Suffice to say, Suzuka is a famed track, where many championships have been won. However, it isn’t as storied as the Italian or Monaco Grand Prix. It has had it’s share of battles, especially since it is one of the last races on the calendar. In some years, it was the last race and decided a few Driver’s Championships, and Constructor’s Championships. A few Japanese Grand Prix highlights of the past would be Mika Hakkinen’s win of the WDC, over Michael Schumacher in 1998. Or maybe one of the most famous rivalries to ever hit Suzuka; Senna vs Prost.
Let’s have a look at what Pirelli thinks of this medium to high speed track.
Pirelli’s Suzuka Preview
This year, as was last, Pirelli will be bringing the orange striped hard tyre and the white striped medium tyre. The track is similar in style to Spa-Francorchamps, but because of the heavier lateral loads, Pirelli has chosen a step harder than Spa here. The challenge will be keeping the tires up to temperature, as it can be cool this time of year in Japan. In addition, the track is somewhat abrasive, which increases wear rates on the tyres.
By this time of the year in Formula One, you see a few different things in the field. Cars that are still working on upgrades for this season, to come out with the maximum points available, and those that have chosen to continue to race, but only including what they have at the moment, and focusing more on what developments can be made next year. We know that Caterham has a new front wing they are bringing to the table, and Force India are continuing to develop their VJM07 in order to fend off McLaren in the Constructor’s Championship.
Since not much will change regulation-wise between now and 2015, I’m going to venture to guess most teams will continue to develop on their existing cars, as only minor changes will effect them next year. However, it’s being suggested that since Honda is coming to McLaren next year, a new chassis may be in the cards, to accommodate Honda’s needs. Also, Ferrari may be doing some changing for next year, as their car is down on power as well, so look for that.
Will you be tuning in to watch the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka? I know I will!