Japanese GP Sauber preview

Pedro Diniz: Suzuka is one of my favourite circuits, because of the challenge that it represents. I'm really looking forward to the race. Mika Salo: I made my Grand Prix debut at Suzuka in 1994, and I know it well from my days racing F3000 in ...

Pedro Diniz:
Suzuka is one of my favourite circuits, because of the challenge that it represents. I'm really looking forward to the race.

Mika Salo:
I made my Grand Prix debut at Suzuka in 1994, and I know it well from my days racing F3000 in Japan, so I have a bit of a soft spot for it. Like Pedro, I'm looking forward to racing on a circuit that places high demands on a driver's ability.

Willy Rampf:
Suzuka has many unique features, such as its figure-of-eight layout and flyover. It has a bit of everything, from slow corners to very fast, so it's very demanding. It's a medium downforce track, like Spa, and requires very good traction out of some particularly slow corners. At the hairpin and the chicane speeds fall as low as 60 km/h. Then there is 130R, a really challenging left-hand corner taken close to flat-out with a lateral load of almost 4 G. Another key area is the Esses, the four fast consecutive corners leading up the hill behind the pits. You can lose a lot of lap time there alone if you don't have the perfect balance in the car necessary to adhere to the optimum line.

Since there is always a high risk of rain in the area, we also need a huge amount of simulation work so that we have a suitable wet-weather set-up available to us at short notice.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mika Salo , Pedro Diniz
Teams Sauber