Suzuka – It’s good to be home. A truly special race for us and the team and, as always, the run-up to the Japanese Grand Prix is a busy one for us, introducing Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing to our team across the country.
Last year saw a stand out performance on the Saturday, qualifying 6th and 7th. However after the promise of the session, we were left with a difficult race, ultimately ending with both cars finishing outside the top 10. A disappointing end to what promised to be a strong weekend. The unique figure of 8 layout compliments the fast-flowing circuit, requiring a finely balanced set up to tackle corners such as the iconic 130R – taken at over 300kph. Incredible fans engulf the track all weekend, with arguably the best attire you’ll see all year! From the moments the gates open in the morning to when they close at the end of the day, expect a sea of blue wherever you look.
Toyoharu Tanabe, Technical Director: “Everyone at Honda is looking forward to our home race and I think the majority of people in F1 also consider Suzuka to be one of the great race tracks of the world, which usually makes for an exciting weekend. The circuit is very demanding and challenging for the drivers and also for the engineers when it comes to setting up every aspect of the car-PU-tire package.
“For our home race, there will also be an interesting flypast just before the start, when a Honda Jet will fly down the main straight above the Formula 1 cars on Sunday. The HA-420 HondaJet is a twin-engined, seven-seater light business jet, which has been a great success thanks to its lightweight and excellent fuel efficiency with its innovatively unique engine mounting configuration.
“The engineers from this cutting-edge product have been involved in our F1 project and their contribution has resulted in a drastic improvement of our Turbine and MGU-H in terms of both reliability and performance in the past few years. It’s going to be good to see these two examples of Honda technology on and above the track at the same time.
“As usual, our competitors will be very strong, therefore we don’t think it will be an easy weekend. However, we will be doing our very best with Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso to have a good race here in Japan.”