Super Formula Championship

  (Redirected from Formula Nippon)

Super Formula, formerly known as Formula Nippon, is a type of formula racing and the top level of single-seater racing in Japan. It is also considered to be a major motorsports event in Asia.

Super Formula Championship
Super Formula Series logo.gif
CategorySingle seaters
Inaugural season1973
Chassis suppliersDallara
Engine manufacturers
Tire suppliersYokohama
Drivers' championJapan Tomoki Nojiri
Teams' championcarenex Team Impul
Motorsport current event.svg Current season

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.


Formula 2000 (1973–1977)Edit


In Japan, though touring and sports car racing was very popular through the 1960s, formula car racing was less so in those days. Even the Japanese Grand Prix lost its popularity after changing its format from touring/sports car racing to formula car racing in 1971.

In 1973, the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) established the "All-Japan Formula 2000 Championship" as the first top-level formula racing series in Japan, to promote popularity of formula car racing in the country.

The series was created based on the European Formula Two Championship. But the JAF approved use of purpose built racing engines was different from the European F2 series which only allowed race engines based on mass production models. Due to this difference, the series did not fit in with the Formula Two regulations in those days. Therefore, the series was renamed "Formula 2000", not "Formula Two".

Formula Two (1978–1986)Edit

The revised Formula Two regulation in 1976 removed the restriction about engines which had limited the use of engines based on mass production models. With this change the reasoning behind the name "Formula 2000" disappeared. It led to the series being renamed the "All-Japan Formula Two Championship" from 1978.

1987 championshipEdit

When European Formula Two ended in 1984, its Japanese counterpart did not follow suit immediately. The JAF considered starting a new Formula Two series from 1988. However, all entrants ran Formula 3000 cars in 1987. So, the 1987 Formula Two Championship was cancelled due to no entry of any cars for that format.

Formula 3000 (1987–1995)Edit

Switching to the open Formula 3000 standard in 1987, the "All-Japan Formula 3000 Championship" started in 1988. 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.

In the late 1980s, Honda-powered Formula One teams began winning multiple championships, and the Japanese Grand Prix was reintroduced in 1987, resulting in an increased interest in formula racing. Combined with the bubble economy, the Japanese Formula 3000 attracted several entrants and investors. It attracted many promising young drivers outside of Japan to compete in the series. Inevitably, the bubble burst led to the decline of the series.

Formula Nippon (1996–2012)Edit

The previous Formula Nippon logo

In the mid-1990s, the Japanese Formula broke away, changing the form of the series to "Formula Nippon". The new Japan Race Promotion, formed by Fuji Television, became the promoter with the recognition of the series by the JAF as the Authority Sport Nationale (ASN) of Japan.

In the 2000s, sports car racing became more popular in Japan, and many Formula Nippon drivers doubled-up in the Japanese Super GT championship.

The 2006 season got off to one of the strangest starts in motorsport history. Because of heavy rain, the opener at Fuji was called off after two safety car laps, and Benoît Tréluyer was awarded the win with half points awarded.


The previous Formula Nippon chassis, the Swift FN09 (also known as the Swift 017.n), was introduced in the 2009 season and raced until the end of the 2013 season.

Until 2002, 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 for the 2003 season. 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. A new Lola FN06 chassis was introduced, while the engine formula underwent drastic revision. Engine blocks were provided by Toyota and Honda, using the same engine block specifications as found in the 2005 Indy Racing League, with open-tuning still permitted.

American racecar manufacturer Swift Engineering produced the FN09 chassis that was used from 2009 through 2013.

Scoring SystemEdit

  • Points are awarded in line with the standard FIA system used from 2003 to 2009, but with a bonus point given for pole position.
Position 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th Pole
Points 10 8 6 5 4 3 2 1 1

Super Formula (2013–present)Edit

Start of the race at the 2014 Motegi round


The base chassis for the series is the Dallara SF19, which was unveiled at Suzuka Circuit in October 2017. The SF19 was regulated to weigh 670 kilograms (including driver), and is powered by two-litre single turbo-charged engines from Honda and Toyota. While sharing the same base architecture as the NRE engines used in Super GT GT500 cars, the engines are detuned relative to their GT counterparts. It features a 'push to pass' style overtake system which allows for additional 5 kg/h of fuel flow to be used when active – increasing power.

