Japanese GP: BMW Sauber preview

The Asian tour continues, but this coming Sunday, 8th October, might well see the final event for the foreseeable future at one of the greatest Formula One circuits on the calendar. The BMW Sauber F1 Team looks forward to the Suzuka International...

The Asian tour continues, but this coming Sunday, 8th October, might well see the final event for the foreseeable future at one of the greatest Formula One circuits on the calendar. The BMW Sauber F1 Team looks forward to the Suzuka International Racing Course, where the 17th of 18 rounds in the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship will be held.

Nick Heidfeld:

"I just can't wait to get to Suzuka. It's my favourite of all F1 circuits. This time it will be a slightly wistful occasion as we may not be racing there again after 2006 if Fuji joins the racing calendar as the venue for the Japanese GP. But I'm hoping there might be two races in Japan. It would be sad to say farewell to this challenging circuit."

"Its main attraction is the so-called "esses" - a series of high-speed turns behind the pits. There are five consecutive corners which flow beautifully and are tremendous fun if you manage to get them right. But if you mess up the first turn, it will pursue you right through to the last one in the sequence."

"I'll be flying to Tokyo on the Monday after the Chinese Grand Prix to visit a friend. Tokyo is an impressive place and I'm already looking forward to enjoying some Japanese food. The first thing we think of is sushi, which is delicious, but there's a lot more to Japanese cuisine than that."

Robert Kubica:

"I've only been to Japan once - back in 2000 for the Karting World Championship in Motegi. So I don't actually know the Suzuka track, although it seems very impressive - I took a look at it on a computer game. It looks very challenging and it must be fun to drive there, so I'm really looking forward to the Japanese GP. Unfortunately I've never had the opportunity to drive another car there, but I'm sure driving a Formula One will be a tremendous experience."

Sebastian Vettel:

"After China, we Europeans have our next exotic country lined up. The language and lifestyle are a different world. I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to go to Japan with the team. For me it is also the country of inventors of all kinds of electronic gadgets. I've only driven the track on a video game so far and I believe Suzuka is an impressive circuit, especially the esses. It will be difficult to find the ideal line and the braking points at the start. I imagine the circuit to be as great as Spa, if not better."

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director:

"The future of Suzuka as a GP venue is uncertain as 2006 might be our last visit to this track. It would be a shame, because this circuit is one of the most challenging for the drivers who, along with the fans, like the circuit a lot."

"It also gives the engine engineers a mountain to climb as the ultra-fast 130R turn puts a huge load on the oil circulation. We have measured lateral acceleration of up to 6g there and have to make sure the oil supply is not interrupted under such loads. For the BMW Group the Japanese Grand Prix means a visit to another important Asian market within eight days."

Willy Rampf, Technical Director:

"A well-balanced car is an absolute must in Suzuka. The esses in the first sector are particularly crucial. The car has to be fast and able to change direction with great precision. Any handling problems will cost time. The numerous turns at Suzuka take their toll on the tyres, which can affect the race strategy. The concentration of corners is among the highest in the whole season, and the restricted run-off areas are another feature: minor mistakes can easily put you out of the race. Suzuka is a true drivers' track."

-credit: bmw sauber

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Nick Heidfeld , Robert Kubica , Sebastian Vettel , Mario Theissen
Teams Sauber