Formula 1: This is what the Formula 1 paddock in Japan is talking about

There are some hotly debated topics in the Formula 1 paddock just before the end of the season.

Formula 1: This is what the Formula 1 paddock in Japan is talking about

There are some hotly debated topics in the Formula 1 paddock just before the end of the season. The future of Mick Schumacher will be discussed as well as the changeable weather at the upcoming Grand Prix on Sunday in Suzuka, Japan.

Max Verstappen can also become world champion again in Asia. To do this, the Red Bull star has to score eight more World Championship points than Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari and six more than his teammate Sergio Perez. First up is qualifying on Saturday (8 a.m. / Sky).

Avoidable Accident

Mick Schumacher's impact on the course barrier kept his Haas team busy long after training. "It's extremely disappointing," said team boss Günther Steiner, adding that the damage was "considerable". Even if Schumacher doesn't believe it himself, the accident he caused himself could also have an impact on his contract talks. He's still fighting for a new contract for 2023, but Steiner really didn't want to see such expensive departures anymore. The crash could cost Haas up to half a million euros

Strong competition

Mercedes ended up in the rainy training session ahead of Verstappen and Leclerc, but still expects the competition in qualifying. "I guess that Ferrari and Red Bull will be fast and I hope that we will be fast too - like I do every week!" Said record world champion Lewis Hamilton. The Briton finished second behind compatriot George Russell and wants to fight for pole position. "We're going to fight for the top six," said Russell.

cost cap

For more than a week, Formula 1 has been keeping the question in suspense as to whether a team spent more money than allowed in the pre-season. There is speculation about Red Bull and Aston Martin. On Monday there should finally be clarity when the world motorsport association Fia presents the report on its cost cap review. If the racing teams have exceeded the budget limit of 148.6 million US dollars, the first from the scene are already demanding penalties. "If you don't stick to it, you actually don't stick to anything anymore," said former Mercedes motorsport director Norbert Haug at Sport1.

Hard goodbye

The track in Suzuka is Sebastian Vettel's favorite circuit on the Formula 1 calendar. The Japanese love Vettel, in their country the 35-year-old is a superstar that they would like to see again in the future. The Hessian received many presents at his last appearance in the Far East before retiring in November. "It's just fantastic, the race here can probably best be compared to the Germany race," said Vettel, referring to the many German flags in the stands: "It's just great to get so much support."

Changing weather

The continuous rain on Friday should be followed by dry conditions on Saturday. For the drivers and racing teams, this will be a special challenge when chasing pole position, as completely different settings are required on the cars. Also: On Sunday it is supposed to rain heavily again in Mie Prefecture on the Pacific coast. Only those who master all the conditions have a chance of winning in Suzuka. If Max Verstappen succeeds and the Dutchman also turns the fastest lap, he will surely be world champion for the second time. Other constellations are enough for him to successfully defend his title as champion.