For the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team, the Singapore Grand Prix saw both Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo finish on the podium, a feat only seen one other time in 2014 at Canada. Moving onto the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, both are eager for more, and both are looking forward to getting out on track on one of the most enjoyable circuits on the calendar.
Vettel has fond memories of Suzuka, having won three races and a World Championship there, and believes it is one of the best technical challenges on the calendar. He is looking to build on the positive runners-up spot he earned in Singapore that was his best result of a rather disappointing season.
“Suzuka has been a very positive place for me in the past, I’ve won the race three times and I also won the World Championship there in 2011 which was a fantastic experience,” said Vettel. “Suzuka as a whole is a fantastic circuit, probably the only circuit you can compare it to on the calendar is Spa.
“It is a very challenging circuit, especially the first sector where there is a lot of high speed corners. I really enjoy those, but later on you also have the spoon corner, which is very technical and a big challenge, as well as 130R.
“The fans are very special and the atmosphere is incredible, the crowds really appreciate what people in F1 do, so it is great to see that.”
Team-mate Ricciardo admits that it is a ‘dream’ to drive around the Suzuka track, and is particularly looking forward to the first sector when the action begins on Friday. He feels racing at Suzuka is a real roller coaster and one he looks forward to every year.
“Suzuka is all good, but for me the first sector is just a delight,” said Ricciardo. “It’s a dream. You have those fast changes of directions through the Esses, hard around the Dunlop Curve and then, arguably the best bit, turns Eight and Nine: Degner. Through [turn] Eight you’re hanging on, it’s so narrow and there’s no room for error but you want to push as hard as you can. Then just as you straighten up the car, you’re on the brakes, throwing it into this cambered right-hander and hoping you’ve got it right because if you haven’t then it’s all over.
“Getting to do that 53 times in a row is a pretty good way to earn a living. What you maybe don’t see on TV is that it’s a real roller coaster, dropping into valleys and climbing up again, so that you’re rarely on a level surface.”