There’s no rest for the wicked! After a tough race in hot and humid Malaysia we go straight on to Japan… Carlos and Daniil are really looking forward to it and not only because they enjoy driving there – they also just can’t stop talking about how amazing the fans are and how good the sushi is there! Read what they had to say ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix:
Carlos Sainz: I really like Japan! The first thing that comes to my mind are the amazing fans there… I enjoy driving into the track every morning and seeing them all waiting to cheer us on. They are always so fun and respectful at the same time.
Daniil Kvyat: I agree with you… They are amazing! And the second thing that comes to mind is the delicious sushi! I really like it!
CS: Yeah, me too, I love it! There are some good places too, do you normally go there?
DK: Yes, I go many times to eat sushi in London!
CS: No, but I mean in Suzuka, do you eat sushi when you go to Japan!?
DK: Ahhhh yes, yes, also in Suzuka! There’s a really nice typical sushi bar there – you should ask your engineer about it! [Carlos’ race engineer used to be Daniil’s back in 2014]
CS: Yes, he already took me there last year… I remember it was very good! Anyway, so we know that in Japan there’s great fans, delicious sushi, also great meat…
DK: Stop it, you’re making me hungry!
CS: Let’s talk a bit about the circuit now then. I’d say it’s a special one.
DK: Yes, one of the legendary ones, I’d say.
CS: In my list of ‘top tracks’ I think it’s probably up there with Spa and Silverstone. It’s an amazing layout.
DK: I’d also say that it’s actually tighter than what it looks like on TV, especially the esses [Turns 3 to 6], it’s very narrow there and you only have one line to take, so you have to get everything perfect.
CS: Last year was my rookie year and when I discovered the track and the fact that it goes up and down hill so much, I was impressed. It reminds me of a narrow English track, those where the grass is always very close to you and it’s one of the most challenging. I think that Sector 1 is top level!
DK: We give it a 10 out of 10, right?
CS: Yes, for sure.
DK: I like Turn 8, it’s quite a high-speed one!
CS: Yes, we drive through there in 6th gear, maybe even 7th…
DK: We have to be very committed through there!
CS: I also remember that last year in the wet we were both very quick there, eh? You were first in FP2 and I was first in FP1.
DK: Yes, We love the wet and we were both quite quick! We were getting some TV time, so that’s good! I also had a good barrel roll at Turn 10 last year… I think I was struggling with jet lag and no sleep… I just put my rear wheel on the grass and then I hit the wall… It wasn’t a nice feeling!
CS: A strange part of the track is the hairpin [Turn 11]. There’s not just one line to take…
DK: Yes, you need to improvise a bit all the time. Actually, this corner in the wet can be quite challenging. Then we also have the Spoon [Turns 13 and 14], which is very good to train your neck!
CS: Especially because it’s an anti-clockwise track, so we use the side of the neck that’s not as strong. It’s also a very strange corner… Well, thinking about it, every corner is strange here, you need plenty of laps to understand the circuit completely and be consistent.
DK: Yes, there are many corners that you don’t find at any other track and that’s why it’s so particular and nice to drive. And I think that the 130R is great fun to drive in the wet.
CS: I nearly did it flat out last year!
DK: But not completely…
DK: And finally the last chicane is all about kerb riding…
CS: …And tricky traction on exit. So yes, all in all, a very nice place to go racing. See you there!
Enjoy Japan, guys, and go easy on the sushi!
Full Prixview, with our drivers’ exclusive hand-written circuit map notes, HERE.