Fernando Alonso has turned his attention to this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, having put the disappointment of his retirement from the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend behind him, but expects a far tougher challenge this weekend in comparison to the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
The McLaren-Honda driver was running inside the top ten when he pulled into the garage with a gearbox issue last weekend, but feels it will be far harder this weekend to match that position, especially with the under-powered Honda engine, on a circuit the Spaniard describes as deserving its ‘legendary status’ tag.
“I’m full of anticipation about going to Suzuka,” said Alonso. “It’s a really tough circuit, and a huge test for the drivers, as a lot of it is really narrow and bumpy so you need absolute commitment into every corner.
“It has almost the opposite characteristics to Singapore in terms of set-up, so it’s a very different challenge that we’ll face next weekend.
“Singapore is now behind us, but Suzuka will surely be a challenge. Our car is well balanced and feels good to drive, but on a circuit with such a high average speed it will be difficult to beat our competitors. We’ll take the samurai spirit with us to Suzuka, and as usual we won’t give up.
“Like Jenson [Button], I have a strong affinity with Japan, I love the country and I’ve always been fascinated by its culture. I’ve also loved racing there and I’ve won both at Suzuka and Fuji, so it holds a lot of special memories for me. The fans are one-of-a-kind and the circuit absolutely deserves its legendary status – it’s one of the most exciting on the calendar.”