Sergio Pérez is looking forward to racing on one of his favourite tracks this weekend as Formula 1 makes its annual voyage to the Suzuka International Racing Course for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Racing Point Force India F1 Team racer enjoys the flow of the Suzuka track, particularly in the opening sector of the lap, which he feels is amongst the very best sectors on any track on the Formula 1 calendar.
Pérez, who current sits tenth in the Drivers’ Championship standings after the opening sixteen races of the season, says the legendary 130R corner is his favourite on the circuit, although its challenge has been lessened due to the downforce levels of the modern-day Formula 1 car.
“Suzuka is a proper drivers’ track and it is definitely one of my favourite circuits of the year,” said Pérez. “I love its flow and the high speeds, especially in the first sector. I think it’s one of the best sectors of the whole calendar.
“It’s a big challenge inside the cockpit, but it’s also a tough weekend because you really need to find the perfect balance for the car to put together a good lap. It’s not only the layout that is difficult – you can have a lot of wind that changes direction from one lap to the other and can throw you off.
“130R is my favourite corner of the track. You get there at more than 300kph and it’s a sharp left in seventh gear – you’re still doing 300kph at the exit. It’s such an amazing feeling. The corner is a bit less imposing in the new-generation cars because you have a lot more downforce, but you still need to focus perfectly to avoid making a mistake.”
Pérez says it is pleasing to see the amount of love Japanese fans have for Formula 1 and it is with excitement that they come to Suzuka each year.
“Japan is where we meet some of the most passionate fans in the world,” said the Mexican. “They truly make you feel at home all the time.
“A lot of them write to me on social media throughout the year: they write letters and when we get to Suzuka some of them surprise me with a gift. It’s really special. There is one special fan who always waits for me at the hotel and when I am leaving the track.
“It’s great to see their love of Formula 1.”