Latest / Feature

In Case You Missed It - off track in Japan

10 Oct 2016

The legendary, figure-of-eight Suzuka circuit proved as popular as ever at the 2016 Formula 1 Emirates Japanese Grand Prix. However, there was also plenty going on behind the scenes in the build-up to the race. Here's our social media round-up of just a few of the highlights...

Senna superfan

Ayrton Senna is still very much worshipped in Japan and at Suzuka Nico Rosberg was lucky enough to acquire something that most admirers of the late Brazilian would give anything to get their hands on - the great man's autograph.


What do you mean, it's raw?

The art of preparing Japan's most famous cuisine takes years of training, hence we're with Button here - we probably wouldn't trust that man behind a sushi counter either!


Lookin' cute, Carlos

Lewis Hamilton's social media antics in Thursday's FIA press conference at Suzuka may not have gone down well with everyone - but at least Carlos Sainz's mother appreciated his artistic efforts.


Japanese culture vultures

…car culture, that is. Red Bull duo Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen got the chance to take to the famous Tokyo streets in this remarkable Japanese Kaido Racer, a custom-made low-rider built from scratch by its owner Souki. And along the way they encountered Will Buxton and Jason Swales from US broadcaster NBC’s F1 team, touring the capital in road-legal go-karts, playing Super Mario figures!?!


If you want to get ahead... get a hat

The Japanese fans are renowned for the remarkable F1 headwear they create, with adornments including rear wings, onboard cameras, and even complete cars. Williams' Felipe Massa went for this suitably liveried example.


Spanish samurai

Staying on the hat theme, McLaren's Fernando Alonso took a more old-school approach with this origami samurai helmet. He's pictured here with 2017 team mate - and Japanese Super Formula driver - Stoffel Vandoorne, more of whom later.


Creasing up

We're guessing from the skills on display here that neither Sergio Perez nor Nico Hulkenberg was responsible for creating Alonso's impressive-looking headgear above.


A slice of Danish

It wouldn't be ICYMI without at least one cake - this one was to belatedly celebrate Renault's Kevin Magnussen turning the grand old age of 24.


Say cheese!

It was all smiles at Manor ahead of the Japanese weekend, though we’re not sure whether Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein would have been grinning or grimacing after the Suzuka race - they finished 21st and 22nd.


Separated at birth

Fernando Alonso or Keanu Reeves? We'll let you decide whose likeness the Japanese merchandise makers were actually going for with these masks.


Wedding bells

Thought the Suzuka International Racing Course was 'just' one of the greatest F1 circuits ever built? Think again. You can also tie the knot at the famed Japanese track.


Spot the Max

Anyone who claims F1 racing doesn't appeal to the younger generation obviously hasn't been to Japan, where Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo found the perfect opportunity to tease his teenage team mate.

Nice welcome to Suzuka from Max & his classmates 😂

A photo posted by Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) on


Not-so-secret admirers

One of the highlights of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend was a demonstration run of some classic Formula One machinery. Stoffel Vandoorne loved his chance to drive a 1989 McLaren-Honda MP4/5 - and Mercedes crew members, including tech chief Paddy Lowe, clearly enjoyed the view.


Asphalt appetizer anyone?

There was no shortage of creativity amongst the Suzuka catering facilities as they looked to offer their customers a true F1 flavour.


Car-lost Sainz

Whilst his mum was enjoying his starring role in Lewis Hamilton's Snapchat images, Carlos Sainz's dad was busy proving where his son gets his driving skills, finishing runner-up in the punishing Rally Morocco. And if you think Carlos Senior looks somewhat 'at sea' in this image, you'd be right - the double WRC champion dropped valuable minutes after getting lost on one stage of the cross-country event. 


Omedetou Mercedes

...or congratulations Mercedes. In Japan, Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck - and Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda certainly had both at Suzuka where their team wrapped up the F1 constructors' title for a third year in a row.


That Fernando feeling

Daniel Ricciardo brings us a final dose of the surreal, as he and fellow drivers head back north on Japan's world-famous bullet train.