Japanese F1 Grand Prix 2011: Preview (MGP)
Formula One returns to Asia next week for Round 15 of the 2011 World Championship, the Japanese Grand Prix, hosted at one of the most popular tracks on the calendar, the 5.807 km figure-of-eight Suzuka Circuit.
• In the last ten years, 75% of races at Suzuka have been won from pole - a higher percentage than in Monaco (70%)
• Of the circuit´s 18 corners, 11 are taken at 200 kph or higher - including four at over 250 kph
• Since Suzuka returned to the calendar in 2009, both races have featured Safety Car periods
“Suzuka is a very special circuit, and one which has held great races, and great memories, for me over the years. I always enjoy the challenge of driving here and getting the technical set-up of the car right to get the best from the demanding layout of the track. A great first sector, high-speed turns, and interesting corner combinations all make Suzuka one of the best race tracks of the year, and definitely one of my favourites. We will be working hard to make the most of our weekend here, and hopefully we can come away with a strong performance and some more points.”
“I always enjoy visiting Japan for the Japanese Grand Prix, and Suzuka is truly a great race track. Personally I think it’s one of the best circuits on the Formula One calendar, along with Spa, and one which every driver loves. The layout is very challenging with high-speed corners and difficult chicanes. In the past, overtaking has been really difficult here, so it will be interesting to see how the new rules affect the racing. I always love the atmosphere in Japan and the fans are really enthusiastic in their support. Let’s hope we can put on a show for them and achieve a good result.”
Ross Brawn, Team Principal
“Suzuka is a classic racing circuit which has hosted some memorable races over the years, and we are looking forward to returning to Japan next week. The recent improvements to the circuit and paddock have made Suzuka an excellent venue, and the support that Formula One receives from the enthusiastic Japanese fans is always very impressive. After the tragedy which took place in the country earlier this year, we hope that the race will provide entertainment and enjoyment, and it seems somehow fitting that the championship is likely to be decided in Japan. From our team’s perspective, we had a more challenging weekend in Singapore than at the final two European races, however Suzuka is a track which should be more suited to our car, so we will work hard to have a stronger weekend here.”
Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka holds a very special place in Formula One. We always enjoy the warm welcome from the Japanese people, their great passion and enthusiasm for our sport, and of course the challenge of the majestic Suzuka circuit. Following the tragedy that struck the country last March, the whole Formula One community is determined to put on an exemplary and thrilling race for our loyal and dedicated fans, many of whom have endured great hardships over the past six months. The circuit itself needs no introduction - it is one of the world´s greatest tracks, which tests man and machine to the limit. The layout is unique and one of the drivers’ favourites; a mega-challenging circuit that is said to divide the men from the boys. In terms of average lap speed, Suzuka ranks - together with Spa and Monza - among the top five of the season, which should mean our technical package should be better suited here than at the slower speed tracks. Having said that, it is clear to us that we cannot change the current pecking order at Suzuka; our target will be to produce performances like we delivered in Spa and Monza.”
* Official photo and details courtesy of MERCEDES GP PETRONAS *
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