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Japanese GP: Preview - Manor

NEWS STORY
22/09/2015

Round 14 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the 2015 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, takes the Manor Marussia F1 Team to Suzuka, a very technical circuit that will be challenging for all sorts of reasons this weekend.

John Booth, Team Principal: "After the high of a positive Singapore Grand Prix, we head to Japan hopeful of a similarly strong performance this weekend. There will, however, be a rather more challenging backdrop for our team in Suzuka, after Jules' devastating accident here last season. There is no escaping the fact that this will be an extremely emotional week for us. Many of the team members who were with us in 2014 are back with us this year, including our colleagues at Scuderia Ferrari and of course Will and Alexander, both of whom were in Suzuka last year in their roles as Reserve Drivers.

It will also be a different emotional experience again from Monaco, a place full of so many special memories for our team, and Hungary, where we all had to say a very difficult goodbye to a greatly-loved friend and colleague.

We think of Jules every single day; he will forever be a huge part of our team. Without doubt, our memories are overwhelmingly happy ones, celebrating his incredible achievements in our race cars and the enjoyable times we shared along the way. Jules' funeral reminded us that he was a special gift to so many people, not least of all the magnificent Bianchi family, who are always in our thoughts and prayers. We were Jules' team, and with that in mind I would ask everyone to understand and respect that, this weekend, we wish to deal with the experience of returning to Suzuka in a very private way. Our commitments will reflect this. It is my job to provide the team with the right environment in which to be able to do their job in spite of very difficult circumstances. This will be my primary focus. Jules has not only been constantly in our thoughts since that terrible day in 2014, but his name has also been on our car at every single race. That tribute, our incredibly fond memories of Jules and the camaraderie we have within our team are all we need to race on in his honour in Suzuka this weekend."

Will Stevens: "This will be a very emotional weekend for us. We're already a very close-knit team but occasions such as this only bring us closer and that helps us through the challenges we've experienced on and off the race track. In the same circumstances, Jules would have gone about the business of racing in a very focused and professional way and that is exactly what I'll be doing. I didn't have the best weekend in Singapore, albeit we secured another good two-car finish for the team. But I need to get on top of some of the issues which hampered my performance there, so we'll work together as a team to understand and address them so that we can bring home another good result for Jules."

Alexander Rossi: "My F1 racing debut in Singapore last weekend really couldn't have worked out any better for me and I learned such a lot in a very short space of time. I head to Suzuka eager to pick up where I left off and focused on taking things to the next level, with the benefit of a little more familiarisation with the car and on a different type of race track. One thing I didn't need to learn – because I already knew – was what a great group of people I am fortunate enough to be able to call my team. They made things very easy for me in Singapore and with a difficult weekend ahead for all of us, I'm hoping to do the same for them."

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