Japanese GP: Williams preview

Japan's Hot Topics Will the driver market remain at a stalemate or will there be some movement? Could Suzuka's infamous weather create a lottery result on Sunday? How will the Drivers' championship shape up? Suzuka, Japan Back on the calendar...

Japan's Hot Topics
Will the driver market remain at a stalemate or will there be some movement?
Could Suzuka's infamous weather create a lottery result on Sunday?
How will the Drivers' championship shape up?

Suzuka, Japan

Back on the calendar for the first time since 2006, Suzuka will henceforth share the Japanese Grand Prix with Fuji Speedway. The circuit features many quick corners and sudden directional changes, which place a significant load on tyres, but the figure-of-eight configuration balances the load over the course of a lap so the wear rate is not as significant as the cornering speeds might suggest. Two-stop strategies are the norm, although that depends on local weather patterns: the region is prone to occasional typhoons.

What the drivers say

Thoughts on the Singapore Grand Prix

Nico "Singapore was good and bad. On the one hand, it was impressive to see how much the team has developed the car which allowed us to be right up there with the quickest teams. On the other hand, I robbed us of a very likely second place with a silly mistake."

Kazuki "For me, the Singapore Grand Prix was a solid but flat race, I didn't really have any bad moments, but there weren't any highlights either. We were strong all weekend, and consistent too, but at the end of the day I didn't manage to make up enough places during the race to get into a points-scoring position. I am now just hoping that it will happen at my home race later this week."

What we'll be doing between Singapore and Japan

Kazuki "I am flying to Tokyo on Monday morning for a sponsor day on Tuesday. I will then head out to Suzuka on Wednesday. My work won't be done after the race weekend though as I have two more sponsor days on the Monday and Tuesday after the race! It sounds very busy, but this year's schedule is better for me than the one I had last year when all the events were packed into the week before the race."

Nico "I am travelling to Hong Kong after Singapore for a day with RBS on Tuesday. I'll then make my way over to Japan on Wednesday."

About Japan

Kazuki "I kind of grew up around Suzuka. I have been to the circuit many, many times and it's the place where I started karting. I've also watched countless races there, not just Formula One races, but many other forms of Japanese motorsport, so going to Suzuka feels like going home. Apart from a short trip last April, I haven't been there for the past four years so it will be almost like a new experience. Overall, it's just a very nice place and I can't wait to get there."

Nico "I am now looking forward to Suzuka because I think we can do well there. Personally, I think the track is one of the best on the calendar, up there with Spa. It's also a good venue for Formula One because the fans are so enthusiastic which is always great."

Suzuka from a technical perspective

Kazuki "Suzuka has a very technically challenging layout. It's designed in a figure of eight shape, which has a mix of 16 slow and fast corners around the lap. One of my favourites is the famous 130R which is really unforgiving. It's a really quick circuit so you have to make sure you have a well balanced set-up or you're just punished the whole way round. The one thing you have to be careful of in Japan at this time of year is the weather which can be really variable, but that could just make it more exciting!"

Nico "I haven't been to Suzuka for three years now but I felt really comfortable on the track the last time that I raced there I am looking forward to driving it again."

-credit: williams

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Series Formula 1
Teams Williams