ICYMI: Birthday cakes, boybands and incredible fans – it's the best social media from Japan

SUZUKA, JAPAN - APRIL 07: McLaren fans pose for a photo prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at

Japan is always one of the drivers' favourite countries to visit, with Suzuka being an incredibly popular ciruit to boot. But along with the racing, there is always plenty going on off-track too. Here is all the best social media you might have missed from the Japanese Grand Prix...

The music scene

Austin normally offers the best music scene on the calendar, but Suzuka delivered some pretty interesting vibes of its own. From a Lando Norris/Red Bull boyband mash up, to Valtteri Bottas leaning into the very in vogue country and western scene, there was plenty of interesting musical interludes in Japan.

READ MORE: Wolff says Mercedes are in ‘live testing’ as they look to find their feet with the W15

Foodie fans

The fans here are something else, bringing the drivers all manner of gifts. From crocheted figurines, to flags, from headgear to models, the drivers always pack an empty suitcase to take home their many presents.

READ MORE: 5 Winners and 5 Losers from Japan – Who tasted success in Suzuka?

But the mechanics down at Haas didn't need an empty suitcase so much as an empty stomach to work their way through their very own brand of delicious snacks.

More on-track action

Esteban Ocon and Oscar Piastri turned back into big kids – assuming they ever really grew out of being kids in the first place – as they got to have a go at driving some remote control cars around the Suzuka track.

They might not have the downforce of an F1 car, but that didn't stop our resident drivers getting their elbows out and going full send in miniature.

A third chassis

The question of a third chassis has been on everyone's lips of late given Williams' troubles on that score, and it seems both Kick Sauber and Mercedes possess one.

EXPLAINED: Why Williams will be worried about Albon's Suzuka shunt – and what it could mean for the rest of the season

Kick Sauber's may struggle to make the weight limit though, while the new W15 might not be as aerodynamically sound as it should - but when the details are this incredible, the performance might be allowed to lag somewhat...

Hear them roar

Suzuka should surely be the terrain of Godzilla, but instead a T-Rex came to play in the pit lane across the weekend, popping up in all sorts of unlikely places.

READ MORE: Perez hails ‘good momentum’ after P2 in Japan amid turnaround from ‘worst weekend’ at Suzuka last year

Luckily with such a short wingspan, helping out with the pit stops wasn't required – as there's no way that dinosaur is managing to change any of the 18-inch Pirelli tyres in under two seconds.

Education comes first

This fan might get into some hot water when they go back to school, but surely their teacher will forgive them. Especially considering they witnessed all sorts of strategy calls, which required great mental dexterity to keep track of.

Not to mention adding up the pit stop times, keeping an eye on the engineers and learning about thermal tyre degradation. F1 on Sunday was about as educational as it gets.

The iconic pose

George Russell was happy to poke fun of himself on stage on Saturday, as Mercedes invited a young fan up to meet their drivers. Russell managed to replicate his now iconic opening sequence pose from 2023 with a little assistance from his young friend, with Lewis Hamilton making sure he was on hand to record every moment.

READ MORE: What the teams said – Race day in Japan

Another strike

Speaking of Mercedes, their drivers indulged in a spot of bowling before the weekend began. As competitive as ever, they were tight-lipped as to who won.

READ MORE: Sainz thrilled with third place in Japan after making multiple overtakes during ‘tough’ race

Luckily though, neither fancied continuing the theme and knocking each other over on track, instead being very gentlemanlike when team orders came into play in Sunday's Grand Prix.

Another year older...

... But is he any wiser?! Oscar Piastri celebrated his 23rd birthday in the paddock on Saturday, with most agreeing that getting to drive an F1 car at Suzuka flat out with no fuel in qualifying quantifies as an excellent birthday.

He even managed to give the teams some points on Sunday, with the team's present to him really being a car that is capable of fighting for said points.

From the mouths of babes

He might not have been spraying champagne on Sunday as he did many years ago – although let's hope baby Yuki was spraying something less alcoholic back in the day – but Tsunoda did deliver a point on home soil, which would have felt almost as good as a win in that RB.

READ MORE: ‘Relieved’ Tsunoda hails 'insane' RB pit stop as he nets a point on home soil

Passion like no other

The last word has to go to the incredible Japanese fans. They turn up year after year with an amazing array of hats, outfits and banners, all homemade and all so incredibly intricate.

They make the race what it is - and inspire the drivers every step of the way. Until next year, Suzuka!

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from the Japanese Grand Prix as Verstappen wins following early red flag



Coming Up

Coming Up


Tsunoda assesses future F1 options as long-time backers Honda get set for Aston Martin tie-up