Japanese Grand Prix: Full coverage

A round-up of all of ESPN's coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton looks to win his ninth race of the season and looks to move one step closer to a fifth title.

2018 Japanese Grand Prix Schedule on ESPN Networks (all times Eastern)

Thursday, October 4
Practice 1 - Thursday, Oct. 4, 8:55 PM - ESPN2

Friday, October 5
Practice 2 - Friday, Oct. 5, 12:55 AM - ESPN2
Practice 3 - Friday, Oct. 5 ,10:55 PM - ESPNEWS

Saturday, October 6
Qualifying - Saturday, Oct. 6, 1:55 AM - ESPN2

Sunday, October 78
On The Grid - Sunday, Oct. 7, 12:30 AM - ESPN2
Race - Sunday, Oct. 7, 1:05 AM - ESPN2
Encore - Sunday, Oct. 7, 1:00 PM - ESPNEWS
Encore - Sunday, Oct. 7, 3:30 PM - ESPN

Race day

Hamilton on verge of title after Japan win, Vettel sixth
Lewis Hamilton has inched ever closer to a fifth world championship after dominating an incident-filled Japanese Grand Prix as title rival Sebastian Vettel once again hit trouble.

Ferrari's 2018 decline summed up by shocking weekend in Suzuka
A round-up of the main talking points from the Japanese Grand Prix, where another disastrous weekend for Ferrari all but handed Lewis Hamilton the 2018 championship.

Alonso says penalty shows 'how bad Formula One is'
Fernando Alonso does not sound like a man who will miss Formula One when he leaves at the end of the season.

Vettel should have been more careful, says Verstappen
Max Verstappen says Sebastian Vettel ought to be "more careful" after the Ferrari driver botched an attempted overtake and the pair collided early on in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Raikkonen admits he could have given Verstappen more space to avoid Suzuka clash
Kimi Raikkonen admits he probably could have avoided contact with Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the Japanese Grand Prix if he had have left the Dutchman a little more room.

Vettel blames Max Verstappen for Japan collision
Sebastian Vettel refused to accept responsibility for his incident with Max Verstappen at the Japanese Grand Prix, one that has seen his title challenge fall in a heap.

Leclerc: Kevin Magnussen is and will always be stupid
Charles Leclerc has labelled Kevin Magnussen as "stupid'' after the pair collided during the Japanese Grand Prix.

Japanese Grand Prix strategy guide
ESPN outlines the key strategy options to the teams ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix

Qualifying day

Hamilton on pole in Japan, Vettel ninth after Ferrari blunder
Lewis Hamilton pipped Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to pole position in Japan as Ferrari misjudged the weather conditions and left Sebastian Vettel on the wrong tyres in Q3.

Hamilton fastest in final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel closes the gap
Sebastian Vettel closed the gap to Lewis Hamilton in the final practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix, finishing the session 0.116s off his title rival.

Story of qualifying: Desperate Ferrari fails again
It seems like Ferrari just can't get anything right at the moment. Here are the main talking points from qualifying at Suzuka, which seemed like another decisive moment in the 2018 championship fight.

Ricciardo furious over yet another Renault engine issue
Daniel Ricciardo was left fuming after suffering yet another engine failure which cut short his qualifying session at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Toro Rosso pokes fun at Fernando Alonso, McLaren in qualifying
Toro Rosso enjoyed its best qualifying of the season at the Japanese Grand Prix, the home race of engine supplier Honda, and the irony of McLaren's struggles in the same session did not seem to be lost on the Italian team.

Vettel defends Ferrari's qualifying tyre gamble
Sebastian Vettel has refused to criticise Ferrari for its tyre gamble in qualifying at the Japanese Grand Prix, saying it had the potential to create a "miracle" result for the team.

Ocon gets grid penalty for red-flag infringement in FP3
Force India's Esteban Ocon has been given a three-place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix after failing to slow sufficiently for red flags in final practice.

