One of Sauber drivers favourite circuits.
Hinwil – In the land of the rising sun, the 15th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship will take place from the 3rd to 5th October on the Suzuka Circuit. The track is for both Sauber F1 Team drivers, Esteban Gutiérrez and Adrian Sutil, one of their favourite circuits on this year’s calendar.
Esteban Gutiérrez (car number 21): “The track in Suzuka is one of my favourites. I actually have many tracks that I like a lot, but this one is really unique. The layout of the circuit is very different to other ones, so the set-up of the car is also special. The track has many fast corners which can be challenging from an aerodynamic point of view, but there are also some medium speed ones. The first sector is simply amazing, it is a sequence of left-right corners, and it is fantastic driving through it.
Also the very fast left corner, called 130R, is a very nice one. I have good memories from Suzuka, as last year, I scored my first points in Formula One there. The fan base in Japan is great, and I am impressed with how enthusiastic and passionate the people are about racing. Once we drivers arrive there, the fans make us feel special, and they appreciate what we are doing. This is a good motivation for us.”
Adrian Sutil (car number 99): “The Japanese Grand Prix is a nice event with many great fans at the track. For me it is a very special Grand Prix, as in the past I lived in Japan for a year. Due to the fact that I won the Japanese Formula 3 Championship in 2006, I have great memories, and it is always a special feeling to come back. The track in Suzuka is with its many fast corners one of my favourites. The first sector especially is tricky, as it has a sequence of left-right-corners which can be driven very fast.
From a technical point of view, this part of the track is quite challenging, so we need to have a stable car with a lot of downforce, and a front that responds quickly while turing in. The last sector is good for overtaking due to the DRS zone. In general the track is narrower compared to the more modern ones, and the run-off areas have gravel and grass, which does not allow room for mistakes. Moreover, I believe it will be difficult to go flat out through the very fast 130R left corner due to the reduced downforce of this year’s cars. All in all, I would say this track is challenging and fascinating.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “The Suzuka circuit is another one of those drivers‘ and engineers‘ favourites, due to the diversification of the challenges faced throughout a lap. After a flowing and high-speed biased sector one in which the aerodynamic performance dominates, sector two demands stability and traction. Sector three at the end of the lap is dominated by the straight, in which the drivers negotiate the ultra-high speed 130R corner, and the very-low speed chicane.
Due to the abrasiveness of the tarmac and the high lateral energy through the high speed corners, Pirelli has allocated the hard and the medium compounds. In the last few years, the Sauber F1 Team has produced some of its best races at Suzuka. This is a source of pride, and keeps us motivated in working hard for results that so far this season we haven’t been able to achieve.”
Sauber F1 Team