BMW Sauber: 2009 Japanese Grand Prix preview 

Written by Nick on September 27th, 2009 at 11:12 pmLast Update: September 27th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

Willy Rampf: “With its many fast corner combinations, the Suzuka Circuit is one of the most challenging in the Formula One calendar. The gradients also contribute to making this a true race track. The esses in the first sector are crucial to lap times: you can lose a lot of time there if you don’t follow the ideal line. It’s a unique sector, no other Formula One circuit has anything like it. There’s also the tight hairpin, but the dominant feature are the medium and high-speed corners. It’s a real contrast to Singapore’s city circuit which has more of a stop-go rhythm. That’s why the car’s balance is so important in Suzuka. As for configuration, we’ll be setting the car up with a high downforce level similar to that in Singapore.”

Robert Kubica: “I am really looking forward to going racing in Suzuka again. The circuit is one of the most exciting tracks to drive on – for me it is one of the best circuits in the world. There are a lot of really challenging high-speed corners, especially the 130R which is really fast. The fans there are fantastic. In 2006 a lot of them in the grandstands stayed at the circuit until very late in the night. They are really passionate and enjoy Formula One a lot.”

Nick Heidfeld: “I’m thrilled that my favourite Formula One circuit is back on the calendar. It will be interesting to see what changes it has in store for us. I know the track has been partly resurfaced, and there’s always the possibility of the forces of nature intervening – we’ve already had an earthquake and a close call with a typhoon. The weather is always an issue and there’s been torrential rain often enough in Suzuka. It’s quite a long circuit, very varied, and it flows beautifully. The first section with its double-apex right-hander and sequence of esses is really superb. But you have to get into the flow properly; if you make a mistake in one turn, you’ll mess up all the rest. I really enjoy going to Japan. The first time round I didn’t immediately take to it, but since then I’ve become a great fan. I just love the food and the unique atmosphere. I’ll be spending a few days in Tokyo ahead of the race in Suzuka.”

Mario Theissen: “It’s one race chasing the next on the home straight of the 2009 Formula One season. Seven days after the night race in Singapore we’ve got the next round in Suzuka, Japan, which completes the back-to-backs in a region that is extremely important for the BMW Group. This circuit is one of the most challenging for the drivers, making it a real favourite among them and the fans. A well-balanced car is a must in Suzuka. But it’s a tough track for the engine experts as well: in the ultra-fast 130R turn you get lateral acceleration forces of up to 6g and it’s essential the oil keeps flowing.”

source: BMW Sauber

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