Alonso: I am a fan of Samurai culture and that is one of the things that inspires me

Fernando Alonso with Kamui Kobayashi at the launch of the Ferrari 458 Speciale in Tokyo ahead of the Japanese GP weekend

Fernando Alonso with Kamui Kobayashi at the launch of the Ferrari 458 Speciale in Tokyo ahead of the Japanese GP weekend

Arriving in Japan for Round 15 of the 2013 Formula 1 World Championship, Fernando Alonso revealed that the culture of the Samurai provides him with inspiration which he will draw from this weekend as he tackles one of his favourite tracks – Suzuka.

Speaking ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix the Spaniard said, “I like the culture of Japan, where education and discipline feature very strongly and the people are so polite. I am a fan of Samurai culture in particular and that is one of the things that inspires me and makes me happy when I come here.”

“Suzuka is definitely a very, very nice track to drive, especially the first sector with all the fast Esses,” added Alonso. “I’d say it’s a track that definitely needs to be tackled in a very aggressive manner, where aerodynamics is the most important factor, because you have a lot of high speed corners and so the aero has to be perfect to be fast in Suzuka.”

Fernando Alonso won the 2006 Japanese GP as a Renault driver

Fernando Alonso won the 2006 Japanese GP as a Renault driver

“Then the changeable weather that is a feature at this time of year means it is a very demanding race, not just for the drivers but also for the engineers,” explained the two time World Champion.

The weekend is always well mapped out by the Ferrari engineers. Alonso gave some insight on how the team will tackle the opening day at Suzuka.

“On Friday, normally we concentrate on testing new components that we bring to every race, although maybe we do a bit less of that at this late stage in the season,” explained Alonso. “The first session is all about aerodynamics and the second we really look into the two types of tyre, the two compounds we have to use over the weekend, assessing their performance over a single lap and also on a long run.”

Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari pit garage

Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari pit garage

As a Renault driver Alonso won the Japanese GP in 2006 at Suzuka and 2008 at Fuji, “The nicest memory was in 2006, my only win here in Suzuka, which was also very important in my fight for the World Championship title.”

As for the this year’s race, despite the title being almost out of reach, Alonso remains determined to fight all the way, “We need to have a good race. There is still a lot up for grabs: second place in the Constructors’ championship and it’s not yet over in the Drivers’ championship.”

“This is a key moment in the championship: Suzuka is a track I like a lot and the best possible place to have a good race on Sunday. We come from a place [Korea] where the crowd was not so big, while in Japan the fans are fantastic and they really love Formula 1. We hope we can give them the result they want as they pack the Suzuka grandstands, as they do every year.”  (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

Reports on GrandPrix247.com by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.