Pacific Grand Prix

The Pacific Grand Prix (Japanese: パシフィックグランプリ) was a round of the Formula One World Championship twice in the mid-1990s and non-championship events in the 1960s. The non-championship events were held at Laguna Seca from 1960 through 1963. The two championship races were held at the Tanaka International Aida circuit (now Okayama International Circuit), a slow and twisty 3.7-kilometre (2.3-mile) track in the countryside of Aida, Japan.

Pacific Grand Prix
Laguna Seca Raceway (1960–1963)
TI Circuit (1994–1995)
Circuit TI (Aida).png
Race information
Number of times held6
First held1960
Last held1995
Most wins (drivers)Germany Michael Schumacher (2)
United Kingdom Stirling Moss (2)
Most wins (constructors)United Kingdom Benetton (2)
United Kingdom Lotus (2)
Circuit length3.703 km (2.300 mi)
Race length307.349 km (192.093 mi)
Laps83
Last race (1995)
Pole position
Podium
Fastest lap

Championship racesEdit

The inaugural Championship race in 1994 saw Michael Schumacher take an easy victory after Ayrton Senna was involved in a first corner accident with Mika Häkkinen and Nicola Larini. Schumacher overtook Senna into the first corner and was never threatened for the lead from that point onward. Schumacher could have lapped second placed Gerhard Berger in the last third of the race, but chose not to. The fastest lap was set on lap 3. The race was notable for the Jordan team and Rubens Barrichello's first podium finishes in F1 with third place. The more recent Pacific Grand Prix in 1995 was a more eventful affair, with some close racing throughout the field. Following the 1995 Kobe earthquake, the Pacific Grand Prix was moved from early in the calendar to the end of the calendar. The race culminated in a tactical victory for Michael Schumacher, securing his second World Championship, and making him the youngest double World Champion at the time (later surpassed by Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel).

This race made Japan one of only nine countries (the others being Great Britain, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, the United States, and, as a result of emergency schedule realignment for the 2020 season due to COVID-19 pandemic, Austria and Bahrain) to host multiple Grands Prix in the same year. It was discontinued primarily due to the TI Circuit's location in a remote area of Japan; a similar criticism precluded Autopolis' plans (under "Asian Grand Prix" name) to host a second Japanese race in 1993.[1]

With the announcement that the Japanese Grand Prix would switch from the Suzuka Circuit to the Fuji Speedway from 2007, there had been media speculation that Suzuka may retain a race under a resurrection of the Pacific Grand Prix title.[2] However, it was later announced that the Japanese Grand Prix would alternate between Fuji and Suzuka from 2009 onward[3] although the alternation was cancelled as Toyota, the current Fuji Speedway owner discontinued further F1 races at Fuji, having pulled out of F1 at the end of 2009.[4]

Official namesEdit

Winners of the Pacific Grand PrixEdit

Repeat winners (drivers)Edit

A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Driver Years won
2   Stirling Moss 1960, 1961
  Michael Schumacher 1994, 1995

Repeat winners (constructors)Edit

A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Constructor Years won
2   Lotus 1960, 1961
  Benetton 1994, 1995

Repeat winners (engine manufacturers)Edit

A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Wins Manufacturer Years won
3   Climax 1960, 1961, 1962
2   Ford * 1963, 1994

* Built by Cosworth

By yearEdit

 
Layout of Laguna Seca at the time the event was held there as a non-championship event.

A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

Year Driver Constructor Location Report
1960   Stirling Moss Lotus-Climax Laguna Seca Report
1961   Stirling Moss Lotus-Climax Report
1962   Roger Penske Zerex Special–Climax Report
1963   Dave MacDonald Cooper-Ford Report
1964

1993
Not held
1994   Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford TI Circuit Report
1995   Michael Schumacher Benetton-Renault Report

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Cooper, Adam (17 April 2020). "Why Japan's second F1 race didn't take off". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Fuji signs deal for 2007". grandprix.com. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 18 September 2007.
  3. ^ "Japanese Grand Prix to alternate between Fuji and Suzuka". formula1.com. 8 September 2007. Retrieved 9 September 2007.
  4. ^ Toyota's Fuji Speedway Cancels Formula One Grand Prix From 2010 Bloomberg.com, Retrieved 6 December 2012
  5. ^ "1994 Formula 1 World Championship Programmes | the Motor Racing Programme Covers Project".
  6. ^ "1995 Formula 1 World Championship Programmes | the Motor Racing Programme Covers Project".