in Singapore certainly grabbed the attention with torrential rain falling before lights out, though the race start was delayed by an hour and so it had passed through by lights out.

There was still enough standing rain to present a challenge to the drivers for much of the race, though, and we could get more rain over the weekend in Japan.

Friday’s practice running could be fully wet whilst showers could impact the race itself on Sunday, meaning things could get pretty exciting.

Max Verstappen is the odds-on favourite to win the Japanese Grand Prix with Betway. Check out their full F1 markets here.

You can keep up to date with all the latest F1 news, rumours and results right here at Give Me Sport.

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