Japanese Grand Prix Preview

It has been said that to the drivers of the Formula One World Championship, there are two favorable circuits that they like to drive. One is Spa-Franchorchamps in Belgium, the other is where the F1 circus is heading this weekend in Suzuka , Japan.

The circuit itself is located just southwest of the town of Nagoya, and is in an amusement park area. The track is just 3.6 miles long and is designed to be not just straights and hairpins, but everything else combined to make it a circuit that can balance the better of formula one drivers. It is owned by Honda, who will be participating in F1 next year as an engine manufacture to the McLaren team, and began in 1976 and 1977 on the Fuji circuit near Yokohama. The event was cancelled and off the calendar from then until 1987, when Suzuka first held the event until 2006, when Fuji regained the rights to hold the race. However, in 2010, the race returned for good to Suzuka, because the recent global downturn caused Fuji to withdraw due to lack of funding.

Weather is not much of a factor here, but it is monsoon season when the grand prix is here. But only in qualifying in 2005, did a nearby typhoon postponed the sessions until the next morning, which turned out to be clear. There is another oncoming typhoon nearby for this week, as well as a volcano that erupted just south of the circuit that hopefully, will not cause the event to be interrupted.

The track itself is a classic. The long straightaway at the start/finish line goes right through the s corners and west to the right handed section before the bridge, which is the only track that crosses under one another. Once under the bridge, it goes left and heads towards Spoon Corner, which hangs left and up a hill, where the increase of power begins. Over the bridge to an area called 130 r, famous for many cars that go off the road and crash. Allan McNish was a popular figure who did this in his Toyota, but fortunately, escaped unhurt. The final part of the circuit is a chicane, which slows the driver down considerably, before returning to the starting line.

This season could be interesting for both Mercedes cars, since they have been dominate on many tracks this year. But the challenges of the Red Bull and Ferrari squads are not out of the question either, due to the change of levels and lack of straightaway power in the circuit. Either way, it could be a great weekend for many at this popular and very classic race circuit.

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