nof1l.gif (4731 bytes)

F1 Merchandise

8 'n' Pole

2003 Japanese Grand Prix 
Race Preview  

blank.gif (809 bytes)
blank.gif (809 bytes)
Main Page
Formula 1 News
2016 F1 Schedule
2016 F1 Line-up
2015 F1 Results
F1 Teams
F1 Drivers
NewsOnF1 Mobile
10 'n' Pole
Register - Submit
F1 Regulations
The Forums
Live F1 Coverage
Time & Weather
Motorsport Shop
Motorsport Calendar

F1 Merchandise UK
F1 Merchandise USA

F1 Tours
F1 Tickets
F1 Diecast
F1 Videos
F1 Games
F1 Trivia
NewsOnF1 on Twitter
MotoGP Tickets
Past Formula 1 Seasons
2015 F1 Results
2014 F1 Results
2013 F1 Results
2012 F1 Results
2011 F1 Results
2010 F1 Results
2009 F1 Results
2008 F1 Results
2007 F1 Results
2006 F1 Results
2005 F1 Results
2004 F1 Results
2003 F1 Results

2002 F1 Results

2001 F1 Results

2000 F1 Results

1999 F1 Results

1998 F1 Results

1997 F1 Results
2010 World Cup
Contact Us
Your Say
Diagnosis & Prognosis
By the Heretic
Controversy Corner
The Real Race
By the Quali-flyer
F1 Testing
F1 Team Reports
10 'n' Pole till 2012
8 'n' Pole
2006 World Cup

Download the
powered by Alexa

 '14  '13  '12  '11  '10  '09  '08  '07  '06 
 '05  '04  '03  '02  '01  '00  '99  '98  '97


Drivers Championship Constructors Championship
Main Japanese GP Page
Track Layout (from the FIA)
Results & Reports

Both titles are still up for grabs

Michael Schumacher very nearly clinched the Drivers' title at Indianapolis but thanks to Kimi Raikkonen, the Drivers' title is going down to the wire even though Kimi has a very slim chance of beating Michael. He must win the race and the McLaren isn't the strongest car and Williams want to win to secure the Constructors title. Additionally, Michael must not score any points and given that Michael has only once (in Brazil) failed to score a point this season, the title is pretty much going Michael's way. 
The Constructors' title is a lot different and Ferrari are only leading by three points from Williams. Both teams will want to finish both their cars and stay out of trouble. If the Ferraris can stay ahead of  the Williams' then they'll win the title but that scenario is only likely if it rains. If it doesn't then the Ferrari is likely to struggle at this track due to the tyres and then Williams will be able to clinch the title. 
McLaren have no chance of winning the title but they have a mathematical chance of finishing second (if they finish 1-2 and both Williams cars only score 1 point!). Renault is secure in 4th but then for 5th there is an even closer fight than at the top. Sauber have all of a sudden jumped into 5th thanks to the wet conditions at Indianapolis and they are 1 point ahead of both BAR and Jaguar. Even Toyota who are 5 points behind Sauber can join the fight if their cars turns out to be good on this track. The problem for all these teams is that scoring just 1 point is very hard as they not only have to be very competitive within their group but also rely on one or more of the leading cars to struggle!. 
So there is lots to play for at Suzuka!

Last week a number of teams were testing at different venues. McLaren had 3 test drivers at Silverstone, Ferrari, BAR and Minardi were at Mugello and Williams and Toyota were at Jerez. The teams concentrated on setup work for the Japanese Grand Prix as well as testing new components for next season. 

Ferrari: They got the break at Indianapolis with the weather which helped Michael nearly clinch the title. Unfortunately for Barrichello he was spun out of the race, had he not, Ferrari would now be leading by a good margin in the Constructors. Japan will be hard on the Bridgestone runners and they will struggle unless it rains. If it stays dry, it will be hard for Ferrari to win the Constructors title.
Reliability 9.5/10 - Speed 9.0/10

Drivers: Michael Schumacher is in a very comfortable position for the Drivers' title. He just has to finish in the points, something that shouldn't be too difficult. 
He has dominated Suzuka in the past sitting on Pole for the last 5 years and winning the last 3 years in a row. This year however, he will find it hard to compete with the Williams and possibly McLaren and Renault due to his tyres. A points finish ? yes, a podium ? unlikely.

Rubens Barrichello was pushed out of the race by Juan Pablo Montoya. He needs to stay out of trouble here to help Ferrari in the Constructors battle. Again he is likely to score some points but not many.

Williams: They need to recover from the shock they received at Indianapolis. With Ralf Schumacher out and Juan Pablo Montoya finishing 6th they lost the lead in the Constructors' title fight. They should be able to beat Ferrari on this track thanks to their Michelin tyres. 
Reliability 9.5/10 - Speed 9.5/10

Drivers: Juan Pablo Montoya has lost in his fight for the title and can only finish second or third but his team needs him to help them win the Constructors. Montoya's performance in Suzuka will show if he has given up on this season because he lost his fight or if he is a team player willing to help his team despite his loss. A win is possible. 

Ralf Schumacher spun off in Indy in the wet when the team needed as much points as possible. It is amazing with Ralf, the first 10 races he finishes in the points every time then in the last 5 races he only finishes once in the points. What a contrast! 
He has to do well here as not only does the team want his points but he is fighting with Barrichello and Alonso for 4th in the Drivers' title. A podium is possible. 

