Japanese Grand Prix: Caterham previews Suzuka

Oct.1 (Caterham) Team and drivers look ahead to the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, Round 15 of the 2012 Formula One World Championship, at Suzuka.

Driver Quotes

Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#03: “Heikki Kovalainen, Car 20 – Chassis T128-04: “I stayed in Singapore for a couple of days after the race before heading back to Europe to spend a couple of days at home and then do a session in the simulator before going to Japan.

“Suzuka is one of the races everybody looks forward to and I’m no different. It’s a proper track, exactly the sort of circuit you want to drive F1 cars on as it has everything – high speed corners where you can really feel the downforce working, medium speed sections where it’s all about car balance and some of the most passionate fans in the world.

“For me the best bit of the track is in sector one, from T1 to T7. You go into T1 and T2 at high speed and if you’re not fully committed you can lose a lot of time right at the start of the lap. Out of T2 the track is positively cambered and you can really lean on the car as you go into T3. From there, right through to T7 if the car is well balanced the whole section seems to flow. It’s a great feeling when you get it right, but get it wrong and you lose a lot of time.”

Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#02: “Japan’s one of my favourite places to race, in fact it’s one of my favourite countries to visit whether we’re racing or not! At home I eat Japanese food quite often and the fact it has great food and really cool fans makes it a great place to go as an F1 driver.

“The fans really are incredible. The stands are packed throughout the whole weekend, even on Thursdays when we’re not on track, and they’re so polite, almost a bit scared of asking for autographs or photos, but you can tell how much F1 means to them and it’s always cool when they give us presents or things they’ve made for us.

“On track Suzuka is obviously a cool track to race on. The first sector is a good challenge in the car and for the engineers, to make sure we have a well balanced car. The second sector is also pretty quick and then you’re into S3 and heading towards 130R. A lot of people talk about that being a major corner, and it looks pretty good on TV when you see the cars flat out through there, but in the cockpit it’s really not that much of a challenge. Despite that you need to be flat through there as the chicane afterwards is one of the few overtaking spots, so if you lose time through 130R you’re going to come under pressure from cars behind right at the end of the lap.”