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Tag: Japan

Mazda revealing new flagship at L.A. Auto Show

The show is open to the public from 1-10 December.

Mazda Motor Corporation will unveil a thoroughly re-engineered and refined Mazda6 sedan to the world at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show. Mazda’s human-centred design philosophy provided the basis for the latest version of the brand’s flagship, which features new powertrain technology and more premium design details.


The powertrain line-up includes the SKYACTIV-G 2.5-litre direct injection petrol engine with a cylinder deactivation system that seamlessly switches between four and two-cylinder operation to further improve real-world fuel efficiency at no cost to performance. The turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T petrol engine that debuted with the Mazda CX-9 crossover SUV, meanwhile, will also be added to the range of powertrains offered in North America.


As for the styling, designers have enhanced the feeling of quality inside and outside the new Mazda6, adding maturity and composure to its award-winning look. The top package features exclusive trim elements like the Japanese sen wood used for traditional musical instruments and furniture. The design is simply more elegant and dignified overall.


An even wider range of advanced i-ACTIVSENSE safety technology is available to help the driver identify potential risks and reduce the likelihood of damage or injury, thus delivering a more relaxing and confidence-building experience behind the wheel. Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) can now bring the car to a standing stop and take off again when the preceding vehicle pulls away. The new Mazda6 also adds the carmaker’s latest 360° View Monitor.


Other highlights of Mazda’s exhibit in Los Angeles include the highly acclaimed Mazda VISION COUPE, a four-door design concept recently unveiled in Tokyo, the Mazda RT24-P prototype racer and the Mazda MX-5 “Halfie”, a fusion of race car and production model.


Mazda will hold a press conference at 10:30am (19:30 CET) on 29 November, the first of two press days.

Follow the unveiling of the latest edition of the Mazda6 on livestream:


Post photo:

Courtesy of Mazda Motor Europe GmbH


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New WRC era is ready for blast-off in Monte-Carlo

The 2017 WRC will generate more TV content than ever. Over 12,000 hours were broadcast globally in 2016 to a cumulative audience of over 700 million people and this season offers even more for fans.


The build-up and fever pitch expectation is almost over as this week’s Rallye Monte-Carlo (19 – 22 January) heralds the start of one of the most keenly-anticipated FIA World Rally Championship seasons in memory.


Dynamic new-look World Rally Cars will echo through the mountains of the French Alps as four of the world’s biggest automotive manufacturers begin the fight for supremacy in motorsport’s toughest championship for production-based cars.

The 13-round series spans four continents in an 11-month global tour, encompassing extreme temperatures that can reach a scorching 35°C in Sardinia and plunge to a bone-chilling -25°C in the harsh Swedish winter.

Much is new for 2017, and WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla believes the powerful and aggressive cars, developed from a blank sheet of paper to upgraded regulations, will be the stars of the show.

“Our fans are going to love the 2017 WRC! Footage from pre-season testing shows just how exciting these new cars are. A more macho appearance and increased performance will bring smiles to fans’ faces, whether they are watching stage side or on television,” he said.

“There’s a hugely positive feeling throughout the WRC family as we head into the season. The series boasts big names from the automotive industry, and it’s a compliment to the championship’s development that they have chosen to showcase their cars in an environment that offers global visibility from January to November.

“What is so great is the feeling of unpredictability about 2017 because nobody knows which teams, which cars or which drivers will shine. New rules, such as the start order and revised Power Stage points, have been put in place to ensure down-to-the-wire competition and I’m sure we will see many thrilling battles,” he said.

The Teams
Toyota, the world’s biggest selling car manufacturer, returns to the WRC after a 17-year absence. The Japanese giant is joined by multiple champion Citroën, which is back after a year’s sabbatical. Ford, in the guise of the British M-Sport team, and Hyundai, runners-up in both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ series in 2016, complete a stellar line-up.

The Cars
Aggressive, loud and moody – they are the new lightweight World Rally Cars that will battle for tenths of a second on dirt, asphalt, snow and ice.

