The race requires the drivers to tackle the 18 corners of the 5.8 kilometre track a total of 53 times. It's a technical and spectacular track thanks to a wide variety of different corner types, from the notorious Hairpin, to chicanes and high speed corners such as the fearsome 130R. The track is the only one on the Formula 1 calendar to feature a figure of eight layout with part of the track flying over another and it is very hard to get to grips with. Nevertheless, it is one of the best loved for drivers and spectators alike.
The Japanese track, with its long flowing sections requires a car to have a good aero balance, which is vital when it comes to tackling turns such as the 130R. As for the power unit, it gets worked extremely hard, with the engine running at maximum revs for 63% of the lap and there's a full 14 seconds of pedal to the metal down the back straight.
The abrasive track surface and high lateral forces put quite a strain on tyres, while the brakes are not particularly stressed, despite there being four heavy braking points. That's because they are quite well spaced out and therefore the brake system has time to cool down in between hits. The three tyre compounds brought here by Pirelli are the Medium, Soft and Supersoft, the same selection used in the last race in Malaysia. The front right is the tyre that gets the hardest time, especially through the 130R, which cars tackle at over 300 km/h.