Lance Stroll on Suzuka – “It’s what we describe as an ‘old-school track’ without much run-off.”

by Craig Edwards
Racing Point F1 Team

Both Racing Point F1 Team drivers described the Suzuka International Racing Course as one of the best of the season as Formula One heads to Japan for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Racing Point are on a good run of form as the sport heads down the final stretch of races having scored points in three of the previous four having gone on a run of only one points finish in the five races prior.

This run of form has moved them to within three points of Scuderia Toro Rosso in the battle for sixth place in the championship.

Lance Stroll, who has never scored a point in Japan, believes Suzuka is the best place to truly feel what an F1 car can do and described the combination of low and high speed corners as incredible.

“I’m a big fan of Suzuka,” said Stroll. ” It’s one of the best, if not the best track, on the calendar. It’s where you really get to feel a Formula 1 car come alive and each part of the lap has something special.

“It’s got a combination of low-speed and high-speed corners but, more than that, it’s the flow and the speed that’s incredible.”

A criticism at some of the new circuits has been the run off areas but Suzuka “demands more precision” says Stroll because of the nature of the circuit.

“It’s what we describe as an ‘old-school track’ without much run-off. So there’s very little margin for error and demands even more precision than most other circuits.

“You have to use every inch of tarmac to be quick there. That’s why it’s such a favourite with the drivers and fans too.”

The Canadian described the first Degner as the best corner on the calendar and admits it is incredible to drive during qualifying.

“My favourite corner is the first Degner, which for me is the most impressive corner of the year. It’s probably one of the narrowest corners on the circuit, but you’re doing it in fifth gear and 260-270km/h and that’s very impressive. In qualifying the sensation of speed is incredible.”
 
Sergio Pérez has finished seventh in the last three years in Japan and will be hoping for another haul of points at what he says is “one of the best circuits in the world.”

“Suzuka is definitely up there as one of the best circuits in the world. It’s the track that all the drivers love because of the high-speed corners and the first sector is probably the best of the year,” said Perez.

“It’s not only the first sector that is amazing. The end of the lap has the 130R corner, which is very impressive and you’re still doing 300kph at the corner exit.

“Even with the downforce we have on the cars these days, it’s really important to be precise because it’s easy to make a mistake or run wide.”

The Mexican was also quick to praise the Japanese fans and says they help make the Japanese Grand Prix as good as it is.

“When I think of Japan, I remember the fans. They are amazing. When we leave the hotel in the mornings, they are already there waiting for us.

“It’s really nice to see how much they love our sport. They are very respectful and polite, and they also make gifts for us.”

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