Japanese GP: Toyota preview

Date: Sunday, 4 October, 7am CET Round: 15 of 17 Venue: Suzuka Circuit Distance: 5.807km (53 laps) Lap record: 1min 31.540s (2005) History: Suzuka hosted the first Japanese Grand Prix in 1963 but the event arrived on the Formula 1 World ...

Date: Sunday, 4 October, 7am CET
Round: 15 of 17
Venue: Suzuka Circuit
Distance: 5.807km (53 laps)
Lap record: 1min 31.540s (2005)

History: Suzuka hosted the first Japanese Grand Prix in 1963 but the event arrived on the Formula 1 World Championship calendar at Fuji Speedway in 1976 and 1977. Formula 1 returned to Japan in 1987 at Suzuka, which hosted 20 consecutive events before Fuji Speedway returned in 2007 and 2008.

Panasonic Toyota Racing makes the 5,000km trip from Singapore to Suzuka for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. Following its return to the podium with Timo Glock's second place in Singapore at the weekend, the team has the chance to continue that strong form on Formula 1's return to Suzuka. With almost no time between the two races, Jarno Trulli and Timo will use the same specification cars that performed so well in Singapore, although there is a change of tyre compound with the soft and hard specification Bridgestone Potenza tyres in use this weekend. As its home race, the Japanese Grand Prix is of particular significance for the team, not least as the location for its first-ever pole position, in 2005. Jarno holds the record for Toyota's best result at Suzuka, with sixth in 2006, although he went one place better than that last year at Fuji Speedway to take the team's highest finish in Japan. With thousands of loyal Toyota fans expected to lend their support at Suzuka, the team is highly motivated to fight for the podium.

Jarno Trulli (Car 9): "I am excited to be returning to Suzuka because it is a very technical and challenging circuit which I like very much. There are a lot of high-speed corners and quick changes of direction so it is a bit like Spa in that sense and it is one of my favourite circuits. I am particularly looking forward to seeing what changes have been made to the facilities; although I am pleased the lay-out is the same with just resurfacing. Japan is the home Grand Prix for the team so I will give my all to get the best result for Toyota and our Japanese supporters. I have a special relationship with the Japanese fans so I really enjoy visiting the country; they are always so supportive and enthusiastic. It is a special atmosphere. I had a disappointing weekend in Singapore but Suzuka is a totally different track and we should be competitive there; we hope to be very strong so I hope to race well and get a result to match."

Timo Glock (Car 10): "Suzuka is a really special circuit. It is very fast and the first sector is just unbelievable in a Formula 1 car; a really enjoyable experience. It is five years since I drove a Formula 1 car at Suzuka but the lay-out hasn't changed and I'm sure the fans will still make it a pleasure to race there. It's a really good fun circuit to race at because not only is the lay-out so fantastic, the fans make it feel special too, especially when you are a Toyota driver. It's not an easy track to drive and you really have to be completely concentrated to get the best lap time but this makes it so much fun. It was fantastic to finish on the podium in Singapore. I would love to be challenging for the podium again in Toyota's home race to give something back to our team's; that would be a great result. Standing on the podium for Toyota in Japan would be perfect."

Tadashi Yamashina, Team Principal: "We are very much looking forward to our home Grand Prix. After two great years at Fuji Speedway the race returns to Suzuka this season but despite the change of venue we are equally determined to achieve a positive result. We will have a lot of encouragement from our fans, our partners and Toyota employees at this race which is very motivating for the whole team. This creates some positive pressure because we know our supporters are hoping for a strong result and we are determined to meet their expectations. Everyone back in Cologne has worked extremely hard to develop the new package we saw in Singapore and will use again in Japan. This shows we are fighting for every 10th of a second right to the end of the season."

Drive Your Dreams This year, as part of a global Toyota campaign, the TF109s feature messages used by local Toyota distributors to thank them for their continuing support of Panasonic Toyota Racing. This weekend, Toyota in Japan brings 'Drive Your Dreams' to the race track.

-credit: toyota

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Timo Glock
Teams Toyota Racing