We say ‘Konnichiwa’ to the Land of the Rising Sun and round 17 of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship, as we head to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix. The high-speed track remains one of the ultimate driving challenges anywhere in the world and is a firm favourite amongst drivers. The enthusiastic local fans are known for their incredibly dedicated support and will be sure to provide a warm welcome to the F1 circus.
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: Japan is one of the great venues on the Formula One calendar. It offers a fantastic cultural experience, incredibly dedicated fans and, in the form of the Suzuka Circuit, an exciting and iconic racetrack. The fast, flowing circuit with its famous figure-of-eight configuration is a challenge for drivers, cars and tyres alike.
We come to Suzuka with some new test components to evaluate as we continue our preparations for the 2020 season. Alongside these test items, we will conduct our usual race preparation, consisting of car set-up refinement and tyre understanding. Pirelli bring the hardest of their compound range to this event, tyres which we last saw in Spa and Silverstone. They should be well suited to the high demands of Suzuka.
As a team we had a difficult weekend in Russia, and we arrive in Japan recovered and ready to continue the steady improvement that we have witnessed since the middle of the season.
Robert Kubica: The Japanese Grand Prix is one of the most exciting on the Formula One calendar. It is a combination of really challenging sections which maximises the car potential through high-speed ‘S’ bends in the first sector. The middle part is a bit slower with a couple of hairpins, before a very fast part that takes you to the last corner of the track, which is a chicane. It is a track that has retained its old school racing DNA and is a great place to drive. Suzuka is also known for its excitable fans so it is a very special and unique place, not only in the car, but also out of the car.
George Russell: Japan is a race that I have been looking forward to for a long time, and it is a fantastic circuit that I can’t wait to drive. The fans are extremely passionate, I have only been there once as a Reserve Driver and even then, it was a really great feeling. The nature of the circuit should suit us better than Sochi did, so hopefully we can show a bit more pace. All in all, I am really looking forward to it.