The previous generation of the car, the Dallara SF14, was used between the 2014 to 2018 season, which featured at least 30% components manufactured in Japan.[1]

Comparable to a contemporary Formula One, the pole position lap in a Super-Formula Dallara SF14 at Suzuka Circuit in 2017, 1:35.907, is 8.588 seconds or 9.0% slower than the pole position time for the 2017 Japanese Formula One Grand Prix.

Specifications (2014–2018)[2]Edit

Specifications (2019–present)Edit


However, despite the more technically demanding regulations, the Japanese top-level formula series remains a national series, with second tier status compared to the FIA Formula 2 and its predecessor GP2. Foreign drivers have always been regular participants in the Japanese championships, and 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.

Starting in 2022, Honda Performance Development, the United States division of Honda's motorsport operations, will offer a "win and you're in" format where the 2021 Formula Regional Americas Championship series champion will be given a stipend for sponsorship towards a Super Formula ride with a Honda team. The 2022 Super Formula scholarship was officially declined by Formula Regional Americas Championship 2021 champion Kyffin Simpson, citing the logistical challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing immigration restrictions imposed by the Japanese government for foreign nationals and non-citizens.[3] Similar "win and you're in" concepts are used in the North American single-seater ladder that includes former Super Formula driver Alex Palou driving for Chip Ganassi Racing with Honda support in the IndyCar Series. Road To Indy support series champions are typically awarded a funded drive to the next tier up to Indy Lights, where the series champion is then awarded a scholarship for 3 races in the IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500.[4]


