Japanese Grand Prix 27 -29 October 1995 A week after enjoying the rural atmosphere of the Aida mountain region, the Formula One teams enter stage two of their Japanese trail as they travel to...
Japanese Grand Prix 27 -29 October 1995
A week after enjoying the rural atmosphere of the Aida mountain region, the Formula One teams enter stage two of their Japanese trail as they travel to Suzuka for the 1995 Japanese Grand Prix.
The 5.864km long Suzuka circuit, scene of some of Formula One's most epic battles in recent years, is situated approximately 80kms from Nagoya, the traditional industrial centre of Japan which the teams reach by a two-hour Bullet Train ride from Tokyo. On Sunday afternoon, the grandstands will fill up with 150,000 Japanese fans gathering for Japan's premier motorsport event of the year.
"There is always a very special atmosphere in Suzuka", explained Marlboro McLaren Mercedes driver Mark Blundell. "The fans are very enthusiastic and create a unique environment for us to perform, especially since their Grand Prix often settles one or both championship titles. The track is very challenging, and features one of the most difficult corners on the calendar; a 130 metre radius lefthand corner which requires a lot of commitment from the driver. This race will be tough for both cars and drivers, so I think the rate of attrition will be high. Hopefully, the weather conditions will be stable". Last year's race, which was held in torrential rain, was interrupted after the McLaren of Martin Brundle aquaplanned out and hit a track marshal. The Japanese gentleman, who suffered a broken leg in the incident, will be a guest of the team this weekend.
Mark's regular team mate, Mika Hakkinen, who was sidelined from the Pacific Grand Prix with appendicitis, will return to the wheel of car No 8 in Suzuka. Jan Magnussen, the team's test driver who stood in for the Finn in Aida, will nevertheless attend the race and take part in promotional activities. "Jan has been very impressive all along", commented Mark "he has a very mature head on very young shoulders, and is learning ever aspect of the sport very quickly."
In the few days separating the two Japanese races, the Briton and the Dane have been busy doing promotioal appearences for Mercedes-Benz and the team's principal sponsor Marlboro. They attended the Tokyo Motor Show where the German manufacturer launched the E-class executive cars and went to Japan's main Sumo venue in Kyotoa to meet the country's real life gods; the two Sumo Grand Champions, who at approximately 220kg each, made a big impression on the drivers. This was especially true for Jan, who had recorded a wight of 64kg on the scale in Aida.