Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix 2024: Three Things to Expect Ahead of the Suzuka Race

Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix 2024: Three Things to Expect Ahead of the Suzuka Race

Ero Samson
updated at April 3, 2024 at 7:45 PM
  • The Formula 1 paddock heads to Suzuka for the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix
  • The iconic race in Suzuka has often treated fans to an iconic racing spectacle
  • Sports Brief highlights key things to expect ahead of the 2024 race edition

The 2024 Formula 1 season rolls on with another enthralling Japanese Grand Prix next on the calendar.

The race held at the iconic Suzuka Circuit has become synonymous with crowning champions in recent years.

However, the 2024 edition would certainly not have any of these elements attached to the race as it will be held earlier than usual — this is in line with the sport's policy to ensure reduced travel time across the globe for participating teams.

Formula 1, Daniel Ricciardo, F1, Japanese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton, Suzuka.
Daniel Ricciardo's Formula 1 future hangs in the balance following his poor start to the season. Image: Peter Cox.
Source: Getty Images

Nonetheless, despite none having the element of crowning the champion as it has in recent times, the race is no less iconic as is set to feature a flurry of narrative that would undoubtedly leave spectators and stakeholders of the sport at the edge of their seat.

As we approach the race weekend, Sports Brief presents three key points to anticipate at the Suzuka circuit.

Things to expect at the Japanese Grand Prix

Mercedes resurgence

Mercedes have faced a challenging start to the season, with the double DNFs recorded in the last race in Australia marking their second-worst beginning to a Formula 1 campaign in their 15-year history.

In a surprising turn, driver, Lewis Hamilton, shifted his opinion of the W15 car from being one of the best in recent years to calling it 'undrivable', as reported by Planet F1.

With only 26 points so far, Mercedes has fallen short of their usual high standards.

Despite not bringing any significant upgrades to their car for the Japanese Grand Prix, Mercedes are expected to make significant progress.

This optimism is fueled by the presence of team boss, Toto Wolff, and the extensive hours the drivers have spent in the simulator, all of which are anticipated to pay off in Suzuka.

Daniel Ricciardo's form

Another notable driver to keep a close watch on at the Japanese Grand Prix is Daniel Ricciardo.

So far, the Visa Cash App RB (VCARB) driver has had a Formula 1 season to forget. However, with plenty of points to prove, especially considering the circumstances surrounding his return to the sport midway through the 2023 season, the Australian surely has to respond with one of his iconic driving styles.

Reports of the 34-year-old potentially being replaced mid-season by Liam Lawson are gradually resurfacing. The best way for Ricciardo to respond will be to silence his critics with an impressive outing in Suzuka.

A statement from Red Bull

The Austrian team proved they were fallible after all with their subpar performance at the Australian Grand Prix.

Since the shift to the ground-effect era in 2022, the Milton Keynes-based team has largely dominated the field, but their lacklustre results at Albert Park have injected some much-needed intrigue into what was shaping up to be a predictable Formula 1 season.

The disappointing showing in Australia seems to have lit a fire under the Austrian team, with echoes from Red Bull ahead of the Japanese race focused on making a statement on the track.

In 2023, when Red Bull faced a similar situation following the Singapore Grand Prix, it took only 23 laps for Max Verstappen to establish a 28-second lead over his nearest challenger.

There is high anticipation that a repeat of this commanding performance could be in the cards for the Austrian powerhouse.

Japanese Grand Prix Preview

In a recent report, Sports Brief provided a comprehensive preview and predictions for the upcoming Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix.

Set to take place in Suzuka, this race represents a crucial stage in the 2024 season's Asian leg. Several teams, including Mercedes, are particularly focused on enhancing their performance after the challenges faced in the previous three races.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).
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