Japanese GP: Honda preview

The Honda Racing F1 Team makes a welcome return to Japan next week for its second home race of the season, the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix at the Fuji International Speedway, Round 15 of the FIA Formula One World Championship. The Japanese Grand...

The Honda Racing F1 Team makes a welcome return to Japan next week for its second home race of the season, the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix at the Fuji International Speedway, Round 15 of the FIA Formula One World Championship.

The Japanese Grand Prix is always a memorable weekend for the team and this year presents a new challenge with the race moving from its traditional Honda-owned home of Suzuka to the newly re-opened Fuji International Speedway.

Prior to arriving in Fuji, the Honda Racing F1 Team will be making a stop in Odaiba for the annual Tokyo Motorsports Festival where Jenson Button and James Rossiter will be demonstrating the thrills of Formula One to thousands of fans by taking the RA107 car around the streets of the city.

Shuhei Nakamoto - Senior Technical Director:

"This will be the first time that Formula One has visited the new Fuji International Speedway and as a result we have limited data on the circuit which makes the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday even more important. The downforce levels required will be very similar to the last race at Spa-Francorchamps so we are prepared for a challenging weekend."

"Following the three-day test in Jerez this week, we have confirmed our car set-up and aero package for the race. We would like to put on the best possible performance for the Honda fans at our home race in Japan and achieve a satisfactory result."

Jenson Button:

"The Japanese Grand Prix is always a very special weekend for the whole Honda Racing F1 Team as it is one of our two home races of the year. I have had fantastic support as a Honda driver at the Honda-owned Suzuka circuit in the past few years and the Japanese fans always create such a special atmosphere over the race weekend."

"This year will be a new challenge for both myself and the team as the race returns to the Fuji International Speedway. The Fuji circuit is an unknown quantity so I will be studying the circuit layout with our engineers in advance of the race but we will only find out its true characteristics during our track walk on Thursday and the first few laps of practice on Friday."

"The re-designed circuit is another Herman Tilke special, and after the fantastic job that he did with Istanbul Park, it will be interesting to see how this circuit matches up. There is a long 1.5km start-finish straight which should allow for some overtaking combined with some exciting looking twists and turns."

"We are the first to admit that Honda have had a tough season this year, however we approach the final races of the season with continued motivation and will not stop pushing to take the maximum possible performance from the RA107 car to help us move forward next year. Of course, Rubens and I will also be keen to put in a good performance for the thousands of Honda fans who will be cheering us on from the stands."

"On the Monday before the race, I will be taking part in the Tokyo Motorsports Festival once again. This is a fantastic event and I had a great time last year driving our F1 car right in the heart of Tokyo in front of all the Honda fans so I am really looking forward to arriving in Japan this weekend and getting the fun started."

Rubens Barrichello:

"I am really looking forward to returning to Japan in my second year with Honda for our home race. The Japanese Grand Prix has always been a favourite of mine and the Suzuka circuit holds some very special memories as I won there from pole position in 2003. My experience last year driving with Honda for the first time was fantastic. The fans are so enthusiastic and really supported us throughout the weekend."

"This year Formula One is returning to the Fuji International Speedway for the first time since 1977. I last raced at Fuji back in 1991 in Formula 3 but the circuit has been totally modernised since those days. It will be very exciting to race on the new layout and I am sure that the organisers will have done an excellent job with improving the existing circuit."

"Our car and performance this year has not been at the level we hoped for at the beginning of the season, however a lot of hard work is still going on back at the factory to improve our situation. We will all keep working very hard right to the end of the season and I hope to see further small improvements in our performance which will help us this season and in 2008."

-credit: honda

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Rubens Barrichello , James Rossiter , Hermann Tilke , Shuhei Nakamoto
Teams Honda Racing F1 Team