F1 returned to Suzuka after a three-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with heavy rain being the key factor in both Friday’s practice sessions.
After Fernando Alonso led the first practice session, Russell led a Mercedes 2-1 ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton in FP2 as the German manufacturer impressed despite struggling in the rain in Singapore last weekend.
Max Verstappen finished the second practice session third fastest and just ahead of Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, while Verstappen’s closest title rival Charles Leclerc could only manage 11th in FP2.
Verstappen holds a 104-point lead over Leclerc at the top of the F1 standings with five races to go, while Red Bull team-mate Perez remains 106 points adrift of the Dutch driver after his win in Singapore.
In short, Verstappen needs to be 112 points clear at the end of the Japanese GP to clinch the title with four races to go. Therefore, Verstappen needs to beat Leclerc by eight points and Perez by six to clinch the title in Japan.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
How can Verstappen seal the F1 World Championship title at the Japanese GP?
If Verstappen wins and sets the fastest lap, he’s champion
If Verstappen wins without the fastest lap and Leclerc gets lower than second
If Verstappen is second, Leclerc is fifth without the fastest lap, or sixth with the fastest lap or lower, Perez will be fifth or lower
If Verstappen is third with the fastest lap, Leclerc will be sixth or lower and Perez fifth or lower
If Verstappen finishes third without the fastest lap, Leclerc will be seventh or lower and Perez fifth or lower
If Verstappen is fourth, Leclerc is eighth or lower, or Perez is seventh without the fastest lap or lower
If Verstappen finishes fifth, Leclerc will be ninth or lower and Perez eighth or lower
If Verstappen is sixth, Leclerc will be eleventh or lower and Perez ninth or lower
Any alternative outcomes that do not fit into these multiple scenarios and the title fight moves on to the United States GP.
When does qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Japan start?
Qualifying for the Japanese GP begins at 3pm local time (7am BST) in the regular format of co-session for Q1, Q2 and Q3.
Date: Saturday 8 October 2022
Start time: 3pm local time – 7am BST
How can I watch Formula 1?
In the UK, Formula 1 is broadcast live on Sky Sports, with highlights shown on Channel 4 several hours after the race has ended. Live streaming via NOW is also available in the UK.
Sky Sports F1, which broadcasts F1 races, can be added as part of the Sky Sports channels at a cost of £20 a month for new customers. Sky Sports can also be accessed through NOW with a one-off daily payment of £11.98 or a monthly membership of £33.99 per month.
How can I see F1 qualifying for the Japanese GP?
In the UK, every F1 practice, qualifying and race will be broadcast live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event, with the Japanese GP qualifying broadcast starting at 06:00 CET on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event.
- Channel: Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event
- Start time: October 8, 2022 at 6:00 AM BST
Autosport will broadcast live text coverage of qualifying here.
Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Pictures
When can I watch the Japanese GP F1 qualifying highlights?
In the UK, Channel 4 will broadcast qualifying highlights for the Japanese GP at 10:50am BST on Saturday. The full program runs for 90 minutes and includes both qualifying and the conclusion of the most important topics of conversation from the race weekend so far.
Throughout the 2022 F1 season, Channel 4 will broadcast highlights of every qualifying session and race of every event. The highlights will also be available on Channel 4’s on-demand services.
- Channel: Channel 4
- Start time: 8 October 2022 at 10:50am BST
Will F1 qualifying for the Japanese GP be broadcast on the radio?
Live radio coverage of every practice session, qualifying session and race for the 2022 F1 season will be available on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC 5 Live Sports Extra or via the BBC Sport website.
Coverage of Japanese GP qualifying begins at 7am BST on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and the BBC Sounds app.
What is the weather forecast for qualifying at Suzuka?
Warm and dry weather conditions with a low probability of rain are forecast for the start of qualifying in Suzuka on Saturday. The temperature should be 25 degrees Celsius at the start of qualifying, three degrees colder than in the last qualifying session for the Singapore GP.
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images