Japanese GP: A lap of Suzuka with Alex Wurz

"A lap of the Suzuka circuit starts as you accelerate downhill along the pit straight towards First Curve. Reaching 195mph/312kph in seventh gear, you dab the brakes to negotiate the fast, first section of the right-hander, which...

"A lap of the Suzuka circuit starts as you accelerate downhill along the pit straight towards First Curve. Reaching 195mph/312kph in seventh gear, you dab the brakes to negotiate the fast, first section of the right-hander, which is taken in fifth gear at 160mph/255kph. As the corner tightens, and swings you round 180-degrees, your speed drops to 90mph/144kph in third gear.

A short burst on the throttle sees you reach 150mph/240kph in fourth gear, before entering the uphill 'S-Curves'. As the track flows left-right-left-right through the fourth gear complex, your speed drops from 130mph/210kph to 86mph/140kph for the final right-hander.

This is immediately followed by the tricky long left-handed Dunlop Curve, which can be affected by understeer. Taken at 135mph/217kph in third gear, you push hard on the throttle as you exit the curve, reaching 180mph/290kph in sixth gear as you approach the double right-hander of Degner.

The first section is negotiated at 120mph/193kph in fourth gear, followed by a short burst of acceleration before braking for the tighter, second right-hand curve, which is taken at 80mph/128kph in second gear. Jumping the kerbs as you exit the Degner Curve, you accelerate along the straight under the crossover, reaching 160mph/255kph in fifth gear, through a slight right flick, which leads to the first gear hairpin, braking hard for the left-hander, which is taken at 40mph/63kph.

Exiting the hairpin, a short burst on the throttle, and the track begins to sweep to the right. You reach 175mph/280kph in sixth gear as you flow round the long right-hander. You continue to accelerate as you approach the long two-sectioned Spoon curve, which is entered at 110mph/176kph in fourth gear. As you continue round the corner, your speed increases slightly, before dabbing the brakes to negotiate the tighter, final section, at 85mph/136kph in third gear. On the exit of the Spoon Curve, you power up through the gears along the straight that takes you over the crossover and lead to 130R, reaching 195mph/312kph in seventh gear.

The left-hander of 130R, which is taken flat-out during qualifying is among the most challenging corners of the season and sees your speed decrease only slightly to 170mph/275kph, in fifth gear. This leads to the Casino Triangle chicane, the right-left flick is taken at 40mph/64kph in first gear and is immediately followed by the long, sweeping right-hander which takes you back onto the start-finish straight.

Alex Wurz

-McLaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Alexander Wurz
Teams McLaren