Red Bull’s Max Verstappen thinks we will see a “very strong” Ferrari at the Japanese Grand Prix this upcoming weekend.
Ferrari’s run of victories since the summer break came to an end in Russia with team orders becoming the biggest talking point again involving the Scuderia.
Verstappen and Red Bull, meanwhile, have struggled to get into a decent rhythm and, while the Dutchman thinks the RB15 could shine in the corners at Suzuka, he is wary of seeing Ferrari’s mighty straight-line speed back in action once again.
“Ferrari will be very strong as they have so much power and will be fast on the straights but our car will be quick in the corners so hopefully we can gain some time there,” Verstappen said via his official website.
“It’s a lot of fun to drive and I really enjoy it, but I also love Suzuka in general. The circuit is very historic and also very narrow and fast, so it’s important to use all of the track.
“You need to find the right balance and have a good flow between turns 3, 4, 5 and 6 because if you take one corner wrong, you’re in the wrong position for the next sequence.”
The Suzuka circuit also holds a special place in Verstappen’s heart after a significant career milestone there.
He added: “I’m really looking forward to going back to Suzuka as it’s a special place for me. I made my Formula 1 debut there in a practice session when I had just turned 17 and it’s a memory I’ll never forget.
“I’ve had a lot of good results at Suzuka with second and third place podiums but never a win, so obviously we would love to go one step higher.”
“The Japanese fans are very passionate about the sport and it’s always great to see so many of them at the track supporting us, but this year’s Japanese Grand Prix will be even more special as we are with Honda for their home race.
“We’ve had some great results with Honda already this year and it won’t be easy at Suzuka but we will of course deliver the best performance possible for the Japanese fans.”