Japanese Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel says that there’s nothing ‘kid-like’ about the figure-of-eight layout of Suzuka.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel heads to Japan on the back of some gathering momentum as the four time Champion has rediscovered some form in recent races. Having won in Singapore following an inspired pit call, the German driver snatched the lead at the start of the Russian Grand Prix and was a serious contender for victory until his MGU-K failed approaching half distance in the race.
Heading to Japan and Suzuka, it’s a venue that Vettel has won at on four occasions – all being with Red Bull Racing. Ferrari haven’t won at Suzuka since 2004, but the team’s recent upturn in form is grounds for some optimism.
“Suzuka is probably my favourite circuit of the whole season.” enthused Vettel. “It is the only track in the championship that has a figure of eight layout and, in some ways, it reminds me of the sort of tracks we played on when I was a little kid.”
“Except that there’s nothing kid-like about this circuit, given that it features thrilling corners like 130R and that sequence of esses in the first sector.”
Vettel has already been pictured on social media being greeted and welcomed by fans in Japan, as well as running into Indy 500 winner and former F1 driver Takuma Sato in the build up to the Suzuka weekend. Vettel says that the fans are part of what makes the Japanese Grand Prix so special: “The other thing that makes the Japanese Grand Prix special is the fans: they’re incredible! No matter how early you turn up at the track, they’re there before you, waiting for you.”
“And the feeling they have for you is unique and wonderful to experience.”
“Last but not least, the weather at Suzuka is always unpredictable which means all sorts of things can happen in the race, which makes it particularly complex but also fascinating.”