Japanese F1 Grand Prix 2019: Start Time, Drivers, TV Schedule and More

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIOctober 12, 2019

SUZUKA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 11: Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 on track during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka Circuit on October 11, 2019 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The 2019 Japanese Grand Prix promises to provide plenty of excitement, with qualifying scheduled to take place just four hours before the start of the race on Sunday due to Typhoon Hagibis

Formula One cancelled all track activity for Saturday as the tropical storm was due to hit the circuit, although strong winds are "expected to continue into Sunday," according to Andrew Benson at BBC Sport.

Valtteri Bottas set the pace on Friday in second practice ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Red Bull's Max Verstappen came in third, with the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel taking fourth and fifth, respectively.

      

Race Date: Sunday, October 13

Qualifying: 10 a.m local time/2 a.m. BST/9 p.m. (Sat) ET

Race Time: 2:10 p.m. local time/6:10 a.m. BST/1:10 a.m. ET

TV Info: Sky Sports F1 (UK), ESPN (U.S.)

Live StreamSky GoESPN Player

For a full list of the drivers, visit the F1 website.

       

Race Preview

Bottas set the pace on Friday, and his time may end up putting him on pole position should weather conditions force qualifying to be cancelled on Sunday:

Mercedes were dominant in practice, with Bottas topping the timesheets by 0.1 seconds from team-mate and championship leader Hamilton:

However, Bottas was not completely flawless in practice:

Hamilton heads into the race with a championship lead of 73 points after victory in Russia last time out, and he has a strong record in Japan, winning the last two Grands Prix at Suzuka.

He is not the only driver who seems to thrive at the circuit. Vettel has clinched victory at the famous track four times in his career and has said it is "probably my favourite circuit of the whole season," per the official Ferrari webite. 

The Italian team have enjoyed a resurgence in the second half of the season, picking up wins in Singapore, Italy and Belgium.

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 08: Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Scuderia Ferrari celebrates on the podium after winning the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza on September 8, 2019 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Guido de Bortoli/Getty Images)
Guido de Bortoli/Getty Images

However, Vettel heads into the race under something of a cloud after ignoring team orders in Sochi and subsequently retiring due to engine failure. Vettel refused to let Leclerc through during the race, but both drivers have since played down the dispute, per Benson.

Yet practice showed that Ferrari will have their work cut out if they are to beat Mercedes in Japan. Vettel said the team were "lacking overall pace" in practice, while Leclerc added that "we expected to be quite good here, but it's less the case now we are here," per Laurence Edmondson at ESPN.

Ferrari may instead find themselves battling for a podium spot with Red Bull, and Verstappen and Vettel will need no reminding they clashed at this track in 2018:

It seems Mercedes are once again the team to beat on Sunday. The Silver Arrows have the edge on pace and are in good shape to continue their recent dominance at Suzuka.

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