Formula One Heads To Japan

September 26, 2007 at 2:46 pm Leave a comment

Formula One is heading to Japan. And it will have a brand new circuit – the Fuji Speedway. With the breathtaking beauty of Mount Fuji as the background plus the action-packed race, Sunday’s race will sure delight F1 aficionados including myself.

Compared to the previous Suzuka circuit, the Fuji Speedway has a lot to live up to. And F1 drivers are looking forward to their first experience of Japan’s fresh GP circuit with an overtaking-friendly 1.5-kilometre straight and a multimillion-dollar refurbishment by Hermann Tilke.

But the most excited of all the drivers are the natives of the land. How do they feel?

“Fuji is a very interesting circuit, because one side is a very quick straight, and the other is very technical, especially sector three. For a driver it’s interesting, but for engineers it’s a real compromise. The last part is probably best for drivers. It’s a bit slow, but it’s fun to drive. And also this is the part where the driver can make a difference, good or bad,” said Sakon Yamamoto of Spyker in a FIA interview.

“The first time I raced there on the old circuit was in F3 in 2001. It was good until I crashed! My first race on the new circuit was 2005, in Japanese GTs. On the old track you could really use a big tow and you could pass more easily,” Yamamoto added. “Last year I was really surprised that so many Japanese fans cheered for us when I was driving with Super Aguri. That really gave me some power. So I’m looking forward to driving in front of them again. I also think my family and some friends are coming, so it will be good!”

“I am excited to be going back to Japan and to see this new generation of racing emerging. I have never raced in Fuji except when I was cycling, but this is a very famous circuit and its 1.5 kilometer long straight with heavy braking at the end could provide some great overtaking opportunities,” said Takuma Sato of Super Aguri.

“Fuji is close to Tokyo, where I am from, and it is set in the beautiful scenery of the mountains and lakes. I often went driving and cycling there when I raced bikes and it is a good ‘hilly’ training spot. The weather can be inconsistent as it is in the mountains, but on a clear day the view of Mount Fuji is amazing,” Sato concluded.

The Japanese GP timetable
(as provided by Planet-F1)

All times are local (Tokyo is GMT +9)

Thursday 27 September
15h00: FIA press conference

Friday 28 September
10h00 – 11h30: First free practice
14h00 – 15h30: Second free practice
16h00: FIA press conference

Saturday 29 September
11h00 – 12h00: Third free practice
14h00 – 15h00: Qualifying
15h00: FIA post qualifying press conference

Sunday 30 September
13h30 – 15h30: Japanese GP
15h30: FIA post race press conference

Japanese GP Info
No of Laps: 67
Race Distance: 305.721 km
Lap Record: n/a

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