1992 Japanese Grand Prix
|Race 15 of 16 in the 1992 Formula One season|
|Date||25 October 1992|
|Official name||XVIII Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix|
|Location||Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Japan|
|Course||Permanent racing facility|
|Course length||5.864 km (3.644 mi)|
|Distance||53 laps, 310.792 km (193.117 mi)|
|Weather||Dry, warm, cloudy|
|Time||1:40.646 on lap 44|
The 1992 Japanese Grand Prix (formally the XVIII Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix) was a Formula One motor race held at Suzuka on 25 October 1992. The race, contested over 53 laps, was the fifteenth race of the 1992 Formula One season and was won by Riccardo Patrese driving a Williams-Renault, with Gerhard Berger second for the McLaren team and Martin Brundle third for Benetton. This was Patrese's final Grand Prix victory.
Before the race
Two driver changes took place before the race: Ferrari replaced Ivan Capelli with their test driver Nicola Larini, while Karl Wendlinger left March to join Sauber's preparatory program ahead of the Swiss team's debut in 1993, his place taken by Jan Lammers, making his first F1 start for over 10 years.
In qualifying, Williams' Nigel Mansell took his 13th pole position of the season, equalling the record set by Ayrton Senna in 1988 and 1989. Team-mate Riccardo Patrese was alongside him on the front row, while the McLarens of Senna and Gerhard Berger filled the second row. Michael Schumacher in the Benetton was fifth, followed by the two Lotuses of Johnny Herbert and Mika Häkkinen. The top ten was completed by Érik Comas in the Ligier, Andrea de Cesaris in the Tyrrell and Thierry Boutsen in the second Ligier.
Mansell made a fast start and at the end of the first lap led Patrese by three seconds. Senna held on to third before becoming the race's first retirement on lap 3 with an engine failure. Meanwhile, Larini, who had qualified 11th, stalled on the grid and fell to last, while Boutsen's gearbox failed on lap 4.
Berger made an early pit stop and rejoined the race in sixth place, behind Schumacher and the two Lotuses. On lap 13, Schumacher retired with gearbox failure, his only mechanical retirement of the year; Herbert's gearbox also failed two laps later. After the mid-race pit stops for tyres, Mansell retained a comfortable lead over Patrese, while Berger moved ahead of Häkkinen into third and Martin Brundle, who had only qualified 13th in the second Benetton, moved up to fifth ahead of Comas and de Cesaris.
On lap 36, Mansell slowed and Patrese moved ahead. The following lap, Comas retired with an engine failure. On lap 45, both Mansell and Häkkinen suffered engine failures of their own; this moved Berger and Brundle into second and third respectively. Patrese cruised to his sixth and final Grand Prix victory, finishing 13 seconds ahead of Berger with Brundle a further minute back; the top six was completed by de Cesaris, Jean Alesi in the second Ferrari and Christian Fittipaldi, who scored his first point in Formula One and the only point of the season for the Minardi team.
Championship standings after the race
- Bold text indicates the World Champions.
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
1992 Portuguese Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
1992 Australian Grand Prix
1991 Japanese Grand Prix
|Japanese Grand Prix||Next race:
1993 Japanese Grand Prix