Force India duo Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg preview the Japan Grand Prix.
Nico Hulkenberg: “Suzuka is one of my favourite tracks – it's just got a great flow. You go from one corner straight into to the next and it's a proper old-school track; it's so much fun to drive, especially in qualifying when you have low fuel, soft tyres and lots of grip. You have some high-speed sections, but the main feature is the great rhythm you get as you drive through the lap. The track has several great corners: the best section is the Esses, which are pretty cool and so quick – it's three or four corners at once. They're all hooked up, so if you make a mistake in one you can just forget about the rest, you've already lost so much time. The other highlight of the Japanese weekend is the fans. They are incredible: it doesn’t matter what time of day it is, or what the weather is doing, they are there outside the hotel or at the track waiting for you. It's great to see their passion and knowledge for our sport. They always bring us presents – most often candy, but I once got a very cute teddy koala bear!”
Sergio Perez: “The trip to Japan is always good fun and every year I try to visit Tokyo for a few days ahead of the race. It’s one of the greatest cities in the world and I love to explore it: the Japanese culture is very interesting and I really like their food! I always have a good time there. Once you get to Suzuka, things are much quieter: the city is small but the circuit is spectacular, it’s the real attraction. The fans are also brilliant – there are very few in the world who can match their enthusiasm. Some are very loyal: there’s one Japanese fan, who always waits for me when I am leaving the track or leaving the hotel, and I always make sure I stop for a photo. As a whole, they are very knowledgeable and passionate and are one of the highlights of the weekend. The circuit is a huge challenge and it’s unforgiving. The speeds are high and the best part, for me, is sector one – it’s so impressive. Suzuka is without any doubt one of the best tracks in the world. You need a car that is balanced enough for you to feel completely at ease with it. The other thing to remember is the crosswinds because it can often by very windy there. One lap you can have the perfect balance and the next it can be thrown off by a gust of wind. It’s a track I like and where I have enjoyed some good results – it’s definitely one of the weekends I enjoy the most. Sadly, every time we go there we are reminded of Jules’s tragic accident.”