They are bigger everywhere with larger bumpers at the front and rear and extended door sills which increase the width and provide increased safety. Larger aero devices, and more of them, including a huge spoiler and diffuser at the rear and a front splitter add to the ‘bulldog’ look.

Beneath the bonnet a wider restrictor on the turbocharger increases power from the 1600cc direct injection engine to 380PS. Electronic trickery in the form of an active central differential gives drivers a helping hand in balancing their cars.

The Drivers
The biggest news of the short end-of-year break was the decision of four-time world champion Sébastien Ogier to sign for M-Sport, for whom he will carry #1 on the doors of his Fiesta WRC. The Frenchman is joined by rising star Ott Tänak and Elfyn Evans.

Toyota has opted for an all-Finnish line-up of Jari-Matti Latvala, Juho Hänninen and Esapekka Lappi, while Citroën has chosen the youth of Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre to join lead driver Kris Meeke.

There are no changes at Hyundai which has kept faith with its strong 2016 squad of Thierry Neuville, Hayden Paddon and Dani Sordo.

The Rallies
The championship comprises the same 13 demanding rounds as in 2016, but the order has been given a reshuffle. Corsica moves forward from September to April to provide a better balance of gravel and asphalt rounds. Monte-Carlo opens the season and Australia provides the finale.

Two rallies have changed their structure. Rally Sweden will operate around a central location at Torsby, while ADAC Rallye Deutschland has a new base at Bostalsee in northern Saarland.

The 2017 WRC will generate more TV content than ever. Over 12,000 hours were broadcast globally in 2016 to a cumulative audience of over 700 million people and this season offers even more for fans.

The Sunday lunchtime rally-ending Power Stage programme, now established as a firm fixture across all rounds, will increase from 60 to 90 minutes. It will feature more interviews, extended coverage of the podium ceremony and reaction to the final result from the service park. Also new for this year is another regular live stage on Saturday afternoons.

Watch every stop of the WRC live on Red Bull TV this season. 



How will defending champion Seb Ogier perform in his first race for M-Sport?

Thu-Sun, Jan 19-22 – Text, photos & videos – Live on Red Bull TV

Mon, Jan 23 – Behind the scenes round up.

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The Crew from RJN Motorsport tell us about how they got into motorsport

The crew from RJN Motorsport tell us about how they got into motorsport and their advice if you want a career with a pro racing team. Find out what the high’s and low’s are when working with a GT-R NISMO GT3 Supercar everyday of the week!


The crew from RJN Motorsport tell us about how they got into motorsport and their advice if you want a career with a pro racing team. Find out what the high’s and low’s are when working with a GT-R NISMO GT3 Supercar everyday of the week!

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Pirelli – Japanese GP Race Report – 2016



2016 Japanese Grand Prix – Race




Suzuka, October 9, 2016 – The Japanese Grand Prix lived up to its action-packed reputation, with plenty of overtaking and a wide variety of tyre strategies at work. A two-stop soft-hard-hard strategy proved to be the most popular option, used by all the top three.

Nico Rosberg won the race after making a perfect start from pole and resisting attempts by the Red Bull drivers to ‘undercut’ him by making their first pit stops early. The other Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton stayed out slightly longer to gain track position, eventually finishing third after slipping down to eighth following a poor start.

At the final pit stops he got past Vettel, who ran the soft tyres for his final stint. Hamilton used the extra durability of the hard tyres to challenge Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for second in the closing stages, setting up an unpredictable finale.

Not everybody followed the two-stop strategy though: Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa stopped only once and both finished in the points. Both Renaults and  Saubers also stopped only once.

All three tyre compounds were seen at the start of the race, with the top 10 all starting on softs, while the one-stoppers began on either the medium or the hard tyre. Force India was the only team to use all three compounds during the race.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “There was plenty of overtaking and tactics at work in Suzuka, with the three compounds we made available providing a wide variety of options when it came to how to run the strategy. The dry weather and absence of safety cars meant that we had two stops for most of the field, but there were some other options that worked well too, including a one-stopper at one of the most demanding circuits of the year in terms of tyre usage. Congratulations to Mercedes for another constructors’ title.”

