F1 is back and about to become a five-day whirlwind, with the Baku Grand Prix bringing the curtain down on Formula 1’s Euro swing and starting again in Japan and South Korea later this season.
F1 went to Japan in 2012 and has been back regularly since then – leaving our flying supercars, burned tyres and broken vertebrae in its wake – but never without an extra blast of tear gas to clear the country’s streets. But for what you’re allowed to bring?
Getty Images/Tim P. Whitby
Attendees in Japan need to bear in mind that the English language isn’t a first language for everybody
Here’s what you need to know if you’re going to be stepping foot on Japanese soil next month…
Practice 1, Japanese Grand Prix:
Practice 1 is the one race you don’t need to worry about getting to – the team on the track will already be there. But where?
There are some races that have their own people behind the wheel – and you’ll see one big one at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka.
The Korean Grand Prix is the other one.
These two make up the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Equestrian, high speed trials and competitive darts are all staged along the course
Stewards are very much in charge, and you’ll see a briefing on the first day of practice. People have been spotted with World Cup-style nans going through customs the day before.
We can only assume that Final for anyone with pink hair in Japan.
After all, you don’t want to get arrested.
Practice 2, Japanese Grand Prix:
But while there are plenty of Formula 1 cars on the road, there aren’t so many to go around on Suzuka’s main circuit, so more attention is paid to changing out the team’s green livery for that of the country’s teams.
For example, it’s good to make a point that you’re a Jenson Button fan, so ‘Support Juniors’ is certainly one in your collection.
The teams don’t usually run it over the weekend, though, so if you want to make the most of it you’ll need to head there on Friday. And bring a gym bag too.
Practice 3, Japanese Grand Prix:
While there isn’t much testing happening in Japan – plenty of testing in Malaysia, Hungary and Austria – there are some track days that showcase Suzuka.
It can be very testing, so it’s no wonder that a ‘Race Days’ theme was named the big winner from a theme name competition held in recent years, with all three sessions taking place on race days.
Practice 4, Japanese Grand Prix:
Finally, there’s both practice sessions on race days. One is a dry test to check some aspects of the car – all you’ll notice is the odd tyre being added.
The second, which is where most of the really intense testing happens, is much more important and is used by teams to work out their strategies ahead of the race.