Jean-Eric Vergne: “130R might be more of a Challenge”


The Scuderia Toro Rosso team took their best result of the 2014 Formula 1 season last time out in Singapore when Jean-Eric Vergne took an excellent sixth place, and he and team-mate Daniil Kvyat are looking forward to Suzuka and the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend.

Vergne, who will step aside in the first free practice session of the weekend to allow rookie Max Verstappen get his first taste of 2014 machinery, feels the Japanese Grand Prix is one of the best events on the calendar, and is looking forward to finding out what the track is like with the lower downforce levels this season’s cars have.

“Suzuka is one of the best tracks on the calendar,” said Vergne. “The fans really make it something special, with an unbelievable atmosphere. A combination of that and the track itself makes this one of the best Grand Prix of the year. I’m looking forward to it.

“I don’t expect this year’s new technical regulations to require much of a change in terms of how we approach it. I am not sure how it will suit our car. If I have to pick one part of the circuit I like best, it would be the high speed Esses that start the lap and, with having less downforce this year, the 130R might be more of a challenge than in the past.”

Team-mate Kvyat is making his first trip to Japan, and the only experience he has of the Suzuka circuit is on the Teams’ simulator, and he is looking forward to getting out on track on Friday morning.

“I’ve never even been to Japan before, so this week will be a very interesting experience for me,” admitted Kvyat. “From what I hear the other drivers say, Suzuka is a very exciting track, so I’m looking forward to discovering it for myself. Certainly, from the simulator, I’d say it’s going to be very enjoyable to drive and extremely challenging. It has a lot of fast corners, which is what I like best, so hopefully it will be a good race weekend for me.

“I like Japanese food and I am looking forward to experiencing it in its home environment. I’ve also read a bit about Japanese culture, which has made me curious to see the country for myself.”