Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr. says the Suzuka International Racing Course is one of his favourite grand prix of the season, and that is not just down to the track layout itself, but the fans and food also make it a special venue for the Spaniard.
“Before racing in Formula 1, I had never travelled to Japan. After my first race there in 2015, this race weekend has become one of my favourite!
“The reasons are many: I enjoy the track layout, the fans are absolutely amazing, passionate and very polite and the Japanese culture is just so different and attractive.”
One of the big plusses for Sainz Jr. is all the presents he receives from the fans, which they try to make more surprising every time he visits. The Spaniard also loves the passion and support the fans show him, which really pushes him to do better.
“The presents I get from Japanese fans are probably the most special ones I receive throughout the whole year.
“You can see they really think of ways to surprise you… I always receive a Spanish flag signed by the fans and they also wish me luck in their own special way.
“They always tell me to push a lot and to go ‘Banzai’, which is something I like to see, it motivates me!”
Another pastime Sainz Jr. loves to enjoy whilst in Japan is eating, with Sushi and Kobe beef being his favourite delicacies to chow down on.
“Sushi is one of my favourite things to eat. Luckily, nowadays you can eat it nearly everywhere, but I have to say that the sushi you find in Japan is the best.
“There are a couple of sushi bars close to the circuit that I always go to, but something else I really like to eat when in Suzuka is Kobe beef – it has such a lovely flavour and just melts in your mouth, it’s amazing!”
The Spaniard will be hoping for a strong weekend in Japan, after a disappointing result in Malaysia last time out.