Japan GP: Preview - McLaren


The Japanese Grand Prix is one of the highlights of the Formula 1 season. The fans are passionate about motorsport and Suzuka Circuit is one of the most revered racetracks in the world. The circuit's unique figure-of-eight layout places huge demands on the drivers, who feel the hand of history when they take to the track because it's changed very little since it was designed and built in 1962.

Of Japan's 21 racetracks, only two – Fuji Speedway and Suzuka – have hosted the Japanese Grand Prix. Fuji was F1's first venue in the Far East, in the mid-'70s, but Suzuka has been an F1 staple since it first appeared on the calendar in 1987.

McLaren has won the Japanese Grand Prix on nine occasions, which is more than any other F1 constructor. Suzuka has also been the scene of many world title celebrations, including both of Mika Hakkinen's championship successes with McLaren, the second of which took place 20 years ago.

Carlos Sainz: "After a tricky start to the second half of the season, I'm glad to have scored good points in Russia. I think the whole team deserved it. Although we managed to extend our lead in the midfield battle, the competition remains tight and I know that I need to keep pushing all the way to the end of the season. I want more, and that is the mentality we need to keep the whole year.

"Now, my sights are set firmly on a strong weekend at Suzuka. The Japanese Grand Prix is another of F1's great historic races and one of my personal favourites. The Japanese fans are some of the most passionate and fun in the world and the circuit is well known as a quick and challenging track – the legendary 130R corner is one of the most impressive on the calendar. We are ready and I canīt wait to race again."

Lando Norris: "I'm looking forward to heading back to Suzuka, having taken part in FP1 there last year. It's a fun track in an F1 car and one that hopefully allows for some good overtaking. Japan is also a very cool place to visit, although I'll probably steer clear of the sushi!

"I've been doing a lot of prep for this race back at the factory, and I'm pushing hard to make the most of these last few races and build on our position in the midfield standings for the team. We'll be pushing hard again to score more points and I can't wait to race there."

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "Although we head to Suzuka with an increased lead over our midfield competitors in the Constructors' Championship, we are mindful that we still have work to do to lock down this position. The competition for these positions is very close, and can change over the course of a single weekend. From our side, we must focus on keeping the battle in our own hands, and that relies on maximising our on-track performance and trackside operations."

Suzuka International Racing Course

Race laps: 53

Circuit length: 5.807km/3.608 miles

Total race distance: 307.471km/191.062 miles

Distance to Turn One: 350m/0.217 miles

Number of corners: 18 (10 right, eight left)

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Published: 07/10/2019
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