Insight: Japanese Grand Prix form guide

Formula 1 has headed back to Asia for the Japanese Grand Prix at the universally-loved figure-of-eight Suzuka Circuit. Motorsport Week looks at who’s hot and who’s not in the land of the rising sun.


Only three drivers on the current grid have triumphed at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton has won on five occasions and in the hybrid era he and Mercedes have been the benchmark at Suzuka.

Hamilton won in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018, with Mercedes’ clean sweep in the hybrid generation of racing facilitated by Nico Rosberg’s 2016 triumph.

Hamilton’s first Japanese Grand Prix victory came at the rain-lashed 2007 race at Fuji Speedway, which briefly took over host duties of the event from Suzuka.

While Mercedes has controlled proceedings in the hybrid era, the end of the V8 period was a haven for Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel took four wins with Red Bull at Suzuka in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013, missing out only in 2011 when it took a conservative approach in order to seal the world title.

Kimi Raikkonen triumphed from 17th on the grid in the thrilling 2005 race, widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time, as he took the lead from Giancarlo Fisichella at the start of the final lap.

Michael Schumacher remains the record-holder at the Japanese Grand Prix on six wins.


Hamilton and Vettel have taken four poles each at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton topped qualifying on both occasions when Formula 1 visited Fuji Speedway in the 2000s (2007, 2008) but Suzuka remained something of a bogey track across one-lap.

At the ninth attempt Hamilton topped qualifying in 2017 for Mercedes and then added another pole position to his resume last season.

That effort brought him level with Vettel, who took four poles in Japan on the bounce between 2009 and 2012.

Schumacher, once again, remains far out in front, having topped qualifying a remarkable eight times in the country during his distinguished career.


Hamilton and Vettel have both taken seven Japanese Grand Prix podiums, with the Briton on the rostrum each year since 2014, to add to his 2007 and 2009 trophies.

Vettel was not off the podium between 2009 and 2015 at Suzuka but since then has been unable to mount the top three places, owing to reliability issues and mistakes.

Raikkonen has five podiums in Japan, the first coming in his maiden McLaren year in 2002, but he has not finished there since the last of his quintet at Fuji in 2008.

Max Verstappen has not finished off the podium in Japan since joining Red Bull in 2016, chasing Hamilton to the chequered flag in 2017, while four other current drivers have a trophy each.

Robert Kubica (Fuji, 2008), Romain Grosjean (2013), Daniel Ricciardo (2017) and Valtteri Bottas (2018) have all finished on the podium in Japan.