HRT press release
After passing through Singapore, the Formula 1 World Championship stays in Asia for the Japanese Grand Prix. The 15th race of the season is also the second in a five race stint in the Asian continent. Suzuka is a unique race track as it crosses over itself in the shape of an eight meaning that it is the only circuit in the championship to run both clockwise and anti-clockwise during a lap. It is a quick and technical track where downforce and tyre conservation are important elements. One of the standout features at Suzuka is the 130R, a 130 metre radius turn taken at speeds of over 300 km/h.
Pirelli have chosen the P Zero White medium and the P Zero Yellow soft tyres for the Japanese Grand Prix. Narain Karthikeyan will be driving one of the F111's on Friday during the first Free Practice session of the Grand Prix alongside Daniel Ricciardo. The Indian driver will contribute to the HRT F1 Team at Suzuka, like he did in Singapore, and continue with his preparation ahead of the Indian race. Vitantonio Liuzzi will be back in the #23 car from FP2 onwards.
"We're reaching the final straight of the championship with the next event in Japan. Suzuka is one of my favourite circuits and definitely one of the nicest tracks. It is a really fast and technical circuit where set up and aerodynamics are key to having a good result. It won't be an easy place for us but we will put up a fight until the end. We are really motivated to keep on pushing until the end of the season. Weather conditions are uncertain, which could be interesting since experiencing difficult weather conditions in Japan may give us a better chance of achieving a good result. For this Grand Prix I've wanted to pay my respects to the victims of the earthquake that struck Japan earlier this year by wearing a special edition helmet named Embracing Japan designed by Kaos Design, the helmet will later be put up for auction with the benefits going towards charity".
"I'm looking forward to driving at Suzuka for the first time. I've heard from many of the drivers that it is a beautiful circuit with a lot of history. I spent some time in the simulator and the first sector looks like a lot of fun with the 'S' curves followed by an uphill which, apparently, is a lot steeper than what you can appreciate on television. It seems like a real driver's circuit which is always nice, a place where you can try and get the most out of the car. I'm really excited because reality is always better. The weekend in Singapore was positive, the progression has been good in every race and I hope that this trend will continue in Japan".
We have to continue making steps forward
Colin Kolles, Team Principal:
"After the earthquake that struck Japan earlier this year, it is important that Formula One goes back there and we all show our support and commitment to the country and the Grand Prix. Singapore was a tough race but we had a positive weekend overall closing the gap to our rivals and having both cars finish the race. Nevertheless, we have to continue making steps forward. Suzuka includes some of the most challenging corners like the high-speed 130R and the famous Spoon Curve, and its unique layout makes it one of the most special ones on the calendar.
It is a medium to high downforce track but we expect the updates that we brought to Singapore to slightly improve our performance under such conditions. Tonio's experience and skills will certainly contribute to this improvement while Daniel will find himself again facing a new challenge at a track that he has never driven around before, although I am sure he will adapt to it and push as he has done over the past races".