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Suzuka preview – Toto: “A true drivers’ circuit”

Suzuka preview – Toto: “A true drivers’ circuit”

The Japanese Grand Prix, Round 15 of the 2013 Formula One season, takes place at the 5.807 km Suzuka circuit on Sunday 13 October, seven days after the last race in Korea.

In the Esses, every corner sees lateral loadings of 3G or more with peaks of 4G in Turns 3, 7 and 8. The fastest corner on the circuit, Turn 15 (130R) is taken at 310 km/h (like Eau Rouge in Spa) and a lateral loading of 4G.

The cars will top 300 km/h three times per lap, before Turns 1, 13 (Spoon) and 15 (130R). Since the Japanese Grand Prix returned to Suzuka in 2009, every race has featured one Safety Car deployment.

For Ross, “the Japanese Grand Prix is always one of the highlights of the Formula One season. First of all are the fans: the Japanese public have a great passion for Formula One as well as a deep understanding for the sport, and it is always a pleasure to see them again when we visit Suzuka. As for the circuit itself, it is a fantastic challenge not just for the drivers but also the engineers.

It includes an unusual number of medium to high speed corners, which make the circuit exhilarating to drive but also challenging to engineer. It is vital to find a comfortable, neutral car balance that gives the drivers confidence and can also look after the tyres, as this circuit is comparable to Silverstone in terms of the prolonged high lateral loadings they must cope with.

It was a tough weekend for us in Korea so our clear target will be to respond to that disappointment with a result that delivers the full potential of the car we have developed this season.”

“The team had a frustrating time in Korea”, says Toto. Qualifying showed the pace that we had in the car but we were not able to use it at the right moments of the race. We also lost points because of a problem on Nico's car and everybody in the team is working hard to get on top of reliability issues like this one. Looking ahead to Japan, we can take two small positives from last weekend.

First, we closed the points gap to Ferrari in the constructors' championship, and it now stands at just a single point. The second is that our car was possibly the quickest of all in sector two last weekend, which contained all the medium and high-speed corners.

This is promising for Suzuka, where nearly two thirds of the corners are taken in fourth gear or higher, and should see our car perform well on this fantastic track. It's a true drivers' circuit and we have the best driver pairing in the field, so I am optimistic Nico and Lewis can qualify and race strongly to bounce back from last weekend.

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