Japan’s Grand Prix rises on Sunday (7:00 clock at RTL) on one of the most demanding and popular routes in the Formula One calendar.
Suzuka offers pretty much everything the line layout gives, World Champion Sebastian Vettel calls it his favorite race.
TRAGODIE: The saddest chapter in Suzuka’s history was written by Jules Bianchi last year. On the 5th of October 2014 in his Marussia, the Frenchman had left the track on a wet road in turn seven and had reached a rescue crane at high speed. After about nine months in a coma, the 25-year-old died in a clinic in his home town of Nice from the most severe head injuries.
DEUTSCHE SIEGER: The German national anthem has been part of the permanent repertoire at the Japanese Grand Prix for years. The record winner is Michael Schumacher with six hits, Sebastian Vettel won four times in Suzuka. Since 1995, a German pilot has been on the top of the stairs ten times. The track record has been held since 2005 by the Finnish Kimi Racing King, who rounded the Suzuka International Racing Course in the McLaren Mercedes in 1:31540 minutes.
TRADITION: Japan’s Grand Prize is deeply rooted in Suzuka, but the first edition went up on the Fuji Speedway in Oyama. 1976 and 1977, the royal class made their rounds there before Japan disappeared from the calendar again. It was only 1987 that the racing circus returned to the land of the rising sun and learned to love Suzuka. Only twice, 2007 and 2008, the races have taken place since then at the foot of Fujiyama.
KURVEN: Hans Hugenholtz was the man who designed the 1962-built line in Suzuka, and the Dutchman took such a beating. Slow, medium-fast and fast curves, a long full-throttle section and steady up and down: The course offers everything the racing heart desires and is therefore extremely popular. Not only does Sebastian Vettel call him his favorite line. Through a tunnel, the course is set in the form of an eight, a unique feature in formula 1.
UNDERTAKEN: The journey to Japan has already given the royal class legendary duels and many great moments. Thus, from 1988 to 1990 in Suzuka three times following the WM fight between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, the crash of teammates in the 1989 year remains unforgettable. Overall, the WM decision fell eleven times in Suzuka. Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel also celebrated floating title parties at the karaoke microphone.
RIESENRAD: The track also gained fame due to its location: The Motopia Park amusement park, originally designed for Honda line builder employees, was built around the course. The Giant Wheel has always been the symbol of the Grand Prix in Suzuka.
FANS: Japanese fans have a huge share of the Grand Prix in Suzuka enjoying great popularity among drivers. The stands are always full, the fans are persistent, enthusiastic and creative.