(Reuters) – Formula One statistics for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, round 16 of the 22-race championship:
Lap distance: 5.807km. Total distance: 307.471km (53 laps)
2022 pole position: Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull one minute 29.304 seconds
2022 race winner: Verstappen
Race lap record: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes, 2019: One minute 30.983 seconds.
Start time: 0500GMT (1400 local)
Red Bull will retain their constructors’ championship if they score one point more than Mercedes and Ferrari do not outscore them by 24.
Red Bull currently have a 308-point advantage over Mercedes and 332 over Ferrari, with only 309 points — including those from sprint races and fastest laps — still to be won after Suzuka.
Should Red Bull end the weekend only 309 points clear of Mercedes, they will still be champions on race wins.
Sunday’s race will be the 37th Japanese Grand Prix in world championship history and 33rd at Suzuka.
The narrow, high-speed circuit is old-style in a figure-of-eight layout, with fast corners Degner 1 and 2, Spoon and 130R, taken at 295kph.
Of current drivers, Hamilton has won five times in Japan (2007 at Fuji, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018) and Fernando Alonso twice (2006 Suzuka and 2008 Fuji). Other winners are Verstappen (2022) and Valtteri Bottas (2019).
Mercedes have won six of the last seven Japanese Grands Prix.
Ferrari last won at Suzuka, a Honda-owned circuit, with Michael Schumacher in 2004. The German won the Japanese Grand Prix a record six times.
In 32 races at Suzuka, the winner has come from the front row on 27 occasions and been on pole in 16. Kimi Raikkonen won from 17th on the grid in 2005 with McLaren.
Nine of the last 16 winners have started on pole.
AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda is the only Japanese driver on the starting grid.
Verstappen has won 12 of 15 races this season, his record run of 10 wins in a row ending in Singapore last Sunday.
The Dutch driver has 47 wins from 178 starts and is fifth on the all-time list. Alain Prost, with 51, is fourth.
Red Bull have won 14 of 15 races, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz winning in Singapore. Red Bull have also had a team record six one-two finishes in 2023.
Hamilton has a record 103 victories from 325 starts but has not won since Saudi Arabia in December 2021. Aston Martin’s Alonso has 32 wins, most recently in Spain in 2013 with Ferrari, from a record 370 starts.
Formula One leader Max Verstappen blew away all doubts about Red Bull’s enduring dominance on Saturday with a “mighty” pole lap in Japan ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris..
Red Bull have been on pole 10 times this season. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took the top slot in Azerbaijan and Belgium, Hamilton in Hungary and Sainz in Italy and Singapore. Verstappen has nine poles for 2023.
Six teams and 10 drivers have made a podium appearance this season: Red Bull, Alpine, Aston Martin, McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari.
Verstappen’s fifth place in Singapore was the first time he had been off the podium since Brazil last November.
Verstappen holds the record for most podiums in a season — 18 in 2021 — and has had 14 so far in 2023. Michael Schumacher is the only driver to have finished on the podium in every race of a season, in 2002.
Verstappen leads team mate Sergio Perez by 151 points.
AlphaTauri stand-in Liam Lawson took his first points with ninth place in Singapore, making him the 350th driver to score in a Formula One world championship event.
Seven different drivers have taken fastest laps this season – Alonso, Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou, Verstappen (6), Perez (2), Hamilton (3), Mercedes’s George Russell and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.