Nico Hülkenberg looks forward to driving one of his favourite tracks and Sergio Perez gets ready for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Vijay Mallya, the result in Singapore must have been a big boost for the team…
“I was very pleased. The call to make the last pit stop with Checo was an aggressive gamble. We had nothing to lose and everything to gain. We didn't do the same with Nico because he was already running in the points and there was a reluctance to take a huge gamble with him. As Checo was out of the points, a gamble could either pay off, or we would lose nothing. Fortunately it paid off. As a team we were very happy and both drivers performed brilliantly.”
The team reclaimed fifth in the championship – that surely brings a smile to your face…
“It’s been the story of our season. We were ahead, then we fell behind, and now we're back in fifth place. I think we all recognise that the fight is only going to become even more intense as the end of the season approaches. To be in this position after fourteen races says a lot about what we have achieved this year. We’ve also scored more points than ever before  and there is still a quarter of the season to go. Whatever happens in the remaining races, I’m already very proud of our achievements in 2014.”
What are you feelings ahead of the next race in Japan?
“We haven't had the best of results in Suzuka over the years, but hopefully with this car and these two drivers we can come away with some points. We brought an aero update to Singapore and, in terms of race pace, it worked well. Suzuka will give us another chance to evaluate those parts because it’s a track that is dominated by medium-speed corners. There are also a few more bits and pieces coming before the end of the year, so we're continuing to push hard and not giving up.”
Driver's View: Nico Hülkenberg
Nico: “Suzuka is one of the best circuits of the year. I think it’s quite similar to Spa in terms of the feeling you get inside the car. It’s just a great place to experience a Formula One car and it’s a lot of fun. There are some big corners, especially the ‘S’ curves, which are very technical. Finding the right balance is very important for being quick in these long, sweeping corners. The last couple of years I’ve scored good points in Japan so I want to add some more this year.
“It’s also a fun weekend outside of the car: the fans really show their love for the teams and drivers, and they’re very sweet and respectful. When we travel from the hotel to the track they are always there standing on the side of the road waving at us with both hands. I’m also a big fan of Japanese food, so it’s a good chance to enjoy the local food, especially the teppanyaki.”
Driver's View: Sergio Perez
Sergio: “Suzuka is such an exciting circuit. It’s a classic full of great corners in every sector. It’s a track where confidence with your car is especially important because you need to find the flow of the lap, especially in the first sector from turns two to seven where you have to be totally committed. The key is to be precise, but it’s very technical and not easy to hit every apex.
“Because there are so many high-speed corners, it’s not easy to follow cars closely and overtaking is very difficult. It’s possible, though, and I remember having a good battle with Lewis [Hamilton] two years ago.
“We meet great fans during the season wherever we go, but I would rate the fans in Japan as some of the best. They have a lot of love for Formula One and they have always been very kind to me. It is always fantastic to come back to this country because they help make this race a special one.”
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