Fastest times of the day by compound

Hard Medium Soft
First HAM 1m35.152s PER 1m36.756s VET 1m35.118s
Second RIC 1m35.511s HUL 1m37.351s ROS 1m37.112s
Third RAI 1m35.990s MAG 1m38.036s BUT 1m37.177s

Longest stint of the race:

Hard Massa, Kvyat 29 laps
Medium Nasr, Magnussen 27
Soft Vettel 19

Truthometer: On Saturday a three-stop strategy looked to be theoretically fastest. Instead, Nico Rosberg used two stops to win the grand prix, starting on the used softs, stopping after 12 laps for hards and after 29 laps for hards again.


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Japanese GP – Race result

I really enjoyed this race, just a bit too much “blue flag” …

Nico Rosberg extended his championship lead to 33 points with victory in Sunday’s 2016 Formula 1 Emirates Japanese Grand Prix

From Formula1.com

1 6 Nico Rosberg MERCEDES 53 1:26:43.333
2 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 53 +4.978s
3 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 53 +5.776s
4 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 53 +20.269s
5 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 53 +28.370s
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 53 +33.941s
7 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 53 +57.495s
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 53 +59.177s
9 19 Felipe Massa WILLIAMS MERCEDES 53 +97.763s
10 77 Valtteri Bottas WILLIAMS MERCEDES 53 +98.323s
11 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 53 +99.254s
12 30 Jolyon Palmer RENAULT 52 +1 lap
13 26 Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO FERRARI 52 +1 lap
14 20 Kevin Magnussen RENAULT 52 +1 lap
15 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 52 +1 lap
16 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 52 +1 lap
17 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO FERRARI 52 +1 lap
18 22 Jenson Button MCLAREN HONDA 52 +1 lap
19 12 Felipe Nasr SAUBER FERRARI 52 +1 lap
20 21 Esteban Gutierrez HAAS FERRARI 52 +1 lap
21 31 Esteban Ocon MRT MERCEDES 52 +1 lap
22 94 Pascal Wehrlein MRT MERCEDES 52 +1 lap
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Pirelli – 2016 Japanese GP Qualifying

The post also include an overview over tyre sets available for the race “Infographics”

2016 Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying




Suzuka, October 8, 2016 – Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has claimed pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix, setting a time of 1m30.647s on the soft tyre: the fastest time of the weekend so far that was around two seconds faster than last year’s pole.

Two stops seem set to be the most probable strategy for the grand prix tomorrow, although this will depend on track and weather conditions. Following some overnight rain, qualifying remained completely dry; however damp conditions at the start of FP3 meant that the Cinturato intermediate and full wet was also briefly used today – meaning that all five tyres were run.

Everyone used just the soft tyre from Q2 onwards. In Q3 the drivers did two runs (apart from Force India and Haas), timing the final laps for the very end of the session in order to benefit from track evolution.

Tomorrow is expected to stay dry but the possibility of showers remains, with similar track temperatures to the 26 degrees centigrade seen today.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “Track temperatures were cooler than they had been yesterday, which affected tyre behaviour, along with the overnight rain that washed whatever rubber had been laid on the track yesterday away. The superior speed of the soft tyre meant that it was the automatic choice for qualifying and so the top 10 will all be starting on this compound tomorrow. Where they go from here in terms of strategy will be very interesting, with the whole field closely matched in terms of speed and the possibility of cool and variable weather.”

How the tyres behaved today:
Hard: Used by two drivers at Q1 start as an installation. Mandatory set for the race.
Medium: Mercedes and Red Bull got through Q1 with medium only, not used thereafter.
Soft: The most popular tyre choice for Suzuka, with a 1.3 second per lap advantage.

