Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean counts the Suzuka International Racing Course, as his most favourite track on the Formula 1 calendar, but the Frenchman finds it difficult to explain exactly why it captures his heart.
“It’s always difficult to say exactly why. I think it’s the flow, the corners, the high-speed nature of the track. There’s a risk, as well, with all the gravel and the narrow parts of the circuit.
“Overall though, it’s not one thing, and sometimes you don’t know why you like something, you just do.”
At the 2013 Japanese Grand Prix, Grosjean finished on the podium in third place, having led the race for twenty-six laps at the start, and the 31-year-old says it is one of the most memorable moment of his career so far.
“I was fourth on the grid and made a really good start. I led from the first corner. Then Red Bull played its strategy. They put one car on a two-stop (strategy) and the other on a three-stop strategy.
“We led 26 laps, but we lost position to them. It was great, though. I remember telling myself to not go out as all the world’s TVs were on me.
“It was a great feeling to be leading. I loved it. I remember going to the train station after the race and it was packed with all the fans. It was hectic, but memorable.”
For all its greatness however, Grosjean says it is a difficult track to find the right balance in the car, as there is a fine line between too much and too little downforce, so it can be tricky if you do not get that right.
“It’s one of those tracks where you need quite a lot of downforce and a really good car in the high-speed corners.
“There are some important low-speed ones, as well. It’s about getting the right confidence in being able to push to the limit in those tricky sector-one turns.
“It’s not an easy track to set up the car, but definitely a really good one to be on.”