The Japanese Grand Prix is a favourite for Jordan Ford drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Ralph Firman, both of whom particularly enjoy the driving style of the Suzuka circuit. Returning to Japan also has positive associations for the team...
The Japanese Grand Prix is a favourite for Jordan Ford drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Ralph Firman, both of whom particularly enjoy the driving style of the Suzuka circuit.
Returning to Japan also has positive associations for the team following a thrilling race for Jordan at Suzuka last year and this Grand Prix being the home race for Jordan sponsors Bridgestone and Brother only adds to the sense of anticipation as the final round of the Championship approaches.
Gary Anderson, Director of race and test engineering:
"Suzuka is the first 'proper' race track in the calendar for quite a while, in that it's a drivers' track, where the driver can influence the outcome quite a lot compared to other circuits. Giancarlo is one of the best at that so hopefully he can help us get our goals and Ralph knows the track as he has done a lot of miles there in Formula Nippon so he should be in good shape when he starts the weekend."
"It's a very demanding track for the car, and we've all got to work at it but if we do push hard we can be in a better state than we have been. It's a flowing, high downforce track like Silverstone or Spa, with high speed corners."
"That's where the good drivers step up and although our car isn't anything spectacular it's actually better at this type of track than many others. We just need to get on with it and hope we can make the most of our package with car, engine and tyres all performing well and reliably. It's the last race of the season and we want to start the winter with a bit of momentum, so we will do the best we can."
"In principle it's still possible for us to get fifth in the Constructors' Championship and you have to aim for the best possible. Given the circumstances presented to us, we didn't do as well at Indianapolis as we should have, so although it's a difficult task, here we will push as hard as we know how to."
"Japan this year will have a special meaning for me. It is my last Grand Prix with my team and I hope to end my experience with Jordan in the best possible way. In Indianapolis I tried my hardest to do well and we scored some points. The weather conditions helped and the human factor prevailed over the limitation of our car, I can only hope this will happen again so that I can perhaps help to catch the Toyota boys, a mere point ahead of us. It is going to be hard, but Suzuka always reserves some surprises."
"I cannot wait for the Suzuka weekend because it's a circuit that holds special memories for me, notably clinching last year's Formula Nippon title with Satoru Nakajima's team. As a result I also have quite a few fans there! Having raced in Japan for six years I can at last look forward to racing in F1 on a track I know very well, so that will be one big change, and of course I am determined to produce a strong finish to the season if at all possible."
"The entire Jordan Ford team has worked extremely hard this year under difficult circumstances so I am certain a lot of effort will go into to trying to ensure we go well at Suzuka."
"It's a real driver's circuit and technically challenging, but satisfying when you get it absolutely right. I am spending 10 days in Toyko before travelling down to Suzuka, catching up with friends and training every day in the gym because I wasn't able to maintain my normal regime during my 5 week recovery from the shunt in Hungary. I want to be as well prepared as possible and make the most of my circuit knowledge."
Jost Capito, Director, Ford Team RS:
"It is hard to believe that the 2003 Formula One season is nearly at an end, but I think everyone will agree it has been a fantastic year for the sport. There is not only the fact that the fight for the drivers' championship is going to the final round, but there has been the notable achievement of five different teams winning races this year. We are proud that Jordan Ford was one of those outfits and, following Giancarlo's further points scoring finish in the United States Grand Prix, we hope to end the season on a good note at Suzuka."