Japanese Grand Prix 2012 is the 15th round of Formula One 2012 season
The famous Japanese Grand Prix is held in Suzuka which is one of the fastest F1 circuits on the calendar and contains every type of corner. It is a favourite among drivers and fans because it is one of the most challenging race tracks in the world. It is the only circuit in Formula One that loops over itself which means it doesn’t cover a huge area of space. This also means there are a number of places where trackside spectators can view more than one section of track. There are eighteen corners on the circuit but only two of them are taken at less than 100kph. Many of the corners are taken at well over 200kph including the ferocious 130R bend that arrives at the end of the long back straight. The circuit is great for overtaking because the mix of fast and slow corners in the second half of the lap allows cars to race close together. The short run-off areas have been responsible for huge accidents in the past, making Suzuka a circuit that demands respect.
Suzuka is full of fast corners, variations in camber, and changes in elevation that combine to make it one of the most difficult circuits in the world. The first sector is probably the most challenging as the first corner starts whilst the drivers are still travelling at full speed. The four S bends behind the pits are treated by drivers as one long corner because the exit of one bend is the entry to the next. If a driver messes up one of the sweeping turns, the whole section is lost to them. The fast right hand kink of the first degner curve is also a challenge because drivers can carry a lot of speed through there with no margin for error. The 130R corner out the back of the circuit once rivalled Eau Rouge as the most fearsome stretch of road in F1, but has since been tamed in the name of safety. The start at Suzuka is also downhill which gives the drivers an extra headache because they will need to keep their foot firmly on the brake until the lights go green.
Published with permission from F1 2012.