Hamilton says Mercedes is better under pressure than Ferrari
Lewis Hamilton labelled Mercedes "the best team in the world" and one that thrives under pressure after outfoxing Ferrari in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Mercedes keeping team orders options open in Japan
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff says he will keep his options open over the use of team orders at the Japanese Grand Prix, but plans to avoid the misunderstandings that occurred at the last race in Russia.

Hamilton v Sebastian Vettel isn't a battle any more, says Verstappen
Max Verstappen has declared the once-enthralling world championship battle is well and truly over after Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position at the Japanese Grand Prix and Sebastian Vettel was left ruing another costly error.

Alonso, 18th, makes another 'best lap ever' claim
Fernando Alonso has added another lap to the list he is compiling of his greatest performances -- the one which earned him the 18th spot on the grid for Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

Friday practice

Hamilton leads comfortable Mercedes one-two in second practice
Lewis Hamilton has capped off a dominant day for Mercedes at Suzuka by topping the timesheets in second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton tops opening practice in Japan, Sebastian Vettel struggles
It looks as though Lewis Hamilton will once again be the man to beat after comfortably topping the opening practice session at the Japanese Grand Prix as title-rival Sebastian Vettel struggled for pace.

Verstappen: Japan one of my worst Fridays of the season
A furious Max Verstappen has labelled his Friday in Japan as "one of the worst this season" after struggling during practice all day in his Red Bull for confidence and grip.

Vettel: Ferrari will go aggressive but won't 'commit suicide'
In the hope of closing the gap to Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel has vowed to go aggressive with his race strategy at the Japanese Grand Prix, but says Ferrari will stop short of employing silly tactics to try to win.

Bottas expecting Ferrari, Red Bull to make overnight gains
Mercedes may have dominated Friday practice at Suzuka but Valtteri Bottas says the team is expecting a much closer fight for pole position at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Japanese Grand Prix: Who said what after practice
ESPN rounds up all the reaction from up and down the Sochi paddock following practice for the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton shocked by Mercedes' early pace advantage in Japan
Lewis Hamilton admits he was surprised to see such a gap between himself and the rest of the field after Friday practice at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Wolff not thinking Lewis Hamilton has 2018 Formula One championship 'in the bag'
Toto Wolff has dismissed suggestions that Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have both titles wrapped up after building sizeable leads in both the drivers' and constructors' championships with five rounds to go.

Ferrari: New FIA sensor not the reason for performance slump
Maurizio Arrivabene says a new FIA sensor fitted to the Ferrari's battery is not the reason for Sebastian Vettel's recent drop in form.


Bottas prepared to accept more team orders in the future
Valtteri Bottas is prepared to face more team orders this season, but says each situation will be judged on its individual circumstances.

Vettel: I am not taking a 'now or never' approach in Japan
He may be a season-high 50 points adrift of Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' championship but Sebastian Vettel is refusing to treat this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix as a "now or never" race.

Alonso says Mercedes should ignore 'jealous' critics of team orders
Fernando Alonso has defended Mercedes' use of team orders in Russia, saying critics of the decision are simply jealous of the team's current dominance of Formula One.

Ricciardo desperate for a return to the podium in Japan
Daniel Ricciardo only has five races left at Red Bull before he makes his off-season move to Renault and he is desperate for a return to the podium, knowing full well how difficult they will be to attain next year.

Leclerc set for tough Japanese Grand Prix debut with memory of Jules Bianchi's death
Charles Leclerc admits this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix will be "very difficult" and full of emotion, given the fatal crash in 2014 that killed his godfather Jules Bianchi.


Japanese Grand Prix preview: Mercedes' team orders making Vettel's life difficult
Wins in Singapore and Russia have seen Lewis Hamilton skip further ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' championship as Formula One arrives at Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix.


Will new spec engine give Honda the edge over Renault?
Craig Scarborough tells Jennie Gow how he thinks the new spec Honda engine will compare to Renault's.

Can Force India beat McLaren to sixth place?
After restarting from zero points, Force India are already within striking distance of McLaren's sixth place in the constructors standings.

Ricciardo eyes return to the podium in Japan
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen look ahead to the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Pit Stop: Time for Bottas to leave Mercedes?
Jennie Gow and Craig Scarborough answer your questions on Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and the driver merry-go-round.