Pastor Maldonado admits it is nice to be challenged by a circuit, and believes Suzuka is one of those that is a challenge every year.
The Lotus F1 Team driver feels the Japanese Grand Prix circuit is at least comparable with another of the historic circuits on the calendar, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, and loves racing in Japan as a whole.
“It is always nice to know you are going to be challenged by a circuit,” said Maldonado. “If everything gets hooked-up then Suzuka is a pleasure. I really hope we can have a good weekend because at Suzuka it makes it even more of a pleasure to get it right.
“I think that for a driver it is at least comparable with Spa, maybe even better on some corners. I just love racing at Suzuka and indeed in Japan as a whole.”
Maldonado reveals he enjoys the first section of the lap at Suzuka, but knows complete concentration is needed around the lap. He joins the chorus of drivers saying that getting the lap right is satisfying around the ‘great’ racetrack.
“The start of the lap is incredible with the sweeps up the hill, right-left-right-left,” said the Venezuelan. “It is really fast and you need a very good and nimble car to change direction quickly.
“They are really challenging corners where you need maximum concentration and bravery. The run-off is quite small, so it is really satisfying to get them right.
“When I first drove this track in 2011 it was a big deal for me because I knew that I could find a lot more time in the car. The corners are like this because you never get them 100% right the first time, you learn and learn which is what a great race track should be like I think.
“Then you have the Spoon Curve which is magnificent and 130R which is still challenging despite being flat-out now. All in all a great, great circuit and with some really steep gradients too. Almost a perfect track!”