The Japanese Grand Prix has been held 34 times so far. Four have been held on the Mont Fuji track, including the first race of Formula One here in Japan in
1976, the last race of the season. One race went down in history because of Ferrari’s Niki Lauda, who refused to race after his terrible accident at the
Nürburgring, when he considered the more than adverse weather conditions at the Japanese GP, handing over the World Title to his competitor James Hunt.
Considering that the Japanese Grand Prix has traditionally been held towards the end of the season, Suzuka has often been the kingmaker amongst the GPs: after two Drivers’ Titles lost here by Ferrari in 1998 and 1999, the Scuderia was back in 2000 with a win by Michael Schumacher, guaranteeing him the Drivers’ Title, which hadn’t been to Maranello for over 20 years. Suzuka crowned Michael Schumacher again in 2003, while in 2006 the German had to retire due to an engine failure. The Scuderia won 7 times at the Japanese GP, all victories on the track of Suzuka: five with Michael Schumacher (1997, 2000-2002, 2004), one with Rubens Barrichello (2003) and one with Gerhard Berger (1987).
Since 2014, Mercedes has scored five straight wins at the Suzuka Circuit, as Scuderia Ferrari will be looking to end their unbeaten run with a victory in the event which will take place next weekend.
FERRARI HALL OF FAME – SUZUKA