Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Following a challenging weekend in Singapore, we are looking forward to moving on to Suzuka, which should offer a much better opportunity for the FW44. It has been a few years since we last raced here but the circuit won’t have changed too much and will still present a great technical challenge for both the drivers and the engineers. Overtaking is not easy in Suzuka but it is possible and the racing is always good here. The drivers will need to quickly find a rhythm, especially through the Esses, but once they have that, the laptime can improve very quickly.
The tyre compounds are from the very stiffest end of the Pirelli range, which we last used in Zandvoort. These tyres should work quite well in Suzuka, but if it is cold and damp then they will become more difficult. As part of the 2023 tyre development programme, all teams will take part in an extended FP2 session this weekend and will test candidate tyres for Pirelli. This will complicate our preparations for the race weekend a little but is important work for 2023.
Everyone is looking forward to once again taking on the challenge of Suzuka and enjoying the amazing atmosphere in Japan.
Alex Albon: Japan is one of my favourite circuits on the calendar and I really enjoy Suzuka as a place. I think this track will suit our car a lot more than Singapore however, I think with the weather looking a bit up and down, it should make for an interesting weekend. I’m very excited to be heading back to Japan as it’s one of my favourite places for racing as well as to visit, so let’s see what we can do.
Nicholas Latifi: Japan is one of the tracks I’m most looking forward to driving on the calendar. Besides Singapore it’s now the last one that I’m still yet to experience as a Formula 1 driver and I haven’t driven it in any other category. It’s always very exciting to learn new tracks and especially coming to a track like Suzuka which is a hardcore old school circuit. It definitely looks like a layout I will enjoy with it being fast and flowing in certain sections with little margin for error. I’m looking forward to getting on track and experiencing the unique and passionate atmosphere that the Japanese fans bring.