Japanese GP McLaren preview

The penultimate round of the 2000 FIA Formula One World Championship takes place at the Suzuka circuit in Japan next weekend and the West McLaren Mercedes team will continue to fight for victory in both the Constructors' and Drivers' World ...

The penultimate round of the 2000 FIA Formula One World Championship takes place at the Suzuka circuit in Japan next weekend and the West McLaren Mercedes team will continue to fight for victory in both the Constructors' and Drivers' World Championships.

Suzuka was originally constructed as a test track and its unique figure-of-eight circuit has hosted the Japanese Grand Prix since 1987 when Formula One returned to Japan after a 10-year absence. The 3.642 miles / 5.864 KM track is located between Osaka and Nagoya, south west of Tokyo and consists of a challenging combination of medium and high-speed corners.

The first Japanese Grand Prix took place in 1976 and McLaren has won the event six times -- more than any other Constructor. The first time in 1977 at Fuji with James Hunt and most recently in 1998 and 1999 when Mika Hakkinen claimed victory for West McLaren Mercedes - Mika Hakkinen, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Gerhard Berger have all claimed victory at Suzuka twice.

Mika Hakkinen:
'I have a special relationship with the Japanese Grand Prix as I have claimed my two World Championships there. I like the Suzuka track, but overtaking can be difficult and the incredibly tight chicane situated just before the start/finish straight is considered the best opportunity. I'm as focused as ever and determined to leave Japan with a victory.'

David Coulthard:
'Suzuka is one of the classic Formula One circuits and is one of my favourites. It's relatively light on the brakes but the abrasive nature of the circuit means that it's often heavy on tyres because of the high level of degradation. The track is a challenge not just for the drivers but for the team as well as it can be tricky to find the right balance.'

Ron Dennis:
'Our commitment to winning the World Championship is undiminished and we are as focused and determined as ever to make sure that this year's Championships will not be decided until the last race in Malaysia.'

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , David Coulthard , Mika Hakkinen , Gerhard Berger , James Hunt
Teams Mercedes , McLaren