Japanese Formula One Grand Prix (Part Two – Saturday Final Practice and Qualifying)

As mentioned in my last post attending the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix was basically the whole purpose of our trip to Japan. Having previously been to the Singapore and Melbourne Formula One Grands Prix we wanted to check out the Japanese version.

Japanese Grand Prix fans take merchandise to the next level, the Ferarri Samurai Fans are certainly dedicated to their team.

I have often read that the Japanese fans are some of the most entertaining and well behaved of all sporting fans and that was certainly true at the Formula One. The fans are so passionate and get so involved with amazing costumes.

So many creative hats and costumes, it is so great to see people getting into their sport and enjoying themselves.

After the rain and general wetness of yesterday’s Friday Practice we were hoping for better weather for the following two days being the Saturday final practice and qualifying and the Sunday Race Day.

So nice to have dry weather for the Saturday sessions, following the rain from yesterday. Fingers crossed that our Australian driver – Daniel Ricciardo can do good work following his strong results in early practice sessions.

If there was to be a negative with attending the event it is that getting to the Suzuka track is a little slow of a morning as well as getting home in the evening. That is purely due to the fact that we are staying in Nagoya which is at least a 60 minute journey each way to and from the track.

The Lotus of Romain Grosjean managed to make it to 8th on the grid for Saturday Qualifying

The choice to stay at Nagoya was purely a financial decision as well as one of convenience. There are hotels located close to the circuit but these are snapped up by the Formula One teams and sponsors. As well as being rather expensive around race weekend. Nagoya is the closest “big” city to the track which also means that it has better transport connections for your onwards journey in Japan.

Thankfully we were blessed with better weather today – glorious sunshine which made it so much easier to get around and enjoy the racing.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen could only make sixth on the grid for the 2015 Japanese Grand prix, however he usually has a great race strategy so is expected to be able to make up a few places for tomorrow’s race.

Saturday Free Practice Three was pretty good, especially for our Aussie driver Daniel Ricciardo who was third fasted after practice. Behind Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton in his #44 Mercedes, only managed second place on the grid behind his teammate Nico Rosberg following a disrupted Qualifying session.

Qualifying wasn’t as successful for the Ricciardo and he was only able to make 7th on the grid. Overall the session was interesting with a number of red flags and stoppages meaning it was tough for all drivers to get a clean run.

Valtteri Bottas in his #77 Williams-Mercedes managed a very respectable third place on the grid following qualifying. The challenge will be to convert that into a good result on raceday tomorrow.

Between the sessions was also a great chance to try some of the amazing food and drink options available on track. Behind most of the main seating areas are a wide range of food and beverage options.

Beer and Karaage Chicken, it is always important to ensure you stay hydrated and well fed when attending outdoor events. You will not be starved for options at the Japanese Grand Prix

As a tip though it is worth timing things to go buy your food while the action is still happening on the track, as during the breaks the lines got pretty long and seating areas very cramped.

These little (not so little) chippies were well worth the wait. Freshly cooked they were amazing.

I have mentioned a couple of times how well run, clean and well organised this event was. It is also lovely to see most of the local fans worked hard to keep it clean, by putting their rubbish in the provided bins rather than leaving it on the ground or their seats for others to clean up later.

So many food and drink vendors around the track you have plenty of options. There are plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.

The only part of the day that was probably a little slow was the lines for the train after the event, as is often expected at an event of this size the lines for the train were a little long, they did move quite efficiently though, but the busy trains also meant you will probably be standing for the bulk of the 60-90 minutes back to Nagoya.

The lines back at the train station were a little long but overall not too bad. The staff and station attendants managed the crowd very well to ensure it was orderly and well managed.

We didn’t make it back to our hotel until early evening, so by the time we showered and changed there wasn’t much to do but head out for some dinner and a drink before heading back to rest for tomorrow’s Raceday.