Verstappen expecting Ferrari fight at Suzuka

Suzuka, Japan

Japanese Grand Prix – Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen says Ferrari’s power advantage makes them a formidable threat for this weekend at Suzuka.

Formula 1 heads to Japan this weekend, to the Suzuka circuit. It’s a circuit that rewards a nimble chassis, with good mechanical grip and a car’s ability to generate downforce is paramount to achieving a good laptime. That’s an area that Red Bull have been traditionally good at, and Max Verstappen says he thinks it’ll be a decent one for the team.

“It’s a lot of fun to drive and I really enjoy it, but I also love Suzuka in general.” Verstappen said. “The circuit is very historic and also very narrow and fast, so it’s important to use all of the track. You need to find the right balance and have a good flow between Turns 3, 4, 5 & 6 because if you take one corner wrong, you’re in the wrong position for the next sequence.”

While not an outright power circuit, the long flat out section between Spoon corner and the final chicane requires proper grunt going up the hill, and Verstappen says this is an area to watch Ferrari in: “Ferrari will be very strong as they have so much power and will be fast on the straights but our car will be quick in the corners so hopefully we can gain some time there.”

Having first made his appearance in a Formula 1 car at Suzuka, the Dutch driver says he has a special place in his heart for the Japanese venue: “I’m really looking forward to going back to Suzuka as it’s a special place for me. I made my Formula One debut there in a practice session when I had just turned 17 and it’s a memory I’ll never forget. I’ve had a lot of good results at Suzuka with second and third place podiums but never a win, so obviously we would love to go one step higher.”

“The Japanese fans are very passionate about the sport and it’s always great to see so many of them at the track supporting us, but this year’s Japanese Grand Prix will be even more special as we are with Honda for their home race. We’ve had some great results with Honda already this year and it won’t be easy at Suzuka but we will of course deliver the best performance possible for the Japanese fans.”

Verstappen heads to Japan on the back of a relatively quiet P4 last time out in Russia.

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website. Enjoy my work -

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