Japanese GP: Preview - Aston Martin


As Fernando looks ahead to the Japanese Grand Prix - where he and Lance look to return to the points - he reveals why the race at Suzuka Circuit is so special to him, discusses details of his new helmet for this weekend, and shares his targets for the rest of the season.

How do you reflect on the Singapore Grand Prix?
Fernando Alonso: "We had high hopes for Singapore due to the nature of the circuit as it often throws up unpredictable results, but it was not our weekend in the end. We suffered with a damaged suspension fairing from the second lap of the race, which impacted our performance and made the race difficult for us. We will take a lot of learnings from it and improve for next time, but overall, a race to forget for us.

"The main thing is Lance is okay after his bad crash on Saturday.

"Hopefully we have got rid of all our bad luck in Singapore, and we will look to bounce back and be better in Japan."

What are your expectations as you and Lance prepare for the 16th round of the season?
FA: "It's a great circuit to race on with a lot of history and passionate fans, so I'm looking forward to it. It always provides good wheel-to-wheel racing.

"We are going into this weekend cautiously. Let's see where we are come Saturday. The weather also is unpredictable at this time of year and that can throw up some chaotic races.

"We will be prepared for anything."

What makes Japan so special for you?
FA: "I like the culture of Japan, in particular the samurai culture, where discipline is very important. The people are so polite, and fans are always giving us gifts at the circuit and in the paddock and we are very grateful."

You've got a new helmet design. Can you talk us through it?
FA: "It's a very special helmet this weekend and it has a lot of symbolic parts to it. I am a fan of samurai culture and that is one of the things that inspires me.

"On the back of the helmet, the design is similar to my samurai tattoo. It's nice to be able to do this design and use it here this weekend."

What happens to the helmet once you've finished the race?
FA: "I'm not sure yet but it will probably go to my museum in Oviedo."

What are your targets for the remaining seven races of the season?
FA: "We want to bounce back with some strong points finishes after two difficult weekends in Monza and Singapore. We are seeing the competitive order change from race to race more so than ever before.

"We will keep fighting. There are seven races left on various different circuits with lots of points available."

Insight and Speed with Cognizant

• In the past five Japanese Grands Prix, there have been three Safety Car deployments and three Virtual Safety Cars. Last year, a red flag was deployed - lasting 127 minutes - due to bad weather. Historically, there is an 11 per cent rate of retirement at Suzuka.

• Given its narrow confines, overtaking at Suzuka can be difficult - even despite a long back straight that leads onto the high-speed 130R. In 2019 and 2018, however, there was an above-average number of overtakes with 37 per race.

• Tyre degradation is high at Suzuka and the hardest compounds - C1, C2 and C3 - have been allocated by Pirelli. There is a relatively high pitstop loss with a pitlane speed limit of 80km/h and a mix of one- and two-stop strategies is expected.

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 20/09/2023
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.