Daniil Kvyat was confirmed as an Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver in Japan twelve months ago after the news that Sebastian Vettel was leaving the team to join Scuderia Ferrari, and the young Russian driver admits to racing at the circuit.
Kvyat however recalls the race from 2014 and the horror crash of Jules Bianchi that ultimately cost him his life, and admits drivers will have the popular Frenchman on their minds this year.
“It’s a very special track,” said Kvyat. “It’s got great history, a good feeling and also a lot of proper balls-out corners, which I like. It’s a really cool circuit. Also, it’s where I was announced as a Red Bull driver last year so that’s a good memory.
“Of course last year’s race was very, very difficult because of Jules Bianchi’s accident and we will all naturally be thinking of him when we are driving there this year.”
Kvyat reveals there are plenty of ‘really fast’ places on the Suzuka circuit, and knows they are all even more challenging when it is wet. He also knows the importance of being precise, as any mistake will compromise not just that corner but the whole lap on the flowing circuit.
“There are plenty of places that are really fast: the double left of Spoon; 130R can be pretty challenging in the wet,” said Kvyat. “The ‘Esses’ are very tricky; if you get any bit of it wrong it compromises your whole lap. You have to be brilliantly precise.
“To be honest I find the whole lap really interesting though; I like it a lot. I love high-speed corners and Suzuka has a lot of those, so it’s very easy to enjoy. If you get the flow and the lines right it’s a great feeling.”