||This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2007)|
|Engine suppliers||Toyota, Honda|
|Last Drivers' champion||Kazuki Nakajima|
|Last Teams' champion||Docomo Team Dandelion Racing|
|Official Website||Formula Nippon Official Website|
Formula Nippon evolved from the Japanese Formula 2000 series begun in 1973 by way of the Japanese Formula Two and Japanese Formula 3000 championships. For the most part, the Japanese racing series have closely followed their European counterparts in terms of technical regulations, but there have been some important exceptions.
When European Formula 2 ended in 1984, its Japanese counterpart did not follow suit, continuing to use Formula 2 regulations (with almost-exclusively 2.0 L Honda engines) for another three years, finally switching to the open Formula 3000 standard in 1987. Once again, Japanese and European regulations paralleled one another, until 1996, when the International Formula 3000 series became a one-make format to lower costs. The Japanese Formula broke away at this time, and made it official by changing the series name to Formula Nippon.
Until recently, Formula Nippon was an open formula, where a variety of chassis builders and engine manufacturers could compete. Chassis were supplied by Lola, Reynard, and G-Force, while Mugen-Honda supplied the vast majority of the engines (though Cosworth engines were found in the Formula 3000 era). However, with the bankruptcy of Reynard in 2002, and the withdrawal of G-Force a year earlier, Formula Nippon once again followed F3000's lead in becoming a one-make series. Formula Nippon cars were now all Lola B03/50 chassis powered by Mugen-Honda engines; however, unlike F3000, engines in Formula Nippon are open-tuned by private companies.
In 2006 Formula Nippon underwent a drastic revision of its regulations. The current Lola B03/50 chassis was replaced by a new Lola FN06 chassis, while the engine formula underwent drastic revision. Blocks were provided by Toyota and Honda, using the same block specifications as found in the 2005 Indy Racing League, with open-tuning still permitted.
The 2006 season got off to one of the strangest starts in motorsport history. The opener at Fuji was cancelled after two safety car laps. Benoît Tréluyer was given the win, and half points were awarded.
However, despite the more technically demanding regulations, Formula Nippon remains a national series, with second tier status compared to the pan-European GP2 Series and its predecessor Formula 3000. While foreign drivers have always been regular participants in Formula Nippon, these are very often second string drivers who had difficulty in finding a top-level Formula 3000 drive. Nevertheless, there have been several drivers to come from a Japanese Formula 3000 or Formula Nippon drive to a prominent Formula One role; the best-known of these are Eddie Irvine, Ralf Schumacher, the 1996 Formula Nippon champion, and Pedro de la Rosa, the 1997 Formula Nippon champion.
Nowadays, many Formula Nippon drivers double in the Japanese Super GT championship.
The new for 2014 Dallara SF14 was unveiled in Tokyo on 25 March 2013. The new car will take over from the Swift FN09 to become the base chassis for the series. The car weighs 650kg and will be powered by two litre turbo engines from Honda, Toyota and possibly Nissan. It will also has the DRS feature as in Formula 1. 30% of the car is manufactured in Japan.
- Points are awarded in line with the standard FIA system used from 2003 to 2009, but with a bonus point given for pole position.
|Season||Series Name||Champion||Team Champion|
|1973||All-Japan Formula 2000||Motoharu Kurosawa|
|1974||All-Japan Formula 2000||Noritake Takahara|
|1975||All-Japan Formula 2000||Kazuyoshi Hoshino|
|1976||All-Japan Formula 2000||Noritake Takahara|
|1977||All-Japan Formula 2000||Kazuyoshi Hoshino|
|1978||Japanese Formula Two||Kazuyoshi Hoshino|
|1979||Japanese Formula Two||Keiiji Matsumoto|
|1980||Japanese Formula Two||Masahiro Hasemi|
|1981||Japanese Formula Two||Satoru Nakajima|
|1982||Japanese Formula Two||Satoru Nakajima|
|1983||Japanese Formula Two||Geoff Lees|
|1984||Japanese Formula Two||Satoru Nakajima|
|1985||Japanese Formula Two||Satoru Nakajima|
|1986||Japanese Formula Two||Satoru Nakajima||Heroes Racing|
|1987||Japanese Formula 3000||Kazuyoshi Hoshino||Hoshino Racing|
|1988||Japanese Formula 3000||Aguri Suzuki||Footwork Racing International|
|1989||Japanese Formula 3000||Hitoshi Ogawa||Dome|
|1990||Japanese Formula 3000||Kazuyoshi Hoshino||Team Impul|
|1991||Japanese Formula 3000||Ukyo Katayama||Cabin Racing/Heroes Racing|
|1992||Japanese Formula 3000||Mauro Martini||Team Nova|
|1993||Japanese Formula 3000||Kazuyoshi Hoshino||Team Impul|
|1994||Japanese Formula 3000||Marco Apicella||Team Le Mans|
|1995||Japanese Formula 3000||Toshio Suzuki||Nakajima Racing|
|1996||Formula Nippon||Ralf Schumacher||Team Le Mans|
|1997||Formula Nippon||Pedro de la Rosa||Team Nova|
|1998||Formula Nippon||Satoshi Motoyama||Team Le Mans|
|1999||Formula Nippon||Tom Coronel||Nakajima Racing|
|2000||Formula Nippon||Toranosuke Takagi||Nakajima Racing|
|2001||Formula Nippon||Satoshi Motoyama||Team 5Zigen|
|2002||Formula Nippon||Ralph Firman||Nakajima Racing|
|2003||Formula Nippon||Satoshi Motoyama||Team Impul|
|2004||Formula Nippon||Richard Lyons||Docomo Team Dandelion Racing|
|2005||Formula Nippon||Satoshi Motoyama||Team Impul|
|2006||Formula Nippon||Benoît Tréluyer||Team Impul|
|2007||Formula Nippon||Tsugio Matsuda||Team Impul|
|2008||Formula Nippon||Tsugio Matsuda||Team Impul|
|2009||Formula Nippon||Loïc Duval||Nakajima Racing|
|2010||Formula Nippon||João Paulo de Oliveira||Team Impul|
|2011||Formula Nippon||André Lotterer||Petronas Team TOM'S|
|2012||Formula Nippon||Kazuki Nakajima||Docomo Team Dandelion Racing|
- Sam (26 March 2013). "2014 Super Formula concept revealed". Racecar Engineering.