Sky Sports F1's 2013 Japanese GP schedule
Lots to look forward to across our race weekend coverage!
By Sky Sports Online. Last Updated: 11/10/13 10:13am
There may be no getting away from the early starts for Sky Sports F1's live Japanese GP coverage this week, but if there's any circuit that deserves an anti-social alarm call then it's Suzuka - a Formula 1 byword for speed, history and drama.
Described this week as Lewis Hamilton as a "real race track" that puts a driver's levels of precision and concentration to the fullest test, Suzuka is also synonymous with title-deciding races and this year could be no different as Sebastian Vettel, after his latest win in Korea last week, has an outside chance of clinching his fourth straight crown come Sunday.
The likelihood of the sport's form man doing just that at the end of the 53-lap race will be a running discussion throughout the weekend - starting from the World Champion's appearance in Thursday morning's Drivers' Press Conference live on the channel - but Sky Sports F1 also have plenty of features lined up to take you right into the heart of what makes Suzuka such a special venue.
As a reward for waking up early - or simply going without much shut-eye - on Friday night for Practices One and Two, the morning's breakfast time edition of The F1 Show at 10am will include several unmissable features. The first of these is a Track Walk with a difference as Natalie Pinkham joins the engineers out on the 5.8km figure-of-eight circuit as they assess with their drivers the intricacies of the track, while Natalie will also find out what makes the local fans just so fanatical about F1.
Indeed, while Friday's F1 track action may end when the chequered flag drops at the end of P2, in the garages the tireless crews work through the evening and into the night to prepare their cars for Qualifying day. So, to get to the heart of just what goes on, Friday's show will have never before seen access to the heart of the garages as teams strip down their cars and rebuild them for Saturday. It's sure to be a fascinating insight - don't miss it.
Plus, that's not all for The F1 Show, as in addition to all the usual practice reaction and analysis, we'll hear from Marussia's highly-rated Jules Bianchi in an interview with Martin Brundle and also look back at some of F1's funniest moments from yesteryear after the bewildering appearance of the fire truck at the head of the Korean GP field!
The Suzuka track action resumes on Saturday with Practice Three at 2.45am before our Qualifying show at 5am. During our hour-long build-up to Q1 we'll really begin to get to the heart of why the drivers love coming to Suzuka. One man who has a special affinity for Japan is Jenson Button and we've got the 2011 victor, who readily admits the country is his second home, to give us the ultimate Suzuka masterclass. Part One will be shown during the Qualy show, with the concluding section in Sunday's race build-up.
Button's McLaren team are the most successful constructor in Japanese GP history with nine wins and many of their defining moments have come at Suzuka, however their 2013 struggles mean a tenth victory is highly unlikely this weekend. Fellow British team Williams are another who have some golden Suzuka memories - our very own Damon Hill's 1996 title win chief among them - but, like McLaren, this season has proved hugely disappointing. So, in a two-pronged attack, we'll reminisce over both teams' golden Japanese moments and then assess where they both go from here heading towards 2014.
Our third set-piece Saturday feature comes from the driver of the race in Korea, Nico Hulkenberg, who joins Johnny Herbert at the SkyPad to reflect on his brilliant run to fourth.
Now on to the 5.30am Sunday Race Show on Sunday. In addition to the second part of Button's circuit masterclass, we'll have a look back at Suzuka's rich F1 history ahead of a race that could prove to be its 12th championship-clinching grand prix. Natalie will also be out on the track parade, the Sky F1 team will attempt to hear from as many drivers and key figures as possible, and lots, lots more besides!
Whether it's the potential to see a little piece of F1 history unfold, watch F1 drivers right on the limit around one of the world's greatest tracks or simply sit back and enjoy what will - hopefully! - be a great race then make sure you don't miss any of the race weekend live on Sky Sports F1!
The Japanese GP on Sky Sports F1
Wednesday 9th October
7pm - F1 Midweek Report.
8pm - Classic F1 - 1994 Japanese GP.
9pm - Classic F1 - 1998 Japanese GP.
Thursday 10th October
7am - Drivers' Press Conference - Live!
5pm - Gear Up For Japan.
8pm - Classic F1 - 2000 Japanese GP.
10.30pm - Classic F1 - 2007 Japanese GP.
Friday 11th October
12am - 2012 Japanese GP highlights.
1:45am - Japanese GP Practice One - Live!
5:45am - Japanese GP Practice Two - Live!
8am - Team Principals' Press Conference - Live!
10am - The F1 Show - Live!
11am - Japanese GP Practice One replay.
1:05pm - Japanese GP Practice Two - replay.
4pm - The F1 Show - replay.
6.30pm - Classic F1 - 1989 Japanese GP.
8pm - The F1 Show - replay.
9pm - Japanese GP Practice One replay.
11:05pm - Japanese GP Practice Two - replay.
Saturday 12th October
2:45am - Japanese GP Practice Three - Live!
5am - Japanese GP Qualifying - Live!
8am - Classic F1 - 1994 Japanese GP.
11am - Japanese GP Qualifying replay.
1:45pm - Ted's Qualifying Notebook.
2pm - Classic F1 - 1998 Japanese GP
4.30pm - Japanese GP Qualifying replay.
7.30pm - Classic F1 - 2000 Japanese GP.
10pm - Japanese GP Qualifying replay.
Sunday 13th October
5:30am - The 2013 Japanese GP - Live!
10:15am - GP Uncovered.
11:30am - The 2013 Japanese GP replay.
6pm - 2013 Japanese GP highlights.
7pm - Ted's Race Notebook.
7:15pm - Classic F1 - Japanese GP 2007.
10pm - 2013 Japanese GP highlights.