Free practice 3 – top three times

Rosberg 1m32.092s Soft new
Ricciardo 1m32.394s Soft new
Vettel 1m32.731s Soft new

Qualifying top 10

Rosberg 1m30.647s Soft new
Hamilton 1m30.660s Soft new
Raikkonen 1m30.949s Soft new
Vettel 1m31.028s Soft new
Verstappen 1m31.178s Soft new
Ricciardo 1m31.240s Soft new
Perez 1m31.961s Soft new
Grosjean 1m31.961s Soft new
Hulkenberg 1m32.142s Soft new
Gutierrez 1m32.547s Soft new

Most laps by compound so far

Hard Sainz 24 laps
Medium Palmer 24
Soft Kvyat 22
Magnussen 22
Intermediate Grosjean 2
Gutierrez 2
Wet Bottas 1
Magnussen 1
Massa 1
Palmer 1

Best time by compound so far

Hard Hamilton 1m33.475s
Medium Rosberg 1m31.858s
Soft Rosberg 1m30.647s




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Result from the qualifying for the Japanese GP 2016

Nico Rosberg on Pole.

Vettel penalised 3 grid places for causing a collision at previous round.
Wehrlein penalised 5 grid places for unscheduled gearbox change.

Notes during the qualifying.

To see Sauber F1 Team out in Q1 does make me sad, I really hoped that Sauber F1 Team would improve their pace as this Formula 1 season comes to an end.
In Q1 it was the Haas team that impressed me the most.
And it also makes me happy to see Bottas up there in P6.

Rosberg first lap – 1:30.714 What a start to Q2!
It looks like the hardest fight today will be Ferrari VS Red Bull.
Romain Grosjean put in a 1:32.244 (sideways!)
Impressive pace by Haas F1 that bring both their cars to Q3 for the first time,
Haas really impress me, Williams does not impress anybody anymore.

Ricciardo is the first car to set a time 1:31.240 it’s an improvement, but it is not fast enough comparing with Ferrari and Mercedes.
Rosberg put in a 1:30.647 – this ensure Nico Rosberg his third Pole Position in a row, impressive.
But what is even more “interesting” is that Ferrari is really closing in on Mercedes.
Looking forward to the race tomorrow, 0.593 sec from P1 to P6, it can be one really interesting race from Japan this year 🙂


From Formula1.com

1 6 Nico Rosberg MERCEDES 1:31.858 1:30.714 1:30.647 13
2 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:32.218 1:31.129 1:30.660 13
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:31.674 1:31.406 1:30.949 12
4 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:31.659 1:31.227 1:31.028 12
5 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:32.487 1:31.489 1:31.178 14
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:32.538 1:31.719 1:31.240 14
7 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:32.682 1:32.237 1:31.961 12
8 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:32.458 1:32.176 1:31.961 17
9 27 Nico Hulkenberg FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:32.448 1:32.200 1:32.142 12
10 21 Esteban Gutierrez HAAS FERRARI 1:32.620 1:32.155 1:32.547 15
11 77 Valtteri Bottas WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:32.383 1:32.315 11
12 19 Felipe Massa WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:32.562 1:32.380 11
13 26 Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO FERRARI 1:32.645 1:32.623 11
14 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO FERRARI 1:32.789 1:32.685 12
15 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 1:32.819 1:32.689 12
16 30 Jolyon Palmer RENAULT 1:32.796 1:32.807 12
17 22 Jenson Button MCLAREN HONDA 1:32.851 6
18 20 Kevin Magnussen RENAULT 1:33.023 6
19 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:33.222 7
20 12 Felipe Nasr SAUBER FERRARI 1:33.332 7
21 31 Esteban Ocon MRT MERCEDES 1:33.353 9
22 94 Pascal Wehrlein MRT MERCEDES 1:33.561 9



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Sebastian Vettel is the only driver to have selected just one set of medium tyres in Japan.


Round 17 of 21
Suzuka, Japan, 6-9 October 2016

Milan, October 3, 2016 – Coming straight off the back of the Malaysian Grand Prix, the Japanese Grand Prix uses exactly the same three nominations: P Zero Orange hard, P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft. Another thing that the Japanese Grand Prix has in common with Malaysia is the fact that two sets of the hard compound have been nominated as mandatory sets, meaning that the hardest compound will definitely be used at some point during the race by every driver.