Season Drivers' Champion Team Champion
Driver Team Chassis* Engine* Tyre*
All-Japan Formula 2000 Championship (1973-1977)
1973   Motoharu Kurosawa Heros Racing March 722 BMW M12/6 B Not awarded
1974   Noritake Takahara Takahara Racing March 842 BMW M12/6 B
1975   Kazuyoshi Hoshino Victory Circle Racing March 742 BMW M12/6 B
1976   Noritake Takahara Heros Racing Nova 512 BMW M12/7 B
1977   Kazuyoshi Hoshino Heros Racing Nova 512B
Nova 532P
BMW M12/7 B
All-Japan Formula Two Championship (1978-1986)
1978   Kazuyoshi Hoshino Heros Racing Nova 532P
Nova 522
BMW M12/7 B Not awarded
1979   Keiji Matsumoto Team LeMans March 782
March 792
BMW M12/7 D
1980   Masahiro Hasemi Tomica Racing Team March 802 BMW M12/7 B
1981   Satoru Nakajima i&i Racing Ralt RH6/80
March 812
Honda RA261E B
1982   Satoru Nakajima Team Ikuzawa March 812
March 822
Honda RA262E B
1983   Geoff Lees John Player Special Team Ikuzawa Spirit 201
March 832
Honda RA263E D
1984   Satoru Nakajima Heros Racing March 842 Honda RA264E B
1985   Satoru Nakajima Heros Racing with Nakajima March 85J Honda RA264E
Honda RA265E
1986   Satoru Nakajima Heros Racing with Nakajima March 86J Honda RA266E B
All-Japan Formula 3000 Championship (1987-1995)
1987   Kazuyoshi Hoshino Hoshino Racing March 87B
Lola T87/50
Honda RA387E B Not awarded
1988   Aguri Suzuki Footwork Sports Racing Team March 87B
Reynard 88D
Yamaha OX77 B
1989   Hitoshi Ogawa Auto Beaurex Motor Sport Lola T88/50
Lola T89/50
Mugen MF308 D
1990   Kazuyoshi Hoshino Cabin Racing Team with Impul Lola T90/50 Mugen MF308 B
1991   Ukyo Katayama Cabin Racing Team with Heros Lola T90/50
Lola T91/50
Cosworth DFV B
1992   Mauro Martini Acom Evolution Team Nova Lola T91/50
Lola T92/50
Mugen MF308 B
1993   Kazuyoshi Hoshino Nisseki Impul Racing Team Lola T92/50 Cosworth DFV B
1994   Marco Apicella Dome Dome F104 Mugen MF308 D
1995   Toshio Suzuki Hoshino Racing Lola T94/50 Mugen MF308 B
Japanese Championship Formula Nippon (1996-2012)
1996   Ralf Schumacher X-Japan Racing Team LeMans Reynard 96D Mugen MF308 B X-Japan Racing Team LeMans
1997   Pedro de la Rosa Shionogi Team Nova Lola T97/51 Mugen MF308 (B) Shionogi Team Nova
1998   Satoshi Motoyama LEMONed Racing Team LeMans Reynard 97D (Mugen MF308) (B) LEMONed Racing Team LeMans
1999   Tom Coronel PIAA Nakajima Racing Reynard 99L (Mugen MF308) (B) PIAA Nakajima Racing
2000   Toranosuke Takagi PIAA Nakajima Racing Reynard 2KL (Mugen MF308) (B) PIAA Nakajima Racing
2001   Satoshi Motoyama Team Impul Reynard 99L (Mugen MF308) (B) Team 5Zigen
2002   Ralph Firman PIAA Nakajima Racing Reynard 01L (Mugen MF308) (B) PIAA Nakajima Racing
2003   Satoshi Motoyama Team Impul (Lola B3/51) (Mugen MF308) (B) Team Impul
2004   Richard Lyons DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing (Lola B3/51) (Mugen MF308) (B) Team Impul
2005   Satoshi Motoyama Mobilecast Team Impul
arting Racing Team with Impul
(Lola B3/51) (Mugen MF308) (B) Mobilecast Team Impul
arting Racing Team with Impul
2006   Benoît Tréluyer Mobilecast Team Impul (Lola B06/51 (FN06)) Toyota RV8J (B) Mobilecast Team Impul
2007   Tsugio Matsuda Mobilecast Team Impul (Lola B06/51 (FN06)) Toyota RV8J (B) Mobilecast Team Impul
2008   Tsugio Matsuda Lawson Team Impul (Lola B06/51 (FN06)) Toyota RV8J (B) Lawson Team Impul
2009   Loïc Duval Nakajima Racing (Swift 017.n (FN09)) Honda HR09E (B) Nakajima Racing
2010   João Paulo de Oliveira Mobil 1 Team Impul (Swift 017.n (FN09)) Toyota RV8K (B) Mobil 1 Team Impul
2011   André Lotterer Petronas Team TOM'S (Swift 017.n (FN09)) Toyota RV8K (B) Petronas Team TOM'S
2012   Kazuki Nakajima Petronas Team TOM'S (Swift 017.n (FN09)) Toyota RV8K (B) Docomo Team Dandelion Racing
Japanese Super Formula Championship (2013-present)
2013   Naoki Yamamoto Team Mugen (Swift 017.n (SF13)) Honda HR12E (B) Petronas Team TOM'S
2014   Kazuki Nakajima Petronas Team TOM'S (Dallara SF14) Toyota RI4A (B) Petronas Team TOM'S
2015   Hiroaki Ishiura・INGING (Dallara SF14) Toyota RI4A (B) Petronas Team TOM'S
2016   Yuji Kunimoto・INGING (Dallara SF14) Toyota RI4A (Y)・INGING
2017   Hiroaki Ishiura・INGING (Dallara SF14) Toyota RI4A (Y)・INGING
2018   Naoki Yamamoto Team Mugen (Dallara SF14) Honda HR-417E (Y) Kondō Racing
2019   Nick Cassidy Vantelin Team TOM'S (Dallara SF19) Toyota Biz-01F (Y) Docomo Team Dandelion Racing
2020   Naoki Yamamoto Docomo Team Dandelion Racing (Dallara SF19) Honda HR-417E (Y) Vantelin Team TOM'S
2021   Tomoki Nojiri Team Mugen (Dallara SF19) Honda HR-417E (Y) carenex Team Impul

* The ( ) indicates the tyre (since 1997), chassis (since 2003), or engine (1998–2005) was a spec part that all competitors used for that season.


  1. ^ Collins, Sam (26 March 2013). "2014 Super Formula concept revealed". Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Klein, Jamie. "HPD scholar Kyffin Simpson turns down Super Formula chance". Motorsport Network. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  4. ^ Wood, Elliot. "FRegional Americas champion to get scholarship for Super Formula".

External linksEdit