Japanese GP: Preview - Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN heads to the Japanese Grand Prix with the aim of finishing the Asian back-to-back on a positive note after the challenge of Singapore. Suzuka will mark another important step in the run-up to the end of the season, with the team fighting to secure sixth place in the constructors' championship.

Every visit to Japan is special: the epic circuit, the legendary pages of history written in Suzuka, the uniqueness of the country - everything conspires to make this a favourite race for everyone in Formula One. This year, upon our return to the Land of the Rising Sun for the first time since 2019, the expectations are for a great event on and off the track: thoughts of fans crowding Suzuka, showing three years of pent-up love for their heroes and passion for the sport and showering all team members with their unmatchable Japanese hospitality- truly, something incredible about this race - are one of the main draws of this event, and something we missed dearly since our last visit.

But it's not the thought of novelty hats, humorous banners and more gifts that you can fit in a team's luggage allowance that makes Suzuka special. What really makes it stand out as an event is the feeling you get from the moment you cross the circuit's gates: the knowledge of being on hallowed ground, an old-school circuit where the driver truly makes a difference; a place where every fan is vastly knowledgeable; a place where bravery is rewarded and mistakes are punished.

Suzuka is a place where Formula One is as it should be - you can't not love it.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "Singapore is just behind us and we head back to the track for the second stint of the Asian double-header in Suzuka already. We haven't raced here since 2019, and it's good to be back on a historical track that witnessed so many captivating battles in the past. We had a difficult weekend in Singapore, and despite a decent performance we ultimately didn't add any points to our tally, but the positive we can bring with us into this new race week is the promising pace we showed in dry conditions on Friday. Together with the upgrades we are set to have in Japan, these are good starting points on which to build our race. We must maximise our efforts ahead of qualifying, to place both cars in a suitable position to get in the mix of the midfield, avoid being in risky battles at the bottom of the field and bring back home some points."

Valtteri Bottas: "I am happy to go back to Suzuka after three years: the atmosphere here is incredible, and the fans are super passionate and welcoming. I have particularly good memories of the last time we raced here, in 2019, as I won the Grand Prix, having also finished on the podium the year before. Last Sunday in Singapore wasn't really our day, and it was a bit frustrating to finish just one place away from points. Despite this, we were showing good pace, and we're also going to have new upgrades on the car, so hopefully we can put ourselves in the game from the start of the weekend and fight for the top ten."

Zhou Guanyu: "A new race week, and a new track for me to discover. I am thrilled to race in Suzuka, one of the most iconic tracks on the calendar, and I'm looking forward to being there and enjoying it. It was really unfortunate to have my race end prematurely because of somebody else's mistake in Singapore, especially because we had decent pace, and we could've built something on that. We performed well in dry conditions, so hopefully the weather will be on our side in Japan; this weekend we are also set to bring some upgrades on the car which, if we do our homework for qualifying and place ourselves well on the grid, may help us get the results we want on Sunday."

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Published: 05/10/2022
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