The Virgin Racing team heads back to the Far East again this week for Round 16 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Japanese Grand Prix, which takes place at Suzuka on 8-10 October. Suzuka International Racing Circuit is one of the...
The Virgin Racing team heads back to the Far East again this week for Round 16 of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Japanese Grand Prix, which takes place at Suzuka on 8-10 October.
Suzuka International Racing Circuit is one of the great tracks of Formula One. It was designed by John Hugenholtz and built in 1962 as a test track for Honda, who still own it. The track is unique in F1 as it is the only "figure of eight" circuit layout used during the season. The 130R corner, so named because it has a 130 metre radius, is one of the celebrated corners in motor racing because of the speed at which it is taken. It was remodelled a few years ago, but still requires full commitment. Rain can often be a feature at Suzuka, and drivers who have raced here often have an advantage in knowing the lines to be used in the wet, which can be especially useful for overtaking.
Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"We head to Japan with another strong weekend under our belts in Singapore. The first part of our two-phase upgrade was working well and I had a good time in the wet to drying conditions. I think we can expect similarly wet weather in Japan - the early forecasts are for a strong chance of rain during all the running sessions and possibly during the race. And of course we have the second part of our upgrade with some new aero developments which I think will help us. It is of course exactly one year since I had my accident at this track, but I don't have any reservations about coming back. The big cut to my leg healed completely and I have no residual effects. I always find Japan such an interesting experience and this is such a great technical circuit which I enjoy, so I am sure that getting the most from the car here in another crucial race for us will be my sole focus."
Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"Suzuka is likely to be the most technical circuit of the year, so it will be a great challenge to get up to speed as I did in Singapore. It is another new track for me but I am pleased with the way I have adapted well to the circuits which I have no prior experience of racing at. I was particularly pleased with my performance in Singapore following my first experience of the track in Free Practice 2. I will have a similar challenge in Japan but I have done a lot of preparation work with my engineers and on the simulator, so I'm looking forward to racing at this fantastic track. It is obviously a great technical challenge, so I'm optimistic that our new developments will give us what we need to end the weekend ahead of our immediate competition."
John Booth, Team Principal
"This current batch of races sees us heading back and forth to this part of the world on three separate occasions, but every race brings fresh challenges and enhances our development so we are enjoying our 'global tour'. We obviously look forward to every Grand Prix of our debut season but there is no doubt that it is the circuits that are the most technically challenging that we all find particularly appealing. Suzuka is one such circuit, a real classic which has been entertaining us all for many years with the spectacular racing it regularly provides. The track is very quick with a great combination of corners and the figure-of-eight section which marks it out as unique. We can always expect the weather to throw up some interesting curveballs here but Singapore showed that we can make the best of variable conditions. We have the second part of our final major upgrade of the season and we hope the new aerodynamic developments will help us to continue our current trend of closing the gap to the established teams."