Suzuka is one of the most atmospheric races of the season, with an old-school feel thanks to its fast corners and small run-off areas. Just like Malaysia, there’s a strong possibility of rain featuring during the weekend: but unlike Malaysia the track is quite narrow, which makes overtaking more difficult.


  • Track temperatures can vary massively, from very warm weather to cold and wet conditions.
  • Teams tend to run a high downforce set-up to maximise speed through the fast corners.
  • Plenty of energy goes through tyres because many corners are very long, maximising loads. The famous 130R, for example, contains the highest continuous g-force loading of the year.
  • There are few longitudinal forces: instead Suzuka is all about lateral loads through corners.
  • These factors tend to lead to high levels of wear and degradation, with more than one pit stop.
  • Track evolution can be hard to predict: strategy also needs to remain flexible because of the possibility of safety cars and relative difficulty of overtaking at Suzuka.


  • Orange hard: will definitely be used for the race, as it is nominated twice as an obligatory set.
  • White medium: drivers have selected between one and four sets of these, with different ideas.
  • Yellow soft: this is the first time that the soft has been seen in Japan; will be quick in qualifying.


  • Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won with a two-stop strategy, starting on medium, switching to medium again on lap 16, then hard on lap 31. The 53-lap race was dry after a wet Friday.
  • Best alternative strategy: the big majority of drivers adopted a two-stop strategy, but a medium-hard-hard run allowed Nico Rosberg to undercut his key rivals and move up to second.


“Suzuka is a race that everybody looks forward to coming to: there’s little left to say that hasn’t been said already about the amazing welcome we receive each year from the Japanese fans and the depth of their enthusiasm and knowledge. For the first time we bring the soft tyre to Suzuka, which should provide a different aspect to the strategy, so we may have some tactical thinking right from qualifying on Saturday. Whatever happens, we’ll be seeing the hard tyre used during the race, as was the case in Malaysia, and also high wear and degradation: which always additionally provides varied strategic opportunities.”


  • There are no major changes to the infrastructure or track in Japan this year.
  • The race takes place one week later than it did last year, returning to its 2014 calendar slot.
  • The FIA has confirmed that drivers will have the same allocation of tyres for next year’s first five races rather than choosing: two sets of the hardest compound available, four sets of the medium compound available, and seven sets of the softest compound available.


Ferrari has gone for the most aggressive tyre choice with nine sets of the soft. In particular, Sebastian Vettel is the only driver to have selected just one set of medium tyres in Japan.

Pirelli was appointed as the exclusive tyre supplier to the Macau F3 Grand Prix this year.

Pirelli was also revealed as the exclusive tyre partner of the newly launched Electric GT Championship in Ibiza: a new European series that will use Tesla racing cars next year.


Purple Red Yellow White Orange
Australia Supersoft Soft Medium
Bahrain Supersoft Soft Medium
China Supersoft Soft Medium
Russia Supersoft Soft Medium
Spain Soft Medium Hard
Monaco Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft
Canada Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft
Azerbaijan Supersoft Soft Medium
Austria Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft
Great Britain Soft Medium Hard
Hungary Supersoft Soft Medium
Germany Supersoft Soft Medium
Belgium Supersoft Soft Medium
Italy Supersoft Soft Medium
Singapore Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft
Malaysia Soft Medium Hard
Japan Soft Medium Hard
United States
Supersoft Soft Medium
Mexico Supersoft Soft Medium
Brazil Soft Medium Hard
Abu Dhabi Ultrasoft Supersoft Soft




Japanese GP 2016

Suzuka 9th October 2016




Sauber F1 Team – Everybody Loves Japan

Learn about their tyre choice, their thoughts about Japan, the weather and more.

#JapaneseGP preview video with Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson!

Sauber F1 Team

We took Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr aside prior to the Japanese Grand Prix. Learn about their tyre choice, their thoughts about Japan, the weather and more.

Our sincere apologies for the poor sound quality. We will find and punish the person who tampered with Marcus’ mic! 😉

Watch F1 races on tv – and get the extra bit on our channel.

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