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High-speed Esses, a spoon curve: What makes Suzuka Racing Course an F1 favourite

The track was built in 1962 by Dutchman John Hugenholtz.

, ET Bureau|
Oct 10, 2019, 01.11 PM IST
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Japanese grand prix
This weekend will mark the first Japanese GP with four Honda-engined machines on the grid since 2007.
FORMULA F1 - Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka International Racing Course, Suzuka, Japan
Circuit length: 5.807 km
Race distance: 307.471 km (53 laps)
Debut: November 1, 1987, won by Ferrari’s Gerhard Berger

As the Grand Prix reaches Japan, here’s what you can expect from one of the most respected and challenging circuits on the F1 calendar.

  • The track was built in 1962 by Dutchman John Hugenholtz. He drew up the now-iconic ‘crossover’ Suzuka track for Soichiro Honda who wanted to turn his company Honda Motors into an automotive powerhouse and decided to have its own test track.
  • Suzuka is a favourite among most F1 drivers. The high-speed track offers one of the best driving challenges, with high-speed Esses (turns 3–7), spoon curve (turns 13–14) and the 130R corner (turn 15) which is a 1,250 m straight (in engine terms) from the exit of the spoon curve where speed can go up to nearly 310 kmph.
  • Reigning champion and Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton has the most number of wins in Japan (after Michael Schumacher) with five victories. He is followed by Ferrari’s Sebastian.
  • Despite a tight grip on the world championship trophy by Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari looks threatening once again after Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel aced the Belgium, Italy and Singapore GP back-toback.
  • After a podium in Singapore to the fight back in Sochi, it will be another strong weekend for Red Bull’s young charger Max Verstappen.
  • This weekend will mark the first Japanese GP with four Honda-engined machines on the grid since 2007. Toro Rosso and Red Bull are already looking forward to the best reception of the season.

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20 Sep, 2019
FORMULA 1 Singapore Grand Prix Marina Bay Street CircuitCircuit length: 5.063 kmRace distance: 308.706 km (61 laps)Debut: 2008, won by Fernando Alonso for RenaultSix points to expect from F1’s only night race and one of the most-physically demanding circuits on the calendar.
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