F1 Drivers’ Stage

In the last issue, we reported on the driver’s panel at the main gate and entering the Grand Prix Square.


As we passed through the GP entrance gate, the attendant announced that we should head to the left if we wanted to see the events at Grand Prix Square, and although I hadn’t checked the details of what events were on offer, let’s just go there. So we went to the left.



GP Square Official Stage

Proceeding alongside the Red Bull merchandise sales, the GP Square official stage comes into view and a large crowd has already gathered.


The front of the stage is crowded, about row 15. We gradually moved to the right hand side of the image, looking for a place where the queue was slightly reduced and secured a place in row 10. There was an announcement to sit down and wait, and everyone waited in good manners for almost an hour and a half.

The rain up to the early hours of the day has brought more sunshine, making it hard to wait under the blazing sun in the midsummer sunshine. Is it better than being cold and rainy? It is a bit of a difficult environment for women and children.

The good thing here is that “If you feel you are not feeling well, please let us know. If you need to leave to go to the toilet etc., please say something and let someone around you watch over you.” The announcer and attendants would call out to the audience, and the audience would respond to them.

Monitors show highlights of past Grand Prix races to pass the time. However, waiting for an hour from here is quite a hardship. The picture shows a cloudy day, but it will clear up later.


The sun is relentless and damaging to the body, even though it soothes the mind a little. There are few shaded areas on any of the circuits, so sun cream is a must. Thanks to this, I couldn’t stop burning on the day, and later on I was burnt to a crisp.

Friday talk event schedule

Now the schedule for Friday’s GP Square Official Stage looks like this, with an interesting line-up that covers everyone from new fans to core fans in the morning. Even Günther representative and TD Pat Simmons in the daytime is a very reluctant line-up, but the 2.20pm slot for Alphatauri representative Franz Tost alone is one slot, a very reluctant line-up that core fans will love.

The last two frames are also intense. Sebastian Vettel, the two McLarens and Hiroki Tsunoda and the stage is visibly engulfed in a frenzy.


Do you choose a talk show or a free run?

Of course, the framework of the stage is such that it does not coincide with the F1 free practice, but as time progresses, the number of visitors increases and more and more people come for the talk show. The queue is growing so fast that even if you turn around, the last row is already so far away that you can’t see where you are. If you pull out once to watch the free practice, your place will be filled. In other words, there is no re-ordering.

We also have a specific time and restaurant we want to stop for dinner, and we have to consult with our stamina, bearing in mind the traffic jams between the circuit and the hotel. Not to forget that we had not slept since last night because we had to travel. After the free practice, we returned to the front of the event stage and watched from a very long way off, and then got stuck in traffic and couldn’t eat dinner.

It is like choosing between a real talk show and a free-run.

We only attended DAZN first thing in the morning and the next Aston Martin Williams driver talk show to take advantage of Friday, when you can sit anywhere but the grandstand seats, and for Free Practice 1 from 11.30am we were in Seat A, where you can see the pit exit, and Seat B, a little further away, where you can see from Turn 1 to the S-curve. I decided to watch.

Well, we wait patiently and the time is 9.15am. The first WEDNESDAY F1 TIME DAZN Stage starts!

First up is MC Sascha, a familiar face on J-Sport!


DAZNステージ サッシャ

DAZON commentary, HRS vice-principal and crew-speaking former F1 driver Shinji Nakano.

Shinji Matsushita driving the No. 17 Astemo NSX-GT in SUPERGT.

Ukyo Sasahara, driver of SUPERGT No. 37 Deloitte TOM’S SUPRA, SRS synchronised with Hiroki Tsunoda.

Yasuaki Asaki, former head of power unit development at Honda, his expression has softened considerably.

A chance to hear real stories with an active driver and a person who until recently developed Honda power units. As expected, Mr Asaki is in charge of development, so most of the information is confidential and there is not much he can say on the same level as the general public, but he said that since he retired, he has been talking about enjoying golf.

The current drivers advised Liam Lawson, who they race with in SuperFormula, to step on the brakes because the start is downhill. There were also behind-the-scenes stories that go beyond racing, such as Hiroki Tsunoda’s love of cooking and his desire to run a restaurant in the future. The characters of the two drivers who have raced overseas are also good, and I wish they had talked more.

Before you know it, it’s time to go and on to the next stage. Next up was the Aston Martin and Williams talk show! Alonso, a big fan of the team, made an appearance.

F1 Driver’s Stage

The main event of the morning was Alonso – how many more times will we see him at the top of his game at the age of over 40?

His partner Stroll had a big crash in the previous round in Singapore and was worried about his physical condition, but he seems to be OK. The problem is his motivation.

Williams’ Albon and Sargent talk with a fresh smile. Albon has a good record at Suzuka, finishing fourth in the 2019 Red Bull. This is Sargent’s first time in Japan and at Suzuka. How much can he hang on to Albon at a circuit that is tough for first-time drivers?

The drivers, who had a tight schedule to manage, finished with their impressions of the circuit and a few words to the fans.

The talk event was a great way to get the voltage up before the free practice sessions.