McLaren: They have no chance of the Constructors title and a very slim chance for second. Their efforts would be concentrated on getting a win for Kimi Raikkonen and hoping that Michael suffers a problem. Their car though isn't the best out there and on this track they'll have competition from Ferrari, Williams and Renault. 
Reliability 9.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10

Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen kept his chances alive in the Drivers' title but they are very small. He could win the race but having Michael finish outside the points will be hard. A podium finish is possible.

David Coulthard continues to struggle and has had two retirements in a row now. He is still driving for McLaren next year. Why when there are other drivers that can push Raikkonen further, I don't know

Renault: They did well with Trulli at Indianapolis despite the conditions. Alonso went out with an engine failure and that is something the team is addressing for next season. They are secure in 4th in the Constructors fight but Suzuka is another track that will suit them so provided it is dry, they may surprise again.
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10

Drivers: Fernando Alonso retired at Indianapolis with an engine failure. He needs to finish ahead of both Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello is he wants to grab 4th in the Drivers' title and if he can do that, it will be an amazing achievement for the young Spaniard. 

Jarno Trulli did well at Indianapolis and finished 4th but he can't catch anyone ahead of him in the Drivers' title and is fairly safe from being caught by Mark Webber so 8th will be his likely finishing place in this year's championship. At Suzuka he'll finish in the points. 

Sauber: Jumped from 9th to 5th following the US GP thanks to the wet conditions. They'll be hoping that the top 4 teams will take all the available points so they can stay in 5th. 
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 7.0/10

Drivers: Heinz Harald Frentzen delivered a good result for Sauber but it looks as if he'll be put of the team following Suzuka. Don't expect points.

Nick Heidfeld gave the team a few more points after the embarrassment of Monza. Still it doesn't look like he'll be staying at the team for next season either. At Suzuka don't expect points.

BAR: They are tied with Jaguar on points but lead them in the order. Like Sauber, they'll be hoping that the top 4 teams grab all the points, otherwise they are in trouble and Jaguar will get ahead of them.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 8.0/10

Drivers: Jenson Button retired at Indianapolis with an engine problem. At their home track, Honda are promising a 'super special' engine specification. Let hope it doesn't have a 'super special' blowout. Regardless, Button will struggle for points.

Jacques Villeneuve will race his last race for BAR here and possibly won't be coming back in 2004. It is a sad ending to his 5 year partnership with the team. Villeneuve hasn't been motivated for most of the season so don't expect him to be motivated at Suzuka. 

Jaguar: They managed to score a point and equal BAR at Indianapolis thanks to Justin Wilson. They should be able to finish ahead of both Sauber and BAR but whether they'll be able to score points or not will depend on how the top teams will shape.
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 7.5/10

Drivers: Mark Webber made an unusual mistake at Indianapolis under wet conditions. Expect him to recover and do well at Suzuka. Points are possible.

Justin Wilson has finally completed a race distance with Jaguar and also scored a point. It won't be easy at Suzuka where he'll have to learn this track.

Toyota: They are likely to remain in 8th place as scoring 5 or 6 points will be very hard. But being their home grand prix, they may be motivated enough to at least try.
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 8.0/10

Drivers: Cristiano da Matta will struggle as he learns this track but he has proved in the past that he is a quick learner. He may be able to score a point.

Olivier Panis retired from the US GP after spinning in the wet. He can do better in Japan and the team will be hoping that he'll deliver. Like da Matta, he may score a point.

Jordan: Eddie Jordan will be glad to see the end of the season. Hopefully they can sort their finances out and make a comeback next season.  
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 6.5/10

Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella scored 2 points at Indianapolis thanks to the rain. He'll be hoping for rain here too. Otherwise he'll be out of the points. 
Fisichella will also be glad to be out of Jordan. Lets hope his next season with Sauber turns out better.

Ralph Firman should be familiar with this track as he used to race here before moving to Formula 1. He should match and possible beat Fisichella but they'll be near the back!. 

Minardi: They look like finishing the season with no points. Lets hope they can improve for next year.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 6.0/10

Drivers: Jos Verstappen is likely to have his last race with the team here. He didn't impress this season so don't expect him to be back next season.

Nicolas Kiesa managed to finish the race at Indy but 4 laps down. He hasn't been impressive either and may not return to F1 next season.

Join 8 'n' Pole and see how your predictions stack up against the others. 
Register now !

Race Preview

Main Japanese GP Page

Fan Reviews




Friday Practice Results Report Results
Friday Qualifying Results Report Results
First Saturday Practice Results   Results
Second Saturday Practice Results   Results
Saturday Qualifying Results Report Results
Race Results Report Results

What the teams and drivers said
Friday - Saturday - Sunday

Back to Top


F1 Merchandise US

F1 Merchandise UK

Motorsport Magazines

Formula 1 Annuals

Formula 1 Yearbooks

Formula 1 Season Reviews

Formula 1 Technical Books

Formula 1 Design Books

Ayrton Senna

Past Formula 1 Drivers

Official 2004 F1 Season Review

Autocourse 2004 Annual

F1 World Championship Yearbook 2004

The Official Tribute To Ayrton Senna
1960 To 1994

Formula 1 Technical Analysis: 2003

Chariot Makers: Assembling the Perfect Formula 1 Car

The Science of
F1 Design

The Complete Book of Formula One: All Cars and Drivers Since 1950

Auto Magazines

Formula 1 Books

Race Driving Books

Race Car Design Books